Well the 4th Annual Omaha Film Festival is over this year. I know the people who put it on hard work hard to do it, and while their is always this joy and excitement behind it – there is that ‘I will be glad when this week is over’ feeling as well. Not for me, I am there absolutely as much as I can and I love the opportunity it offers me. I am thankful for the trust they put in my role with the festival – from the first year, I have been one of the people they chose to drive some of the guest speakers, directors and more to transport them around town. This kind of opportunity does not present itself often, but I won’t really go into detail there.
The first year I was mainly responsible for a man who was more than a little pompous to put it politely and we didn’t start off on the best foot since he wanted to be their 1/2 hour early and I took him to the wrong building (who knew that Creighton has four buildings with the name Lied starting them off – and it was a screenwriting presentation, so why would I not assume it was at the Lied Performing Arts Center). Anyhow, part of the reason they had given me this assignment was to be able to sit in on his presentation and learn. I was so frustrated with the attitude this man had towards me that, I couldn’t make myself go into the room. I also think I feared he would have me running more errands that weren’t really in my duties – I did really get some fun stories from this guy and the things he assumed.
I did sit in on the seminar the second day when the two presenters sat on a panel and answered questions regarding screenwriting. When I was driving the speaker who had caused me grief to the airport – he was the most friendly he had been the whole weekend and commented that he had not seen me in any of the seminars. Now I wanted to say the real reason he had not, but replied that I was a lot busier than I had realized I was going to be. He spent the whole time on the way to the airport asking about me – now true it was only about 15 minutes, but it was nice. He even suggested that I contact him if I ever completed a screenplay for his input. He also said he hoped to be invited back to the Festival sometime in the future. Now really this is one of those ‘time and place’ opportunities that happen so seldomly.
I get a real secondary gain (probably third, fourth and fifth gains as well) from working at the festival. It continues to stir my creative juices – it excites me for what I write and motives me to do more and do more with it. I am also always pleasently surprised by the people I meet and get to spend time with. It’s funny how artists attract artists. I am constantly amazed with the people I meet and am drawn to – especially when I find out they themselves are artists. I met this great couple this weekend who were so helpful and a couple of the more reliable volunteers – I believe they had been there the last two years as well and we had met, but the opportunity to get to know them better did not present itself and it did this weekend. It wasn’t until the closing party that I learned they are also writers – I was so excited to learn this and told them about the writing group I belong to and encouraged them to come.
Time to write – and be excited for next year’s Omaha Film Festival – I am sure it will be special since it will mark their 5th year.
The nice thing about that most recent query holiday was the revision of the story I submitted. It is now the best it has ever been and falls under the number of words that most publishers/editors prefer for picture books. I was able to get a couple of submissions out the other day which felt really good.
The Omaha Film Festival has me a little busy, so that’s probably all I will get out for this week, but next week, I have about 10 more companies I am submitting it too.
The Omaha Film Festival started this weekend. Once again I was blessed with the opportunity to drive some of the speakers. I first picked up Daryl Sabara and his mother Sandy. Initially I struggled a little for conversation and the majority of questions I asked were answered by his mother. He was very polite. The conversation became very lively when I brought up the Oscars and it was interesting to hear their thoughts on it. Some of our thoughts were very similar.
Then I picked up Neil Krepela, ASC. I was also driving one of the directors of one of the shorts, Cosmos Kiindarius. While driving Cosmos to pick up some water and fruit, I had a very interesting conversation with him about screenwriting and as a writer, allowing the director to take my script and change the wording. I think I struggle in some several areas when it comes to this form of entertainment. One, it is so different than writing at story and while I am focusing on writing, I wonder – ‘do I want to learn a new format?’ Two, would I allow someone to take my story and convert it to a screenplay just to get a movie made of one of my stories? And three, how much pride in my work do I have that I think someone might not be able to alter it a little?
It’s been interesting because I have a friend who is a screenwriter who has offered to convert my stories in the past, but I wanted to do that so they would be mine. Now I wonder, can I let them go enough to work with him and trust him to stay true to my story? I do, I think and I will be talking with him soon.
A theme that continually seemed to come up this weekend was the importance of allowing the different areas to work together. When talking with Cosmos, I was catching that there is more respect to the story if it is a director who has praticipated in all aspects of a film. He clarified further to say that it is better to have done them all at different times – directing another writer’s screenplay, having a director direct your screenplay. It sounded like then there is more awareness of the integrity of the story.
I have learned and experienced a lot already this weekend, and it is only day two of the film festival. I plan to write more later.
After a very busy weekend – even with the extra day off, I realized how little time I have devoted to writing. I did spend time reading, reading about writing adn looking at some of my stuff, but little time writing. I am not doing so well on this plan to get a page a day written. I did finally get a car which I think will be a big relief. For the last two months, I have been at the mercy of those kind enough to drive me here and there, loan me their car or pick me up. It has been much longer and much more stressful than I realized it would be, but boy has it been a blessing that my family has been so supportive.
I have been working on getting this grave digger story transcribed and have not been doing well. It is my goal to have it done tonight – we will see, I also want to get out to see Coraline and know that I won’t be able to go to a movie like that for the next two weeks other than tonight due to work and the Omaha Film Festival. Tick, tock, tick, tock. If I want to see it tonight, I guess it means I better get transcribing.
Writing prompt: Write about a holiday that you did not enjoy, but did mean something to another with whom you celebrated with.