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“Mad Men” Writers Visit VFS

December 15, 2013

I had the pleasure of meeting Emmy-winning screenwriters Maria and André Jacquemetton when they visited Vancouver Film School recently.

The writing team, who most recently worked on the acclaimed television drama Mad Men, spent over two hours answering questions from students looking to break in to the television industry, and another three hours the next day holding roundtable discussions. Everything was fair game, from the best way to pitch ideas and nab an agent, to the co-writing process and working as a writers’ assistant.

With André and Maria Jacquemetton at VFS

Me with writers André and Maria Jacquemetton (middle and right). Courtesy VFS.


I shared some of what they had to say in this recent post for Vancouver Film School’s blog:

This Calls for a Cocktail: “Mad Men” Writers Visit VFS – VFS Blog.


Meeting television director Bethany Rooney

September 15, 2013

I had the pleasure of writing a guest blog post for Vancouver Film School about TV director Bethany Rooney, who had a candid conversation with VFS students last week.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten and Bethany Rooney

Me with Bethany Rooney. Photo courtesy Vancouver Film School.

Bethany Rooney has 25 years of directing television under her work belt and took time out of her own schedule to come speak to students at VFS. For about an hour she patiently and thoughtfully answered questions on everything from shot selection and how she likes actors to behave, to collaborating with writers.

She is in Vancouver for the next week shooting an episode of Arrow. Already this season she has directed episodes for three other shows, including Drop Dead Diva and Criminal Minds and she’s got four more coming up.

You can learn more about Bethany and what I thought about her presentation, because I know you are dying to know my inner thoughts, by going to the VFS blog.

TV screenings at VFS and choosing what to spec

September 8, 2013

Week two at Vancouver Film School, we were notified that we must attend 12 screenings for television shows currently on the air. We have to. It’s mandatory. In other words, life sucks. Go ahead and cry for me, if you feel so moved.

These are the shows we can choose from to write our first spec script.

The shows we are required to watch, hand-picked by the VFS writing instructors, are:

It’s a diverse list (there’s even a Canadian show!), and includes multi-camera sitcom, crime, thriller, single-camera comedy, supernatural, animated and cable and network shows.

The Mindy Project

“The Mindy Project.” Courtesy Fox.

I’ve seen/follow 7 of the 12 shows on this list. This either means that a) I watch a lot of TV shows; or b) I watch a lot of quality TV shows. The answer, my friends, is both.

Aside from deciding what to wear to these exclusive screenings (I’m thinking a one-shouldered evening gown with a two-foot train – the one shoulder says, I’m fancy, but I can get down to party, if necessary), I have to choose a show to spec.

Realistically, I could see myself spec’ing The Mindy Project or Parks and Recreation. Elementary, which I’m a big fan of, particularly the writing, would be challenging, but if I could pull it off, would be very rewarding.

"Elementary." Courtesy CBS.

“Elementary.” Courtesy CBS.

As for the other shows, I’ve fallen out of love with Castle, recently. The Beckett-Castle love story and father issues became a little too trite for my taste. I stopped watching Grimm because it’s gory and Modern Family doesn’t do it for me anymore/I don’t understand why Claire is so crazy. Maybe they could do an episode about her going to the doctor to get a prescription for mood stabilizers (that will be my spec!)

Previously on this well cared for blog, I have shared my distaste for the show entitled 2 Broke Girls, so I will not rehash that here. I’ve seen one episode of Eastbound and Down, liked it, then forgot about it. I have not seen any of the other shows so that must mean they suck.

So tell me, readers, do you watch any of these shows? Which ones? If none, what other shows do you watch? If your answer again is none, I would encourage you get off this blog immediately and never visit again, because the blog may be called The Omnium Gatherum, but really, all I talk about is television.

I don’t really care about anything else.

I do, actually, but I don’t care to write about it on here.

I tried, but I got bored.

So, to recap, this is a blog about television.


Vancouver Film School – Writing – Awoohoo!

August 31, 2013

I’m baaaaaack. After an 11-month, 356-day hiatus I have returned to write another post on me dear old blog. I’m sure you are dying with curiosity, wanting to know what I’ve been doing for the last year. So I won’t tell you. Explicitly, anyways. You can go here, here and here to find out. I know how much people like reading an article or post online, then pausing halfway through a sentence to click a link to go to another website and start reading another story or post. I care about my reader(s).

This post is about more than my dedication to blogging and how accommodating I am to people. I have an announcement, and it’s about the future guys – well, my future. This won’t affect your dinner plans or the lives of your children.

Y’all, I’m going to film school. I am one week into the Writing for Film and Television program at Vancouver Film School.

Awesome sauce, right? For the next year I will be working my ass off to become the greatest writer in the history of television. In a humble sort of way, of course.

In all seriousness, I’m taking a leap of faith/crazy and going for my dream to write TV shows. This next year is going to be amazing and exciting and awful and exhausting and fulfilling and all so worth it.

The intention is to chronicle my year-long adventure on this here blog and share things I’ve learned about the film and TV industry, about writing, living in Vancouver, about the human psyche, foreign policy, agribusiness – pretty much all the standard subjects covered in film school.

So I invite you to join me on this journey, to live vicariously through me, and to make comments on my posts, preferably positive ones that tell me how amazing I am, but I’ll also take thought-provoking questions and witty repartee.

Let’s do this, bitch.