Last weekend I returned to Austin to take in the festival as my digital series script Geeky Pheebs: Gets Schooled semifinaled in the competition. Overall, it was a positive experience the bummer, was that there was a huge storm that flooded the airport on Friday October, 30th and caused many flights from LAX to be canceled and thus prevent panelists and guest speakers from showing up to their events at the fest.
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Yeah, the Austin storm was kind of like that. Ask somebody.
It was a much different vibe this year as a semifinalist because there were special panels and round tables available to us where there was more insight to what it is like to be a professional writer.

Some of my highlight were meeting screenwriter Edward Ricourt, listening to two special presentations by Oscar winner Michael Arndt, and attending the Nickelodeon Happy Hour.

It was also great to see so many people I met last year advance this year in the festival and beyond.

Being that I stayed with a friend on the east side downtown, I was able to appreciate more of the sights and sounds of the city and really gained an appreciation for the culture of Austin. I being from Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Austin felt very similar as it also has a small town vibe with
energy of a city much bigger.

If  you haven't been to the Austin Film Fest, put it on your radar.
 
 
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Last week, I got news that I made the quarterfinals for Final Draft's Big Break script contest. It was for my half-hour pilot "The Treehouse." I'm not sure when they announce the next rounds, but I'm excited to get this far in such a respected contest. I'll keep everyone updated to its progress!

Here is the logline for the pilot:
This comedy series follows a straight-laced art student and her colorful co-workers as they serve the often-outrageous clientele of a popular college town head shop.

Also,  big-ups to my writing group member Olivia Briggs who's one hour pilot "Wrecking Balls" also achieved quarterfinal status. Lucky 13 is doing big things!

The link to Final Draft's 2015 compete quarterfinal list is HERE

 
 
This week, the Austin Film Festival released their list of semi-finalists and second rounders for their screenwriting competition. I am pleased to announce that the pilot for my digital series, Geeky Pheebs: Gets Schooled is among the semi-finalists. I share writing credit with my partner on the Geeky Pheebs project, Ruth Tjornhom. We'll be in Austin to promote this project and hope we can garner some interest.

Congrats to all the other Second Rounders and Semi-Finalists  which include some members of my writing group! Full list here:  http://www.austinfilmfestival.com/2015-screenplay-semifinalists-and-second-rounders/
 
 
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Photo Credit: LoneStarMike
I recently returned from the Austin Film Festival and Conference in Austin, TX.  I decided to attend due to my 'Second Rounder' scripts in the Spec categories for "Arrow" and "Brooklyn Nine Nine."  I feel I had a very productive conference and made a lot of new contacts and gained a little ground on some of my various projects.  The panels were very helpful and the parties were lively (well, as lively as they can be for a bunch of writers).  I do have some gripes about the festival, but overall, it was run pretty smooth.  Seriously though, what was up with that shuttle to the BBQ party? We were waiting for like 50 minutes.

Austin proclaims itself as being 'weird' and takes a lot of pride in it.  I can attest it is 'weird' but not in the fun kitschy way that Portland is, no, it's more like Stepford weird.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about Austin is a little... off.  I'm gonna take some time to think about it and maybe submit myself to a montage of studying, but rest assured, I'll figure it out and post my findings here.

Anyway, the 'City of Live Music' was true to its namesake as loud, mostly shitty music echoed through the streets at all hours of the day.  So if you are in to that sort of thing, Austin is the place to be.  If you are really into that sort of thing, then consider attending SXSW or as many residents of Austin call it, "The Waiting in Line and Fucked Traffic Festival."

That's about all I
have for now.  I've got my eye on you Austin... I'll figure you out soon.

[DISCLAIMER: Many of the people from Austin were very nice.  Like the knitting woman I met in the lobby of the Driskill Hotel, who was waiting for her boyfriend's band's show to end.  She bought me and my screenwriting cohorts a bunch of beer/snacks and told us it was "The Austin Way." Thank you for that, ma'am and letting me tell you the trials of being an artist.  You're the tops in my book (which I may or may not write).]