I hope you are all blooming with health and the sun keeps shining in the blue blue sky as it does here in this tiny tiny part of the world. This really has been the most amazing summer for me :)
Here comes the report of what I really did experience in America :) I hope you can use it in your materials and I will send some pictures, once I get them downloaded from my phone.... damn all those complicated electrical devices that seem to be eagerly breeding somewhere out there.
I honestly seem to run out of words each time I try to describe how it really felt. I am a tough cookie and yet I have tears in my eyes all the time when I think about the fabulous time I had.
Lew, of all people - you made me so happy! Again, it surely comes as a surprise to you, but I'm not a happy person. I'm gloomy and sad and they call me "the evil writer" here. You would never believe that, would you? And of course I'm not evil, I just feel sad when there's no love and support around. AND MY GOD, what giant barrels of care I got from you!!! You just lifted me up.
I really think that americans are very happy people. It certainly is the very best of humankind that comes out of all the diversity. The need to get along and to understand the differences, not just judge them. I love it.
So... I send you a song from a famous Estonian composer Tõnis Mägi, to whose concert I went just yesterday. It's about yearning and missing beloved people. And I think you will get the emotion - it's a bit sad, but soooo beautiful. And fulfilling. So please, listen to it :)
I hope you are all doing fine,
"Lew has touched thousands of lives through his generosity, kind heart and willingness to mentor any and all aspiring screenwriters.
If you know, worked with, had a class with, had a beer with, or were otherwise influenced by Lew, sign up. Leave a little story about you and Lew, how he touched your life in some wonderful way.
We must mention Pamela, his wife, his sidekick, the love of his life. She’s also helped many people. Leave a note about Pamela if you want.
They just love screenwriters (and all people)."
That's the purpose of this page. Please post self-promotion topics elsewhere. Thank you.
Just wanted to let you know that the script I wrote for Lifetime ("Magic beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story") just won the Canadian Screen Award for Best TV Movie or Miniseries last week. I couldn't have done it without your voice in the back of my head. Thank you so much for all your wisdom and affection and guidance!!
Best to you and Pamela!!
I also wanted to say (and I should say it often because truly great profs should hear it often) I got more out of taking your 434's than any other class I took at UCLA. Every script that ever won anything was written under you, and those guest profs that producing students flock to or even that Suber class that conflicted with yours (because of this, I'm saying this without having taken it) they teach nothing compared to what I gained from your class. I try and write the energy I feel at the time and I heed your feedback because I know it's coming from a genuine place and from a person with experience and compassion for students, character and story. If I had UCLA to do over again, I wouldn't take only 434's because I learned a lot about writing in directing and editing, but I would take only your 434, because that's the place where I learned the most. So, I just wanted to also say, thank you!!!People like YOU give the human race a GOOD name, Lew.
Mr. Rogers said that his mom told him in the wake of a tragedy to look for the helpers. Scam artists are an everyday tragedy, but YOU are an everyday helper! If people like you and Pamela didn't exist, this world would be a shithole of a place to live (pardon my French)! The way you've changed lives... well you can't put a price on that, so the scammers have got nothing on you!
I suppose if all a person is looking to do is to get famous, they're searching for the wrong thing and will find the wrong people. But if there are layers to that, they wanna LEARN and GROW as a writer AND see their work go somewhere... maybe they are more apt to find people to help with that. Or maybe that's just ego and self-righteousness trying to tell me I'm on the right track by being lucky enough to know you! lol. All I know is that at the last OFF party... Doug Sasse, Lisa Kovanda and I were twiddling our thumbs having a chat, waiting for you and Pamela to arrive. As soon as you arrived, WOOSH! We were on you guys like moths to a flame. Luckily, your fire isn't the type that burns, but inspires! :)
No matter how long it takes, I'm gonna keep learning and hope I get 'there' someday. But, it's about the journey, not the destination, right?
Thanks for all the love and support and words of wisdom!
The Superior Path To Writing Success
The good news is that, if you’re so inclined, you can learn screenwriting from the best of the best, from Lew himself, at his workshops. It’s worth a trip to the Midwest if you’re serious about writing. More about that later.
