A roster of exceptional storytellers, including Pacifica alumni, and those involved in Hollywood film and TV projects, will be out in full force during Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association’s “Coming Home to Pacifica 2020” Alumni Weekend, January 17-19, 2020. The public is welcomed to attend all free events focused on “The Stories We Tell” on the Pacifica campus located at 801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, California. Participants will share in the magic of personal, cultural, and mythic storytelling. Through story we not only access healing, teaching, and communicating, but we also celebrate diversity, lift up humanity, and promote intercultural respect.
On Friday, January 17th at 9:30, AM join Marvel’s John Bucher, for A Creative Seminar and Lab for Mythic Storytellers of Every Medium. This lab-based seminar focuses on developing an emotionally resonant story, complete with characters to support it. John is the author of numerous books on storytelling. He has also sold screenplays and consulted on stories in Hollywood for more than a decade, working with companies including HBO, DC Comics, The History Channel, and A24 Films.
At 11 AM, join Corinne Bourdeau (MA, Engaged Humanities, ’10) who will lead Pacifica alumni in a roundtable discussion as we design the ideal conference/festival for Pacifica’s Film Conference and Festival slated for later this year. We will explore a variety of elements and themes such as The Mythic Filmmaker: From Guillermo Del Toro to George Lucas, filmmakers who weave myth throughout their films. Ms. Bourdeau is the founder and president of 360 Degree Communications, a boutique entertainment marketing company dedicated to social change films.
At 1:30 pm, attend “Telling a Better Story,” a writer’s panel moderated by Pacifica alumnus Craig Titley. He is a film and television writer/producer who began his film career in the Hollywood trenches as a production assistant. After a brief stint as an executive for Nickelodeon’s feature film division, he went on to become a successful writer of family films including the live-action Scooby-Doo, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Mr. Titley’s films have grossed nearly a billion dollars in worldwide box office. In television, Mr. Titley worked with George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation, penning episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He was a writer/producer on the NBC super-hero series The Cape, and is currently a writer and executive producer on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Mr. Titley received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Program and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Panelists joining Mr. Titley include film and television writers involved in a variety of storytelling genres.
Steven Melching is a television writer whose work includes numerous episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, Star Wars Rebels television series, and Star Wars Resistance television series. He has also written thousands of lines of dialogue for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes video games, as well as several issues of Dark Horse Comic’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars comic book series. Mr. Melching’s Hollywood lineage dates back to his great-grandfather’s assistance in building the enormous King Kong hand that would eventually grasp Fay Wray in the 1933 film classic. Seeing 1977‘s Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope as a 9-year-old in a Honolulu theater only reinforced his path. Though an established top writer for animation, Mr. Melching gained the attention of the Star Wars universe with his work on TROOPS, the popular Internet parody that melds Star Wars with TV’s Cops. He is an Emmy and Writers Guild Award-nominated writer who also contributed to such animated series as The Batman, X-Men, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Transformers Prime, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Mark Swift and his writing partner Damian Shannon wrote the box office hits Friday the 13th (Feb. 2009) and Freddy vs. Jason and was the first writer on the animated hit Shark Tale. They are currently working on an original horror project for New Line Cinema, an as yet untitled sci-fi project for Skydance Productions, and are co-producing O’Lucky Day, a comedy for Paramount Pictures starring Peter Dinklage. They have also co-written a number of projects currently in development, including Vikings for Disney; the 1950s noir Hawaiian Dick, for director Frank Coraci; and an adaptation of Howard Chaykin’s graphic novel Power & Glory.
