August 16, 2012

SCA Family Stories: Kenny Martin

By Valerie Turpin

Writing for film and television takes a great deal of dedication, endless rewriting and, in the case of current SCA student Kenny Martin, a few good laughs.
SCA recently sat down with Kenny Martin to discuss his work as a screenwriting student, his passion to explore writing comedy for television and his advice for students joining the SCA family this fall.

Please tell us your name, your emphasis and your graduation year.

Kenny Martin

My name is Kenny Martin; I’m in Writing for Screen and Television and am graduating in 2014.

So you're getting geared up for your junior year, then? How do you feel this year will be different than your first two years at SCA?

I feel like I've established a lot of connections with students across majors now, so I'll be working on more sets and helping out with physical production more than I have so far.

I also feel like my writing has definitely improved each year, so it's exciting to see which direction I'll be challenged to take it in the upcoming year.

Great- is going into physical production more of a hobby or something you might continue to pursue alongside screenwriting?

I somewhat see it as a hobby because ultimately I want to be a screenwriter (preferably for television), but working on set is fun, and if I can start actually getting paid work doing it that's a great job to have in between writing scripts.

Is there a particular genre or genres that you're interested in pursuing for your writing?

Definitely comedy. But I'm also looking to start writing some horror this year because I love horror movies and they're usually easier to finance.

Will you be taking advantage of any of the courses within the Comedy@SCA this fall?

I am taking Writing the Half-Hour Comedy Serieswith Professor Michael Saltzman this fall. I haven't had a class with him yet, but I've heard great things.

SCA has some pretty renowned comedy writers; do you see yourself taking advantage

The Comedy@SCA pathway launches this fall

of more of these classes in the future as part of the Comedy@SCA pathway?

Yeah, definitely! One of my favorite professors I've had here was David Isaacs who wrote for Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons...tons of great shows.

He's a huge inspiration and I've met with him outside of class a few times just to talk about my writing. He's a great teacher and a great writer, so I definitely want to take more classes with him.

Writing for television can be a lot different than it would be for film.  How do feel about taking on that scope of the sort of never-ending writing for an ongoing series?

I love it. I've heard characters in comedy television referred to as close friends. They're people who you spend time with each week to relax. The challenge is giving these characters interesting, realistic arcs while also making sure they're not completely changing episode to episode. Your friends don't completely change and learn a lesson every week, so it doesn't make sense that these characters would.

Plus people don't want to see Homer Simpson suddenly become a great father. It's funny that he messes up so much.

So it's definitely a challenge, but to me, it's a very fun, exciting challenge.

The new semester starts in a little over a week now. Do you have any advice for freshman or new writers starting at SCA?

I have three pieces of advice for freshman.

1. Make as many connections as you can in SCA. Not just in your major, but, for example, if you're a production major, meet writers, animators, IMers. Also, meet your professors. They're usually industry professionals, which is what you want to be someday, so they're great people to know.

2. Treat your classes like a job. There are some people who just write to meet the assignment and be done with it. This isn't high school anymore; this is practice for your life. Put your best work into whatever you do.

3. Meet people outside of SCA. This is more life advice, but have tons of friends in all aspects of life. Sure, it's fun to talk about film all the time, but some of my greatest friendships are with people outside of SCA. Meet as many people as you can, because college is one of the last times you really get to do that. It's awesome when you suddenly have friends who go home to places all over the country (and world!).

Is there anything else you'd like to share or anything you're currently working on?

Well, I'm currently in the very early phases of developing a web series that revolves around LADOT Traffic Officers. And it's definitely a comedy. Hopefully I'll be doing that with some of the people in TFC, because they're really fun.

TFC is Tiger Falcon Comedy, and it's all done by SCA students. They do original web series, which are really funny.  It’s been a great way to collaborate with other students who enjoy comedy outside of solely the class environment.

Tiger Falcon Comedy's Facebook page can be found at: