3rd Anniversary with Producers Peterson and Rukeyser
In May 2009 The Orange County Screenwriters Association held its first-ever event (pictured left.)
The magnificent Regency South Coast Village Theater was the place where we "opened for business." The Regency has always been the venue we use for these "big" events. It is a jewel in the crown of the incredible Regency theater chain and we are eternally grateful to have them as our supporter.
My longtime friend, producer (with slashes too numerous to list) Clark Peterson, was our first guest. He instantly accepted the invitation because of his incredible generosity and was a massive hit with the assembled as he took us through the ins and outs of Hollywood and the feature-film world.
At that time, Clark was accompanied by (TV show runner) Stacy Rukeyser. They were dating and becoming more serious about their commitment to each other. When they came down this time, they were married and had their son with them who had just turned 1-yr-old. A great love story made real.
This time around we had Stacy share the dais with Clark since she is quite an accomplished TV writer/producer/show runner (another mega-slash) in her own right. Between the two of them they cover nearly the gamut of production in Hollywood.
They talked about their path to their current status as producers.
Clark's went toward the business side, as an executive. As creative as anyone I've met, Clark felt that his journey to the ranks of a professional filmmaker would be better served by understanding the business aspects of filmmaking. In several companies, this allowed him to be present in hundreds of story meetings and business strategy sessions and to amass an amazing Rolodex as he met and worked with directors, producers, writers, on many dozens of productions.
Stacy came up as an actress and then a writer. Her agent at the time suggested a way to get better roles would be to write them for herself. She was hooked and excelled. One job led to another and she eventually became so well-thought of that companies began giving her producer work too. It takes knowledge, creativity, inner strength and common sense and patience to run a TV series - Ms Rukeyser has these in spades.
These individual paths have crossed and diverged as the years went by. Both are involved now in all facets of production and filmmaking; Clark has written scripts and become an incredible independent producer; Stacy is an Exec Producer on several TV series.
I book a lot of guests and every one of them is fantastic. Clark and Stacy are however incomparable both because of the depth of the understanding of the business but also because they are still massively active in dozens of productions.
Clark has just wrapped "Devil's Knot," the true story of the West Memphis Three. He is also co-producing "The Prophet" with Salma Hayek based on the world-famous book of Kahil Gibran. He's optioned "Blood's A Rover" from author James Elroy and will be producing that film in 2013.
Stacy's latest TV series for ABC Family Network "The Lying Game," based on a series of YA books is wrapping its 1st season, and she's got pilots out (as Exec Producer) for two more series and a script out for a feature film. Her Exec Producer credits are beginning to overwhelm her writing credits and that's a good thing for the bottom line of her career since the more she produces, the more she'll be able to produce.
To cover the entire Q&A would be impossible. We hope to have film at some point to show. Suffice to say that they held us rapt for almost two hours giving us the benefit of their hard fought knowledge and wisdom.
I love these two both personally and professionally. They are hard-working, uncompromising filmmakers when it comes to their professional lives and two of the most generous and gracious people I've met in twenty years in this business.
I can only wish them continued success in all endeavors and hope that they will once again join us at a future event soon.
Clark Peterson's Credits IMDB
Stacy Rukeyser's Credits IMDB
My buddy, the former chair of the comparative religion department at CalState Fullerton, Dr. Ben Hubbard, was also there to give the closing invocation as he was at our first event. Thank you, Ben - we love having you come to these events. You really class up the joint and bring a reminder that we have a higher responsibility as writers than just to make money.
On a personal note, I was given an honor by OC Screenwriters for running this org for the last three (plus) years. All I can say is a humble thank you, and that there is no way I could have done it without everyone's help and love.
Thanks to my amazing and always-pitching, Board of Directors:
And thanks to all who've supported the OC Screenwriters.
It's been a great three years and looking forward to many more!
Be Inspired, Do Good Work!