Hunting for a new apartment, I checked out the location of a fancy loft in the L.A. arts district online. Google maps showed me some of my potential neighbors – and I decided to not further consider that loft. Downtown L.A. has always been notorious for its homeless population. These days it’s not DTLA only, it is everywhere and growing by the day.
Besides, and to counter, I wanted to share a couple of meaningful projects I’ve worked on during the last months. A drop in the ocean, I’m proud of them regardless.
For the Writers Guild (WGA-West) I organized and moderated my second panel with a focus on AI and the future.
The time to imagine the future we want to live in is now, but can we bring human values and AI (artificial intelligence) together to enhance our life instead of destroying it?
Since we’re still in pandemic mode, the panel was virtual and you can check out our 90 min discussion below. The Future of The Future: Stories That Drive Artificial Intelligence and Their Societal Consequences
Portraits of Radical Generosity is an 8-part video series I wrote and edited for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). As a response to Cauleen Smith’s exhibition “Give it or Leave it”, LACMA invited members of our community to share their stories of radical generosity.
You still have 2 weeks to check out the inspiring show at LACMA.
… I organized and moderated two panel-discussion at the WGA in late August. On Tuesday night, data scientist Yves Begquist was my guest. We talked about how AI is reshaping the creative process. As the Director of the AI & Neuroscience in Media Project at USC’s Entertainment Technology Center, Yves explained how the major studios are using machine learning and AI, and he elaborated on the possible future of AI and its impact on the entertainment industry. On Thursday night, an equally fascinating topic was discussed by my three amazing panelists at the event: “People Are Dying to Come Into My Office: Reading a Dead Body—Inside the Work and Lives of Forensic Pathologists and Medical Examiners”. Screenwriter Corinne Marrinan together with Forensic Pathologists Lisa Scheinin MD, and Vidal Herrera, founder of 1-800-Autopsy, shared insights into the work of Medical Examiners, and how their lives and stories can be portrayed in a (more) truthful way in film and television. Both events were followed by a lively Q&A and additional after-hours chat at the reception. I had a blast and learned a ton. Will definitely do this again!
Last Saturday, the SAG-AFTRA L.A. Conservatory produced a table read of my drama pilot HAMBURG. It’s a relatively new partner program with the Writers Guild, and I didn’t know what to expect, except that there would be actors reading my writing. When I got to AFI, where the reading took place, I was blown away by the super production they were setting up. There was not only an amazing buffet, most important to keep people happy on such an occasion, but the producing team had created a slide show that set the mood of Hamburg in 1892 and presented the actors and characters. They had brought in props and even a skeleton that got wrapped in toilet paper to double for a mummy that’s part of the story. Insanely talented actors brought not only the characters of “Hamburg” to life, but also the 1890s world they inhabit. Everyone gifted constructive feedback afterward. Thank you so much to the producers Shaan Sharma and Laura Taylor, to their wonderful team, the truly amazing actresses and actors, the superb recording team, and my two guests. You all made this an immensely valuable and unforgettable experience!
I finally have an answer to the resurfacing, insomnia-causing question: Does she draw her gun or not? OK, the insomnia is an exaggeration. But there are tons of police work details that can cause sleepless hours. Writing crime more often than not involves police detectives or even the FBI. As a writer, you can copy behavior and procedures you have seen in other TV shows or in other movies. But you never know if that’s really the real deal? After 7 weeks at the FBI Citizen Academy in Los Angeles, one night per week, I’m no special agent, but I have acquired a lot of knowledge about the FBI as an institution, their values, regulations, as well as insight when it comes to the real people behind the badge, their attitude, motivations, their idiosyncrasies… We heard case studies about homegrown terrorism, cybersecurity, the spectacular sheriff Lee Baca case and his role in a scheme to obstruct an FBI investigation of abuses in LA county jails, and so much more. We collected evidence, went through a shooting simulation, and even fired some real guns at the shooting range. It was a lot of fun. Now, I’ve got the time to lose my sleep over other screenplay-related questions, for example, how to construct a great joke 😉
I’m so excited and honored to be a part of the jury at SEEfest 2018 for the Award for Best Short Documentary Film.
There are six films in competition including productions from Romania, Italy, Turkey, Macedonia, France, and the United States. I can’t wait to sit down and watch them. The program looks truly unique and intriguing.
Thank you to SEEfest LA to invite me to be a part of this adventure!
The WGA-West together with DreamAgo had put out a call to apply for a six-weeks residency in a beautiful Swiss castle. My screenplay in development TURKISH DELIGHT was selected as a semi finalist. Which meant that I got to meet with the DreamAgo team at the residence of the consul general of Switzerland in Los Angeles and pitch my project to them. Every pitch is always a challenge – because of the nerves 😉 – but it was also great fun, and TURKISH DELIGHT received very positive feedback. At the luncheon the next day at the consul’s residence the two (!) winning projects were announced. Of course, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to go to Switzerland. But it was a great pleasure and honor for me to be part of the pitching, and to learn about the wonderful work DramAgo does with and for writers. And I look forward to collaborating with them in the future.