From tying shoes to screenwriting, any skill is acquired. Work hard, learn from others' mistakes, deserve your dreams.
Hollywood Reporter Writer's Roundtable
by Lorri Vodi Rupard
A little piece of Stan Ellsworth's soul died whenever the former history teacher's students couldn't put major wars in chronological order.
Since every kid knows school isn't cool, (unlike motorcycles), Ellsworth--of Salt Lake City--sold a brilliant idea to BYUtv, and now drives coast to coast on his Harley, stopping at American landmarks to teach kids about major historical events. Read the interview.
Oddly enough, Ellsworth's students are finally paying attention; last month, Stan won an Emmy for his BYUtv original series, American Ride.
by Lorri Vodi Rupard
Doug Clark, the former SkyWest pilot sitting at ease across from me, explains how he changed his career trajectory.
"Pilots have a lot of days off, and I got bored."
He grins, "Of course, the only thing I knew about real estate back then, was that I flew over it."
A friend suggested that Doug meet Mike Baird, the Salt Lake City realtor who would later become Doug's partner on Spike TV's massively popular series Flip Men.
"I had very little money, at least none that I wanted to lose, but that first real estate auction blew my mind. So, I asked Mike if I could research some houses with him, and a month later, I bought my first investment. I was scared, but I turned it around and sold the place in three days."
Two years later, while flipping a multi-million dollar foreclosed property in Draper (that the evicted owners stripped to bare bones), a neighbor asked Doug if he and Mike ever considered doing a reality show. "Sure," Doug said, and before he could finish, the neighbor speed-dialed Danny Thompson in L.A. who flew out the next day to see if two Utah boys flipping houses was something he cared to produce.
"Danny did. He got all over the idea, and we immediately started shooting Foreclosure Boys, the precursor to Flip Men."
Clark and Baird have flipped over 1000 houses since 2008. They recently wrapped the 22nd episode of Flip Men, which concludes season 2. The show's conflict includes Doug and Mike frequently butting heads over the risk involved in potential properties and aesthetic vision, both privately and on camera. Some buys prove much more lucrative than others, and one episode, "The Bet", has Clark and Baird each buying a different property to see who fares better.
"Mike made more money straight up, but I got better return on my investment."
I ask if any of their ventures have ended tragically.
"We've lost money on a few. That's reality TV." Doug smiles in retrospect. "Season one, episode 11, I had a really bad feeling. But that's how it goes, and I've been lucky so far. My risks typically pay off."
I nod my head. "Yeah."
From my side of the table, it sure looks like they do.
by Lorri Vodi Rupard
Our 16th president stood six foot four (7'4" hat on) and was every tenacious inch, an American hero.
The nation's most spiritual commander-in-chief, kept no journal, no diary, wrote few personal notes and when unyielding to his inner wise-cracking joker, was naturally reticent.
With scant autobiographical means for a credible Lincoln biopic, screenwriter Tony Kushner scanned history books to peg the emancipator's enigmatic heart--that organ equally inspired and guileless as it was uncompromising. (The President's shady procurement of votes to pass the vital 13th amendment necessitated moves, Machiavellian and shrewd.)
Kushner's discernment feels apt, fair and at one point, we're ushered toward the Lincolns' intimate heartbreak where we can try to feel what it must be like for two people to lose a child. It's likely the source of Mary Todd's (Field) psychosomatic suffering.
I appreciate Kushner for including these poignant scenes about a troubled relationship. I find it refreshing compared to the usual stale slant re: (female) Todd's sanity. "We must both be more cheerful in the future," Abe tells his wife, patiently. "We have both been very miserable."
With Day Lewis' demeanor and Field's perfectly-played vacillation between spunk and debilitating malaise, Spielberg's historical diorama caught my heart, whole. This seat votes "yea", especially for Kushner's portrayal of Mary Todd and for her outspoken, fiery defense for the sake of her husband.
Utah's Warren Workman just raised the bar with his contribution toward social change. Indie Fest bestowed the award of merit upon Workman's creative venture Filmed in Utah. Read the story.
The weekly talk show generates buzz for Utah film. Warren and crew interview filmmakers about their projects and report film events at regional premieres.
How Warren must feel as the kudos start flying.
Lorri Vodi Rupard
Lorri grew up in Toronto, is a BYU graduate and former PBS affiliate on-air operator, won first place in the UWIF short screenplay contest 2011 and was a quarterfinalist in Final Draft's Big Break Screenplay Contest 2012. She is a Montreal Review, Eligible Magazine, and The Gate contributor.
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