Campus: San Francisco State University -- March 07, 2003
SFSU Student Wins National Script-Writing Contest
Budding TV writer to be recognized at April broadcasting conference
San Francisco State University senior Mary Sue Woodbury wants to write
for national television. Thanks to a recent contest, she may be closer
to realizing her goal. The broadcast and electronic communication arts
(BECA) major recently won first place in a student competition for her
full-length script for a hypothetical episode of the sitcom “Frasier.”
Woodbury’s script, titled “The Manliest Man,” sends
two characters, Frasier and his brother Niles, to a logging convention
in order to prove their manhood. The story draws on Woodbury’s
experiences growing up in Acme, Wash., a small logging town.
The contest was sponsored by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA),
a leading professional national association for teachers, students and
researchers of electronic media.
Woodbury’s entry was selected as the best television series in
the scriptwriting category. She will be recognized in an awards ceremony
at the BEA’s annual conference on April 5 in Las Vegas.
“The script-writing award is very prestigious,” says Phil
Kipper, chair of the BECA department at SFSU and Woodbury’s faculty
adviser. He says the judges include not only professors from top universities,
but also industry professionals and Hollywood insiders.
A senior with an emphasis in television writing, Woodbury says being
chosen for a “Frasier” script carries special weight among
writers because the show, known for its witty and intelligent writing,
is “considered the opera of TV sitcoms.”
Peter Casey, executive producer and co-creator of “Frasier,”
graduated from the BECA Department and was the 2002 SFSU Alumnus of
the Year. Several BECA students have won prizes in previous BEA script-writing
Woodbury’s winning script began as an assignment for a sitcom
writing class she took last fall. Although she would be thrilled to
see her script get used, Woodbury says there is little chance the episode
will actually be produced. Typically, she says, television writers are
evaluated on their outside projects before they are asked to write a
sample script for a show. Whether or not the episode airs, Kipper is
upbeat about Woodbury’s prospects.
“I think she’s going to go far in this industry. She has
a great personality and a great zany outlook on life,” he says.
“I think she will succeed as a professional writer.”
Woodbury, who lives in Daly City, chose SFSU because of its reputable
broadcast media department. After she graduates in December, she hopes
to land a job writing and producing sitcoms.
She plans to apply for a television internship this summer. “Inevitably
I’ll move to LA,” she says, but for the moment, “it’s
pretty open-ended once December hits.”
The Broadcast Education Association’s membership includes about
250 colleges and universities and more than 1,300 individual practitioners.
BEA judges student work in six categories: audio, video, interactive
multimedia, news, script-writing and small or two-year college work.
One of the largest campuses in the California State University system,
SFSU was founded in 1899 and today is a highly diverse, comprehensive,
public and urban university.
Contact: Matt Itelson (415) 338-1743; (415) 338-1665; firstname.lastname@example.org