Author: Brandon Karratti

Scriptwriter shares Hollywood screenplay secrets

“The more you study movies and scripts, especially good ones that you admire, the more you will start to identify certain attributes,” said Kathy McCullough. “They will start to become a part of your repertoire, a part of your general understanding of how to develop a story.” McCullough, a Hollywood script reader, writer, analyst and script doctor spoke Feb. 17 to a gathering of 30-40 scriptwriting students in the PS building. McCullough currently works for such studios as HBO, Castlerock Entertainment, Miramax, Imagine and many others. Her lecture was part of the Digital Media Speaker Series which works to bring industry professionals to students. During her lecture, McCullough explained how readers in Hollywood act as a studio’s gatekeepers and gave students tips to make their scripts as attractive as possible. “Basically it’s developing a story,” said McCullough. “There are a lot of scripts I see where it has an interesting idea but it’s not able to follow that idea all the way through…it’s very difficult to keep surprising the reader, or the audience.” McCullough described common mistakes and clichés, giving advice on how to avoid them. She showed how to develop unique and compelling characters, illustrating techniques the writer can use to get to know his or her characters to be better able to write them. She also acknowledged the difficulty in taking up such a task. “This is...

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Pulitzer Prize winner emphasizes importance of American Revolution

“To be an American is not to be somebody, but to believe in something,” said Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Gordon S. Wood as he encouraged more than 200 students and faculty to recognize the importance of our American heritage. On Feb. 17 Wood gave the first lecture of what will be the annual Presidential Lecture Series instituted by President Matthew Holland. Wood spoke about the American Revolution and its unparalleled prominence in our country’s legacy. “There can be no more significant event in our history,” said Wood. In the midst of his presentation Wood acknowledged that there were others that would not agree. “Such an important event is bound to be a source of historical controversy, and every generation has reinterpreted [the Revolution] to fit its own needs,” said Wood. “We are the only generation, however, that has emphasized how much of a failure the American Revolution was.” Historical prowess at the ready, Wood refuted such assertions. It is “an anachronistic statement,” said Wood. It “suggests a threshold of success that no 18th century revolution could have possibly obtained, and perhaps tells us more of the political attitudes of historians who make such statements than they do about the Revolution itself.” Wood continued on; explaining his views of the Founding Fathers, the comparison of the early American and Scottish colonies, as well as the creed that many early...

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Chaffetz discusses financial climate

On Feb. 17 Congressman Jason Chaffetz cautioned the crowd about our government’s financial responsibility. “My biggest concern is the lack of fiscal discipline in Washington D.C.,” he said. Chaffetz, representing Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, spoke to the over 100 people gathered in the Lakeview Room of the Library. He discussed his political history, his acting as campaign manager and chief of staff to Gov. John Huntsman, as well as his distinguished grassroots campaign organization. Chaffetz expressed his doubts about current leaders’ decisions. “We can’t be all things to all people,” said Chaffetz. The congressman explained that the deficit that...

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Rob Mathes Lecture

“It’s your passion that will drive your creativity,” said composer/songwriter Rob Mathes during his two hour visit to UVU on Wednesday. “I think that’s the way all of us are,” said Mathes. “When you start to write, you write about those things that you are deeply interested in. And that is always the most compelling, the best in writing that I’ve ever been.” Mathes spoke from a wealth of experience, having written arrangements for artists as diverse as Sting, Elton John, Panic! At The Disco, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Vanessa Carlton, Ghostface Killah, Bowling For Soup and many more....

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