Celebrating 2017 - SoCreate's End of the Year Party

Where has the time gone? Can you believe that in just a few weeks, 2017 will be over, and it will be 2018? This past weekend, our SoCreate team got together for our annual End of the Year Party to celebrate all of the successes of the past year.

After weeks full of hard-work and planning by our CEO, Justin Couto, and our CFO, Rosa Couto, the day was finally here. At 6:30pm, the party officially had started and the SoCreate team, accompanied by their guests, started arriving at Holland Ranch in San Luis Obispo, the beautiful barn venue for our party. Once they arrived, guests were greeted by a table full of hor d'oeuvres and a drink of their choice.

Once everyone arrived and we had all had a chance to grab some snacks and chat, it was time for dinner! The meal was catered by Chef Anthony Allesmith, also known as The Prancing Chef.

Our team enjoyed one of three delicious entrees: a thyme-crusted chateaubriand, a brown butter salmon croquette, or vineyard chicken confit with balsamic mushrooms. All of the entrees were served with a side of mashed cauliflower and cooked veggies, OH, and a few tunes played by our designer, Anthony, on the venue's old piano.

(Now, before diving in to the next part of the evening, I should explain one of the SoCreate end-of-year party traditions. One of the perks of being a small team is that Justin is able to get us some of the most cutting-edge technologies available on the market as a gift and a thank you for all of our hard work over the last year. While this was my first time at the End of The Year Party, I had heard about some of the gifts from past years including Amazon Alexa, Bose Speakers, an Xbox One, and Windows phones. Okay, back to this weekend…)

After everyone had finished their dinners, Justin and Rosa stood up and handed out a small, watch-box sized package to all of the SoCreate team. Before everyone tore into their blue-wrapped packages, Justin gave a short speech thanking everyone for coming and sharing about the history of the company, some of this year's great successes, and all that there is to look forward to in 2018--including the launch of our SoCreate platform! On Justin's mark, we all excitably opened our gifts to find two WyzeCams (1080p HD smart home cameras).

Once everyone had a chance to open their cameras, Justin chimed in again, sharing that the cameras were actually just a decoy part of the gift, because the real gifts were too heavy to wrap up and hand out to everyone. Justin then ran outside to get the "real" gifts!

Next thing we saw was Justin walking in with what looked to be a skateboard with one giant tire. The OneWheel! An electric, self-balancing skateboard. Justin, being a skateboarder and always up for a challenge, hopped on and started riding the board around the tables of the party. Everyone was so excited to try theirs out!

While the OneWheels were unloaded from our CTO, Billy's truck, dessert was served! 3 types of pie from the Madonna Inn--cherry, banana cream, and caramel apple.

With full stomachs and happy hearts, we all gathered for a big team picture with our new OneWheels before the party started wrapping up and everyone headed home after a great night.

The SoCreate End of the Year Party is really a special event! It gives our team a chance to bond outside of the office and really reflect on all of the great work that we have done in the last year. A huge thank you to Justin and Rosa for throwing a fantastic event! I am already looking forward to the 2018 extravaganza.

Cheers to the new year!
-Alli
@alli_unger6

So, Join Us! The SoCreate Screenwriting Platform Private Beta

Alli Unger
Help us revolutionize the art of screenwriting!

Over the last few months, we have been blogging a lot about our amazing team and screenwriting tips and tricks. However, today, we would like to switch it up and share a bit more about our NEW SoCreate screenwriting platform! 

Here at SoCreate, we have made it our mission to do things differently. Our screenwriting platform is unlike any other available screenwriting software. Although most of the features are still under wraps until closer to the launch of our Private Beta, we can tell you this much. With our platform, you will be able to: 

  • Easily manage your ENTIRE screenwriting project from inspiration to completion. 
    Eliminate jumping between your brain, paper notes, and multiple programs. The SoCreate platform allows you to do it all. From the moment you have your first idea, through the brainstorming process, the writing, the formatting, the editing, and the final product - you can do it all with us!
  • Forget the frustrations you've experienced with existing software.
    Some other software can sure be complicated and frustrating to use, but we are here to keep it simple. Everything from our user interface to our policies and procedures will be fun and easy to use. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver our writers a clean, clear, and elegant platform!

  • Allow your creativity to flow in a new, unbounded way!
    You, the writers, are our guides and inspiration through this entire journey. In our research, we have worked closely with screenwriters just like you to understand varying processes and design our platform to serve the needs of screenwriters of all skill levels. It's time to stop letting software boundaries dictate how we write, and start letting our ideas take the reins!

We are in the process of building up our Private Beta list. Although our software is not quite ready for launch, we are planning to release our first rounds of beta this Spring. 

