Hollywood screenwriter teaches at U of C

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Hollywood writer Pen Densham will be at the University of Calgary teaching a screenwriting course for aspiring writers Dec. 4. If you dream of writing motion picture masterpieces, the U of C, along with Voice Pictures, will be sponsoring the course for students and the general public.

Voice Pictures president Wendy Hill-Tout said, not only will the course be a wonderful learning experience, but also an opportunity to meet a community of like-minded people and find out about events in the industry. Hill-Tout noted there are a lot of playwright courses at the U of C, but none in screenwriting. She hopes that this will change.

"Traditionally, Calgary hasn't had a lot of screenwriting programs," said Hill-Tout. "We want to start a three- or four-year screenwriting program and bringing Pen in is a step forward."

Densham, whose name will be familiar to movie buffs, has produced over 30 films including Carrie, My Brother's Keeper and The Twilight Zone. Most of his writing was for The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone and Space Rangers.

Hill-Tout said that anyone who attends this Saturday will have the opportunity to meet Densham, who is also a film professor at the University of Southern California.

"This is an opportunity to bring in a very special person," she said. "He is very knowledgeable and has been through it all. His experiences are inspiring."

U of C drama department head Clem Martini said providing students with opportunities in screenwriting, such as the one this weekend, is quintessential to uphold a strong interest for a screenwriting program in the future like the one Hill-Tout suggests.

"I think there are not a lot of opportunities for upcoming writers in Calgary because it's not known for its art scene," said fourth-year business student Caitlin Matchett. "Or at least what is available is not readily accessible to the general public. I think a lot of people would be interested in screenwriting if it were."

The course runs 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 4 at the university's Boris Roubakine Theatre followed by a reception for attendees to meet and greet with other local directors and screenwriters. Tickets are $90 for students.