I first met Lew Hunter in the summer of 1988, when I took his introduction to screenwriting class at U.C.L.A. I had literally driven across the country in order to attend the class, and it was the best single experience I’ve ever had in any classroom related to writing. Lew shared his deep knowledge of screenwriting and the movie industry, with love and an extremely high level of attention to detail, and told us great stories about his experiences. He took a group of people from “wannabe” screenwriters to “gottabe” screenwriters. I’ve felt his influence in every single book and screenplay I’ve written since. I’m sure the other students could say the same thing.
Lew focuses on structure—not glittering generalities, not how to schmooze, but how to write. Organization is everything in screenwriting. You’ve got a limited amount of time and space, conventions to follow, and extremely high expectations on the part of the producers to whom you want to sell your work. Lew lays it all out for you, and he does so in an inspiring manner that makes you believe without question that you can do this.
He and his fantastic wife Pamela also hosted monthly gatherings at his home. Those events, called Writers Block, made his students feel extremely comfortable and taken care of as we made our first forays into Hollywood.
Some of my favorite moments of Lew’s class: One time, he said he was leaving a hotel room in New Orleans on a project he was producing, only to find his co-producer, with whom he had shared his hotel room, trying to pack New Orleans white pages in the phone book. “Why are you doing that?” Lew asked.
“Southern names!” his friend explained.
Lew also had very wise, memorable advice about practically any situation involving a screenplay. For example, when you create a bad guy, create one super bad guy—not a bunch of moderately bad guys. Or, as the master himself puts it, “Don’t split your heavy. You want one shark, not a bunch of barracudas.”
I had the privilege of teaching a workshop on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with Lew a dozen years ago. I taught fiction writing in the morning and he would teach screenwriting in the afternoon. Believe me, I was the warm-up act. Lew was the real thing.
In the twenty-four years since I took Lew’s screenwriting class at U.C.L.A., I have taught hundreds and hundreds of writing classes. And I have never failed, in all that time, to quote Lew by name and mention him as my writing teacher. You can get his bestselling guide to screenwriting, Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434: The Industry’s Premiere Teacher Reveals the Secrets of the Successful Screenplay, from Amazon. Lew will lay everything out for you in that book (which I had the privilege of reading in manuscript form). But if you’re really serious about becoming a great writer, whether screenplays, novels, or anything else, it would behoove you to make your way to his Superior Summer Screenwriting colony this June 16 through 29 in what he calls the “Victorian capital of the Midwest,” Superior, Nebraska. Join Lew and discover just how great a writer you can be."
- Michael Levin
“Well, Lew, you have done it again, as I am sure you have done so many, many times. Kicked a would-be in the butt, with a teacher's words of wisdom and inspired him to “Write On”. From this moment on, everything I write must stand the test of what came out of the Colony house living room.”
- Click Westin
I can’t imagine passing two weeks with any better group of people...This was probably the best vacation (meaning vacation from home, cause we did work our ** off!) I’ve had in my life. What else can be said of a vacation in which you rediscover the passion you once had, in which you make twelve new and good friends and during which you stay in a truly gorgeous Victorian mansion...
About Lew —
A most heartfelt thanks to the legendary man who made all this possible. Such a selfless, giving soul I have never met before in my life. He has chosen to enlighten the next generation of screenwriters with his wisdom...I only wish one day to attain one half of a third of what Lew has seen of the movie business. Of the many teachers out there, rest assured that we got the best of them, and the experience and memories he gave all of us are simply (like the commercial) priceless. Every minute in his company was a privilege.
- Pierre Kakos, Canada
Hope all is wonderful and magic is leaping from minds to pages in every single room.
— Donna Adams, ex Colonyite/screenwriter
I hope the students realize just how blessed they are to have the Colony experience with you and Pamela.
- Elianna Frederick, Toronto, Canada
“It's only been two days since we departed on Friday, yet I can't stop
smiling. I had such a wonderful time at the Colony. My parents notice
a change in my behavior. They notice I have more of a bounce in my
step, and seem more upbeat. I guess that is the magic of the Colony
sinking into my veins. The experience was just amazing. I feel so
refreshed and everything. Thank you all for your contributions to what
you did during my time there.
I also decided on a big decision. I was wrestling with the decision to
move out to L.A. or not, and after the Colony I decided on 'hell yes!'
My parents are excited for me on the move. I've always wanted to live
in California and now I'm going to take that chance. I can't wait to
be close to the beach and mountains, in a nice climate, close to all
the major studios. Plus I'll be closer to possibly achieving my dream:
writing that screenplay that gets put onto the screen. That'll be the
day I smile endlessly. The Colony gave me the confidence and
reassurance that I can do it, and now I'm ready.”
