2011 – New Year, Same Blog.

So this is the new year.  I don’t feel any different. — “The New Year,” Death Cab for Cutie

The beginning of  a new year means time to reintroduce myself to the masses…which hopefully will lead to more life on this blog (it was really depressing how little traffic I saw here last year — I’ll do my part (i.e. actually blog), if you do yours (i.e. read and COMMENT)).  So let’s get the introductions out of the way first, then move on to other business.


My name is Shawna Benson.  You probably don’t know me.  If you do know me, save your pithy or sarcastic remarks for my Facebook page.  I’m trying to run a professional looking blog here, guys.

I have had an online/web presence since 1992.  I realize that may be before some of you were born.

I have been tilting at the Hollywood windmills for 8 years now (officially — unofficially, as in, before I moved to Los Angeles, add 2 years…I don’t because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing then).  2010 was the year I finally saw some progress.  I sold a webseries, which I am writing with my friend Bernie Su (more on this stuff over time, when I can reveal more information publicly).  Meanwhile, I’m writing my own webseries to produce this year, and I also write TV reviews and commentary for Seat42F.

I also write with my sister, Julie.  She and I have had a sci-fi drama pilot optioned in the past, and we continue to develop scripts under our “Irregardless Productions” banner.  While I’m busy trying to get a webseries launched, she’s busy being Josh Friedman’s assistant on the “Locke & Key” tv pilot he’s writing/producing for Fox.  She’s also one of the funniest writers I know.

Specs — I have a lot of them.  If you are wondering why anyone has ever bothered to come to this blog, it’s because I used to do a lot of analysis of which shows were “good to spec” — I still do this from time to time, but less as an entire post, and more as shows come up that deserve attention.  Also, at this point, you’d better be writing a spec pilot besides a show spec anyway, as it is more likely to get you read and staffed.

No, I have not been staffed on a TV show.  Yet.

I also get a lot of traffic for my Newbie’s Guide to San Diego Comic Con.

As you can probably tell, I’m on all the social networks, practically.  My moniker on Twitter is @TeelaJBrown.  There’s a story to the nickname that goes back 15 years there.  If you google “TeelaJBrown” most of the sites which appear point to me (Livejournal, Amazon Wish List, etc, etc).

I also have a secondary twitter account which will probably see more use this year — @shawnabenson.

Okay I think that’s the introductions out of the way…

Why should you visit this blog…more than once?

I don’t know that I have a good answer for that, but I’ll tell you what I use it for, and you can decide if it’s something you’d like to read from time to time.  I blog TV, what I like, what’s good, what works (or doesn’t).  I recently blogged about AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD.  I’ll link to my Seat42F articles and reviews.  I blog about writing in general, and about tv writing in specific when the mood strikes and I feel I have something to say that hasn’t already been beat to death on other screenwriting blogs (see the blogroll on the left).  I’m going to try to revive the “Movie of the Day” posts, but rather than commit to one every single day, I’ll commit to one every time I see a (new to me) film.  I wish that were every day, but I have a DVR backlogged with TV episodes of about 20 series that I currently watch and stay current on.

Sometimes I blog about events in my life, particularly if they are related to writing or my career.  I’ve also been known to relate a story or two from my past.  Your mileage for those types of posts may vary.

So that’s me.  That’s my world.  I’m a 36 year old chick living in Hollywood working to break into this messy business of show.

And now that I’ve updated the blog for 2011, I have 3 scripts to write and 3 articles to finish… see you around Solar de Cahuenga.

Posted under randomness, writing

This post was written by Shawna on January 2, 2011

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Epic FAIL on this blog

I moved over to WordPress from Blogspot over two years ago, and I JUST NOW realized that a huge number of my internal links don’t work — if you search a tag or keyword, which I have diligently added to most posts, you’ll get an old blogspot link URL – which when you click it directs you back to the homepage, since the blogspot address defaults to the domain.  So, search is pretty much useless unless you want to cut/paste/edit the URL into the address bar.

