Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Green Chair Reader launches!

It's been a dream of mine to publish a journal devoted to the art of the short screenplay since I first saw my short script PLAYING HOUSE in print in the Goddard College Pitkin Review. 

And now it's here!

The Header for "Green Chair Reader," designed by Adam Karolian.

Thanks to my Managing Editor Patrick Witherell for kicking this project into gear.

And to our published screenwriters: Duncan Putney, Paul Rogalus, Kevin O'Malley, Gwen Wilson & Codie Harrision.

Also to our gifted artist Adam Karolian for designing the header and for contributing three of his pieces to serve as artwork for the scripts.

Hope you enjoy the issue!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Who will you spend the holidays with?

I've been sick lately. So sick the doctor's aren't yet sure what it is. (I have a CAT Scan this week and an internal scope to look forward to early in the New see if we can find out what's been going on.)

I'm not looking for sympathy, though.

What I am looking for is what's most important to me right now. And the answer, naturally, is: Friends & Family.

So for Christmas this year, I asked my husband for two things:

1) To fly me mumsy out from California to be with us for the holidays. (She arrives tomorrow!)

2) To rent an off-season ocean-front house on an island in Maine for New Year's Weekend. (We found one and we've already signed the lease!)

I don't want *stuff*...I can't take *stuff* with me whenever it is that I check out from this game called life. It's taken me many years to realize this (what a shame).

But I'm also not looking for your judgement.

What I am looking for from you is:

WHO are you looking forward to seeing this holiday season or in the New Year? And, yes, if you'd like to share, please feel free also to share who you will miss this holiday season. I'll go first.

I'm looking forward to spending the holidays with my husband, a man I've been married to for nearly a quarter of a century (next year!). A man I almost left earlier this year. Oh, how clumsy relationships--especially the long-term ones--can be.

And to being with my daughter and my son. And their boyfriend and girlfriend, respectively.

My mom. But you already knew that. She had her own surgery just a week ago today. And an MRI last Friday. Lots of stuff going on for her, but you don't see her whining in some blog post about it. :)

And my husband's family. Christmas Eve is my favorite holiday celebration of all. I've been honored to join my husband's family for these past 24 years. (I actually told my husband that if we did split up, he could expect to see me at Christmas Eve, cuz there is no way I would ever give THAT up!)

And my friends. Those who can make the NH Film & Television Holiday Gathering. Those who will be joining me on the island. And the few in between who I'm not too tired to visit with on weekends.

And I'll miss: my father. Who died ten years ago, the weekend of the September eleventh catastrophe. His death was unrelated to that event, but it did cause significant hardship in getting the family together to be by his bedside.

And my friend Kathy. Who today I realized left us about eight years ago. I mark her anniversary with my friends' wedding anniversary. Not because I'm morbid, but because her burial service was the reason I couldn't join my friends for their big day.

We all have sadness in our lives, eh? Guess that's what makes the gifts all the greater. It's never easy, though. This thing we call life. Together though, I'm fairly certain we can make it all worthwhile.

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

“To the Power of YOU!” wins its category at New Media Film Festival in San Francisco

“To the Power of YOU!” – the public service announcement (PSA) created for Big Sisters of Rhode Island in the inaugural 7DayPSA Competition hosted by FLICKERS – took top honors in the category Trailers (which also included other shorts) at the New Media Film Festival’s San Francisco screening on November 5, 2011.

The PSA, which has aired in the Rhode Island market since winning first place in last year’s inaugural 7DayPSA Competition and which was Emmy-nominated earlier this year, screened before a receptive crowd at the city’s historic Landmark Lumiere Theatre.

“It’s been the ‘little engine that could’ for us,” said Dana Biscotti Myskowski, producer and creative director of Green Chair Pictures, who entered the New Hampshire-based team Smoky Quartz Productions in the inaugural competition in January 2010.

“It was fun to hear the audience ohh and ahh when ‘Purple Girl’ appeared on the screen,” Biscotti Myskowski said, describing the moment when one of the youngest of the 40 actors dressed in a plush purple warm-up suit appears in a close-up shot about half way through the minute-long piece.

