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Messages posted since 08/02/2014

Topic: Slamdance 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/20/10 12:03 PM

My script, Bank Robbing For Dummies, took 2nd in the feature category. Marjory took first in shorts. Congratulations, Marjory.

Author: Marjory Kaptanoglu Posted: 09/20/10 12:14 PM

Thank you, and congratulations, Robert. Your screenplay is on a roll. It must be great!

The prize for the shorts category is that Slamdance will make my film and premiere it at Slamdance 2011. Very exciting!

Author: Janet Hogate Posted: 09/20/10 12:26 PM

Congrats. Robert and Marjory. Robert, you are on a roll with this one. Please keep us posted.

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 09/20/10 01:41 PM

Congrats to both of you! Great contest to place high in. Awesome prize Marjory! And even more for you guys to talk about in Austin.

Author: James Pickering Posted: 09/20/10 03:09 PM

That's brilliant! Great job Rob, that script really is on a roll.

Marjory that't fantastic, I'm not surprised you're excited!

Author: Heather Hughes Posted: 09/20/10 04:38 PM

Congrats Robert and Marjory!!!

Author: Cheryl Miller Posted: 09/20/10 06:51 PM

Congrats to all! I don't know much about Slamdance but looks like several from the board think highly of it.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/21/10 12:15 AM

Thanks, everybody. I'd love to hear advice from anybody who's attended Slamdance before.

Author: Nancy Smith Posted: 11/08/10 11:37 PM

Congratulations Marjory and Robert! If there's anyway you can attend the event - do. I was third in the screenplay contest a few years ago and went. It's a fabulous time and you'll meet lots of people.

Author: Michael Scott Posted: 11/09/10 06:43 AM

Great job!

Author: Nathan Goldman Posted: 11/09/10 11:57 AM


Author: Irin Evers Posted: 11/09/10 12:32 PM

I know they both attended the event and had a great time.

Author: Marjory Kaptanoglu Posted: 11/09/10 12:50 PM

Thanks, everyone. Slamdance is a class act. I went to the awards ceremony at the end of October at the WGA building in LA. The top five finalists in each of the five categories were invited, plus other Slamdance friends and judges from their contest. Robert Watson and R. Ian Simpson (who also won Bluecat) were there. We had time for lots of mingling plus food and wine. Peter Baxter (Slamdance founder) announced the awards and called us up one by one to receive them. It felt great to be honored.

I received an envelope containing my prize list: most importantly, that Slamdance is producing my script. Also there will be an all access festival pass waiting for me, along with some Slamdance merchandise (T-shirts and DVDs) to pick up at the fest. Additionally, I won a free copy of Final Draft, which I'm actually quite happy to get because it's FD 8 (I have 7) and it looks like it has some whizzy new features.

Regarding the short film, Slamdance started work on it within a week of the contest results being announced. They quickly rounded up a highly qualified director, casting director, line producer, and so on. The director got in touch with me right away and we talked about casting and some additions the director wants to make to the script. I love his ideas; they're going to improve the film a lot. Anyway, they are off and running and I plan to be there for rehearsals and possibly the filming, so I couldn't be happier with the way this is shaping up.

I'll give another update following the premiere in January. In the meantime, I highly recommend Slamdance as a contest to enter!

Author: Julia Kubik Posted: 11/09/10 01:12 PM

Wow! Exciting times! Congratulations and enjoy.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/09/10 04:33 PM

Nancy, where did you stay during Slamdance? Anybody else going?

Author: Nancy Smith Posted: 11/09/10 09:59 PM

We split a condo with 8 other people. It was right across from one of the hotels which was on the local event venue bus route. We just popped on and off the bus to go everywhere.

Author: James Pickering Posted: 11/10/10 03:05 AM

That's great news Marjory! Very exciting times.

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 11/10/10 12:03 PM

Slamdance takes place a the Treasure Mountain Inn at the top of Main Street and you can probably get a room there. Good location, though tough walk up the hill from the bottom of Main Street and the bus depot.

Most people rent condos with friends - price is weighted to location (closer to Main Street is more) and size. Here are some websites that I've used to book condos there:

Keep in mind that the top of Main Street is the top of a hill, and there's a hill the other way up to Park and higher up to Woodside.

And this is the website for everything Park City:

Dinner reservations for the big restaurants need to be made in advance, but it's no necessary that you eat at them.

Author: Marjory Kaptanoglu Posted: 01/03/11 12:49 PM

Hi all, I wanted to give an update on what's been going on with Slamdance since I won the short category last September.

The short was filmed in December at a synagogue in Woodland Hills, and I attended the shoot. Slamdance rolled out the red carpet for me on set (with Slamdance founder and producer Peter Baxter telling everyone in advance that this was all "for the writer"). Everyone was as friendly and welcoming as can be. The film stars three experienced film and television actors (Patrick J. Adams, Andrew Borba, and Brad Culver). Watching them perform under the helm of Oscar-nominated director, Adam Pertofsky, was an education. I also got to play an extra in the film, at the table right next to the actors. Very fun.

Slamdance has been moving lightning fast on this, and the film will premiere at 8 pm on 1/21/11 (opening night) at the Slamdance fest, along with a new feature called Pete Smalls Is Dead, directed by Alexandre Rockwell and starring Peter Dinklage, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi and Rosie Perez.

Here's a link to the film on the Slamdance schedule, in case you are in Park City on 1/21 and would like to catch it:

If you look at the pictures, I'm the woman under the clock in the 3rd one:-)

Anyway, all this is to say that Slamdance has followed through on the promise of producing my film with flying colors, and I highly recommend their contests to everyone!

