First off – went to see Chris Jones interview Eddie Hamilton – a film editor who worked with Matthew Vaughn on Kick Ass and various of his other movies as a producer. Also with Guy Ritchie. He was very interesting on editing and on how he reads spec scripts for friends projects and gives feedback from an editors point of view.
Then there was – a comedy writing panel discussion with – Dean Craig, Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil chaired by Paul Bassett Davis. This again was a great informal discussion on writing comedy, process and how to get into it as a career.
In the afternoon I went to Chris Jones talk – Winning your first Oscar – a bit of a hyperbolic title – but as Chris pointed out every year some unknown does win an Oscar for a short film/animation – so it is within the realms of possibility. The talk was about making and distributing Gone Fishing – his brilliant short – and how they planned a festival campaign with a view to maximizing their chance of an Oscar nomination. They end up sixth on the shortlist, just missing the nomination. But his views on how to work the film festivals ‘system’ were interesting and pragmatic.
Then I went to a talk on crime writing. This was something I know nothing about and a random choice. I thought they might talk about crime structures in features, but it was mostly about developing concepts for long running crime TV shows and how to keep them interesting and varied. I found it a little dull as it’s not really my area of interest.
I didn’t stay for the very end of the festival, but overall it was a very enjoyable three days and I met quite a few writers – all of whom were very friendly – most also starting out, and in the same boat as me.
The first time organizers did fantastically well to put on such a festival and I would definitely consider going again.