Tuesday, July 28, 2009
An Update from the Action on Film (AOF) International Film Festival
I've been really enjoying the California sun since I arrived in Seirra Madre and have been attending the Action on Film (AOF) International Film Festival, http://aoffest.com/. I think I enjoy the weather even more as I hear about the on and off rain back east. A big thank you goes out to Pauline for letting me crash at her place.
I flew in late Friday night and missed the showing of my taped scene from After the Headlines. I'm a little bummed by that because it would have been cool to see the audiences reaction to the scene. Before they screen the films, screenwriters who have been nominated have a scene from their script performed by actors and recorded for the audience. After the Headlines has been nominated for 'Best Dramatic Scene.'
So far, I've been enjoying (AOF) International Film Festival. I've seen some interesting short and feature length films. Not all of them have been to my liking, but I have to credit all the filmmakers who have been accepted.
Last night, the screening series I attended kicked-off with a writer's scene, then Secret, a music video directed by Alex Gimenez, and Eyeborg, a feature film directed by Richard Clabaugh. Both projects were pretty impressive. Secret was a video of a Swedish rock band and Eyeborg, was a dystopic film that examines a future where everyone is under constant surveillance by mobile robot cameras known as Eyeborgs. An agent (Adrian Paul) begins to suspect a plot to assassinate the president.
When I think about the numbers of screenwriters and filmmakers out there and the chances of finding success based on the Hollywood studio system, it is enough to make you say, "Why bother?" The odds are so stacked against me. However, I continue to write and recently finished post on After the Headlines because I believe I have a calling for this work. The AOF fest and filmmakers Gimenze and Clabaugh reaffirmed that you can get a film good story out there on your own. It won't be easy, but it can be done, with the help of friends who are willing to take a chance.
Clabaugh made Eyeborg in his home state of North Carolina and got friends and family members to invest in the film. The film took about 3 years to complete, but he did it without the help of a Hollywood studio. That is amazing to me, because most industry people will tell you indie films can't be made that way today. Eyeborg needs distribution and that is what film festivals like AOF are about for directors and producers. I think the film will find an audience and will be on Netflix, Blockbuster online, or in a Redbox in due time.
Even if a bad film gets made, it's a miracle, especially considering the state of financial affairs in this country and in the global market. As I think about my upcoming screening for After the Headlines, I can tell you that I think I could have made a better film, but attending AOF has allowed me to appreciate my gift as a screenwriter. I'm proud to say I finished a film, because film making is not an easy feat.