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 01/03/11 01:51 PM

All great news - congrats Margie! Wish I could make the premiere. And especially cool that they are treating the writer the right way.

Author: Robert Ward Posted: 01/03/11 02:01 PM

Sounds fantastic, Marjory. Congratulations. I'm looking forward to seeing your work on the big screen.

Author: Steve Hochman Posted: 01/03/11 03:30 PM

This is too cool. Unfortunately won't be there to see the premiere. Congratulations Margie!

Author: Michael Scott Posted: 01/03/11 06:21 PM

What a way to start the new year. They love you, they really, really.... Congrats and keep up the great work!

Author: James Pickering Posted: 01/04/11 09:35 AM

That's brilliant news! A great way to start the year :)

Author: Timothy Jay Smith Posted: 01/04/11 12:20 PM

Fun fun fun! It must be exciting. Congrats.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/18/11 07:27 PM

Marjorie, have a great time. Unfortunately, the financial gods have not smiled on me this year, so I won't be able to make it to Slamdance. Let us know how it turns out.

Author: Marjory Kaptanoglu Posted: 01/19/11 12:21 PM

Really sorry I won't get to see you there, Robert. I'll let you know how it goes.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/30/11 06:57 PM

Marjory, give us an update. How did Slamdance go?

Author: Marjory Kaptanoglu Posted: 01/31/11 10:37 AM

This may be more than you were looking for, Robert, but here you go!

Regarding the film that Slamdance produced from my script, Dead in the Room, I couldn't be happier with it. I saw it for the first time with the audience on opening night. The production values are top notch: sound, editing, cinematography. The acting is fantastic. The music score, with its pulsing beat and undercurrent of ticking clock, is perfect for the story. The director did an outstanding job putting it all together and remaining faithful to my script while at the same time adding or adjusting in places to make the story that much stronger.

Slamdance rolled out the red carpet for the film and for me. It premiered in a packed house (there were people sitting on the floor) on opening night alongside a film starring Peter Dinklage and Steve Buscemi, among others. Peter Baxter, the film's producer and Slamdance co-founder, called me up to the stage along with our director, Adam Pertofsky, our other producer, Richard Berman, and our casting director. Peter made a point of acknowledging my contest-winning script. Also, along with my free festival pass, I received six free tickets to the premiere, which I shared with my husband and several friends who accompanied me to Park City.

Regarding the Slamdance festival itself, I enjoyed the fact that it is very self-contained. Every event, except for the opening night party, took place at the Treasure Mountain Inn. There were two screening rooms and a filmmakers' lounge. It's very easy, when you have a pass ($200-$300 to purchase) to spend your day at the TMI, alternating between attending panels and watching films. My favorite part was the daily Happy Hour. The Happy Hours usually lasted a couple of hours, providing a great opportunity to mingle and meet with other attendees.

Slamdance stays true to its mission of finding and developing new talent in the independent world. I believe all of the features are by first-time filmmakers, and many of the shorts as well. Honestly, I didn't like every film I saw, but I thought they were all original or heartfelt or unique in some way. I love that Slamdance takes its mission to help filmmakers (and writers) break in so seriously.

I ended up not attending any events at Sundance. If you haven't bought tickets in advance, you have to get in line at the theater two hours in advance just to get on the wait list, then return a half hour before the film to see if you actually have a ticket. It felt like way too much trouble. And passes are very expensive (cheapest, for just part of the fest, starting at around $600). I would've like to attend some of their panels and parties, but I would've needed to buy a pass.

Lodging is extremely expensive in Park City at this time, as you might imagine. So I found a two-bedroom condo about 7 miles from Main Street and five of us shared it. The condo was very nice, and had a kitchen so we could save cash on some of our meals. It was also quiet and lovely looking out the window at the snow outside. There was a free shuttle bus very nearby that we could take to and from Main Street, where Slamdance and Sundance headquarters are. However, on the weekends the traffic going into town becomes extremely congested and the bus ride took an hour! We ended up taking a cab some of the time, which was not bad given we split the cost. Overall, we spent about half the money on lodging and cab rides that some other friends spent on getting a condo right in town. Still, if I do this again I think I would splurge for a more expensive place closer to town, but still not right in town. The nice thing about riding the shuttle buses is that you meet lots of other people attending the festivals.

If you place in the top five of any of the Slamdance writing contests (shorts, features, horror, script accessible, and teleplay), you receive a free pass to the fest. I met at least four other finalists taking advantage of this. Overall, it's a wonderful opportunity to meet filmmakers, some of whom are definitely looking for scripts. It can be expensive, though, so if you decide to go you may want to plan carefully and book your trip as early as September. Moreover, if you love snow as I do, you'll want to bring along your skis as well. I managed to get in quite a bit of cross-country skiing.

In summary, Slamdance represents a great opportunity for writers, and if you're lucky enough to win the shorts competition, you'll get a first class film out of it as well!

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 01/31/11 01:09 PM

Thanks Margie. Sounds like it was a great time, and an awesome "prize" to have won. Glad it all went well. Let us know when it screens other places so we can see it!

Author: Michael Scott Posted: 01/31/11 06:19 PM

Wow, Marjory! I'm pumped just reading your thread. Great for you and much congratulations!

Author: Patrick Daly Posted: 01/31/11 08:30 PM

Me too! This is completely awesome.

Author: Marjory Kaptanoglu Posted: 01/31/11 10:37 PM

Thanks, Patrick, Michael, and Irin!

Author: James Pickering Posted: 02/01/11 04:11 PM

That really is fantastic. Hopefully i'll get to see the short in the future.

Author: d. santiago Posted: 02/01/11 04:49 PM

Great job, Marjory.