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Screenwriter to discuss craft

Aggie to show film, give lecture

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 9, 2014 23:02

The Liberal Arts Building will witness the return of an Aggie along with the showing of his short film, “Everything’s For Sale,” in a lecture on the art of screenwriting and filmmaking.

Phillip Maxwell, Class of 1986 and English major, was encouraged by Jerome Loving, his former American literature professor, to share his creation with current students.

 “So I’ve been showing [Maxwell’s film] to students over the last couple of years and then I said, ‘Why don’t you come back to the University and share the film?’” Loving said.

In addition to screening Maxwell’s film, which tells the story of a man who falls into financial debt and what happens to him along the way, Loving said Maxwell may use the screening as a platform to share some personal experiences, as he felt that the film might contain autobiographical elements.

“He’s going to show it, then talk about it — where it came from, how he made it,” Loving said. “It’s kind of a mystery to some people. How do you write screenplays? He’s won awards for it and he’s written other screenplays that he’s been in competitions with.”

Amanda Guerrero, freshman telecommunications major and member of SWAMP, a student filmmaking organization, said although she would not be able to attend the screening and lecture, she would have questions about the process of becoming a screenwriter that she would ask.

“The question I always ask whenever there are panels like that is, ‘What was your main idea and how did you build on it and how did you find yourself falling into the industry?’” Guerrero said.

Jared Plant, sophomore telecommunication media studies major, said he thought it would be fun to listen to someone who is in the business of screenwriting.

“I can see what he did right and wrong and kind of use that wisdom to figure out what I need to do and don’t need to do,” Plant said.

Plant said he became interested in screenwriting through watching sitcoms and commercials. He said he hopes to return to older styles of screenwriting by pursuing work in the television industry.

“I watched all a bunch of old sitcoms when I was younger like ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ ‘I Love Lucy,’ Dick Van Dike, all those,” Plant said. “And then you grow up now and you watch ‘Hot in Cleveland,’ all these new programs … I wanted to bring back the clean humor.”

Maxwell’s current project is based on a book that Loving published about the life of Mark Twain. He said the key to writing something compelling is to avoid procrastination, which is a constant struggle for the average college student.

“I’ve learned that I need to give myself enough time to do a good job,” Loving said. “Some people can do things in the last minute but I learned long ago that if I do anything at the last minute it will not be done well. Chances were better that I’d do a good job, to not get behind and have to rush because when you rush you miss things.”

Loving said students studying liberal arts can benefit greatly from Maxwell’s screening and lecture.

“It’s interesting for liberal arts majors to see what someone did with one of those degrees,” Loving said. “So I’m excited that he’s coming and that I could arrange it. Students should be interested, I hope.”


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