In two days, I'll be flying out to Pasadena, California to attend the Action on Film (AOF) International Film Festival. Part of me still can't believe that After the Headlines was selected for 'Best Dramatic' scene. It feels surreal, probably because I've submitted to countless screenwriting competitions and film festivals. Getting in is a make-good to the rejection letters I've received earlier. I'm a person who saves the rejection letters and emails, I do it because I looking at them every so often reminds me that I still have a long way in becoming a viable screenwriter in the industry.
The acceptance into AOF reaffirms that I'm getting better as a writer, I'm making progress. AOF is my first acceptance into a major film festival. In 2006, Moonshine, an indie feature I worked on as a production coordinator was accepted into Sundance. Theo, an actor from the film and I flew out to Park City to attend the screening and enjoy the thrill of the moment. It was great to be part of the magic of Sundance, but it wasn't my moment. I regret not staying long enough to go to other screenings, panel discussions, and workshops.
This time it is different. I'm the contender, an even if I don't win my category, the fact that I'm at the festival is a personal win for me. I will be in Pasadena for the whole festival. Unfortunately, I won't be able to see the scene from After the Headlines acted out. I'll be in transit, hopefully I can get a copy. I think all the networking I'll get to do and the films I'll get to see will make up for it (as a nominee I get a free all-access pass, but it doesn't include the VIP parties).
Even though I'm all about AOF, I realize my work as a screenwriter and filmmaker continues. This week I've been working with Jeff, the editor and Mike, audio engineer on finishing the final cut for After the Headlines. They're helping me enhance what I've shot. It's amazing what goes on behind the scenes in post-production. Kudos to those who do this work for a living, it's a real art form. When I get back from California, there will be a screening for the film on August 4, 2009 at Western Connecticut State University (thanks Brian) Student Theatre. The program begins at 7 p.m.
I really feel like I'm in a good place and this opportunity can open other doors for me. It hasn't been an easy road to get this far, but I see the fruit on the trees and that makes all the difference for me. I will try to post a blog when out west. Thanks for reading and take care til then.