Apr
16

ACT ONE: All things work together for good.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Apostle Paul (Romans 8:28; ESV)

As we entered this New Year, much to our shock, Act One was notified that the payroll company responsible for our staff payroll and employee taxes was shutting their doors due to embezzlement of their funds. The owners fled the country around the end of December, taking with them millions of dollars of their client’s money.

In the fall out of the event, Act One not only learned that hundreds of companies were affected, but that the payroll company had not filed or paid the Act One’s employee taxes for the last two quarters. In a proactive step, we contacted the IRS and notified them of the situation. With God’s grace, we are hoping that they will be willing to work with us and give us a payment plan that we can manage. In all, Act One has lost about $20,000.

As we take steps to make things right, please pray for us. Pray that the funds can be recovered via the proper insurance channels and class action lawsuit. And please be in prayer for the other companies affected by this embezzlement as well.

If you’d like more information on the LA Payroll scandal, see the L.A. Times recent article highlighting this event. We are in the midst of designing a Spring Fundraising Campaign to help curtail the $20,000 loss we’ve incurred. If compelled and you would like to make a donation, you can online  or via check.

Thank you so very much for your prayers, support, and continual commitment to Act One’s vision and mission in transforming Hollywood.

Apr
16

New Experiences: Act One Alums Move Into New and Exciting Chapters

 Act One Alums step out to pursue their passion projects and step in to help make the upcoming Act One 2014 Programs outstanding experiences.

Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) April 08, 2014

“I am most thankful for Act One because it is leading a conversation of what it means to bring goodness and innovation to our industry. Act One holds us to greater standards as artists and supports us in achieving those through community events and education,” says Dawn Asher, Act One Producing Alum and former Director of Alumni Events.

As the one tasked with engaging Act One’s seven hundred plus alums with significant, impactful experiences, Dawn crafted a space to tell a “story which our community enthusiastically received, engaged with, and responded to.” Brought on in February of 2013, events like the Upfront Market, Alumni Weekend, and intimate dinners for long-time faculty members were designed to be intentional and community focused.

As 2014 unfolds, Dawn is stepping into new experiences of her own. She enters pre-production as a producer on Matt Webb’s ONE YEAR ROAD TRIP, a docu-series of kids who are creating sustainable movements of change in the world across all 50 states. She is currently shopping a reality TV series she created titled MOM & CO.; she is developing a feature prison documentary, A SPECIAL MEAL, which juxtaposes a last supper on death row with a first meal in freedom. Most importantly, she and her husband are expecting their first baby, due this September.

“We are sad to see Dawn leave, but we are excited about what the future holds for her. We are thrilled to see her projects come to life and we celebrate with her as she heads into the new adventure called motherhood. In many ways, we feel like a proud parent as well, watching those that have grown in our midst step out and flourish in their calling,” says Christina Lee Storm, Executive Director of Act One.

When he was brought on to program coordinate the 2013 Act One Programs, Matt Webb brought a level of excellence that the program benefited greatly from. During that time, he oversaw the producing and writing programs, making sure that students and teachers were organized, that internships were filled, and that mentors were working with writers.

Speaking on the past year’s programs, Matt says, “It was a real pleasure working with so many different students with so many different backgrounds and interests in the film industry. I hope that I was able to provide a safe and encouraging sounding board for folks trying to navigate this town. I’m most thankful for the incredible faculty who graciously share of their time and experience to teach, inspire and shoot straight about the challenges and joys of working in the film industry.”

Matt steps out of Act One and into some great projects. “I’m currently producing two projects that I’m very excited about. We are finishing up production on Praying the Hours, a dramatic feature directed by Lauralee Farrer, and my family is in pre-production gearing up for our road trip docu-series, ONE YEAR ROAD TRIP. Our brood of 5 is taking to the road for 14 months to meet kid change-makers in all 50 states, then share those tales across a variety of platforms. We want to celebrate amazing kids and help other children create sustainable movements of change in the world.”

It’s not easy to replace skilled and talented people like Dawn and Matt, and with the 2014 Summer Classes fast approaching, Act One needed to find the right individuals to meet the demands. Act One was fortunate to bring two equally talented Alums on board this summer: Lara Sumera and Galen Gilbert. Lara will act as Program Coordinator for the Summer Programs as well as Event Producer for this Fall’s Upfront Market. And Galen will be Event Producer for the Summer Alumni Weekend.