It took Biscotti Myskowski several seconds to process that her team’s PSA had been announced during the awards ceremony presided over by New Media Film Festival Founder and Director Susan Johnston. “I wasn’t surprised that our piece resonated with the judges, but I didn’t realize it was in juried competition,” Biscotti Myskowski said.

The PSA was conceptualized, written, produced, and edited in seven days, in the competition that pairs filmmakers with charitable organizations in regional and state contests. The National 7DayPSA Competition, conceived of by Rhode Island actor and Emmy-winning writer Duncan Putney, has been expanding each year to include more areas of the country.

In addition to its overall awards for best piece, the PSA has also been awarded three individual prizes, presented to some of the creative minds behind the short: Adam Jones was recognized as Best Director at the inaugural competition; Gary Anderson received the Best Cinematographer award; and Best Editor went to Marc Dole.

To find more information on this and additional projects, please visit the Green Chair Pictures website. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Plowing Up A Snake...

What would YOU do if your husband was 
brutally murdered in a small town 
where everyone knew who did it 
but no one brought them to justice?

Stay tuned for more information on this feature film production.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jumping off!

Been busy at work pulling together a budget and business plan as I prepare to jump into feature film producing. More information posted at my Green Chair Pictures website soon!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

(Oops...should be
the 32nd Annual logo....)

"Matt's Story" wins two Telly Awards 

In a field of more than 11,000, the team that volunteered to produce the seven-minute video for the Concord Boys and Girls Club wins both First and Second Highest Honors in this year's Telly Awards.

The New Hampshire production team that originally met in the Concord Boys and Girls Club to produce the Emmy-nominated Public Service Announcement for Rhode Island Big Sisters, has landed the top honor—a  Silver Telly Award (Cinematography)—and the second-highest honor—a Bronze Telly Award (Fundraising Video)—for “Matt’s Story,” produced for the Concord Boys and Girls Club’s Breakfast of Champions fundraising event. 

Since 1978 Telly Awards have been honoring the work of creative video artists from the 50 states and around the globe. Annually, more than 11,000 entries are judged by over 500 professionals and prior award winners, and rated on a scale of one to ten.

Those projects that earn a nine or ten are awarded the highest honor: the Silver Telly Award; only seven to ten percent of all entries earn this highest honor. The Silver Telly in Cinematography for “Matt’s Story” is awarded to Kent Rich of Granite River Studios.

Bronze Telly Awards are given to the projects that earn a 7.0 to 8.9 score. Roughly 18 to 25 percent of all submissions receive this Finalist Prize. The Bronze Telly in Fundraising Video for “Matt’s Story” is awarded to the entire production team.

The Silver rather than the Gold is the highest award possible in the annual Telly Awards, as originally directed by the award’s founder. The Gold Telly Award is reserved for Classic Telly Award Winners, an honor that, according to the company, is presented approximately every five years.

Last year's crew answered a call by the Concord Boys and Girls Club to produce the seven-minute video for the Club's first annual fundraising breakfast. The video featured Matt Anderson, a young man who grew up in the Club, and one of his counselors, Tom Parizo, plus interviews with Mr. and Mrs. Anderson about their son.

Many of the crew were pulled from the original Smoky Quartz Productions team, which earlier in the year produced the Emmy-nominated Public Service Announcement, "To the Power of You." That project won Best Public Service Announcement in the inaugural 7DayPSA Competition sponsored by FLICKERS in Rhode Island.

Joining us on the "Matt's Story" project were:

Executive Producer - Carol Morse
Director - Adam Jones
Director of Photography - Kent Rich
Editor - David Bradley
Art Director - Mary-Catherine Jones
Set Decorator - Susan Tinkham
Hair & Make-Up - Annette Sousa
Lighting Assistant - Tom Dooley
Production Assistants - Leo & Abby Myskowski

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Classy Send-Off

Thanks to my Awesome Screenwriting Students who surprised me today with a cake and a card and lots of other goodies! Not sure if Amy captured a photo of the cake before it was cut into, so I thought I'd grab a quick pic before we sliced in for seconds here at home.

