talk20 Recap – A Few of My Favorites

I don’t know about you all, but I’m still thinking about some of the talk20 presentations from early November.  Especially as Thanksgiving draws near (tomorrow!), I’ve come to appreciate more of the interesting and unique voices that Spartanburg has to offer.  talk20 was an event that opened up my eyes and ears to different voices of the community that I don’t think I would have otherwise known, and I’m thankful for that.

As a student at Wofford, I was especially impressed with Chuck Smith’s presentation about the 21st century serpent.  I’m not a biology major, and usually I tend to shy away from all things science (give me fiction, and I’m good!), but his presentation was fascinating to me.  I was so interested in the discoveries about these snakes, that I almost forgot that I’m prone to tuning out anything about reptiles.  The beauty of talk20 is that it gives listeners new insights to different worlds of information, information you might have otherwise looked past.

Chuck Smith’s presentation about the 21st century serpent

Another presentation that I absolutely loved was new-to-Spartanburg Jack Fisher’s talk about Rockin’ on Radio in the 60s.  The audience soon learned during the short presentation that Fisher had actually met The Beatles – he had even introduced them for their first concert in the United States!  The audience was in awe and Beatlemania was palpable.  My favorite part of his story was when he recounted a statement made by none other than John Lennon; as the Beatles were sitting backstage, Fisher overheard Lennon say something along the lines of, “Yeah we’re hoping to at least get two years out of this.”  And then history followed.  Fisher’s story was unexpected but a treat.  There was that feeling of connection to something bigger, something legendary.  The Beatles.  And here was the man who met them at their first concert in the U.S.!  His personal anecdotes made his presentation one of the most memorable for me.

Jack Fisher tells us about the Beatles

I loved all of the presentations though; from being inspired by Leah’s talk about the community to learning about going green from Anne Anderson – I went away from the evening with an enhanced knowledge of my community, its members, and about things I probably wouldn’t have learned about otherwise.  talk20 was a great success in my eyes; I’m already looking forward to next year’s.


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A Word to the Novel-Adapting Movie Maker

By: F.B. Wood
Part of the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival

F.B.’s Twitter.

F.B. is currently a student at USC Upstate and a prolific writer. To quote his Twitter page, F.B. uses the written word to “smith together sentences for both fiction and ad-copy while simultaneously tending to the needs of my 3 year old daughter.”

I have seen many movies that were based on or adapted from a novel or short story–A Clockwork Orange, Watchmen, and Children of the Corn. In each and every case I understand that there is a new creative director at the helm of the project. They want their ideas to be expressed alongside the ideas already presented in the story or novel. In some cases there is no choice but for this to happen as sometimes the author has passed on and in other cases the author is too busy. This passing of the “wand” is something that should happen as fresh eyes always help bring to light new perspectives. With that being said, I wanted to share a few guidelines that I, as an avid book reader and movie viewer, would like to share about adapting the novel for the silver screen.

    1. Maintain the original plot.

This is the base for both the novel and the inspiration that drove you to want to make the movie. In the movie making process, there are a lot of decisions to be made in regards to the final product. Many parts of the novel have to be removed. But don’t let someone talk you out of the original plot. In some cases, the backdrop of a story is the inspiration of the film and a new plot is generated; such was the case with Children of the Corn. If this does indeed happen, avoid future condemning from book enthusiasts and just pick a new title for the movie.

    1. Do not introduce new main characters.

Many times you want to help explain a protagonist’s choice in certain circumstances. So, instead of embracing the inner monologue that prose gets to many directors choice to add in a scene of dialogue to help explain. This in turn generates a new character in order for the protagonist to bounce ideas off of. It’s fine if you create a gas station attend that hears the protagonist mumble and then questions him, but please do not add a whole new sidekick like in Children of the Corn thus completely changing the dynamic of the main character and his decision making process.

    1. Have characters make new decisions based on their old personalities.

If you do decide to take the plot in a new direction, but find the characters to irresistible to let go make sure and keep them true to who they were originally written as. If the character is faced with a new choice to make research how they might act on this to help better decide which way they would go. Alex in A Clockwork Orange breaks into the Home residence by himself in Kubrick’s movie, but does it with his droogs in the novel. This launches the protagonist into a new height of absurdity in the movie.

    1. Change the ending as little as possible.

This is a problem that runs rampant through quite a few movies. Directors feel that because they add so much to a story that they are then free to create how they choose. This is fine as long as you change the title of your movie. The reason you’re turning the book into a movie is because so many people were moved by the novel as a whole. Try to keep that in mind when presenting it for the silver screen. Many times characters’ personalities are destroyed by a new ending; take Watchmen, for example.

    1. Keep as much of the original dialogue as possible.

If the character was written with a Scottish accent then he should maintain the same speech patterns in the movie that he was given in the book. He should use the same slang in the same manner. When you take creative liberties with something like this, it radically changes how the character is perceived by the audience.

If you are only using a portion of the story, like just its characters or setting, make sure to stay as faithful to that character or setting as you can. The changes you make beyond that are yours. My biggest piece of advice would be to change the title and say it was inspired by this novel. However, if you are trying to stay faithful to the novel in its truest form, make sure to keep these guidelines in mind.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Spartanburg, you should know that it’s quite epic.

Yes, 2011-12 HUB-BUB Artist-in-Residence Steve Snell created the adventure art project THE EPIC SPARTANBURG at the beginning of the year. Steve invited the Spartanburg community to tell him about adventures they’d like to have–adventures that he could capture on film and turn into videos that truly made them look epic.

I (Kari) went out into the woods south of Spartanburg with the mission to build my own shelter for the night. I had never been camping before, so a large part of the challenge for me was the idea of sleeping exposed outside. I was afraid of snakes, of bears, of rain. I won’t tell you what happened, but I will say that it was instantly epic for me, an experience that I will always remember as something that changed me.

Thus was my adventure, and you’re going to have to come to The Showroom on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7pm to see how epic I and my fellow Spartanburgers became.

So, watch this video and get excited. (And ignore the call for adventures.)

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Expecting Goodness: LAUNCHED

One week ago we invited all of the 2013 filmmakers and writers to The Showroom to meet each other and the public. It was our official launch of the four-month project that is the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival. As of now, the project is ON, the stories are transitioning into films, the filmmakers are building their cast and crew. And we’re super excited.


Filmmakers meet the public at Launch Night.

Chris and Emily

Chris White and Emily Reach White talk with Josh Foster about their experience in the 2012 Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival.


Filmmakers Drew Baron and Jeff Driggers talk alongside writer Deno Trakas, whose story “Pretty Pitiful God” they will use as inspiration for a short film.

Didn’t make it to Launch Night but still want to get involved? SIGN UP HERE.

We have our first four project events within the span of a week, the first happening (right now, actually) is the Screenwriting Workshop with Chris White and Emily Reach White (thanks to Paris MTN Scout for donating their time and expertise!).


Emily and Chris lead the screenwriting workshop in The Showroom.

Tonight, we welcome the hilarious and poignant Susan Isaacs to The Showroom for hersolo show Angry Conversations with God. Wednesday is our first in the Story to Screen series, where we invite you to read the story “Brokeback Mountain” and then watch the movie with us at the Spartanburg Library Headquarters, followed by a discussion. And, our final 2012 project event before it really kicks off in January is The Epic Spartanburg premiere with Steve Snell (which, we promise, truly will be EPIC) on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7pm in The Showroom.

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talk20 Spartanburg: A Speaker’s Insight


Have you heard of talk20 Spartanburg?  

“What is talk20? A night when you can talk about anything you want. A night where you may learn about anything and everything. We’ve had everything from the 10 year renovation of someone’s house told through the eyes of their dog, to how to build an experimental airplane, to the 20 works of art that changed someone’s life, to the story of someone’s life through their fave articles of clothing, to the history of punk rock, and on and on. It is not a lecture but a gathering, an informal exchange of ideas with in and without our community. Here’s the catch: you get to show 20 slides with images only, and speak for only 20 seconds per slide (a total of a little over 6 minutes). The slides are on a timer, so the format is quite rigorous.”

Leah Lomotey-Nakon took the time to write a wonderful bit about her view of talk20 and why she’s participating.  You can read below about her topic and her insights in order to have a better grasp of what to expect before you go.

“Talk20 Spartanburg is here! When the opportunity to participate in Spartanburg’s version of the event I knew it was my chance to share my insights about Spartanburg – the area I love unconditionally and coincidentally my hometown.
I just returned to Spartanburg from a six year exploration of Atlanta which, along with many other cities, hosts a similar event to Talk20 called Pecha Kucha pronounced “pa-chok-cha”. The event style – started by designers in Tokyo – allots each presenter 6 minutes 40 seconds to share 20 slides each on screen for 20 seconds and advancing automatically. It is one of my favorite presentation styles, because it makes distill what might be a 20 page paper into the heart of the matter.

The work I will be presenting on Friday evening, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” pivots off of the idea that in a healthy neighborhood, each person and organization has a role and their contribution is asset-based, like transformers that are able to reform into the vehicle of their choice when necessary and several robots fuse as one when combating a tough enemy.

Although I am thrilled to share this idea, I am equally enthusiastic to encounter the work of my co-presenters, including: Lindsay Champion, Sterling Anderson, Anne Anderson, Jack Fisher, Abe Dunas, Lara Harrill, Chuck Smith, and the fabulous organizer of Talk20, Cate Ryba!

This is my first Talk20; I look forward to meeting the visionaries, thought-leaders and passionate folks like you who show up to events like this.

See you all there!”

Thanks so much, Leah, and to all of the participants and supporters of talk20 Spartanburg! 

The event takes place Friday, November 9th at 7:30 pm in The Showroom.

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Expecting Goodness: How it’s done

We’re a nonprofit, as you know, which means we often have (and get) to be creative. Well, we did just that Monday night when we held our first-ever livestreamed event to select the filmmakers and stories/writers that would be a part of the 2013 project.


Stephen tests the lighting and the sound in our makeshift set in our Hub City Writers Project office as we get ready to go live.


Lighting is very important when you’re deciding important things.


It’s decided!

Only the registered filmmakers and writers could watch Stephen, Alf, and I as we drew names to determine the 7 emerging and 7 experienced filmmakers and their selected stories that would make up our project (MEET THEM HERE). We can also now reveal that our surprise 15th filmmaker is Abe Duenas, whom we have invited back as our 2012 Best Film winner for The Widower’s Pearls. (And whoever wins 2013 Best Film will be invited back in 2014.)

We’re thrilled to introduce the 15 filmmakers and 15 writers to you at Launch Night on Saturday, when you can meet them and sign up to help on the films. In the meantime, here’s a look at them by the numbers:

  • 6 of the 15 stories are South Carolina Fiction Project winners
  • 11 women are in as writers or filmmakers
  • 8 of the 30 participants are from Spartanburg

Let’s look at it in map-form, shall we? I think we can safely say 2013 is a statewide film festival. So exciting!

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Zombie Crawl this Halloween!


Last year around this time, zombies crawled along the streets of Spartanburg, celebrating Halloween in spooky style.  This Halloween, HUB-BUB is hosting another Zombie Crawl and we’d like you to join us!  Meet us at the Little River Coffee Bar downtown on October 31st at 8 pm to start the festivities.  We’d like you to arrive already dressed up for some ghoulish fun, so start practicing your zombie crawl to get ready.  No need to look alive at this event!  Shortly after 8, we’ll start the walk down Main Street in our best zombie attire and then make our way back to the coffee shop (see map below). Everyone can crawl at his or her own zombie pace, but it’s necessary to stay in character!  We hope to see you there!


Here are a few photos from last year’s crawl to serve as a guide and inspiration:


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