“We are in such a unique and amazing position at Act One: we are surrounded by extremely gifted men and women,” remarks Christina. “With such strong leadership and creativity, we can’t wait to see what Lara and Galen will do with our Summer events that are ahead.”

A skilled producer, Lara Sumera was brought on to oversee the logistics of the entire Summer Writing and Producing Programs as well as Act One’s Marquee Fall Upfront Market. This event is a unique opportunity for Hollywood to meet the Act One Alumni. With last year being its inaugural year, we’ve already seen successful relationships formed and projects propelled into development.

Lara was first introduced to Act One while “on the road with Camfel Productions and my co-worker mentioned she was interested in the Act One writing program. I looked into it, and saw that there was a producing track and became more interested.  The deadline was very soon at that point, so turned in my app within a couple days and did all my interviews while on the road.  I was accepted into the program and moved to LA the next month.”

“For me, creating community is the aim of everything I do. I have found an incredible community within Act One and…I hope to foster that emphasis,” Lara says. “What I’d like to see from this community, from the stories we tell, is to offer a hope that someone outside of a faith worldview may not have considered before, and at least get them to question a few things.”

Galen Gilbert, a Writing Program Alum, will pick up where Dawn left off with the Alumni Weekend. Celebrating Alumni successes, highlighting current trends in the entertainment world, and showcasing Alumni work, Galen will oversee a jammed packed weekend that acts as the closing ceremonies for the Summer Program and the annual gathering of Act One’s 700 strong Alumni base.

Act One is a premiere training organization for writers and producers looking to work in Hollywood. They offer two acclaimed programs, running during the summer: Writing for Film & TV Program and Producing and Entertainment Executive Program.

Applications for the Summer 2014 sessions are being accepted. The deadline for the applications is April 15, 2014.

Mar
19

Put Your Stamp on Culture: Learn the Business and Craft of Hollywood from Act One

Spend the summer learning how to write or produce for Hollywood with Act One: a premiere Christian training program in the industry.

Hollywood, CA  – Launched in 1999 to train writers in the craft of screenwriting, Act One has evolved to include a producing program as well. The organization currently has over seven hundred alumni — writers and producers — working throughout the entertainment industry.

“We have created a program that is uniquely designed to keep Christians competitive in the marketplace. In addition, the program will help them navigate this complex industry as they live out their faith in Hollywood,” says Christina Lee Storm, Act One’s Executive Director.

Christina, a working producer, recently released a short documentary titled LIFE AFTER PI. The film shines a spotlight on the current state of the Visual Effect community in Hollywood and is part of a bigger project titled HOLLYWOOD ENDING. Since it’s release on YouTube, the film has hit over 700,000 views.

For those looking to start a career in film or television, Act One’s two training tracks are the ideal place to start.

Act One’s Writing for Film and Television Program is an intense and rewarding experience for emerging and experienced screenwriters alike. For ten weeks, on Saturdays, students are guided through workshops covering structure, character, plot, dialogue, theme, meaning and more. Working writers, producers and agents are brought in to teach and advise students not only on the craft, but how to have a balanced, vibrant spiritual life as well.

Act One’s Producing and Entertainment Executive Program offers ten weeks of workshops focused on the business and creative side of producing film and television. Producers, executives, and lawyers offer their expertise and industry-know how. They cover topics including development, script coverage, contracts, financing and determining the right projects to shepherd. In addition, students are matched with internships, where they experience what it takes to make film and television shows come to life.

Christian McGuigan, Act One’s new head of Producing and Entertainment Executive Program, and the current Director of Social Action Film Campaigns at Participant Media, says: “I believe that Act One’s students and extended community’s influence will continue to grow with the industry.  As Hollywood expands its global reach and the digital marketplace continues to dominate, the need for the kind of professionally trained,  highly skilled writers, producers and executives that Act One is known for producing, will ensure continued positive impact in the future.”

So what are you waiting for? Put your stamp on this culture. Come and spend your summer with Act One. Learn what it takes to make a real difference in Hollywood. Don’t miss out on this life-changing program.

Jan
23

LEARN HOW TO WRITE FOR HOLLYWOOD WITH YOUR PJ’S ON!

Everyone has a movie idea. Here’s the opportunity you’ve been waiting for: from the comfort of your home, anywhere in the country, learn how to transform that idea into a screenplay.

Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) – Act One, a Christian-based, premiere training organization for writers looking to work in Hollywood, is now offering their acclaimed Writing for Film Program online. This February, the Online Writing for FIlm Program will launch and anyone looking to write for the Industry is encouraged to go through the course.

