Kneeling (l-r): Winner Jennifer Deaton (Pentimenti), mentor Kent Osborne, mentor Doug Sadler,. Standing (l-r): mentor Joy Lusco Kecken, mentor Michael Lucker, winner Caitlin McCarthy (Vera), winner Steven Brooks (Apparition), winner Yarrow Wayman (Molewhackers), mentor Traci Carroll, mentor Molly Mayeux, winner Avi Weider (Zeroes and Ones), winner Bret Wood (The Seventh Daughter). Photo: Charles Judson
This past weekend, the Atlanta Film Festival staff welcomed a group of 6 writers and 6 mentors to Atlanta for an intensive weekend retreat at the Margaret Mitchell house in Midtown.
What transpired was nothing short of magical. (See the Kent Osborne Montage to get a taste...)
But don't take my word for it...
Here's the first posted bits of feedback from our mentors and screenwriters:
Screenplay winner Bret Wood and mentor Joy Lusco-Kecken at the Margaret Mitchell House Photo: Charles Judson
So what exactly is the "prize package" that comes with winning the first annual Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition? Now that the weekend is over, and the prize has been claimed, I thought it worth sharing a little about my experience. Several people in the local film community, as well as the Withoutabox film community, were a little shy to submit to the competition, because there was no cash award, and the promise of "workshop retreat with industry professionals" was kind of an unknown quantity...read more
You can read all the screenwriting books in the world. I've read my share. But they only give you some theoretical advice. The thing that money can't buy is the advice of someone (with real-world film experience) who has read your screenplay with intense interest, making notes about how to improve it, and who delivers those notes to you face-to-face and is willing to go through the script scene by scene and answer questions and talk about how these ideas could be integrated. read more.
Having someone who works in the industry read my script and then spend time giving honest objective feedback was incredible. Molly Mayeux, one of my mentors, is a producer so in addition to her very insightful script analysis she was a great resource about the steps I need to take to get Apparition into production. She had a lot of practical real world advice which you can't really find in a book.
Kent Osborne, my other mentor, not only had some great advice about the script but also brought Paula's ice breaker exercise to another level.
I wasn't sure what to expect from the reading on Saturday night but it was very productive, we had a good turn out and the actors did a good job on all of the scripts. Special thanks to Chris Burns for giving it everything he had.
Dan, Paula, Gabe and Charles and the rest of the staff at IMAGE did an amazing job and I would encourage everyone to submit their scripts next year.
Kent's death defying camera phone snapshot taken inside the Clermont! Photo Kent Osborne
the clermont is a seedy old hotel with a strip club underneath. the strippers are all crazy lunatics in their 60's. and the place was packed. they were really serious about people not taking pictures, so the only one i took was with my cell and it's blurry as hell because i didn't hold my hand still. oh well. at least i have my memories.
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...and (scooping Matt Dentler), I'd like to introduce Kent Osborne's brilliant ATL montage--featuring 2 (!) back flips from Festival Director Dan Krovich:
I'd like to thank everyone who participated in this inaugural event. It was an absolute delight.
Thanks to all the writers who submitted their work. We can't wait to do it again next year.
Congratulations to the winners--we expect great things from all of you!