Rebecca Boyd http://wisemare.com/blog1 Exploring the universe, one frame at a time. Sat, 26 Dec 2015 05:59:30 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.4 Beaufort International Film Festival http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/12/13/beaufort-international-film-festival/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/12/13/beaufort-international-film-festival/#comments Mon, 14 Dec 2015 02:21:31 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1246 In Spite of It All has made the finals in the Beaufort International Film Festival Screenplay Competition!

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More festival news http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/09/14/more-festival-news/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/09/14/more-festival-news/#comments Tue, 15 Sep 2015 00:05:49 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1217 In Spite of It All was just named an Austin Film Festival Second Rounder!

 

The handwritten note at the bottom of the notification letter says:  “p.s. The reader loved your concept, saying “There’s nothing like this coming out of Hollywood right now!”

So, we’re three for three as far as 2015 contest advancements go…

  1. Nashville Film Festival finals
  2. Nicholl Fellowship quarterfinals
  3. Austin Film Festival Second Round

Also, NFF just recently sent along some laurels.  Woo!

 

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In Spite of It All update http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/08/23/in-spite-of-it-all-update/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/08/23/in-spite-of-it-all-update/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2015 12:22:06 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1203 The 2015 Nicholl Fellowship comments on In Spite of It All have come in!

    • “lively dialogue that sparkles with wit”
    • “a thoroughly enjoyable, charming love story just brimming with Irish wit and sass”
    • “the most playful and lighthearted Civil War story I’ve ever read”
    • “a sweet, well-crafted romance, with a totally unique setup”
    • “a compelling and believable romance that feels fun and sincere”
    • “a very sweet concept for a love story”
    • “alternately funny and horrifying, all while not feeling overdone”
    • “countless great one-liners and exchange that keep the tone afloat”
    • “well crafted and fascinating”
    • “succeeds in making history feel personal”
    • “There’s something magical about the interplay between the characters set in the period and location of the story.”

I don’t know what to say other than:  !!!!!!!!!!

Well, yes I do.  I know to say Thank You.  It is so exciting for me to see my work appreciated by an audience of experts.  Thanks so much for the encouraging words, Nicholl readers.

I think now I’ll go jump up and down some more.

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2015 Nicholl Fellowship Competition http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/07/18/2015-nicholl-fellowship-competition/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/07/18/2015-nicholl-fellowship-competition/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 01:22:54 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1198 This was a great way to start my day!

Dear Rebecca,

Congratulations!  You have advanced to the Quarterfinal Round of the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.  By doing so, yours is one of only 375 entries to escape the First Round.

With 7,442 scripts entered, the initial round was extremely competitive and made the selection of quarterfinalists a difficult task. [...]

If you aren’t familiar with the Nicholl Fellowship, it’s a competitive fellowship awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to “identify and encourage talented new screenwriters.”  If you’re not sure where you’ve heard of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences before, it’s the organization that does the Oscars.  It’s the “I’d like to thank The Academy” Academy.

I’ve entered the competition twice before.  The first year, my script got two positive reads but didn’t advance past the first round.  The second year, it was in the top 10%.  This year, it’s in the quarterfinals, which means it’s somewhere in the top 5%.  The next notification (semi-final qualifications) comes around September 1.  I’ll also get to see the comments from the Nicholl readers around that time, which I’m really looking forward to.  (Famous last words? ;) )

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Nashville Film Festival http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/03/13/nashville-film-festival/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/03/13/nashville-film-festival/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 05:55:16 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1172 In Spite of It All has made the finals in the Nashville Film Festival. Woohoo!

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Students in the News http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/02/14/students-in-the-news/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2015/02/14/students-in-the-news/#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 01:10:50 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1167 Three of my students – Megan Brooks, John Phillips, and William Campbell – have won awards for video editing from the USC Moving Image Research Collections!

Check ‘em out here and here.

