Good morning Stage 32 Family! I sincerely hope that everyone is healthy, safe, and despite being cooped up, happy and maintaining a positive attitude. Just like every Monday, I want to kick off the week with a message of inspiration and motivation. This week I am excited to share the story of a dear friend of the Stage 32 community and myself personally.
Chaun Lee is a member of the Stage 32 Writers' Room which - if you are unfamiliar - is a community of screenwriters from around the world, serious about their craft and pursuing a life in the industry. It is an exclusive community where members get support from fellow writers, meet and speak with industry executives, participate in 4 craft and business webcasts per month, and get access a private lounge where they can trade scripts, give and receive advice, all in a supportive and exclusive environment.
When I first met Chaun through the group I was fascinated by her background. Without giving too much away, part of it involves Chaun repelling from helicopters and working in the Middle East. Yeah, really. So it was a surprise to me that she was so nervous about putting her work "out there" to be seen and critiqued. But over the months in the Writers' Room, Chaun continued to grow in confidence, skill, and writing ability.
Recently, Chaun wrote a short script as part of a Write Now Challenge Webcast - one of 4 monthly Writers' Room webcasts, in which I challenged members to write a scene or story with a plot twist. Several members wrote excellent scenes and I encouraged many of them to produce the projects. To her credit, Chaun took me up on that suggestion! Then there came the next challenge for Chaun.
I received an email from Chaun that said, "I'm hoping you can assist or offer advice. I want to start planning to do the short for The Impasse sometime next month or March...My issue is that I don't know anyone in my city. I just signed up for a Meetup group of writers, but they only meet once a month and I'm not sure how helpful that will be. Do you have any suggestions?"
If you have been a member for Stage 32 for a while, you already know where I'm going with this. I wrote back and said, "Reach out to Atlanta-based filmmakers and creatives through Stage 32! Post in the lounges - producers lounge, crew etc. - and let people know that you are looking for a crew and want to get to know more people in the film scene in Atlanta."
By the next morning, Chaun was already making new connections! "I took your advice again. I have now connected with several people!"
Chaun later followed up with another email which said, "I did what you suggested and a producer reached out to me on Stage32. He read The Impasse and wants to make the short!!! He says he already has a location in mind. We’re supposed to meet next week...he wants me to continue writing the full-length feature. I’m sooo excited! Just wanted to let you know. It was your assignment that sparked this creation."
This is such a powerful story because it proves that hard work, perseverance and community can turn your goals into a reality. Chaun leveraged the full power of Stage 32 to get her project made! She workshopped an idea in the Writers' Room, used Stage 32 to connect with local producers, cast, and crew in her area, and she took control of her filmmaking career!
I am so proud of her success and I am excited for her to share her story! Take it away, Chaun...
Let's hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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