Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The air up there

Last week, I had a breath of fresh air.

And because I live in L.A., I had to travel two hours to get it.

Idyllwild is a small town nestled in the San Bernadino Forest and is located within a two hour drive southeast from Los Angeles. I made the trip because I was attending a screenwriting camp organized by Cinestory. For four days, I was going to be put through an intensive mentoring and screenwriting program.

In the summer, most people go to Idyllwild for hiking and relaxing but there is a very active summer arts program of which the screenwriting program is a part.

I stayed at the Bluebird cottages which were certainly adequate for the time that I was going to spend in my room. Each room was named after a bird and I stayed in the SWALLOW, which made me giggle when I first saw it.

By the next day, it just didn't seem as funny anymore.

The screenwriting program was a great success. There were only eight people attending and the group was further broken down each morning into two groups of four to discuss each student's screenplay with a mentor.

In the afternoon, we either met with our mentor for a little "personal time" or we did homework which had to be turned in by 8 o'clock that night.

It's always hard to hear that your screenplay isn't as good as it should be but the criticism was very constructive and I learnt as much from other people's work as I did my own.

Was it worth a $800 tuition?

Hmmm, ask me again in a year and I'll let you know then.

During some down time, I had a chance to do a little bit of hiking. I had to clear my brain. Get some inspiration.

And of course, I took my camera along for the ride.

In the evenings, the best place to be was the Cafe Aroma, where the people were very friendly and the meals were delicious. On Monday night, it was even 1/2 price wine. They had a small band playing Joni Mitchell songs one night and a couple of nights later, they had belly dancing.

I strongly recommend this place, but if you end up in Idyllwild it's inevitable that you'll end up here because it seems to be the only place with people in it after 8.

On Thursday, I hated to leave. Most of the other students were staying for the second part of the course but I had to go back to work.

Yep, that sucked.

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