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Experience Counts in WGA Foundation’s Veterans Project

Christine Berg is an Army brat. But these days, it may be better to describe her as a Wonder Buffalo.

Born to a military father in Thailand, raised in Germany and having served in the U.S. military herself out of high school, she says she’s seen so much of life that she needed an outlet to tell about it. “So I transitioned to being a filmmaker,” she says.

“Wonder Buffalo” is Berg’s first fully realized project, one that she developed at the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project.

Berg joined the yearlong writing project in May 2013, sharing ideas with other military veterans as well as professional mentors, including “The Killing’s” Dawn Prestwich and “Six Feet Under’s” Laurence Andries.

“You didn’t feel like you were in a class for beginners; you felt like you were professionally writing,” Berg says. “They took all of our scripts very seriously.”
Kevin Ott, communications director at the Writers Guild Foundation, says the service is intended for a person just like Berg — “someone with a unique set of experiences who uses our resources to improve their skills so they can get out there and tell their stories in a concrete way.”

“Wonder Buffalo,” co-written by Simon Shterenberg, follows a teenage Thai girl as she becomes the title character, a cosplay superhero that allows her to find acceptance and stand up for herself. “There are insecurities I had at a young age that” fit well in the “Wonder Buffalo” story, Berg says. “The theme of self-empowerment made the script stronger.”

Berg and Shterenberg plan to start shooting this year and were recently accepted to the Creative Activist Program within the Creative Visions Foundation.

Katherine Crawford, a military veteran who lost a leg, and who’s cast as Wonder Chick in the project, says the Writers Guild Foundation has provided a big boost. “It’s very pleasing to see individuals, and an organization, so steadfast at helping to put people on a career path that will get them established,” she says.

 

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