36 High Octane

British Columbia
Don Calame British Columbia

Don Calame is a screenwriter whose film projects include Employee of the Month and Hounded. His latest book for teens is Call the ShotsRead more

Andrew Kaufman Ontario

Andrew Kaufman is the author of All My Friends Are Superheroes, The Tiny Wife, The Waterproof Bible and, most recently, Born Weird. His work has been published in 11 countries and translated into nine languages, and he is also an accomplished screenwriter. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children. @severalmoments Read more

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Waterfront Theatre
$17 / $8.50 for school groups

Screenwriters as well as successful novelists, Don Calame and Andrew Kaufman take the stage in an event that’s sure to be high- energy and very funny. Calame’s uproarious trio of high-school buddies Coop, Sean and Matt return with a scheme to make a low-budget horror movie that’s guaranteed to make them rich—and magnets for girls. Call the Shots crackles with fast-paced raunchy fun, and a gross-out warning for good measure. The10th anniversary illustrated edition of the worldwide cult favourite All My Friends are Superheroes brings Kaufman to the Writers Fest for the first time, and with him the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man and Tom’s wife, the Perfectionist. If you haven’t been introduced to these everyday superheroes before, don’t miss this chance.

Suitable for grades 10–12

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View the study guide for this event.

High Octane


Don Calame, Call the Shots
Andrew Kaufman, Born Weird/ All My Friends are Superheroes

Curriculum Connections:

  • Creative Writing: character and plot development
  • Fine Arts: drama and screenwriting


  • Both Calame and Kaufman’s stories are populated by enigmatic, attention-catching characters. Discuss what makes them so interesting, and ask if they would say either story is character-driven. Why or why not?
  • Ask each student to create a unique, individual character. What is his or her name? His/her traits, passions, and oddities?
  • Give each student a name tag to write the name of their character on. For the next activity, they will pretend to be the character they have just invented! Split students into small groups and have them ask each other detailed questions about their characters. For example, what does the character like to eat for breakfast? What makes the character sad? What is his biggest flaw?
  • After the students have gotten to know the characters in their group quite well, ask them throw their characters into a story together. How would the different personalities play off each other? How would it propel the plot? What are their relationships to each other?
  • Students could develop a written script, and/or act out a short scenario in which the characters drive a plot forward. Encourage the students to be creative and let their imaginations run wild!