I don’t know when I’ll find the time to fix this, but I will fix it.  I actually would like people to find a few of the things I’ve written over the years.

Sigh.  I need an army of clones, preferably ones who don’t procrastinate as much as I do.

Posted under blogs

This post was written by Shawna on October 27, 2010

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The Plan for 2010

Right, so, 2010, here we are…

Time to get back to business.

A new movie (I haven’t seen before) each and every day of the year. More if I can manage. I have 402 films in my Netflix queue. I’d like to get through at least 300 of them, with the rest of the days reserved for new films being released.

A new TV show each month. This one will be tougher, but I think limiting myself to 12 shows to see in their entirety allows me the chance to actually be successful with this one.

Obviously I have to blog about each of these things, which means…

MORE BLOGGING. More writing. Every. Single. Day.

I don’t think you guys ever really took to the friendfeed thing, so I’ll also try to in my daily movie posts direct you to some of the links I’ve found that day which I think are notable. Also, the rest of you (and you know who you are) better start blogging more too, so I can link to you. Oh, and yeah, I know I need to finally finish fixing the damn blog. Time for that too.

New scripts, new stories, new stuff — and trying to document where I am with all of it.

I need you guys to keep me honest. Keep me going. Like with all resolutions, it helps to have friends around to encourage and promote your success. I will work hard, if you’ll help keep me motivated.

Other big goals for this year:

Find full time employment – yeah, I think I’m ready now.

The gym thing. Thankfully I started on this goal before January 1, so now it’s just a matter of keeping it up.

The being happy thing. 2009 was a rebuilding year, in NFL franchise parlance. Time to go out and play the friggin’ game called life.

And that’s the plan.

Film #1 by the way is AVATAR. Post coming forthwith. Today’s film will be THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS.

Welcome to the new decade, the new Shawna. BREAK!

Posted under blogs, writing

This post was written by Shawna on January 2, 2010

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Maybe I’m not talking to myself after all

A longer post about the ‘Life Options’ class I took this week will be coming, but I wanted to share an anecdote from today with you now.

I very often forget that I am in the fraction of a percentage of people in the world who is this connected online.  Because my ‘network’ has been with others who are at the same place or are even MORE interconnected, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are really smart people out there who have never heard of Twitter and think Facebook is for the kids.

I was looked at as a bit of an oddity in my class today, not because of the usual reasons (me just being strange or wanting to write for TV, which by itself is enough to make me stick out in some settings), but because I was a social media evangelist.  I knew so damn much about how to navigate the waters of the online world — certain websites to use, RSS readers, social networking, etc. that it was like I had run into the street shouting “Soylent Green is made of people!!”  Yeah, it was weird.

The irony of being on the edge of social media/online content/etc is that you tend to be surrounded by those same people, forgetting the millions of others who are still just using the internet to check their email and read Yahoo news.  A few might be really edgy and have a LinkedIn profile or read blogs, but amazingly the number of pepole doing this is pretty small, given what I perceived was the case.

So, while I might say something here on the blog that the rest of you roll your eyes and think ‘yeah, yeah, we’ve heard all this already,’ I am reminded that I’m not just talking to you.  I’m talking to the person who might stumble across my virtual space googling around for things or following a link here, who HAS NO IDEA WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

So, if I sound repetitive about some things, forgive me.  To me, Twitter is old hat.  I signed up over two years ago and used it while at Comic Con when I had about 12 followers.  Now everyone in the world ‘seems’ to be on Twitter and going to Comic Con, which, of course, isn’t true…just a lot of the people in my social network are doing that now.

Oh and don’t get me started on having to explain Comic Con to some people…

Posted under randomness

This post was written by Shawna on July 16, 2009

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Blog vacay

Jules and I will be taking the week off from the blog because honestly, what the heck?

We’ll be back on 7/10 with our plot to take over Comic Con.  Then the world.

Posted under randomness

This post was written by Shawna on July 2, 2009

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