Stowe Story Labs: Writers, Filmmakers, Producers Invited to Lab Intensive

storylabs-bannerThe Second Annual Stowe Story Labs will be held in Stowe, Vermont at the Helen Day Arts Center on September 13, 14 and 15, 2014. The Labs are a three-day intensive retreat bringing emerging writers, filmmakers and creative producers together in the heart of Vermont to work with industry professionals. The Labs give participants the chance to work on their stories, learn from industry experts and build relationships in this collaborative art.

Returning as lead presenter is David Pope, a London filmmaker, educator, facilitator and mentor. David runs programs such as Story Labs throughout Europe, including facilitating the Rotterdam Film Festival’s “Producers Lab,” a premier event for emerging producers.

davidpope“I am thrilled to be building the Labs in Vermont,” said Pope. “Stowe Story Labs presents a precious space for filmmakers to firmly challenge their stories together in a supportive environment. The experience last fall was wonderful. I cannot wait for this September to roll in.”

Stowe Story Lab participants are selected through an application process, which is now open. “The fee to apply is $5,” said Rocchio, “which is designed to cover administrative costs only.”

The Labs are offering four competitive Fellowships to top candidates. The deadline to apply for a Fellowship is July 22, 2014. “We are excited to be collaborating with some outstanding organizations in offering fellowships this year,” said Rocchio.

The Fellowships are being offered in collaboration with PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, and the Vermont International Film Foundation.

A Story Labs Fellowship will be offered to a quarterfinalist in the PAGE Awards this year. “The Stowe Story Labs weekend is a very special event, and this year’s Lab promises to be an extremely valuable experience for all the writers who attend,” said Jennifer Berg, Administrative Director of the PAGE contest. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this Fellowship to one of our talented Quarter- Finalists,” she said. will as well nominate a slate of applicants for a Story Labs Fellowship. According to Michele Meek, publisher and founder of, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Stowe Story Labs this year and look forward to supporting a local aspiring filmmaker through this fellowship.”

Finally, the Vermont International Film Festival is again nominating applicants for a Story Labs Fellowship. Orly Yardin, Executive Director of VTIFF said, “This is another wonderful opportunity for VTIFF to support Vermont filmmakers and ensure that the film community remains vibrant.”

The Labs are limited to no more than sixteen participants and if not awarded a Fellowship the fee to attend is $750. Admission to the intensive three-day program includes light breakfast and coffee each morning and receptions with light food each night. In addition to daily programming the Labs will bring participants and mentors together in informal settings for receptions, screenings and evening programming. Local businesses, inns and lodges are offering discounted rates for participants during the Labs.

Stowe Story Labs will begin reviewing applicants July 22nd. Admissions are rolling so it is wise to apply early. The Labs will announce Fellowship winners by August 12, 2014.

Stowe Story Labs is not-for-profit and is made possible in part through a grant from John M. Bissell Foundation, Inc., a Lamoille County Foundation with the mission to promote film production and exhibition in our community, and through the collaborative efforts of many people and groups, including the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation; the Helen Day Arts Center, of Stowe, Vermont; River Arts, of Morrisville, Vermont; VTIFF; NewEnglandFilm. com; the Stowe Reporter; the Bellwether Project; and Inns and Lodges throughout Stowe, including Auberge de Stowe, Ten Acres Lodge and Stowe Mountain Lodge.

For more information on the workshops and accommodations please visit or contact

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Cameron Champman: Two In Winter

Screenwriter Cameron Chapman
Screenwriter Cameron Chapman

Cameron Chapman is a New England native, born and raised in New Hampshire and Vermont, with a four-year stint in Virginia during her high school years. The geography of the places she has lived have greatly influenced her work, with most of her screenplays and other works of fiction set in either New England or the South.

First and foremost, Chapman is a storyteller, regardless of the medium. She started writing screenplays in college, and has been interested in filmmaking since childhood. She has completed one short film, THIS IS ALL YOU LEFT ME, and has just wrapped up production on a music video. She has been a huge fan of music from Randy Travis to Lynyrd Skynyrd to ZZ Top since grade school and she finds producing music videos incredibly rewarding.