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Look! Freelance work that isn’t bound by a non-disclosure agreement! http://wisemare.com/blog1/2014/10/31/look-freelance-work-that-isnt-bound-by-a-non-disclosure-agreement/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2014/10/31/look-freelance-work-that-isnt-bound-by-a-non-disclosure-agreement/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:00:43 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1161 Most of my freelance video production work is corporate training videos, which I’m contractually obligated not to share. Trade secrets and whatnot. But recently I did a YellowPages.com commercial for Action Transmission and Total Car Care Service in Columbia, SC. I met lots of nice people during the shoot. If you live in Columbia, you should check them out!

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I’d like to thank The Academy! http://wisemare.com/blog1/2014/08/13/id-like-to-thank-the-academy/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2014/08/13/id-like-to-thank-the-academy/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 04:43:05 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1145 Seriously, the folks who run the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship Competition could not be more professional, encouraging, or classy. They answer emails quickly and courteously; their Facebook page is full of helpful updates without being overwhelming; and, they manage the expectations of competitors (“What if my entry hasn’t been confirmed yet?”, “Help!  I can’t get the application to load!”, “When will quarterfinalists be announced?”, etc.) with refreshing aplomb. These people have seriously got their act together.

A particularly helpful innovation in the contest this year is that they have begun to provide feedback on certain scripts.  My script In Spite of It All finished in the Top 10%, so I was one of the lucky writers to receive feedback.  I’m really pumped about it, so I’ve shared most of it below.  (I’ve redacted a couple of sentences that contained plot details that I’d rather people didn’t know prior to reading the script.)

This is an absolutely charming and enchanting script. It is almost a comedy in genre, so witty and light-hearted. But, at its core the romance is what flows from almost every scene, bringing the union of FIONA and JOSEPH together.

What could have been a staunch drama about a young woman tending to a wounded soldier in Nashville during the Civil War is lovingly turned into a clever, dare I say, romantic comedy (from the Civil War?) about the relationship between the Irish nurse and her patient [plot detail redacted here].  There is something very familiar about this script, I’m not sure if I’ve read it before but it was a great joy to read. [Hmmm... Maybe this person also read for the Blue Cat competition?]  A smile has been plastered on my face throughout most scenes, as the dialogue is both intelligent, funny and endearing.

Characters are well fleshed-out; Not only are Fiona and Joseph interesting and have a wonderful rapport, but so are KATE and BARNEY, her parents who brought her over from Ireland during the famine and have been worried about this great beauty ever since. [plot details redacted here]  This is a really nice small script. There is a little action, a lot of humor, some history and a great romance. What more could an audience want?

So, yeah.  This totally made my day.  Thanks, Team Nicholl!

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The Things You Discover While Googling Yourself http://wisemare.com/blog1/2014/07/26/the-things-you-discover-while-googling-yourself/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2014/07/26/the-things-you-discover-while-googling-yourself/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:59:42 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1128 I’m not sure if it’s students Googling me before the semester starts, if A Size 18 In Sequins has gone viral, or if it has something to do with making the top 10% in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship Competition, but my IMDB ranking has suddenly gone up over three million places this week.

Also…

Here’s a nice little write up about the McKissick Museum exhibition of the Juvenile Arbitration work I was involved with during the summers of 2010 and 2011.  Major props to Dr. Olga Ivashkevich for spearheading the workshops!

Here’s one of the videos that the teenagers participating in the program produced:

 

Juvenile Arbitration Drug Use Infomercial from Rebecca Boyd on Vimeo.

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In Spite of It All http://wisemare.com/blog1/2013/12/04/in-spite-of-it-all/ http://wisemare.com/blog1/2013/12/04/in-spite-of-it-all/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 01:32:43 +0000 Administrator http://wisemare.com/blog1/?p=1049 I suspect that most families have stories that are told over and over again, year after year, at holiday dinners.  When I was a kid, we heard about great great grandpa Boyd every Christmas.  How he came over from Ireland.  How he fought for the Union during the Civil War.  How he married the Confederate nurse who tended his wounds after the Battle of Stones River.  How her Irish Catholic family could never have approved of him, given that he was from the “wrong” part of Ireland (Northern), the “wrong” side of the war (Union) and the “wrong” religious tradition (Presbyterian).  The picture of him at right hung on the wall in my grandparents’ house.  His story was part of the mental furniture of my upbringing, but not something I was ever particularly interested in.  Until…