For a limited time, Act One is offering a 20% discount on tuition for those that apply before January 20th and are accepted into the program.

The Act One Spring Online Writing for Film Program is an interactive course, focusing on the core aspects of screenwriting — plot, character, dialogue, conflict, worlds, and theme — as well as the areas that make screenwriting high-art — introducing characters in memorable ways, story twists and turns, haunting visual moments and more.

However, Act One’s signature writing program also focuses and challenges students to master the craft of storytelling by moving Audiences through radiance, wholeness, and harmony of beauty.

Led by a working professional Master Teacher, the video classes are supplemented with Skype group writing sessions, writing exercises, creative exercises and more. Your Master Teacher will guide and challenge you to tell stories of substance to beckon audiences toward truth, goodness, and even faith.

Having trained screenwriters since 1999, Act One has a track record for turning out top-notch talent. With an alumni base of film students graduates from the likes of USC, UCLA, and Pepperdine, and alums having worked on films like The Blindside, White Collar, and Arrested Development, Act One is a fertile training ground for those looking to make screenwriting a long and meaningful career.

The faculty is comprised of working writers, producers, executives, and agents, many times stepping off the lot of their current projects, and stepping into our classroom to distill their decades-worth of knowledge to those hungry to get better at the craft.

Act One’s Spring Online Writing for Film program bolts out of the gates with a 5-day intensive workshop, where writers will sit with Hollywood screenwriters, producers, and executives and engage in high-level discussions on film, story, faith and contemporary culture. The Workshop also includes a series of intensive lectures focused on the vision and creativity needed to succeed in the current Hollywood system. In addition, you will be given the chance to connect with the Act One community (700 strong), arguably the most important part of being an Act One student.

From there, the program moves into the 10-week Online Program, where the nuts-and-bolts of screenwriting is explored and developed. When writers come out the other side of the 10-weeks, they can expect to have a better grasp on the Artistry, Professionalism, Knowledge, and Confidence need to thrive in mainstream Hollywood. Additionally, they will have the foundations of a solid feature film outline or treatment and access to the Act One Alumni Programs and a vibrant Creative Community.

The Act One Spring Online for Writing Program is now accepting applications through January 20, 2014. The program begins in late February and runs through early May 2014, and costs $3,850.

For anyone that applies before January 20, is accepted into the program and pays the tuition in full before February 15, they will receive a 20% discount. That’s over a $700 discount.

Writers can apply at the Act One website: http://www.actoneprogram.com.

Teaching unparalleled STORYTELLING is the foundation of Act One. Act One is a faith-based, non-profit organization that since 1999 has been a training program and incubator for writers and producers to create cinema, television, and digital media to reach and inspire a global audience. The Act One Alumni is 700+ strong; they are ground-breakers and innovators in their fields as well as an active part of the entertainment industry working with such companies as Warner Brothers, Pixar, CBS, Paramount, NBC, Fox, and many independent production companies. Our Faculty and Mentors include many Oscar winning producers and award winning writers. They come from both the studio system and indie film world.

Dec
3

Act One Christmas Party

Saturday, December 7 @ 5PM!

We look forward to kicking off the Christmas season with our Act One Tribe! Please remember it is also a food drive with LA Food Bank, so bring a canned good or two or three and impact the City this season!

If you haven’t already – RSVP for the Act One Christmas Party. Space is limited. Let us know if you are bringing a guest!

Saturday, December 7
5 pm to 9 pm

Planet Dailies at the Grove
6333 West 3rd Street, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Small appetizers will be served. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase from the bar, including a special “Act One Cocktail.” Raffle tickets for $2 each will also be sold. Some prizes will include:

– Cinebag Camera Bag for your DSLR, HD Cam, or Laptop
– Thunder Studio Messenger Bag + goodies inside
– Birns and Sawyer Filmmaker Videos
– 2014 Morning Mentor Sessions (This is an invite only, limited participants, Mentoring Session with Act One Faculty and Guest Speakers including Producers, Executives, Agents, Lawyers, Writers, & Directors) (Valued at priceless)
– Free Admission to the next Act One Event
– Be Christina Lee Storm’s guest for the pre-release screening of LONE SURVIVOR – Q&A to follow with cast member Mark Wahlberg and Producer/Writer/Director Peter Berg
– And many more prizes! Either for you or make it a Christmas gift!

RSVP by emailing Lara Sumera.