To Live and Write in LA

The Making of ‘Effigy’

(First published on Opening e-mail is usually pretty uneventful, but that day in August was different. I saw an ad for the “The 2nd Annual Debra Hill Fellowship presents Producers Guild Weekend Shorts Contest”. Heck of a long name for a shorts contest. I’d heard of competitions like this before and they intrigued me. The goal […]

Produced By Conference: One of Those Moments

(Originally published on It was one of those moments. As a screenwriter or filmmaker you’re constantly studying structure, dialogue, what makes a good scene, distribution, financing, who’s hot, who owes you a favor, and pondering your latest rejection. Then one of those moments happens. One of those moments that reminds you why you decided […]

Produced By Conference: Big Names, Small Budget

(Originally published on The success of an independent film can often depend on getting a “name star” to sign on to the project. The “Big Names, Small Budgets” seminar, presented by SAG and SAGIndie at this past weekend’s “Produced By Conference” (PBC), focused on how to accomplish that. The PBC, presented by the Producers Guild […]

Peter Ong Lim: A Writer’s Perspective on the PGA ‘Produced By Conference’

(Originally published on Enough with the producers already. How did the Producers Guild of America’s “Produced By Conference” look from a writer’s perspective? Peter Ong Lim is a Seattle-based “writer/producer/creative entrepreneur.” Peter started out in entertainment, took a detour through medicine, but now is back with his first love: “I sold my first script at age 14 […]

Creative Alchemy: What Does a Producer Add?

(Originally published on At this month’s Producers Guild of America “Produced By Conference”, a distinguished group of filmmakers tackled the question “Do producers bring anything to the creative process?” Maybe it doesn’t apply to every producer, but these gentlemen bring a lot. David Pickler, former CEO or United Artists and producer of Lenny, The Man with […]

Producers Guild Sits Down to Business – and Breakfast and Martinis

(Originally published on Action! Wait… nothing’s happening? Why isn’t a movie being made right now? Because a director isn’t enough. We need actors, crew members, lights, cameras, a location, props, costumes, technology services, sound systems, catering, insurance, doctors, accountants, tax breaks, furniture and, God help us, lawyers. We need the work of a producer. […]

An exploration of film and filmmaking