After writing a couple of very bad scripts in college she dropped it for around ten years. Shortly after she stopped working full time Cameron picked up screenplay writing again.

Earlier this year Cameron took her script, TWO IN WINTER, to the Stowe Story Labs, a workshop for writers with film projects tucked under their arms. According to David Rocchio, Director of the Stowe Story Labs, “Cameron was a wonderful presence at the Labs. She was quiet, determined and talented. We were lucky to have her and I can’t wait to see her work over the years!”

Vermont abounds with funky old farmhouses and outbuildings that served as perfect inspiration for the screenplay
Vermont abounds with funky old farmhouses and outbuildings that served as perfect inspiration for the screenplay

Now Cameron is in full swing development of her film project

At its heart, TWO IN WINTER is about risk, told through the gritty reality behind every glossy love story.

Katy is forced to return to her childhood home for the holidays after almost a decade away when she finds out that her mother is very sick. “Home,” though, is a run-down farmhouse in a remote part of Vermont, inhabited by these eccentric longtime residents who have become a makeshift family to one another.

It’s not until Katy lands in Vermont that she finds out her first love, Jerry, is living at the house—or rather, in a trailer in the back yard. And of course no one’s bothered to tell him she’s on her way there, either.

The two of them had the kind of wild, reckless love that only two teenagers who’ve never had their hearts broken are capable of. It’s not the kind of thing that just goes away.

To further complicate things, Katy has a great job and a nice apartment, and is in a stable, if boring relationship that looks perfect on paper.

The landscape and geography of northern Vermont have been a huge inspiration for Chapman in all of her work.
The landscape and geography of northern Vermont have been a huge inspiration for Chapman in all of her work.

Jerry, on the other hand, is unemployed, was recently homeless, and might be a drug addict, and he’s not about to apologize for any of it. At the same time, he’s a nice guy and a talented musician (with no ambition).

Everyone at the house is opposed to the two of them getting back together, including Katy and Jerry. They know it makes no sense and yet they’re drawn to each other.

It leads to some bad choices on their part, which are only made worse when Katy’s boyfriend joins her for the holidays. This forces her to make a choice between the safe, comfortable life she’s forged for herself, or risking everything for the sake of a reckless, passionate love affair that’s doomed from the start.

She knows that if she chooses Jerry, she’ll be giving up everything she’s always claimed to want. It’s not just risking her heart; it’s risking her entire life.

TWO IN WINTER-Poster: An early concept poster for the film.
TWO IN WINTER-Poster: An early concept poster for the film.

Cameron says, “The basic premise—woman comes home after years away only to reconnect with her lost love—is pretty common in romantic comedies. But in virtually all of those films, the old flame has become successful while the girl was gone. That’s not the case here. Jerry’s more of a loser than he was when Katy left. So there’s no easy decision here. It’s not a choice between two successful guys, or two successful lives. It’s a choice between having a comfortable life or struggling for everything, every day. But it’s also a choice between someone she might be happy with, and someone she knows she absolutely, passionately loves.

“And that’s what sets it apart from other films,” she concludes. “It’s the gritty reality behind the romantic comedy.”

“The inspiration for TWO IN WINTER largely came when I was out listening to a local band a couple of years ago, says Chapman. I looked at all the people surrounding me and instantly knew there was a story there, just begging to be told. I couldn’t shake the feeling for weeks, and kept mulling it over in my head, trying to figure out what kind of story the location and the characters demanded.

“During this time, I also had an intensely personal dream that gave me further character inspiration.

“Besides all that,” she adds, “I’m a huge fan of romantic comedies. But we all know how unrealistic they are. So I wanted to create something that showed the gritty reality that all these nice, sweet love stories would be in the real world. Because the truth is that the guy who was a loser in high school is just as likely to still be a loser ten years later as he is to have turned his life around and become a success. But that doesn’t make him any less attractive.”

Chapman sees the budget for TWO IN WINTER in the $1-1.5 million range. Chapman is currently the only attachment on the project, serving as writer, director, and producer. She is searching for a coproducer and other crew, financing, actors and distribution.

To follow Cameron’s first feature film in development, see the links below:



Contact: Cameron Chapman,

All photos are by Cameron Chapman

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