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Am thinking of attending this year since it is the last big conference of the yuear before things start winding down. (mid-October)
Have been asking for experiences from writers I know who have attended in the past and have gotten conflicting advice from too expensive and too large to wonderful and a way to make a ton of contacts.
I'm looking primarily for something along the lines of Selling to Hollywood; meeting writers and HONESTLY getting an opportunity to meet people who are doers and movers, not wannabe development execs in start-up companies who might now be there two months later.
Also, since I'm also interested in filmmaking, Austin seemed like a good choice; my bank account can only afford one event every other year.
So, folks, honest points of view would be helpful - post here or send them to me confidentially- DMVBlondie@aol.com
check it out, donna. austin is a cool, laid-back town and the la-la land folk really dig that. it's easy to chat with people and develop a relationship. there's much less attitude also.
I've been going to the AHFF since the very first one in '94. I always have a good time. Austin is a beautiful city, but unless you go a day ahead or stay a few days later, you won't get to see much of it. There are enough panels during the day, and at night films, to keep you really busy. they usually start the festival with "you can sleep when you get home." Known people often sit at the bars and chat after the activities. You can check out their website for who was on the panels from last year.
I went in `96. Panel discussions were fun & laid-back. Access to H'wood folks was so-so, but I'm pretty gregarious so I did well in meet `n greet. In fact, I was asked to write an article about the conf. for scr(i)pt magazine, which appeared in their Feb `97 issue.
I haven't been back, but have already decided to go this year. Many friends have been going in the interim & said it's still a blast.
Not sure what you're expecting & I haven't been to the Hollywood Conf. you mentioned. I truly believe though that these events are less 'reel networking with biz-folks' than substantial gooses in our respective butts to keep on keeping on.
I look at them as short working vacations -- the few I do. Can be expensive though, I agree.
Have your pitch down-pat & be professional but personable & ya never know what might happen.
My 2 cents, D
I went last year and I loved it!
The panels are very helpful and you do get a chance to talk to WORKING screenwriters. For instance, I was able to ask questions and talk with, Scott Frank (Out of Sight), Ted Talley (Silence of the Lambs)a few others too.
The conference is very laid back and you can find several opportunities to talk with someone who you admire, in my case it was Scott Frank.
The panels really do help improve your screenwriting. Having Scott Frank tell you all he knows about writing good dialogue is definately a plus.
You can also check out some great films for free!
If you can scrape up the dough, it's really worth it.
Feel free to ask me questions about the conference, if you would like.
How laid back is laid back?
This may sound somewhat... frivilous, but what was the typical attire? Was it "laid back," as in shorts and jeans?
The conferences I've attended in the past (elsewhere) were more along the lines of aesthetic business attire to fashionable, casual work attire.
I just wanna know if I'd stand out like a sore thumb, if I wore that sheer leg and arm thang, with the wrap around tunic. LOL
That is, if I decide to attend. ;)
Clothes range from dressy to weird. Most wear jeans (although it is HOT in Austin even in October), so shorts are seen, too. As long as you wouldn't get arrested on the streets of any other city it would be okay for the conference.
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