Serious business was being conducted at the Maui Writers’ Conference, but that didn’t stop columnist Dave Barry from skewering Hollywood hits like “The Blair Witch Project.”
“There doesn’t have to be a screenplay,” Barry said in his keynote address over Labor Day weekend. “All you need is an enormous budget for hype. … And have you ever heard of anyone getting lost in Maryland? If they had shut up and stopped yelling at each other, they’d have walked 15 minutes and run into a Wal-Mart.”
At the closing party of the three-day gathering on Maui’s leeward shore, Barry picked up a guitar and joined authors Mitch Albom (“Tuesdays with Morrie”), Ridley Pearson (“Beyond Recognition”) and other erstwhile musicians for a rousing performance by the Cliffnotes band.
Joining in the fun were such authors as Elizabeth George (“Playing for Ashes”), Susan Isaacs (“Lily White & Red”), Dan Millman (“Way of the Peaceful Warrior”), James McBride (“The Color of Water”), Robin Cook (“Coma”) and Jack Canfield (“Chicken Soup for the Soul”).
Screenwriters in attendance included Jeff Arch (“Sleepless in Seattle”), William Dear (“Harry and the Hendersons”) and Steve Oedekerk (“The Nutty Professor”).