Woody Allen won three times out of 15 nominations, the most times in the category. Francis Ford Coppola (1970) and Sofia Coppola (2003) are the only father-daughter pair to win. Joel and Ethan Coen are the only siblings to take home a statue. Muriel Box was the first woman. Claude Lelouch, Robert Towne and Pedro Almodovar are also on the list. And now you too want to become a screenwriter and –  who knows – one day take home an Oscar?

Friday, September 21 – Sunday, September 23, Telluride TV joins the Ah Haa School for the Arts, the Wilkinson Public Library and Lary Simpson Productions to present Screenwriters in the Sky. Entertainment attorney and film producer Lary Simpson is the brains behind this year’s exploration of the field and has assembled a group of experienced and working professionals in the film industry to headline the workshop.

Lary heads Lary Simpson Productions (LSP), a film production company with a dynamic slate of projects that range from big-budget commercial pictures to smaller, more character-driven independents, including the upcoming sequel to “Top Gun,” “ZNA,” a reality-based biotech thriller and “Hygiene And The Assassin” based on a book of he same title by Belgian novelist Amelie Nothomb.

At the workshop, Lary is joined by screenwriter Dan Sinclair, who has developed projects for AMC and Fox Television Studios and whose spy thriller, “Nightshade” is in development at ABC. Dan is slated to discuss his personal experiences on a path to professional success.

Entertainment attorney Tom Hunter specializes in the representation of motion picture writers, directors and producers. At the workshop, Tom plans to outline the importance of legal representation in Hollywood and how to avoid common pitfalls.

Vernon Zimmerman is a script doctor, which means he is a story expert and structure specialist with expertise in all aspects of story construction, development and plotting as well as character, scene progression and dialog.

A soon-to-be-announced Hollywood agent from William Morris Endeavor is also on the list of experts.

The Screenwriters in the Sky weekend kicks off with wine and cheese reception at Ah Haa Friday night. Lary will address the group, discussing the structure of the entertainment business and where the screenwriter fits in. Other topics will include, source material, copyright, team writing and the need for artful “pitching.”

Saturday is a group session with the aforementioned experts.

On Sunday, students get an opportunity to attend 20-minute sessions and meet one-on-one with guest professionals to ask questions and dialog about goals, aspirations and works-in-progress.

Credit where credit is due: Screenwriters in the Sky is not new. Scott Doser of the Wilkinson Public Library billed the original 2009 intensive, which he dreamed up, as a “three-day workshop for aspiring screenwriters.” Lary Simpson was the keynote speaker. According to Scott, following the event, “important connections were made.”

Scott continues with the history:

“Earlier this year, Lary approached the Ah Haa School for the Arts and expressed an interest in repeating the workshop here in Telluride. Ah Haa’s executive director Jodi Pounds and Lary then called me and asked if the library would be interested in co-hosting another Screenwriters in the Sky workshop. Lary (who is on the advisory Board of Teluride TV) and I (VP of the Telluride TV Board) approached Telluride TV’s Katie Karow and asked her if the station would also be interested in partnering too?

Telluride TV was brought into the mix because the program fits with the station’s long term goal to become a media institute.  Screenwriters in the Sky is another step towards accomplishing that goal and complements the ongoing classes on film making, editing and camera techniques the station already hosts.

“We are hoping the new collaborative effort will generate a yearly series of programs and events geared towards supporting and educating individuals who aspire o work in the film and television industry,” concluded Scott.

For further information about Screenwriters in the Sky and to register online go to  To register by phone call the Ah Haa School for the Arts 970-728-3886.


Click the “play” button and listen to my chat with Lary Simpson.

1 Comment
  • Katie Karow
    Posted at 07:42h, 14 August

    I am looking forward to the workshop!