Events / Screenwriters Salon


The Screenwriters Salon is a public forum on the craft of screenwriting, featuring panel discussions, staged script readings and other events where participants and attendees are encouraged to interact and discuss all manner of screenwriting and film topics. The program is designed to foster dialogue between screenwriters, filmmakers, scholars, critics and film enthusiasts.

Past participants have included Sherman Alexie (Smoke Signals), Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry), Stewart Stern (Rebel Without a Cause) and Jim Taylor (Sideways).

Events are at the Screening Room at 911 Media Arts Center, 402 9th Ave N, South Lake Union in Seattle. Admission is FREE for SIFF Group members; $2 for NW Screenwriters Guild members, 911 Media Arts Center members, students and seniors; $5 for general public. Events start at 7:30pm. Tickets available at the door at 6:30pm on the day of the event. No late seating. Contact the Salon for more information.

Upcoming Screenwriters Salons

- Wednesday, April 11th

Writing the Video Game

From Super Mario Bros. to Resident Evil to the upcoming Halo, videogames have become an inspiration for feature films. On the flipside, as part of their advertising budget and to support the brand name, blockbusters now commonly spawn their own videogames. Just how different are the "storytelling" aspects of these two forms? And with Nintendo based in nearby Redmond and Xbox right around the corner at Microsoft, what are the opportunities for screenwriters in the field of videogames? This month we get our game on as we debate videogames versus film.

Mark Terrano, Founder and Design Director - Hidden Path Entertainment

Mark was a lead designer, designer, and programmer on titles in the Age of Empires franchise and held the lead designer position on the best-selling strategy game of all-time: Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings. The titles Mark contributed to have sold over 17 million copies worldwide. Mark has lent his expertise towards aiding other game developers working on Xbox through his role as a Technical Game Manager for the Xbox organization and supporting game developers around the world.

Mark has written papers on multiplayer networking, game design, usability, and has given dozens of insightful and critically acclaimed presentations at universities, conferences and events on five continents (he says he is just waiting for South America and Antarctica to call). Mark has been a panel leader for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Academy Awards Nomination group, has served on the Austin Games Conference advisory board, and worked with International Game Developer Association special interest groups.

Before his career as a game designer, Mark has been associated with large and small companies – having started and sold five profitable entrepreneurial companies and worked as a programmer/analyst on some of the largest critical transactions systems in the world for Mobil Oil Pipeline, The Toronto Stock Exchange, A.G. Edwards, GTE, andothers.

Matthew Obst, Writer / Game Designer

Having written five feature length screenplays, winning three competitions but lacking a sale, Matthew forayed into game-writing in 2004 when accepting his first paid writing gig on Microsoft’s CRACKDOWN. Developed by Real Time Worlds in Scotland, Crackdown released in February as a top selling X-box 360 title in both Japan and North America. Matthew also wrote the entire story and worked on missions design at Airtight Games Inc (the core team who brought Crimson Skies to the X-box.) His latest game development position was working as Lead Fiction Designer at Surreal Software / Midway Games Inc where he wrote the story and worked on mission design on the scenario team all while managing a team of writers to create hundreds of lines of in-game simulation voice over for a currently “unannounced” AAA next-gen game title. Matthew has also taught several successful screenwriting courses at the Northwest Film Forum and Bellevue Community College.

- Wednesday, July 11th

- Wednesday, August 15th

- Wednesday, September 12th

- Wednesday, October 17th

- Wednesday, November 14th

- Wednesday, December 12th


The Screenwriters Salon is presented with the generous support of 4Culture, the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and Write Brothers.

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