- Ben K.
“What could be better than living in a
beautiful Victorian Inn, in a cool little town,
hanging out with a bunch of amazing people from
all over the world, and eating, drinking, and
breathing screenwriting 24/7 for fourteen days with
two or three of the finest screenwriting instructors on
Well... chocolate. But after chocolate, what
could be better**...?
**(And if Hans is there, you'll get chocolate, too.
From Sweden. So go. I'm serious. It doesn't
get any better.)”
- Andy Shrader
“Thanks again for a great colony. They just get better each year. For now, they and the online UCLA program is my substitute for a MFA.”
- Hans Montelius
"You have given me the professional tools, encouragement and confidence I need to finally be able to call myself a screenwriter and actually believe it."
- Brian Rudolph
"I just wanted to thank you again for such a wonderful experience at your Superior Colony. It was absolutely magical! The friends, the fun, the writing and all of the joy. You two really did make us all feel like members of the family and it was just absolutely wonderful. "
- Amy T.
"Growing up in Superior, Nebraska, I had the opportunity of working in one of the classes, and sitting on a couple since. What can I say? Every session I have been to, writers are thrilled to be there. With feedback you receive from Lew, Linda, and just as importantly, your fellow writers, it was easy for me to finish thirty pages of writing in the two week span— a feat I was very proud of, seeing as I had never done screenwriting before. Theatre is where my heart is, but what I took most from the class was a sense of the importance of storytelling. Everyone has a story to tell, and with this class, you leave completely refreshed, ready to go out and tell the world what you know. I've never experienced anything like it before. I may be a little biased, but Superior is a great town for people to write. The people are friendly, and it's quiet wherever you go- great for walks and writing in the park. Lew and Pamela work hard to make sure your stay is comfortable, and you have whatever you need at all times. Come to the colony, and leave ready to face the world- you aren't going to regret these two weeks!"
- Drew Leibel
"By far the most profound creative cocooning I have ever ever experienced! Run, do not walk to Lew Hunter's Colony. He will help you find the best screenwriting in your soul."
- Diana Kirschner, Ph.D, psychologist & screenwriter
"Two weeks of writing undisturbed...an environment that fosters the kind of creativity you only dream of...all those things made the Colony worth more than I imagined."
"It wasn’t just two weeks of writing undisturbed by telephones, kids, the demands of the job or the home. It wasn’t just an environment that fosters the kind of creativity that you only dreamed that you were capable of. It wasn’t just the private writer’s garret that housed the spirit of those before you who believed in the challenge. It wasn’t only the morning camaraderie over coffee and homemade rolls and the provocative dinners with Lew and Pamela and all of your housemates.
All of those things made the Colony worth more than I imagined. But most of all it was being in the company of the greatness that is Lew Hunter who knows that you are more than you ever required of yourself. If you've ever wondered if you could, then you owe it to yourself to find out."
- Donna Adams
"For any writer, the Colony House is a slice of heaven. Your two-week stay will change your attitude about your work in the best possible way, thanks to the love and care you'll receive — and give — while you're there. Go. Write. Go home, and write better for the rest of your life."
- Cash Anthony
"Lew Hunter's Superior Colony is 'superior!' The instruction, the atmosphere, the sharing of ideas and the nurturing is great for the writing and even better for the soul!"
- Judy Zocchi
"Lew, I have a whole new perspective on my writing thanks to you! Thanks again for your warm hospitality."
- Judy Vann
"I know that Ray Bradbury has a special place in your heart. You both share the same joyous love of life and writing and are eternally generous and have optimistic spirits."
- Robert Hayhurst - Screenwriter
"I went to Lew Hunter's Indian Summer Colony with passion and wanting to write a feature film screenplay. At the end of the trip I had a 99 page finished screenplay for my film Rap Therapy (www.raptherapy.com) and had made a lifetime friend and mentor. Lew and his wife Pamela made me feel as if I was part of their family and so did the whole town of Superior, Nebraska. This was one of my favorite life experiences and I suggest you try it. After the colony you will be a better writer and maybe even be a better person. Thank you Lew Hunter and I appreciate all of your guidance.
- Blake LeVine