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Q&A: ‘Outstanding Senior’ Amanda Coote

Amanda Coote will be recognized at the 2019 College of Fine Arts’ 2019 Fall Graduation Convocation on Dec. 19 as the College’s ‘Outstanding Senior.’

Amanda is graduating with double degree: A Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television from the School of Theatre, Film & Television and a degree in Creative Writing from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

In addition, she was a four-year member of the Pride of Arizona Marching Band, playing her piccolo at such iconic locations as Disneyland, Los Angeles Coliseum (USC), State Farm Stadium (Arizona Cardinals), and Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco 49ers).

She is also a member of the Sigma Colony of Delta Kappa Alpha, a professional cinematic fraternity, where she has served as head of the screenwriter’s circle. She has a passion for writing, particularly novels and various media platforms. After graduation, she hopes to move to LA to work in video game pre-production and continue to write novels.

Photo by Rebecca Sasnett

Q&A with Amanda Coote

Why the double major?
I’ve always loved fiction writing in terms of pros and creative writing. But I wanted to learn all of the industry rules of film and specifically screenwriting, which is very different from fiction writing. So, my creative writing classes taught me more of the how to craft a story, how to get my prose to sound good. Whereas my film major taught me all of the techniques for script writing, what types of stories Hollywood likes, how the industry works, how making films work. And what types of stories get made in film versus what types of stories get turned into short stories and novels.

Favorite screenplays?
I actually really liked the screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit.” I thought that the satire and the heart of it were really well blended together. I think it helps that Taika (Waititi) was directing it. He does a really good job with comedy that has heart to it.

I really adored the screenplay for “Into the Spider-Verse.” I thought that that was very well crafted the way that it wrote itself for the animation style.

I’ve always liked Stanley Kubrick’s films … the screenwriters that he works with … Wes Anderson’s stories are always really fun and unique. I’m very much a concept writer; I like working with fun concepts.

What types of concepts?
I’m really inspired by sci-fi movies. My dad raised me on 1950s sci-fi horror, so Vincent Price is my favorite actor of all time. I love those kinds of kooky concepts that come from them. My first novel that I wrote was an homage to 1950 sci-fi. I really love Kurt Vonnegut as a novelist. That is where my ideas come from, start with a wacky scenario than trying to find the heart in it.

What is your writing style?
Whenever I write a story, I know the basic concept of where the plot’s going. I know where it ends and I know where it starts and then the rest of it, I just write as I go. It’s what Stephen King does. I read his book “On Writing” when I was in high school. It makes the characters get a life of their own because you’re not trying to force them into what you’ve outlined. They can take control and build their own character arc. So, it feels a lot more natural and you get surprised. (The story) takes a turn and I’m like, ‘I didn’t know where this was going here, but let’s go with it.’ And it’s really fun.

I have to fight some of my characters from dying, they just keep making stupid decisions. I’m like, ‘No, you’ve got to live to the end.’

How did you get involved at the planetarium?
I had a class there my first semester, “Great Debates in Astronomy.” We had it in the mezzanine above everything. Walking through it every day, I saw that it was really cool place.

I was almost an astrobiologist. I was a president and co-founder of the astronomy club in high school. I wanted to study astrobiology; that was my thing. And then in my senior year of high school, I just fell in love with writing. I completely changed my life around and I don’t regret it at all, but I wanted to keep my interest in space and also rocks and minerals there in my life.

Rocks and minerals?
Rocks and minerals. My dad’s family is hard in the rocks and minerals business. His dad owned a jewelry shop. His mom’s parents worked in a lapidary. They met at a gem show and my dad worked at their jewelry shop for a long time. He taught me how to make rings and necklaces. We’re working on learning how to use enamel now to get the color out on the metal.

Do you have a favorite rock?
I like tourmaline and how that looks, especially when it’s a watermelon, which is where it has pink and green on the same little crystal. So, it looks like a watermelon.

Favorite Zelda Game?
“Breadth of the Wild.” It’s the only one I’ve beat. That’s the newest one for the switch. It’s like completely open worlds. You can beat it at any pace you want. You can go right for the final boss or you can never go to the final boss. I think I had like a hundred hours on it before I beat it. I tried to do everything before beating the final boss.

“Second, right below it, is “Wind Waker.” I have it on the GameCube. I tried to replay it and I can’t get past like the second dungeon. I’m stuck. I’m not good at dungeons. You’d think I would be because I’m good at puzzles, but for some reason those dungeons just, I can’t.

What kind of game do you want to write?
I have just really started getting into my ideas for video games, but the one I’m turning in my head right now would probably have fit like first-person shooter. I want to use video games for how they are interactive and work on stories that depend on that interactive-ness.

Amanda is going to start her career working freelance for an L.A. company, Blindlight, which specializes in pre-production work for video games. She interned with that company last summer. Her long-term goal is to write video game or TV scripts and fiction novels.

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2 days ago
Arizona Arts

Congrats Sadie Shaw (BFA, 2019, Art & Visual Culture Education).

We are proud of you. Good luck with your new role.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
University of Arizona School of Art
Arizona Alumni🌟 Please join us in welcoming Sadie Shaw to the Arts Foundation team as the Community Design Manager!

Sadie will lead SaludArte, a new private public partnership between Pima County Health Department (PCHD) and the Arts Foundation.

Sadie is an artist, art educator, oral historian, community organizer and Governing Board Member of the Tucson Unified School District.

To learn more about Sadie and her new role as the Community Design Manager, click the link below!

artsfoundtucson.org/welcome-to-the-team-sadie-shaw/
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Congrats Sadie Shaw (BFA, 2019,  Art & Visual Culture Education). 

We are proud of you. Good luck with your new role.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
University of Arizona School of Art
Arizona Alumni
2 days ago
Arizona Arts

The world premiere of LUTE, an inspiring documentary of the legendary The University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, is this Friday at 5:30p at Centennial Hall.

Relive the 1997 NCAA title run on its 25th anniversary!

Directed by UA School of Theatre, Film & Television alumnus Brett Rapkin (BA 2000).

azart.fyi/LUTEtix

Presented by Podium Pictures, in association with CBS Sports, this definitive documentary by Emmy Award-winning Director Brett Rapkin celebrates the legendary Coach Lute Olson on the 25th Anniversary of the 1997 National Championship.

“Not long after I showed up in Tucson as a 17-year-old freshman, I got to witness Lute lead the 1997 Cats to the promised land: a National Championship,” said Rapkin, who studied film at TFTV. “It is truly an honor to have the chance to help tell this story.”

“I’m thrilled to be a member of the team making a film celebrating Coach O’s life and legacy,” said Jason Terry, executive producer and member of the 1997 championship team. “This is also a special opportunity to allow the coaches, fans, players and families that he inspired along the way to tell their own stories.”

#lute #BearDown #RiseWithUs

Arizona Men's Basketball | Arizona Alumni | Arizona Athletics | Arizona A-Club Letterwinners | AZ Desert Swarm | Arizona Arts Live
... See MoreSee Less

The world premiere of LUTE, an inspiring documentary of the legendary The University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, is this Friday at 5:30p at Centennial Hall.

Relive the 1997 NCAA title run on its 25th anniversary!

Directed by UA School of Theatre, Film & Television alumnus Brett Rapkin (BA 2000).
 
https://azart.fyi/LUTEtix
 
Presented by Podium Pictures, in association with CBS Sports, this definitive documentary by Emmy Award-winning Director Brett Rapkin celebrates the legendary Coach Lute Olson on the 25th Anniversary of the 1997 National Championship.
 
“Not long after I showed up in Tucson as a 17-year-old freshman, I got to witness Lute lead the 1997 Cats to the promised land: a National Championship,” said Rapkin, who studied film at TFTV. “It is truly an honor to have the chance to help tell this story.”
 
“I’m thrilled to be a member of the team making a film celebrating Coach O’s life and legacy,” said Jason Terry, executive producer and member of the 1997 championship team. “This is also a special opportunity to allow the coaches, fans, players and families that he inspired along the way to tell their own stories.”

#lute #BearDown #RiseWithUs

Arizona Mens Basketball | Arizona Alumni | Arizona Athletics | Arizona A-Club Letterwinners | AZ Desert Swarm | Arizona Arts Live

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Miss you Lute 💙

3 days ago
Arizona Arts

Five students were selected as the inaugural JustArts Fellows, an Arizona Arts equity initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the arts by asking student leaders to identify challenges and propose creative solutions.

🔗 azart.fyi/JustArts22

The inaugural cohort includes:

Dylan Crites
>> UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
Carlos Garcia Ramirez
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Dorthea Stephenson
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Ariana Aquino
>> The University of Arizona School of Dance
Joshua Barbre
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
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Five students were selected as the inaugural JustArts Fellows, an Arizona Arts equity initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the arts by asking student leaders to identify challenges and propose creative solutions. 

🔗 https://azart.fyi/JustArts22

The inaugural cohort includes: 

Dylan Crites
>> UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
Carlos Garcia Ramirez
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Dorthea Stephenson
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Ariana Aquino
>> The University of Arizona School of Dance
Joshua Barbre
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
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