Don't miss out! Help us revolutionize the way screenplays are written. Get the earliest possible access to our platform by joining our beta list today. Use this blog's offer code: IMIN2017

We want perspective and feedback from as many writers as possible, so please tell your friends, family, and colleagues who also love to write all about us! Help us bring SoCreate to the world today!

Want more updates and news from SoCreate? Follow us on social media using one of the links below. 

Cheers to you, writers!
-Alli 
@alli_unger6

 

Writer's Spotlight : Meet 13-Year-Old Published Author Liliana Monge

In today's Writer's Spotlight feature, it is our pleasure to introduce 13-year-old author, Liliana Monge, to our blog community. Our SoCreate team had the chance to meet Liliana at this year's Central Coast Writers Conference in September, and last week, I had the opportunity to interview her about her journey as a young writer.


About Liliana

Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Liliana first discovered her passion for writing in second grade when her teacher gave the class a 20-page writing assignment. After completing this first writing assignment with ease, she continued to develop her writing skills both inside and outside of the classroom. By the age of 9, she had completed her first full-length novel titled Shadow: Beyond the Walls. With some help from her parents, Liliana self-published Shadow: Beyond The Walls. It is available for purchase online, so feel free to check it out here!

Shortly after publishing her first full-length novel, she started working on multiple new writing projects. Although these novels have been tucked away for now, Liliana hopes to return to them in the near future. 

At the age of 12, Liliana took a trip with her family to visit the Standing Rock Reservation, located in North and South Dakota. During her 10-day visit, she was overtaken by the reservation's history and her family's heritage and connection to the land, and was inspired to write something new. She started jotting down some notes and then, when she returned--filled with inspiration--she started in on her next novel titled The Mask She Wears. The story follows the trials of a young Native American girl imprisoned in a concentration camp. 

As a young author, Liliana has found nearby writer's conferences to be extremely helpful in developing her writing skills and continuing forward with her work on The Mask She Wears. In the last year, she has been able to workshop the first few chapters at two conferences--one in Santa Cruz and our local Central Coast Writers Conference.

Just last month, Liliana had the opportunity to advance her writing skills and receive some excellent feedback from some of the industry's finest at the Central Coast Writers Conference. During the 2-day conference, Liliana attended multiple workshops and learned a lot about the importance of story and character mapping. The tips she learned from the workshops have already started helping her develop stronger, more succinct plots in her novels.

Along with attending workshops, Liliana was also able to schedule a personal critique session with author, poet, and professor, Kevin Clark. Having read the first few chapters of The Mask She Wears prior to the session, Kevin was shocked when 13-year-old Liliana walked into the room. In amazement, he immediately asked, "You wrote this?!" He could not believe the talent of this young author. During the hour long critique, he gave Liliana some excellent feedback and notes on the first 10 pages of her manuscript.  

In the last month, Liliana has made a number of changes to her novel based on the feedback and information she gained from the Central Coast Writers Conference. She is eagerly awaiting next year's conference!

Liliana says that her favorite thing about writing is the creative process of building characters. She loves that, as the author, she has the power to make and break characters and is able to secretly express a side of herself in each one that she may not want to show in her life. And, although a rather important part of the process, Liliana's least favorite part about writing is editing. Thankfully, her mom is able to come to the rescue and help her get through the necessary revisions!

When she is not working on her next novel in her family's living room, Liliana enjoys spending time outside. She attends Outside Now nature school in San Luis Obispo where, in addition to traditional classroom learning, she is able to take her studies outdoors to learn more about plants, animals, and overall holistic human development. Outside of school, she loves backpacking, fire making, archery, soccer, and art.

It was such a pleasure having Liliana in the office. It is always great to be able to connect with our local writing community and learn more about their unique writing journeys. We can't wait to see what the future has in store for this young author!

Until next time, readers! 
-Alli 
@alli_unger6

Writer's Spotlight: Meet Screenwriter Brandon Tanori

We are pleased to introduce screenwriter, and great friend to SoCreate, Brandon Tanori in our first-ever "Writer's Spotlight" blog post. Brandon has worked for CBS since 2013 as a Writers' Production Assistant on the television drama series, Elementary, and is also the founder and president of the Writers Assistant Network.


Although he now calls the hustle and bustle of Hollywood home, Brandon was born and raised in East Cleveland, Ohio. His true passion for film and writing was discovered while receiving his undergraduate degree in Film Production at Howard University in Washington, D.C. While he enjoyed all of his courses, it was the screenwriting ones that seemed to really resonate best with him. 

