Posted tagged ‘Chris Riley’

Sophomores prepare to write their first feature film!

September 3, 2009

This quarter with Professor Chris Riley, myself and another 30+ media sophomores have been preparing to write our very own feature script. We started with brainstorming for story ideas and writing down log lines. Second, we sectioned into writing groups, each week giving and receiving input on ideas. Lots of writing, thinking, reworking, and more writing. The creativity process is never more dynamic then in the beginning stages while the story unfolds on computer screens, post-it-notes, on the margins of notebooks, in Adoration, and even in in dreams while dozing during 5 min class breaks. We’ve now come close to the finish line of this quarter, and many of us have an entire feature-length story written up as a beat sheet and completed treatments. Our characters become more and more alive with each new week, as we place conflict in their way and watch them grow, either for better or for worse. Next quarter the actual writing of the feature script begins…but for now, the most important part of script writing, the pre-planning process, is creatively working its course.

The Prime Teacher-Student Relationship

February 24, 2009

Being a Digital-Media sophomore at JP Catholic, I have the tremendous pleasure of taking a writing class with screen writer Chris Riley that stresses one-on-one mentorship and thus boasts a full three student roster! Albert Millspaugh, Marta Connolly and myself make up the creative team that Professor Riley instructs. Each one of us, including Professor, are currently working on full length film scripts. This is the basis for the class. Two hours a day, twice a week, a meeting of unprecedented creativity collides to create a whirlwind of character development and plot twists!

Yes, this is somewhat of an exaggeration. Our classes are more structured and we DO have quizzes. Professor Riley is currently quizzing us on the book “Save the Cat.” The book explains, clearly and entertainingly, the basics of telling a story. We take lessons presented in the book and apply them to our own scripts and stories. We’ll spend nearly the whole class strictly talking about each other’s scripts, what we can improve and what can be cut. The opinions and pieces of advice that float through these conversations are priceless.  Being mentored personally by accomplished industry professionals is one of the highlights of being a student at JP Catholic.

Working on the Pitch

February 4, 2009

One of the most important things we learn at JP Catholic is to be effective communicators whether in business or in the media. These are some of the most important skills any individual can acquire in business school, and at JP Catholic they ram it down your throats. To highlight this, our class spent the first day writing and pitching our 30-sec pitches. We all wrote them and presented them and tweaked them through the feedback of the students and the faculty. What was really awesome was getting feedback from Professor Iocco, but even more awesome was getting feedback from JP Catholic’s Script Writing Professor, Professor Chris Riley. He has given pitches for movies in Hollywood and his advice was invaluable to the film projects and the business ones too. It was a great class and we all had fun raising the bar about who had the best pitch. In case you were wondering, Chris Lane had the better pitch for our laundry business than me.

After class my esteemed friend, Steve Marshall, and I attended a quick pitch competition hosted by an angel investor group. We watched 12 companies pitch their company to investors for real money. What we saw was 12 individuals that made the same mistakes at we all made in the first 3 years at JP Catholic. Hard to read slides, boring hooks, too little detail, too much minutia, all too common problems during the beginning of our education at JP Catholic. It was incredible to see these CEOs make the same mistakes that we made as freshman and sophomores. What blew me away even more was how anyone of the kids in our class could easily deliver a pitch on par or better than the ones we heard that night.

We again only had one day doing it. Going to events like the quick pitch competition, gets me excited about the education I am receiving at JP Catholic. It’s great to see how we stack up against other companies and I think we stack up pretty well in regards to skills. Still a lot of work remains, and I mean a lot. Everyone has to pour in a lot more time, but it’s cool to know that we have the tools to make it happen.

But to put it simply, I think the LaunchPad passed its progress report.