Changing the Channels

Scott Teems was just another aspiring writer struggling to survive in New York City when a screenwriting course called “Act One: Writing for Hollywood” changed his life. He was young, newly married, and stuck selling shoes in Queens for $10 an hour when he was accepted to the program.

Teems recalls he was “dead broke,” but thanks to Terence Berry, a student in Act One’s executive training program who footed the bill for him, he embarked on a series of creative adventures that has now enabled him to write and direct the upcoming film I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, with a cast headed by the Oscar-nominated veteran actor Hal Holbrook. In fact, Berry and Teems partnered on the project to bring it to life, using the knowledge Teems learned in the writing program and Berry acquired on the executive side to guide them through the treacherous process of making a first film.

While friends helping each other is not new to Hollywood, the fact that Christian brotherhood formed the root of their partnership is a fairly unique development. But as Act One opens its 10th year of Hollywood outreach—teaching a new generation of TV and film writers and their attendant studio executives a mix of excellence, artistry, and personal holiness—its imprint on the entertainment industry, and by extension the world culture, is growing ever stronger.

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Sojourners Magazine March 2009
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