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‘Courier 12’ — A screenwriting jam session at DePaul University May 21

Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference
A collage of images from the writers, directors, editors and producers who will be panel participants at the Courier 12 screenwriting conference May 21. (Image courtesy of Courier 12)
CHICAGO — Screenwriters, producers, editors and directors from the entertainment industry will give insider views during “Courier 12,” this year’s screenwriting conference hosted May 21 by the School of Cinematic Arts at DePaul University. The free event is open to the public and will feature panel discussions covering current trends and issues facing screenwriters.

Formerly known as “Page One,” the annual conference is part of the Visiting Artists Series. DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts in the College of Computing and Digital Media is committed to bringing top artists from the entertainment industry to the university to inform and inspire students, as well as the Chicago filmmaking community. Co-sponsors for this year’s event include Script magazine, a leading online screenwriting publication, and the Writers Store, a top retailer of supplies and tools for screenwriters.

The conference will take place from 1-7:30 p.m. in the Daley Building, 247 S. State St., Room LL 105, on DePaul’s Loop Campus in downtown Chicago. More information is at:

Panel topics and times are:

Pitching screenplays (1-2 p.m.): Moderated by screenwriter Chris Parrish, who teaches at DePaul. Panelists include: Screenwriter Steve Pink who wrote “High Fidelity,” “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “Accepted;” Dina Hiller, former vice president of Comedy Development at Paramount Television whose credits include “Community” and “Happy Endings;” and Adam Peck, owner and president of Synchronicity Management, who has also executive produced pilots for HBO and CBS.

Ideation and living a creative life in a money-driven business (2:15-3 p.m.): Script magazine editor Jeanne Bowerman will lead this panel discussion. Panelists include screenwriter Doug Richardson of “Bad Boys,” “Die Hard II” and “Hostage;” writer and producer Tawnya Bhattacharya whose work includes “The Night Shift,” “Perception” and “Fairly Legal;” and writer and actress Rebecca Norris of “Split” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Sunshine.”

Issues facing writers today (3:30-4:30 p.m.): Brad Riddell, an assistant professor of screenwriting at DePaul will discuss issues facing writers today with Howard Rodman, president of Writers Guild of America, West; artistic director of the Sundance Institute; professor at the University of Southern California; and screenwriter of “Savage Grace,” “August” and “Joe Gould’s Secret.”

One screenwriter’s writing process (5-6 p.m.): Tom Schulman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Dead Poets Society,” as well as the enduring comedies “What About Bob?” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” will discuss his writing process with Matthew Quinn, assistant professor of screenwriting at DePaul.

Challenges female writers face (6:30-7:30 p.m.): Jessica King, a Chicago-based filmmaker who teaches at DePaul, will talk about the challenges female writers face in a discussion with Meg LaFauve, the Oscar-nominated co-writer of Pixar’s animated film “Inside Out,” and screenwriter of Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” LaFauve is currently working on the script for a live action version of “Captain Marvel, which will feature a female-led superhero.


Wendy Smit