This Friday was to mark the return of the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe. Unfortunately, “due to circumstances beyond our control” the organizers have announced that this year’s conference has been canceled. It would have been the 13th annual outing, which traditionally attracts professional writers, agents and producers from around the county to provide five days’ worth of intensive instruction. The cancellation—announced with a brief note on the conference’s website—was an abrupt, eleventh-hour development. Here’s hoping the SCSFe gets back on its feet for next year.
Take a glance at any movie theater marquee and you’ll realize it’s the summer of superheroes. And who do we have to thank? We can think of no greater person to blame than that most titanic champion of men in capes and women in tights—writer, editor, producer, publisher and former president of Marvel Comics, Stan “The Man” Lee. The characters he created—from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four to The Avengers—have been pop cultural icons for more than 40 marvelous years.
Back in 1986, the British cyberpunk band Sigue Sigue Sputnik sold off advertising space between tracks on their debut album Flaunt It. Among the companies enshrined there: L’Oréal and i-D magazine. It was a self-conscious joke on the part of the band, spoofing both music industry commercialization and the group’s own Blade Runner-inspired vision of a corporate-controlled future.
Since time immemorial (or “the 1950s,” depending on how far back your memory actually reaches), the holy trinity of TV show characters has been composed of cops, doctors and lawyers. Those three occupations have formed the backbone of every television network’s prime-time schedule since the creation of the cathode ray. Police officers, medical professionals and public defenders are always with us. The only variation on the theme seems to be: serious or wacky? Are these dramatic cops (“Adam-12”) or kooky cops (“Barney Miller”)? Intense docs (“ER”) or quirky docs (“Scrubs”)? Conscientious lawyers (“Perry Mason”) or nutty lawyers (“Ally McBeal”)?