Monterey County Film Commission Blog

Lights, Camera, Economic Action

MCFC presents “REEL Jobs: The New Era of Screenwriting” with Madeline DiMaggio

Want to learn more about screenwriting, what’s on the cutting edge, what opportunities there are in the new world of streaming, TV or film, and how to successfully market your creative work?  Accomplished screenwriter Madeline DiMaggio will be lecturing and giving insights on what’s hot and what’s not along with the basics of screenwriting on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at the Monterey County Film Commission’s “Reel Jobs: The New Era of Screenwriting” event.

It takes place at the Irvine Auditorium at Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at 499 Pierce St. in Monterey starting at 9:30 a.m., preceded by coffee in the auditorium’s atrium at 8:45 a.m.  An optional Writer’s Networking Luncheon is planned for 12:30 p.m., followed by optional and pre-scheduled one-on-one coaching or pitching sessions with DiMaggio in the afternoon.  Basic lecture tickets are $30 and $10 for students. Other options and costs are identified on the ticket registration at www.screenwriting or Sponsors of the screenwriting event include the Arts Council for Monterey County, Final Draft, and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

DiMaggio, who used to live in the Monterey area, began her career writing TV dramas and sitcoms, which led to a contract at Paramount Studios in pilot development.  She has written and sold over 45 hours of produced TV and film including “Alibi” for ABC, and the feature “If the Shoe Fits” with co-writer Pamela Wallace. DiMaggio served as head of development at Honest Engine Films in Monterey for seven years, where she co-produced the feature film “Surviving Eden” and numerous award-winning feature film documentaries.   Later she teamed up with Monterey Peninsula resident and screenwriter Marla Young and wrote “Profile for Murder,” a thriller for Lifetime Television.  She has a comedy pilot under consideration at the BBC, and has just completed another project with Young called “Carnal Lies” which is set on the Monterey Peninsula.

For more information, contact the Monterey County Film Commission at 831-646-0910 or email

About Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company

Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company, has published Final Draft® software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world – for 25 years. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards, allowing writers to focus on what they do best – writing scripts. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft software is the professional’s choice and the entertainment industry standard. In addition to its flagship software product, Final Draft offers the annual Big Break Contest – a screenwriting competition that launches careers, and awards over $80,000 in cash and prizes. Final Draft also offers the Reader® and Writer® apps for iPhone and iPad, making creativity truly portable. To learn more about Final Draft and its products and services, visit:

Daniel Cardenas joins MCFC Board

The Monterey County Film Commission board of directors has elected Daniel Cardenas of Carmel to serve on the board for a three-year term.

Cardenas is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Carmel. Prior to moving to Monterey County he lived in Long Beach, and worked with Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank for 20 years. There he held positions in human resources, post-production, consumer products, and production operations distribution of theatrical for Latin America and Asia Pacific. He also managed 12 worldwide theatrical film distribution releases for New Line Cinema Worldwide.

As director of international sales and acquisitions for In-Focus Entertainment, Cardenas distributed feature films to over 50 airlines worldwide and negotiated film acquisition contracts.

While with Warner Bros., he served as director of professional development for a career development program, Warner Bros. Latinos Unidos, participated in the Warner Bros. mentor program Big Brother, and volunteered with MEND (Meeting Each Need with Dignity) and Wheels for Humanity, providing wheelchairs for Third World countries.

The nonprofit Monterey County Film Commission was established by and is funded in part by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.  It works to attract and facilitate on-location film production for economic development, with an annual average of $4 million direct spend coming to local communities from the film business.

Monterey’s Summer of Love kicked off with “Monterey Pop” film

In May, the Monterey County Film Commission took nearly 800 movie-goers back in time to the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival. It happened via a special screening of D.A. Pennebaker’s
documentary Monterey Pop, the ground-breaking film which blended music and film 50 years ago. Held at Monterey’s historic Golden State Theatre, the event included a talk by Carmel’s professional photographer Tom Gundelfinger O’Neal, who shared behind-the-scenes insights on the festival and those who were capturing its action on film.

Sandi Austin and Carol Crocker join Monterey County Film Commission Board


Sandi Austin
Carol Crocker

The Monterey County Film Commission board of directors has elected Sandi Austin of Aromas and Carol Crocker of Salinas to serve on the nonprofit’s board for three-year terms.

Austin is a business operations professional at Cisco Systems in San Jose, working to improve data access for peers and partners. Previously she worked in finance for six years, including senior auditor/accountant. She started her career at Seagate Technology in accounting, and has a BS degree in business administration from University of Phoenix. She has volunteered for organizations such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Women’s Crisis Line in Salinas, and the Human Rights Commission in San Jose.

Film Commission Elects Kathleen Eckerson to Board of Directors

Kathleen Eckerson - Board of DirectorsThe Monterey County Film Commission board of directors has elected Kathleen Eckerson to serve a three-year term on the nonprofit organization’s board.

Eckerson is a wealth management advisor and owner of Suddenly Single Wealth Management® in Pebble Beach. She has a diverse background in economic development from senior management and consultant roles with the City of Fresno and County of Fresno, as well as the County of Monterey. Previously she was senior management analyst for the City and County of Fresno, and an instructor at California State University, Fresno, teaching their capstone course, strategy and policy. She also served as Fiserv, Inc.’s regional vice president of marketing, sales, client services, negotiations and corporate communications in their Fresno regional office.

Monterey County Board of Supervisors Honored By Film Commission

Reel Vision Award presented to former Supervisor Marc Del Piero pictured below
with MCFC Board President Jeff Clark and Board Chair Gloria Gargiulo

Monterey County Film Commission’s Board of Directors honored Monterey County Board of Supervisors
Photos: Robert Stanley

When the idea of creating a Monterey County Film Commission was being considered by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in 1987, it was then Supervisor Marc Del Piero—along with Supervisor Sam Karas—who championed the cause. They hoped the county would benefit from the economic boost that on-location film production could bring to the area. Little did they know that by 2015 film productions would have meant more than $92 million in economic impact for Monterey County’s communities.