Screenwriting/Dynamic Storytelling: Whether you’re a writer, producer, director, or actor, screenwriting is about telling a story in a way that is cinematic, that not only jumps off the page, but also jumps out at you from the big screen. That means learning techniques for dynamic storytelling, including grabbing the reader/viewer in the first few pages, revealing character through action instead of dialogue, proper scene structure, dealing with conflict, finishing up with a bang. Mike is here to help you with all of that.
MIKE FARRIS is a 1983 cum laude graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law, where he was an associate editor on the Texas Tech Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Mike, now retired, was formerly Of Counsel with the Dallas firm of Vincent Serafino Geary Waddell Jenevein, P.C., where his practice included commercial litigation as well as entertainment law, focusing on the movie and publishing industries.
Mike was lead counsel for the plaintiff in what has become known as the Fifty Shades of Grey lawsuit (Jennifer Lynn Pedroza v. Amanda M. Hayward and TWCS Operations Pty. Ltd. in the 153rd District Court in Tarrant County), which resulted in a plaintiff’s judgment, following a jury trial, in excess of $13.2 million (including pre-judgment interest and attorney’s fees). Mike is collaborating with his client, Jennifer Pedroza, to write a book about the lawsuit. Mike represents various university presses and has successfully placed subsidiary rights to their published books, including negotiating the sale of movie rights to producers and Hollywood studios, such as The Free State of Jones, published by University of North Carolina Press. The movie Free State of Jones starred Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and was directed by multi-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross.
Mike was the 2014 Chair of the Dallas Bar’s Entertainment Art and Sports Law Section, after also having served as Chair in 2009 and 2012, and Vice-Chair in 2011. He is the chair for 2016-2017 of the State Bar of Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Section, and was past editor of the Entertainment and Sports Law Journal. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas in its Sports & Entertainment Management MBA program, where he served on the Sports & Entertainment Advisory Board.
A multi-time published author of both fiction and non-fiction, Mike’s most recent non-fiction book is A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow, which follows the historical record of a rape/murder case in 1931-1932 Honolulu that saw Clarence Darrow come out of retirement at the age of 74 to travel to the Territory of Hawaii for what would be his final courtroom battle. Film rights to the book have been optioned by Aaron Kandell and Jordan Kandell, writers on the Disney hit Moana and writers/producers of the upcoming film Adrift, which will star Shailene Woodley (co-star of The Descendants).
Mike’s next non-fiction project, set for release later in 2018, is also true crime and also from the Territory of Hawaii (in pre-statehood days). Titled Poor Innocent Lad: The Tragic Death of Gill Jamieson and the Execution of Myles Fukunaga, it draws upon trial transcript, court records, and contemporaneous news reports to tell the story of the abduction and murder of the ten-year-old son of an executive with the Hawaiian Trust Company in 1928 Honolulu.
Mike previously collaborated with former ABC-TV anchorman Murphy Martin to write Martin’s memoir of his years in journalism, entitled Front Row Seat: A Veteran Reporter Relives the Four Decades That Reshaped America, and also collaborated with rodeo cowboy-turned-actor/producer/director Robert Hinkle on Hinkle’s memoir of his years in show business, Call Me Lucky: A Texan in Hollywood, for University of Oklahoma Press. In addition to non-fiction, he is the author of seven published novels: Isle of Broken Dreams, The Bequest, Wrongful Termination, Kanaka Blues, Manifest Intent, Rules of Privilege, and Every Pig Got a Saturday