September 10, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLIVE GALLAGHER EARNS MFA FROM AMERICAN FILM
Santa Monica CA……………………………….Olive Gallagher, graduated today with an MFA in Screenwriting from the prestigious AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles, CA.
While she participated in the exciting commencement ceremonies held on the AFI campus on June 10, 2009, she and her fellow 2009 screenwriters did not officially graduate until today.
Gallagher added, “It’s like getting two birthdays in one year. We get to celebrate all over again, and even now, we have one last thing to do. All the hard work, the endless rewrites, have been aimed to prepare us to present our work, so we’re busy preparing for the exciting industry “pitch fest” which will take place on October 8th. That evening, we’ll be given the chance to present our chosen feature concept to eight or ten industry decision-makers.”
When asked why she chose to reinvent her already successful writing careers as a songwriter, executive marketing/advertising creative director, author and syndicated columnist, Gallagher continued, “When my acting career suddenly ignited again in 2004, and I found myself cast in a feature film, I landed back on a set for the first time in more than ten years. That’s when magic struck. Again. Within minutes, I realized I had come home. To be in a studio or on a set or stage is the most natural place in the world for me. It was at that moment that I knew it was finally time to return full-tilt to the world of entertainment where I had spent the first forty years of my life and replenish my creative spirit. And spending last summer doing research for the writing room of Matt Weiner’s megahit “Mad Men” on AMC was just one of the “icing on the cake” moments I’ll never forget.”
Gallagher added, “The fact that I’ve added screenwriting to my creative arsenal has not been a surprise to anyone who’s known me or my work throughout the years. I’m very grateful that AFI chose to give me the opportunity to earn my MFA and learn from so many extraordinary, working screenwriters on the faculty. It is an honor to be an alumni of this institution.”
Gallagher readily acknowledges the craft of screenwriting is one of the most difficult and challenging forms of writing she has ever encountered in her multi-track career. “I’ve always been a linguist, an explorer and user of words. Writing a song is merely telling an entire story in 32 measures. Advertising and branding? Even fewer: The best tag lines are often two, maybe four or five words. Yet if chosen brilliantly, they can summon layers of emotions. But screenwriting? It uses words to paint visual pictures. It’s sparse yet complex, demanding yet when done really well, appears effortless, as if each scene, each line of dialogue, is the only thing that could happen or be said. To be excited and challenged again and again is what keeps us young and vital and fresh. I never plan to stop.”
Gallagher won the prestigious 2009 Sloan Screenwriting Scholarship for her thesis film, Blame It on My Youth, a romantic comedy and a Filmanthropy Scholarship for her short film, Best Friends, featuring Best Friends Animal Society. For more information about Olive Gallagher’s current film and television projects, call 323-836-5604.