Recently I was lucky enough to be a guest speaker at the Baltimore Screenwriters monthly event, hosted by the Baltimore Creative Alliance. This was my first visit to the Creative Alliance, but I can assure you it won’t be the last. This venue is in a neighborhood with plenty of character, as you can see from the photos, and the building itself hosts a massive undertaking spanning live theater, art displays, meeting spaces, editing suites, and artist studios on multiple levels.
This event is run by Elena Moscatt, who herself has an impressive list of career accomplishments. She seems to have been involved in all of the cool productions to occur in the mid-Atlantic region in recent times, by which I mean: The Wire, Twelve Monkeys, House of Cards, and four John Waters films (including the original Hairspray), among many others. As if that weren’t enough she also is the creator of several web series, including the award-winner Click on This!
I was unsure what to expect, despite knowing Maryland is a very literate and art-friendly place, as it’s not the first location you think of for screenwriting and film development. However…the Baltimore Screenwriters blew me away. It was refreshing and inspiring to find myself among so many talented and dedicated screenwriters here locally. They tackle diverse subject matter with great imagination, and solid grounding in real-life experience. From comedy, to brutal crime thrillers, to Holocaust-related material, there doesn’t seem to be anything the Baltimore set cannot handle. Screenplays in progress were passed about and we took on various roles in each others scripts. Having a reading of the work performed definitely highlights the strengths of the project, as well as underscoring potential trouble spots. It was an illuminating process, one I hope to participate in on a monthly basis.
The large group of writers in attendance had many questions for me regarding a writing-related career and lifestyle, which we spoke about at length–I’m afraid I cut into the script-reading time, even though the event lasted over three hours!. Going in I was afraid I wouldn’t have much to say regarding the film side of the industry, however…it turns out I’ve a lot more experience in that field than I realized, and/or know enough people working in film or television that I could reply intelligently to everyone. Then we were able to receive a report from attendees who participated in a large industry conference in New York only weeks before, and their insights proved valuable to everyone attending. It’s hard to believe this monthly event only costs $5 to attend, especially considering the free food they supply you with. By which I mean FOOD, not a few picked-over pastries (hey, I never turn down pastry, just saying: that was the best and most authentic pizza I’ve ever had…then again, the people involved handle catering for film stars). If you have an interest in screenwriting, and live in the Baltimore area, I cannot overemphasize how strongly I feel you should be attending.
For more information please visit: http://www.meetup.com/screenwriters-292/