One night early in 2012, I was sitting on my couch watching Who Do You Think You Are?, and I began to think about family history in a way that I hadn’t before.  I went on Ancestry.com and set the goal of getting all the family lines I could traced back to “the old country”, wherever that happened to be for each particular branch of the family.  But mostly I was interested in tracing the Boyd line back to Scotland, as I’ve been fixated on Scottish things for years – the accents, the misty landscapes, the standing stones, the men in kilts – and I knew that Boyds originally came from there before spreading to Ireland and the Americas and everywhere else.  

What I found, though, when I started poking around Ancestry.com, was that great great grandpa Boyd arrived in New York at the age of 10 without his parents. That’s a detail that we never heard at the Christmas dinner table.  I don’t think anybody knew.  And after nearly two years of research, I still don’t know why his parents were not on the ship with him.  There are a number of possibilities, of course.  Was he an orphan?  Did his parents come to America first and then send for him once they had a life established here?  I don’t know.  And I may not ever know.  There don’t seem to be any records.  So, not only did I fail to trace the family back to Scotland, I couldn’t even get them back beyond the port of Belfast in 1850.

Coming up empty handed on the line I was most interested in, however, sent me looking closer at lines I would have otherwise overlooked.  And, in doing that, I learned a huge amount about great great grandma Boyd’s family.  Or…  Well…  No, I didn’t.  But I learned a lot about Irish Catholic potato famine immigrants in general.  And, wow.  Potato famine immigrants had it bad.

Economic inequality was staggering in Ireland at the time of the famine.  Irish estates were typically owned by British Protestants (among them, some Boyds), and Catholics were largely tenant farmers.  The rents kept rising, and the Catholics just barely squeezed out a living on potatoes.  When the potato blight struck, they had nothing.  They didn’t own their land, they couldn’t pay their rent, and they had no food.  Mind you, there actually were plenty of other crops being produced in Ireland at that time, but they were being shipped out by the land owners to be sold elsewhere in Europe.  The saying you’ll encounter over and over again as you read about the Great Famine is “God brought the blight, but the English brought the famine.”

So, evicted Irish Catholics piled onto crowded, rat and flea infested ships and sailed for America.  Those who were still alive when they got here (30% died in the crossing) were greeted with signs in business windows saying “No Irish Need Apply”; and, in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, Americans would pay more to hire a donkey than to hire an Irishman.  The Irish took the hardest, lowest paying, most dangerous jobs there were.  They built our railroads.  They fought our Civil War.  They lived in the worst neighborhoods.  They endured mistrust and prejudice and sometimes outright violence at the hands of Americans.  And yet, they survived.

So, I was inspired.  And I began writing.  The result is In Spite of It All, which was described by the BlueCat Screenplay Competition as “particularly interesting in its exploration of the fragmented Irish identity”  and “rich with extraordinary detail and references to great Hollywood epics.”

It also made the finals in the 2015 Nashville Film Festival and the quarterfinals in the 2015 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship Competition!  Here’s a smattering of the feedback it received from Nicholl readers:

    • “lively dialogue that sparkles with wit”
    • “a thoroughly enjoyable, charming love story just brimming with Irish wit and sass”
    • “the most playful and lighthearted Civil War story I’ve ever read”
    • “a sweet, well-crafted romance, with a totally unique setup”
    • “a compelling and believable romance that feels fun and sincere”
    • “a very sweet concept for a love story”
    • “alternately funny and horrifying, all while not feeling overdone”
    • “countless great one-liners and exchange that keep the tone afloat”
    • “well crafted and fascinating”
    • “succeeds in making history feel personal”
    • “There’s something magical about the interplay between the characters set in the period and location of the story.”

I have loved writing the script, but now I’m ready for it to be a movie.  Are you game?  If so, shoot me an email (see “Contact” on the right side of the page), and let’s talk.

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