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September 1996, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 Sep 1996 20:10:56 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (130 lines)
Our live, instantaneous discussions continue on SCREENchat.  Coming up
in a couple of weeks is a free-form chat on screenwriting with our
guest, scriptwriter George Wolfe.
George's credentials include:
    * Writer and/or producer of four PBS documentaries:  Faulkner,
      Melville, Proust, Religious Freedom;
    * Author of half a dozen screenplays, two of which have been
      optioned; currently one is being shown by CAA;
    * Teacher of screenwriting for 12+ years;
    * Professor of English at the University of Alabama.
There's no set agenda for this chat, but topics might include getting
an agent, structuring a story, how to work on dialogue, etc.; that is,
the art and craft of screenwriting for film and television.
All are welcome and there is no charge for using SCREENchat.
Additional information is available at:
Monday, September 30, 8:00 p.m. CDT (see below for other timezones)
Please note that this is an hour earlier than our regular, weekly
SCREENchat sessions.  This is to avoid overlapping with a SCRNWRIT
chat session.  There will be a 9:00 p.m. CDT discussion this coming
Monday/Tuesday, as has become our habit.
The chat method we'll be using is a variation on Internet Relay Chat
(IRC). A chat session on the Internet is when computer users gather at
a virtual location and type messages back and forth to one another.
Unlike e-mail, the interaction is immediate (or as immediate as those
bits and bytes can travel along the wires between the computers). The
screen of a chat session looks something like this:
*** marg ([log in to unmask]) has joined #TCFchat
<Jeremy> hey there marg
<marg> jeremy! this seems to be working!
<Ned> Hands across the ocean and all that!
*** Kate ([log in to unmask]) has joined #TCFchat
<Ned> Welcome back, Kate.
<Jeremy> Yeah, welcome back!
<Kate> Hello all!
As participants type in messages, they scroll up the screen--often
interrupted by notices of who's coming and going. The lines are
identified with their chat "nicknames." Nicknames are chosen when one
begins a chat session and may be changed during the session itself.
Chat Rooms and Channels
The "space" online where participants gather to chat is commonly known
as a room or channel, and is devoted to some specific topic. For
example, SCREENchat hosts discussions on film/TV studies.
Chat rooms have long been one of the most popular features of
commercial online services such as CompuServe, Prodigy and America
Online. And, separately from these services, the Internet has
developed its own form of chat named Internet Relay Chat or IRC. In
IRC terms, a discussion area on the Internet (the equivalent of an AOL
chat room) is called a channel. To access an IRC channel and join a
discussion you do not have to subscribe to CIS, Prodigy or AOL. All
you need is access to the Internet, and software that taps into IRC.
There is a ton of information about IRC out on the World Wide Web. And
there is free or cheap IRC software for all manner of computers:
Windows-based, Macs, Unix-based, etc.
SCREENchat uses the technology of *both* IRC and the World Wide Web to
facilitate discussions about film/TV studies. There is no charge for
this service and as long as participants are willing to adhere to a
few basic rules, everyone is welcome.
Okay, So How Do You Start?
There are two ways to enter SCREENchat:
  1.  Using a World Wide Web browser that can handle Java
      applications (e.g., Netscape Navigator 2.0, Microsoft Internet
      Explore 3.0.).  If your browser doesn't do Java, then you
      cannot use this method--but you could probably upgrade to a
      (free) browser that does do Java.
      Connect to for more information.
  2.  Using an IRC client (e.g., PIRCH for Windows and Ircle for Macs)
      Connect to (port 6667), join channel #SCREENchat.
      Note:  Unlike "regular" IRC, this channel will only work if you
      are connected to the IRC server at
Meeting Time(s)
Monday, September 30
  6:00 p.m., Los Angeles
  9:00 p.m., Tuscaloosa, Alabama (and, say, Chicago)
 10:00 p.m., New York
 12:00 p.m., Buenos Aires
Tuesday, October 1
  2:00 a.m., London and, I believe, GMT
  3:00 a.m., Paris, Stockholm
  4:00 a.m., Cairo
  9:00 a.m., Beijing
 10:00 a.m., Tokyo
 11:00 a.m., Wollongong, Sydney
Kate Bowles (University of Wollongong, [log in to unmask]) and I have
been the prime instigators of SCREENchat.  If you have any thoughts or
questions about it, please drop us a note.
Jeremy Butler
mailto:[log in to unmask]
Telecommunication & Film/University of Alabama/Tuscaloosa
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