We are excited to have restarted our monthly meetings, even while we are unable to join together in our usual location. Our meetings since April have been conducted using Zoom, an online meeting platform that allows us to come together in spite of remaining apart, were successful. To view recordings of the April, May, or June meetings, check out the Guild's Facebook page here.

Our August Program Features James Mason on Turning a Book into a Screenplay

James "Doc" Mason's first job is that of the father of three sons and a daughter. He works full-time as an advertising executive for the regular paycheck and the health insurance. His other full time job is that of a dedicated screenwriter and script doctor. His passion, however, is helping people learn to write clearly.

The nickname Doc came from his college days, where he gained a reputation for quickly rewriting his fellow student’s scripts. A script doctor of sorts. One night, at a particularly profitable game of poker, a fellow student suggested that they should call him Doc. After Doc Holiday in the movie Tombstone? That would be cool if it were true, but no. It was Nelson Algren's book "A Walk on the Wild Side" and the movie of the same name, which gave us the three rules of life: "Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own." Later, in Los Angeles, James was a PA with a couple other people who shared his first name. The AD asked if he had a nickname. And “Doc” stuck.

Doc has invested at least 10,000 hours into countless shorts and 15 feature and TV scripts. Several of the features have been optioned and made. From his vocation to his avocation, he knows the value of a well-defined, step-by-step process. He is the co-writer of the feature thriller, Caged (Dir: Aaron Fjellman, starring Edi Gathegi, Melora Hardin, Angela Sarafyan), to be released in 2020, depending on when theaters open up! Caged was one of several projects developed using the One-Line Method for feature film-making.

As a script doctor, Doc is committed to his clientele 's ultimate privacy. Publicly, Doc runs a screenwriting group in Santa Monica dedicated to losing its members to the professional ranks. Through this group he has mentored and supported dozens of members who can now be found writing for the MCU, indie features, and TV shows. If that weren’t enough, he has also been an administrator of the Loglines Facebook group for several years, offering members free individual training and feedback. 

Join us Monday, August 24, for Doc Mason's presentation on turning a novel into a screenplay.

The invitation with the Zoom address will be sent to all members the week before the meeting. Guests who wish to attend should send a message to webmaster@sdwritersguild.org by Friday, August 21, to request an invitation.

Both the Marketing Support Group meeting and the regular meeting will be livestreamed to Facebook for another viewing option. The sessions will be available to view later on Facebook with the most recently regular meeting also being posted on this page.

Visit this page in the future to see what's planned for 2020. If you have suggestions for topics or presenters you would like to see at one of our meetings, contact any of the members of the Board of Directors to let them know.

  • September 28, 2020 - Antoinette Kuritz
  • October 26, 2020 - Richard Lederer
  • November 16, 2020 - Anthology Launch
  • December 14, 2020 - Holiday Party

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