Tom Stempel On Understanding Screenwriting

Bloomington born author Tom Stempel to give talk on his book "Understanding Screenwriting: Learning from Good, Not-quite-so-good, and Bad Screenplays."

Bloomington born author Tom Stempel comes back to town for his 2009 high school reunion and he’s taking the opportunity on Saturday August 1st to appear at Borders Books and Music to talk about his book Understanding Screenwriting: Learning from Good, Not-quite-so-good, and Bad Screenplays.

“I graduated from High School in 1959, so this is my fiftieth. I was very much a Bloomington kid. My father  was the head of IU’s School of Journalism for thirty years. I thoroughly enjoyed growing up in this town and I’m looking forward to coming back for a visit.”

“I got my undergraduate degree and even got an MFA in the field. But I have to say that as a screen writer or novelist I have been a failure. However, as a writer about the field, I’ve been very successful. My family thinks that I have a certain streak of honesty that actually interferes with my fiction.”

“By the way, I actually got some resistance from publishers about this approach to learning about screen writing. One editor said, “Why bother with things that didn’t work?” But, business people and even doctors and medical professionals spend a lot of time studying failures, for very good reasons.”

“With my approach we work through successes like Lawrence of Arabia, failures like Titanic…Yes, the screen play has real problems and I explain why I think so, and even some in betweens. It’s really a great way to learn.”

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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  • Suzie Owen

    This must not have been properly transcribed. Tom went to UNIVERSITY SCHOOL, not BHS, and his father’s name was JOHN Stempel. Just hope the on air version sounds better.

  • http://tomstempel.com Thomas Stempel

    Its odd but Thomas Stempel is my name i am a glass artist living in Seattle, I am 54 years old and just got back from a tour in Iraq as a gunner. Wag the dog was ahead of its political time by a few weeks of actual events with the Clinton Administration. Remarkable. Best of luck

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