Thanks, Guys & Gals! See many of you next week at graduation! 

Monday, April 04, 2011

Congratulations to Connie Rosemont,
Executive Director of
Red River Theatres,
one of two recipients of
the 2011 Governors Arts Awards
in the Category of
Distinguished Arts Leadership! 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Bragging Writes...

She's done it! Abby was just accepted to SNHU. And received an academic scholarship that brings the total cost nearly level with the cost of in-state tuition at UNH. So proud of her!

She'll start as a business major this fall, transferring the credits from her Associate's Degree that she'll earn this spring. To top it all off: she'll be graduating from community college at the time when most of her classmates will be accepting their high school diplomas.

A mom can brag, no? Especially as the author of my own blog.... :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fascinating Tales 
Behind the scenes & on location at the Concord Boys & Girls Club's Suncook facility where we captured a compelling story told to us by a boy who is growing up in this remarkable organization. Today we sat with an alumna of the club, a "lifer" as she dubbed herself and her friends, who shared another intriguing tale of growing up with--and largely thanks to--the Boys & Girls Club.
(From Left: Kent Rich, videographer; John Albert, production intern; Kevin Mason, production assistant; Dana Biscotti Myskowski, producer/director. Photo by Susan Tinkham, set decorator & stills photographer.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Big stories in small packages

Study of a birdhouse; charcoal by Leo.
Next week I'm pulling some of the Smoky Quartz Productions crew* together to shoot the June 2011 Concord Boys & Girls Club video.

This year we're interviewing four club members from three locations: Suncook, Concord, and Hopkinton. Each of the kids and the one young adult who grew up in the club has a remarkable story to tell, though I'm not sure what those stories are yet as I prep my list of questions for them.

Thanks to all who are helping out on this project; look forward to working with you again!


* 2011 Crew:
Carol Morse, Executive Producer
Kent Rich, DP, Audio, and Editor
Susan Tinkham, Set Decorator/Art Designer
Kevin Mason & Patrick Witherell, Production Assistants
John Albert & Leo Myskowski, Production Interns
Dana Biscotti Myskowski, Producer/Director

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Great Idea - Three Word Wednesday!
Thanks to the Author of Three Word Wednesday for posting this writing prompt. This week's words are occasion, kind, and blink. The challenge is to use them in your writing. I chose to pen a bit of Twitter Fiction:

On this occasion he was actually kind to the guards. But in a blink he was gone; the last death penalty case of his state.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Twitter as a Teaching Tool

I've been Tweeting for about a year, and I've found it to be an incredibly effective way to deliver a message quickly. Of course it can also add to the chaos and noise of Way Too Much Information, but when used as a tool to help spread the word about something--a beloved state film office on the chopping block, for example--Twitter can reach hundreds quickly.

I now depend on the NH Department of Transportation tweets to let me know of possible accidents on the interstates that I and my loved ones travel for school and work. And I enjoy reading daily Twitter Fiction at sites such as One Forty Fiction.

And when it's used during times of political unrest, as it is currently being utilized in Egypt, Twitter is a force of power for even the smallest voice.  You can follow the Egypt Twitter news in realtime from many sites, including here where you can read The Latest Updates on Day 14 of the Egypt Protests by Robert Mackey of the New York Times.

Do you utilize Twitter? If so, is it for business? Hobby? Pleasure? Personal? Or a combination thereof? Please let me and my class know what you think of Twitter.  Feel free to post your @ address so we can all follow your Tweets!


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Meet Sherman...
Our newest addition to the Myskowski menagerie. He loves snowshoeing. And eating. He'll fit right in.
Thanks to Sherman's family for sharing him with us. Allergies forced them to find a new home for their three-and-a-half-year-old Border Collie mixbreed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Inuksuk designed by Dana, built by Jan. Cliff Island, Maine.
It's the first day of Media Writing. And we're at the blogger again. Twenty students. Twenty new stories. Join us on a semester odyssey.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let it snow, let it blow, let it flow....
Our Christmas Tree, now retired to the backyard
where it provides shelter for the birds...when
they're not hiding from the blizzard.

