What's Up Chuck
Thursday, December 27, 2001
Folks at the Monterey County Film Commission recently announced that they have added another prize their 2002 Screenwriting Competition. In addition to the grand prize for best screenplay, which is worth $2,002 plus free tuition to the Hollywood Screenwriters Conference and the film commission''s own Screenwriting Day in May, this is the first year in which a second prize will be awarded for the best screenplay featuring Monterey County locations. To be eligible for the prize, at least 50 percent of the screenplay''s scenes must be located in MoCo.
That shouldn''t be too hard--we have almost everything anyone could look for (except maybe desert). There are Sand City''s warehouses, Salinas'' farmlands and industrial sites and the awe-inspiring Ventana Wilderness; Carmel''s cottages, Pacific Grove''s Victorians and Pebble Beach''s mansions; there''s an expansive white sand beach, little rock-walled coves and sweeping panoramas of waves battling cliffs; there''s an abandoned military base; there are forests of pine, redwood and oak; we have bed-and-breakfast inns, butt-ugly hotels that could double as prisons and a prison that could double as a bucolic concentration camp. Hell, just move around in this county a little bit and the variety of locales are enough to inspire a screenplay.
The deadline for submitting the script is Jan. 31 and the film commission is only accepting 500 scripts, total, for the whole shebang. Anyone who''s interested better get busy. For more info, application forms and all that stuff, phone the film commission at 646-0910 or check the Web site, www.filmmonterey.org
SERIES ALERT...With the Performance Carmel series shut down while the Sunset Center undergoes renovations, it comes as good news that CSU Monterey Bay is starting a new performing arts series this year. Beginning in February, the World Theater at CSUMB will be host to five diverse shows. The inaugural event features ODC San Francisco, a modern dance troupe, on Feb. 7. Two weeks later, on Feb. 21, Great Leap presents A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens, a contemporary theater exploration into Asian, Latina, African and deaf American experiences. On March 7, there''s a presentation of Mahalia, a musical celebration of the life of Mahalia Jackson, one of the world''s greatest gospel singers. The Lulu Washington Dance Theater brings a gritty, passionate blend of African and modern dance, influenced as much by the streets as by ballet, on April 24. And the series closes on May 8 with a performance by vocalist Lila Downs, who has created her own style of music that encompasses both indigenous Mexican folk music and American jazz. Tickets are $20/general, $5/CSUMB students. For info: 582-4580.
OTHERWORLDLY ADVICE...About a week ago I received a postcard from Professor Solomon informing me that he was currently living aboard a UFO. At first I felt bad for my old friend, assuming he''d been abducted and all. Then I remembered I hadn''t ever even heard of Professor Solomon. Besides, he seemed to be having a good time, and has written a book titled How to Make the Most of a Flying Saucer Experience. Not only that, but the postcard featured a lifelike rendering of a real alien, apparently having his way with Professor Solomon. As a courtesy, so I wouldn''t worry too much about him, Professor Solomon also included a link to his Web site (www.professorsolomon.com), so I could check out the SaucerCam. Sure enough, when I visited the site, there was the professor frolicking in zero gravity with his alien buddy and looking out the porthole of a real flying saucer. It made me happy to know he was having a good time, so I checked out the advertising blurb for his book, which he, or someone in his employ, describes as "a useful book about UFOs...In this scholarly yet entertaining work, the Professor delves into UFO legend and lore...and he offers practical advice--for readers about to embark on their own flying saucer experience." I have never been abducted (after all, I am a no-nonsense, professional journalist), but it seems to me that Professor Solomon is playing with fire: No matter how good it feels, he (and you, too) should never, ever let an alien put its hand down your pants. You never know where those three fingers have been.
--Chuck Thurman (email@example.com)