Fans of the sci-fi/horror film, Alien, are also in for a treat on Friday afternoon at 3:15 PM. Special guest speaker Alexandre O. Phillippe, a writer and producer, will host a panel discussion and screening of his film, “Memory: The Origin of Alien.” The panelists include John Bucher, Devon Deimler, Will Linn, Patricia Danaher and Corrine Bourdeau, and will be moderated by Glen Slater. Philippe is a Swiss film director best known for the documentary films Doc of the Dead, The People vs. George Lucas, and the 2017 post-modern documentary examination of the Psycho shower scene directed by Alfred Hitchcock entitled 78/52 which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Additional luminaries at Coming Home 2020 include PGIAA’s new Board President, Harry Grammer, Ph.D., who will give the welcome address onMark Swift and his writing partner Damian Shannon wrote the box office hits Friday the 13th (Feb. 2009) and Freddy vs. Jason and was the first writer on the animated hit Shark Tale. They are currently working on an original horror project for New Line Cinema, an as yet untitled sci-fi project for Skydance Productions, and are co-producing O’Lucky Day, a comedy for Paramount Pictures starring Peter Dinklage. They have also co-written a number of projects currently in development, including Vikings for Disney; the 1950s noir Hawaiian Dick, for director Frank Coraci; and an adaptation of Howard Chaykin’s graphic novel Power & Glory.
Saturday, January 18 at 9:45 AM, followed by The Stories We Tell: Cultivating Community at the Fates and Graces Mythologium, presented at 10 AM by Joanna Gardner, Rachel Lugn, and Stephanie Zajchowski. A breakout session with Kelly Carlin-McCall, daughter of the late comedian, George Carlin on “How to Build a Highly Profitable Business, While Building a Better World” takes place at 2:15 PM. Co-presenter, Melissa McFarlane, internationally recognized coach and world-renowned speaker, joins Kelly.
At 7:00 p.m., Pacifica’s annual heartwarming alumni Authors Spotlight evening takes place – a meet and greet with PGIAA authors who have recently published books. Attendees are invited to celebrate their powerful journeys as writers, scholars and plain everyday folk. The entire evening, including the book signing and reception, is open to public.
On Sunday, January 19, the reunion weekend culminates in celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the theme of, “Remembering the Past ~ Celebrating the Future.” This annual gathering honoring Reverend King features local community students, scholars, community activists, and more as they engage in discussions centered on The Beloved Community – A Society Based on Justice, Equal Opportunity, and love Of One’s Fellow Human Being. The session will be moderated by Patricia Wilson, a five-time Daytime Emmy nominee, Executive Producer and Showrunner for Entertainment Studios; she coordinates its signature court shows and their 24-hour legal network – Justice Central, including America’s Court with Judge Ross, We the People with Gloria Allred, Justice For All with Cristina Perez, Supreme Justice with Judge Karen, Justice with Judge Mablean and The Verdict with Judge Hatchett.
For a complete Coming Home to Pacifica 2020 schedule of events that are free and open to the public, click here.
According to Dianne Travis Teague, PGI’s Director of Alumni Relations, “Coming Home to Pacifica will offer a variety of thought-provoking programs designed to encourage support and foster deep dialogue, as well as serve as a springboard for personal and professional growth. With over 4,000 graduates from the U.S. and around the world, we strive to build strong and sustainable bonds between professors, administrative staff, graduates, students, and the Santa Barbara community. It’s one of the many ways we stay true to our motto, “Animae Mundi Colendae Gratia,” tending the soul of and in the world.
Registration fees for PGIAA Coming Home 2020 are $170.00 (general admission) and $120.00 (student admission.) Register at https://retreat.pacifica.edu/coming-home-2020/or call (805) 879-7303. For more information, visit cominghometopacifica.com.
Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association incorporated on April 17, 2013 as a California 501(c) Nonprofit Corporation for the purpose of developing an operational and charitable membership association supporting both the alumni of Pacifica Graduate Institute and the wider community in pursuit of developing their intellectual, spiritual, altruistic, and professional capabilities. Further information is also available at the association’s website, pgiaa.org.
Established in 1976 and treasuring over 4700 graduates, Pacifica Graduate Institute is an accredited graduate school offering master’s and doctoral degree programs framed in the traditions of depth psychology. For more information visit pacifica.edu.