I am so excited 2008 is here. It’s going to be your best year ever! And we intend to be there with you, cheering you on to success every step of the way. And when I look at all the opportunities available to us — the only option is success!

After a very busy 2007, I had a chance to recoup and reflect during our break, and I want to note how proud I am of our mission and our industry!

We are in the middle of a very contentious strike, a lot is on the table, and the most important stack of chips is the future. But when the smoke clears, and we go back to work, and studio production begins in earnest, I hope someone will launch a campaign to remind us what a stellar job the movie industry does and the high standard it exemplifies.

I’ve had the chance to relax and enjoy some movies in the past few weeks, not just for “business” but for fun (although I still can’t help watching with the BS2 in mind!), and I was reminded again of how good we are. And what a great variety of entertainment we produce.

I saw a couple of big “popcorn” flicks, I Am Legend and National Treasure, and had a ball. Especially loved National Treasure and I’m so pleased my friends Cormac and Marianne Wibberley are experiencing such well-deserved success! Pure entertainment? Pure escapism? Oh yes! And no one does it better than the big studios. Still. Always!

Also watched There Will Be Blood, perhaps my favorite movie of the season (with the first fake Save the Cat! scene I can remember) and I was blown away. I want to see it again, and maybe once again.

Also caught Juno and Lars and the Real Girl, both of which hit the BS2 like clockwork. And both are perfect examples of the kind of low-budget Indie scripts anyone interested in pursuing that market should study. Just like creating for any genre, they meet the requirements their audience expects, but do so in a fresh way. Home runs both.

Okay, so there were also some clunkers: Into the Wild may be my new Memento.

But that’s what makes it a horse race. We all like different movies and like to write different ones, too. That’s why our job is so exciting and the business we are in so vibrant.

Point is: if you are looking at your career at the dawn of 2008 with a “woe is me” attitude, get over it! If you feel that “timing” or “corporations” or “lack of money” or “it’s all about who you know” is stopping you from winning, you are just plain wrong. The “system” is not in conspiracy to stop you from creating or seeing any movie you want to make or see. The world of the Indie is alive and well! And so is the big-budget studio flick.

There is room for us all.

There is opportunity EVERYWHERE!

There are diamonds lying at our feet — we just have to pick them up.

Any vision you have, any idea you want to express, any character you want to bring to life, you can.

And this is the year you do it.

I am excited about what we do. And I can’t wait to jump in. I am off to Seattle next week to begin a series of Master Classes there. We’ve also added a Beats weekend here in Los Angeles in February due to overwhelming demand — the pre-requiste for taking the Master Class. This 40 Beat class has become one of our most popular because it gets you right up to the point where you can write Fade In:

We will also be adding some new features to help you in your quest here on the site. First up will be a FREE downloads page with a lot of great info I usually give out to writers only at workshops. Look for a tab marked “Tools” in the next few weeks for these useful extras.

And starting soon, we’ll be offering those who’ve purchased our software a new 40 Beat breakdown of a current movie every month — just like what is available now on the 2.0 software for Spider-Man 2. I think the first movie we’ll do a breakdown for is Juno. Please email me suggestions throughout the year of the movies in theaters you’d like a 40-card breakdown for — maybe we’ll add them to the list!

So what are you doing sitting there eating corn flakes and reading this blog? Get to work! Write up some ideas and go out and pitch them to startled strangers at Starbucks. Join a Cat! group and start reading scripts or writing one. Go to the theaters, go to Blockbuster, go to Netflix (my next movie jag is an Otto Preminger weekend featuring Laura, The Man With the Golden Arm, and Bunny Lake Is Missing), and screen some movies that will help inspire the movie you want to write.

Let’s go! Let’s make this your best year ever.

It starts with saying: Yes!

Happy New Year!