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September 13, 2013

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Written by: admin

Hi Howard-

Matt Gagnon here, your old student from class. It’s been a while since last we spoke! I hope this e-mail finds you well. Earlier this week a film deal I have with Universal Pictures was announced ( and I wanted to drop you a line.

Your encouragement of me as a young writer was very meaningful, and the practical storytelling advice I learned in your classes is something that’s served me well over the course of my career. You and your classes had a real impact on me as a storyteller.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you.

All the best-

-Matt  Gagnon


Hey Howard,

Ha – I did indeed advance to the finals of Scriptapalooza this year with THE TALOQUAN NETWORK (I missed the contest deadline last year!).  I believe they announce the winners in a few days.

Another thing I’m particularly excited about is that I received an invitation to the CineStory Retreat this year.  I’m not sure how familiar you are with the contest, but they invite 22 of the top writing submissions each year to a 4-day retreat for one-on-one meetings with agents, managers, producers, etc.  The idea is to get some professional mentorship to shape the short/mid-term goals of the writers’ careers.  We each submit a portfolio of screenplays, drafts, treatments, concepts. pretty much everything I have in my arsenal.  It’s coming up in about a month, so I’ll be excited to let you know how that goes.  I would be thrilled to come out of the experience with the shot at obtaining some representation.

And just so you know. I’m STILL grinding away at my next spec, HIDE AND GO CHIC.  It’s pretty much a straight “fish out of water” comedy.  The goal is to have that done and ready for coverage by the end of September (I’m doing the dialogue pass now), so I’ll be interested in getting your take on it as well.

I appreciate the support Howard!  I’d love to hear what you guys are up to.

Robert Hestand


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