January 9 – Empire of Light

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on January 9th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay EMPIRE OF LIGHT.

LOGLINE: An interracial love story set in an English coastal cinema during the 1980s.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Knighted in 2020, Sir SAM MENDES is best known as a celebrated director of stage and screen. He first gained attention in London with his dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret, Oliver!, and Gypsy, among others, before making his film debut with American Beauty, which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (Alan Ball). He went on to direct two James Bond films (Skyfall and Spectre), as well as Road to Perdition, starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, and Revolutionary Road, which reunited his then-wife, Kate Winslet, with her Titanic co-star Leonard DiCaprio. Empire of Light is only Mendes’s second screenwriting credit. He previously directed and co-wrote the World War I hit 1917, which was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

(registration deadline: Friday, January 6)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Empire of Light premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last September and opened in the US in limited release last month. The Searchlight Pictures film, which is scheduled to open in the UK the same night as our discussion, stars Academy Award winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Micheal Ward (2020 BAFTA Rising Star), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Bridget Jones’s Diary), and Toby Jones (The Hunger Games, Captain America: The First Avenger). If you have not yet seen the movie, it is highly recommended that you first read the screenplay so your initial impression is from the writing on the page.

Rated R. 126 pages. 115 minutes. Drama. Romance.

WENDELL WELLMAN will provide in-depth script analysis and lead our discussion. Wendell WellmanScreenwriter, actor, playwright, teacher, and author of A Writer’s Roadmap, Wendell has taught screenwriting at UCLA and UWV and has been a frequent guest moderator at StoryBoardDG.com’s Screenplay Development Group. As an actor, Wendell studied under Lee Strasberg and Peggy Feury at the Strasberg Institute and has appeared in episodic television, theater, and motion pictures, including prominent roles in the films The Klansman starring Lee Marvin and Richard Burton, Sudden Impact, Sommersby, and Street of Dreams. As a writer, he teamed up with Alex Lasker to adapt the novel Firefox for director Clint Eastwood, which Quentin Tarantino praised on his podcast for its “fantastic use of exposition.” Wendell also did additional work for Eastwood on the screenplay for Sudden Impact and wrote a final Dirty Harry project. Wendell also worked with the West End Theatre Group as co-founder and artistic director while continuing to alternate between acting and writing assignments. He is currently writing and producing original feature scripts.

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