Was trying to capture the image of the nearly
two-story snow pile for my California
family. You'll just have to trust me
that it's piled high and deep....

Snow can be a such a pain sometimes....

Yeah, that's a great deal of snow. We received
18 inches. How much did you get?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

 Thursday, March 3, 2011
 Copperfield's in Boston
 Show Begins at 7 p.m.
 Tickets @ Door: $20 per person -- Cash bar
**Proceeds to benefit The Jimmy Fund & Special Olympics**

Cally Nye -- Boston's new and exciting comic
Andrea Henry -- from Last Comic Standing
Wayne Soares '89 -- Gotham in NYC, Dangerfield's, The Comedy Club in LA, Currently entertaining troops at military bases around the country, & Featured on Armed Forces Radio & TV

**Special Appearance by Legendary NASC English Teacher and Beta Advisor**

R.S.V.P. Requested
Please Comment Here if You Plan to Attend (& number in your party)
Or e-mail
By Sunday, Feb. 27 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Missing my Italian Grandmother...
...and realizing I took her work for granted.

I just made 116 cheese ravioli. Like Grandma used to make...except nothing like hers at all. Mine are full of imperfections, which took me hours to complete. I had no idea the talent and work that went into her daily routine.

Grandma & Grandpa's house was a favorite place to visit. Just off their kitchen, in the basement that connected their home to my Uncle's, were a couple extra freezers, a back-up refrigerator, a third kitchen table, the washer and dryer, and a few other flat surfaces. I hardly recall ever seeing them bare. As we kids would cut through to our Uncle's game room to play ping pong, shuffle board, or pool, we'd race by these horizontal surfaces covered in towels and pasta. And loaves and loaves of bread.

It always smelled delicious at Grandma & Grandpa's. Every once in a great while, like maybe three days in all 23 years of my marriage, I've stumbled on just the right orchestration of spices that instantly take me back to my Grandmother's kitchen, where on two stoves she kept many kettles of sauce simmering.

She taught me and my brothers and my cousins to make homemade pasta just like her. One Christmas when we wouldn't be traveling to Cleveland to see her, my younger brother and I decided to make the pasta like Grandma taught us. We built a bowl out of several cups of flour on the dining room table and added the half dozen eggs to the center. As we gently massaged the flour into the eggs, we sprouted one, then two, then three holes, which led to complete collapse...and eggs and flour all over the dining room floor.

Our parents and our other brother returned home at exactly that moment. We begged them to leave again so we could have time to clean it up and to try again. This time we used a bowl. And though I hardly recall exactly how we managed to clean up our mess, I do remember that we were much more successful as we cheated with the bowl. Later, as we confessed our cheat to our grandmother, she congratulated us on our success, and told us she would have recommended we use a bowl the first time anyway.

When each of my brothers and my cousins and I were married, our grandmother gave each of us our own Atlas hand-crank pasta machine. And most Christmases my machine actually gets used. This year it seemed so "easy" making our pasta that I brought it out again on New Year's Eve and taught the Italian tradition to our friends. And today, overconfident in my abilities, I pulled it out once again and cranked out huge, flat sheets of pasta. I'd thawed extra pirogi cheese I'd made before the holidays, and figuring I'd be done with my task during a long lunch, I dove in.

The other piece of my low tech, but functional and reliable equipment, is a metal tray that reminds me of an ice cube tray with holes instead of wells. I stretched the dough over the tray, took a hard plastic dimpled tray and leaned that gently into the dough, fixed the couple early rips with extra dough, added a scoop of cheese to each of the dozen squares, stretched dough over that, and then pushed a rolling pin over it, forcing the dough to seal and cut at the same time.

Popping the ravioli from the tray was a bit of a challenge and didn't go at all well for the first seven dozen or so, but somehow most of them managed to retain their shape. I'm not worried about it though. I'm guessing they'll all pop pretty easily into our mouths once they're cooked.

But now what do I do if my family likes them enough to ask for more? I guess I'm going to have to improve my time....