Script to Screen Welcomes Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters, Bob Nelson and John Ridley

The Script to Screen series was granted an amazing opportunity to connect recent Oscar nominees with UCSB students, the Santa Barbara community, and Los Angeles based Academy members through a live stream.

28118Paramount Pictures graciously provided a screening of Nebraska followed by Q&A with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Bob Nelson. “The ending of this movie is really wish fulfillment on my part all these years later. My dad’s been gone a long time, but this is me getting my dad his truck and his compressor back finally.” Bob Nelson’s Q&A touched upon the very important lesson that you have to draw from personal experience when developing a script. Bruce Dern’s character was based on Nelson’s own father, and the setting and large extended family also came directly from Nelson’s personal life.

Watch Script to Screen: Nebraska with Bob Nelson

28119One week before the Oscars, Fox Searchlight sent future Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley with his film 12 Years a Slave in the hopes of helping to secure a victory in the Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay categories. While the studio’s main goal was to reach Oscar voters, Script to Screen wanted to connect our patrons with this inspirational screenwriter.

“The thing that was really powerful to me was that this person (Solomon Northup) had an education, had a life, had stature, had circumstances, and just could not see how precious they were – and could not understand how easily those things could slip away from all of us. I don’t even mean the bigger picture of our freedom and our liberty but the things that we hold really precious to us,” said John Ridley during the interview.

Ridley’s script forced people to closely examine their own lives, and it demonstrated how a writer can emotionally connect people of today with the people of history. Throughout the Q&A, questions regarding the slaves and the slave owners moved Ridley to tears.

Watch Script to Screen: 12 Years a Slave with John Ridley

Script to Screen is looking forward to our Season 4 launch in October of 2014, which will include many of the upcoming Oscar contenders for the 2015 Academy Awards.

Watch all of the Script to Screen episodes!


Contributed by Matthew Ryan, director of the Pollock Theater at the Carsey-Wolf Center and host of the Script to Screen series.


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