Austin Film Festival Recap


(Barbara Mc Thomas) #1

Hey guys - I live in Dallas at attend the Austin Film Festival and Conference almost every year. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a four day conference primarily focused on screenwriting and an accompanying week long film festival. Writers, producers, managers and filmmakers hold panels, workshops, screenings - it’s a great place to learn, network and get re-energized about your craft.

There is also a screenwriting competition that carries some genuine weight in the industry and this weekend I learned that their relatively new Digital Series category only gets a few hundred entrants (compared to about 6,000 drama screenplays!) So definitely check it out for next year. They treat their finalists well and you will get industry introductions, if not meetings. And a huge trophy shaped like a typewriter. It is a script competition, and I believe entries have to be undproduced so this would be for your next project, not your current. You can get all the info at their website.

I also attended at panel on DIY filmmaking that honestly didn’t offer a fraction of the practical information that Stareable does so kudos to Bri and everyone at Stareable for what they do, seriously.


(Bri Castellini) #2

:heart: This is also why we took our panels and workshops at Stareable Fest so seriously- what’s the point of listening to people talk for so long if there’s no practical advice?? I hear great things about AFF in general though.


(Barbara Mc Thomas) #3

Panels at AFF are hit or miss. There are some panelists who take it very seriously and it’s basically a class with slides and exercises and hands on critique. John August, Terry Rossio, Lindsay Doran, Craig Maizin, Scott Myers, James V. Hart are examples of this type of panel. Craig Maizin did one a few years ago on the Pixar storytelling method and it was AMAZING. And they have several “Script To Screen” panels where you compare the finished scene to the script and discus how it changed, etc, Sometimes it’s an older film and the panelists are writers who love that film and sometimes it’s current and you get the actual writer(s).

But…sometimes the panelists have clearly not done any preparation and don’t take it seriously, and then it’s just 90 painful minutes of anecdotes and rambling.

In the case of the DIY panel, the panelists were all from the DePaul School of Cinematic Arts and they clearly knew their stuff and did take it seriously. But, the tone was more “here’s WHY you should make your own stuff” not “here’s HOW”.


(Pablo Andreu) #4

Gonna check out that Digital Series category. Thanks for the info!