Towards the end of his time at Howard University, Brandon decided that he wanted to continue learning and take his screenwriting skills to the next level. After graduation, he made the 2,700 mile move from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles to attend grad school at Loyola Marymount University and receive his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing and Producing for Television

Like they say, it is all about who you know in Hollywood. During his studies at Loyola Marymount, Brandon took the time to make meaningful connections with professors and mentors in his program, and because of that, found his first industry job just two short months after graduating from the masters program. One of his mentors connected him with CBS Productions, and he landed his job as a Writer's PA for the drama series, Elementary, in its second season. 

In the 4 years that he has been working on Elementary and active in the film industry, Brandon has made quite the impact on the writers' community. Shortly after starting his job with CBS, Brandon decided that in order to continue growing his career, he was going to need to network! One of Brandon's mentors, who was the Co-Executive Producer on NCIS: Los Angeles at the time, encouraged him to host a networking event for different support staffers who worked on other primetime TV shows. 

That lit the spark. He hit the ground running for the event--reaching out to all of the contacts he had and sending others messages on LinkedIn. Everyone was excited by the idea of a networking event. What started out as a small get together with an estimated headcount of 50 writer's assistants, script coordinators, and production assistants quickly grew into a full-size party with 350 guests in just a few days. Writers invited their connections who, in turn, invited their connections, and the buzz about the party spread like wildfire. 

The party was a huge success, and all of the writers had a fantastic time. Brandon knew this wasn't going to just be a one-time thing, and thus was born the Writers Assistant Network. The Writers Assistant Network, founded by Brandon, is a group that offers workshops and networking mixers for up-and-coming industry writers, executive assistants, and literary assistants. The WAN will celebrate its 4th birthday this January with Brandon still leading the charge as the group president! 

Brandon, thank you for everything you and the Writers Assistant Network do for aspiring writers! The work that you do every day makes a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of writers in the tough world that is Hollywood. 

For more information about the Writers Assistant Network and their activities, check back this Thursday for our next blog post! 

Cheers to you, writers! 
Alli 
-alli_unger6

20 Inspirational Screenwriting Quotes

Do you need a little writing inspiration today? Check out 20 of our favorite screenwriting quotes!

20 Inspirational Screenwriting Quotes

  • "I think new writers are too worried it has all been said before. Sure it has, but not by you."
    - Asha Dornfest
  • "To make a great film, you need three things - the script, the script, and the script."
    - Alfred Hitchcock
  • "Ensure that your script is watertight. If it's not on the page, it will never magically appear on the screen." - Richard E. Grant
  • "A culture cannot evolve without storytelling. When a society repeatedly experiences glossy, hollowed-out, pseudo-stories, it degenerates. We need true satires and tragedies, dramas and comedies that shine a clean light into the dingy corners of the human psyche and society."
    - Robert McKee
  • "Don't give up. You're going to get kicked in the teeth. A lot. Learn to take a hit, then pick yourself up off the floor. Resilience is the true key to success." - Melissa Rosenberg
  • "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go."
    - T.S. Eliot
  • "You may not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page." - Jodi Picoult
  • "Screenwriting is like ironing. You move forward a little bit and go back and smooth things out." - Paul Thomas Anderson
  • "If you put someone in a room with no script to direct, they're just going to sit there. Writing scripts is the execution for a show. Then the director takes that and hires people. It's like trying to build a house without any bricks. You need a great script." - John Patrick Shanley
  • "Don't get it right. Get it written." - Art Arthur
  • "The best way to get an agent? Write a good script. If your first one isn't good enough, make it better. If it still isn't good enough, write a new one. Once you write a good script, the rest will work itself out." - John Swetnam
  • "Good dialogue illuminates what people are not saying." - Robert Towne
  • "Audiences are harder to please if you're just giving them effects, but they're easy to please if it's a good story." - Steven Spielberg
  • "A screenwriter's currency is a finished script. Not an outline, a take, a beat sheet, a rough draft. A finished script." - F. Scott Frazier
  • "Start writing, no matter what. The water doesn't flow until the faucet is turned on." 
    - Louis L'Amour
  • "Don't lose faith in what you are trying to do, even though you will get pummeled emotionally left and right. There are a lot of NOs to any YES. And that's OK." - Jennifer Lee
  • "The challenge of screenwriting is to say much in little and then take half of that little out and still preserve an effect of leisure and natural movement." - Raymond Chandler
  • "Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads." - Erica Jong
  • "Screenwriting is the most prized of all the cinematic arts. Actually, it isn't, but it should be."
    - Hugh Laurie
  • "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't give up." - Richard Bach

Don't see your favorite here? Please share it below! We'd love to hear it. 

Happy Writing!
-Alli 
@alliunger_6