Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Year End Wrap-up: The Things I Am Grateful For

Hello all,

I know, it's been a while since my last entry. I'm going to be honest, I just didn't feel like writing or sharing. I was working on a couple of projects and really needed to focus on them and only them. I'm glad to be back and with the year coming to a close, I'm excited about my year-end wrap up.

I'm a lucky girl. I got married thrice and not only did I keep my job during this horrible economy, but I also managed to continue to write (mostly revising older scripts) and promote After the Headlines at a couple of film festivals this year. Of course it wasn't all a win. The GOP took back the House, the financial recovery is as slow as molasses, and I did receive more rejection letters than I would have liked from both film festival and screenwriting competitions. But with all that said, I still have to consider this year momentous. I continue to expand my network of professional colleagues on the screenwriting front and my writing is getting better, that is when I sit down and write.  To wrap up the year, below are my top five highlights for 2010.

5. The Kent Film Festival: I was sitting in the Barnes and Noble in Waterbury, CT working on a script when I received a call from Frank Galterio, co-founder of the festival, to let me know that After the Headlines was accepted into Kent. I was thrilled. The fact that he took the time to call me with the news meant a lot. The festival was great. Frank and his wife, Patrice, the Kent Film Festival staff did a phenominal job of making filmmakers feel welcomed and supported. You two ROCK!

4. My Rejection Letters: I'm sure you are all surprised about this. I decided to add it, because the rejection process has helped me to take a hard look at my writing and filmmaking. I 've seen the areas where I need to grow. The standard rejection letter irks me. I really appreciate the film festivals and screenwriting competitions that also provide throughful and encouraging feedback with their thanks but no thanks.  It's great to get praise and nothing beats the feeling of acceptance, but as a artist who wants to also make a living as a screenwriter, I need to listen to those who offer hard critisim. I may not like it, but my work will be better off for it if I see the positive in it.

3. My Profile in the Republican American: Once I knew After the Headlines was accepted into the Kent Film Festival, I knew I had to drum up some local publicity. I drafted a press release and sent it out to Connecticut newspapers. Most local papers weren't interested, but I did yield one major result. My local paper, The Republican American responded to my press release with a call back and interest in interviewing me. Timing is everything. I think it helped that the paper just ran a local story on The Kent Film Festival and I capitalized on it. I expected a small write up, but instead was the front cover of the Arts section. Friends, family and people who I haven't talked to in years either emailed me or called to congratulate me. This cover story reminded me that local news is the heartbeat of our cities and towns and that my hardwork can pay off.

2. Screening After the Headlines at Casey: When the story about After the Headlines hit the papers, I wasn't expecting the buzz that I received. I didn't mention it to many people. I was suprised when a colleague stopped by with a copy of the article. Throughout that day, I received a bunch of emails and people stopping by my office to congratulate me. They also told me they wanted to see the film. About two, myabe three weeks later, their was a screening for the film. It was attended by all the staff in the office. I was taken back by that. It was a moving moment for me. The comments I received from folks was so supportive and encouraging. That day, I was reminded of the power my writing can have on an audience and that I need to continue to work on my dream of being a filmmaker and screenwriter.

1. Attending the 2010 Action on Film Festival: In 2009, I was estactic when my script After the Headlines was nominated for 'Best Dramatic Scene.' I was completely caught off-guard when I won the award. This year I felt extremely privilege to return to the fabulous city of Pasadena to once again attend the Action on Film Festival (AOF), http://www.aoffest.com/. Not only was my short film an official selection, but it was also nominated for 'Best Produced Screenplay.' My short script Out of the Box was also nominated for 'Best Short' and 'Best Written Word.' I didn't win 'Best Produced Screenplay,' but I did walk away with an award for first runner-up in the 'Best Short' category and also took home the '2010 Hollywood Scriptwriter Written Word Award.' I had a great time at both awards show. Outside of the film screenings, I deepened my connections with fellow screenwriters, attended some really good seminars and expanded my network with other professionals in the film industry. I have to shout out Del Weston, founder of (AOF), Josh Neufeld, (AOF) film festival director, and the AOF film festival staff. This team of people give 110 percent to the screenwriters and filmmakers who attend the festival. I'm privileged to be a part of this festival family.

Thoseare my highlights for 2010. A big thank you also goes out to my family and friends who continue to support my creative efforts. Thanks for the proofreading, feedback, and tough words when I need it. I look forward to capitlizing on more opportunities in 2011 and will lay out my plan in my New Year blog entry. Next year, I want you all to be a part of my goal planning. I also want to cover more topics outside of film and get you more into the mix of things I'm doing or pursuing.

Signing off for now. Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2011. Thanks for reading!