» Posts Tagged ‘austinfilmfestival’

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Rian Johnson Brick Script to Screen Austin Film Festival
If you saw the Internet in passing last week, you just might have caught wind of a small story about Rian Johnson joining a modestly successful sci-fi franchise to write and direct a future episode. For his sake, I certainly hope the first movie in the announced trilogy doesn’t tank, or Johnson may be out of a job. As I read that story, I was reminded of the Austin Film Festival Script-to-Screen panel I moderated with Johnson this past October to discuss his first feature film, the high school film noir Brick. Now only days away from principal photography on my first feature film, this feels like the perfect time to revisit our conversation to learn from Johnson and his experiences making this original take on the film noir genre. More »

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A Conversation with Jeff Nichols AFF part twoEarlier this year, I posted excerpts from my conversation with Jeff Nichols at the 20th Austin Film Festival and Conference, thanks to the generosity of AFF. Reading parts of the interview is nice, but I honestly believe you need to hear Jeff Nichols share his thoughts on writing and filmmaking in his own words. Now, thanks to AFF’s OnStory podcast, you get that chance. Using specific examples from his three films Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, and Mud, Jeff Nichols talks about his approach to characters and writing/directing, and he also hints at how his upcoming film Midnight Special will be different from his previous work. More »

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Austin Film FestivalIf you already polished your screenplay for the Academy Nicholl Fellowship deadline earlier this month, you may want to consider one more submission. The final deadline for the Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition is May 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm PST. Why submit your screenplay to AFF? Read on to find out the benefits of submitting your script to the one film festival dedicated to screenwriting. More »

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Richard Kelly Austin Film Festival Donnie Darko Script to Screen 3
For me, Donnie Darko is one of those films that needs to be found. Its Sundance premiere didn’t exactly set off fireworks and its subsequent theatrical release in the U.S. in the fall of 2001 was quiet. Thanks to DVD (and a healthy theatrical debut in the UK), though, many people did eventually find this debut feature film from writer/director Richard Kelly, turning it into a cult classic. But even after watching the film, you feel like you are still discovering exactly what Donnie Darko is. So, you turn to the Director’s Cut to find more. For me, I did find more — more questions and even more intriguing themes. Thankfully, all these years later, I had the good fortune to spend almost two hours in conversation with Kelly, watching clips from both the original and director’s cut of Donnie Darko, in front of a live audience during a Script-to-Screen panel at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. Here are just a few of the lessons we learned from Kelly about his experiences with his enigmatic first feature. More »

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Veronica Mars movie Rob Thomas OnStory Austin Film FestivalExactly one year and a day since launching the Kickstarter campaign that raised $2 million in twelve hours and ultimately raised over $5.7 million in 30 days, the Veronica Mars movie hits the big screen day-and-date with its VOD digital distribution. While Veronica Mars changed who uses Kickstarter to fund films and introduced many new people to the crowdfunding platform, series creator and film writer/director Rob Thomas explains that this movie simply would not have happened without the crowdfunding support of its ardent fans. Now with the film’s release, OnStory TV from Austin Film Festival provides an in-depth interview with Thomas to learn how he, Kristen Bell, and their collaborators solved the mystery of how to make the Veronica Mars movie. More »

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A Conversation with Jeff Nichols AFF part two
Today, we present the second part of the two-part conversation I had with writer/director Jeff Nichols (MudTake Shelter, Shotgun Stories) in front of a live audience at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part One of the conversation in which Nichols discussed the origin of his characters, the thematic elements of his films, and lessons learned from directing that impact his writing. In the second part of the conversation, Nichols elaborates on how he chooses his characters’ names, the importance of settings and characters’ professions, his relationship with actor Michael Shannon, and the pacing of his films. More »

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A Conversation with Jeff Nichols AFF
Back in October, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with writer/director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take ShelterShotgun Stories) in front of a live audience at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. During our hour-long conversation, Nichols generously shared many details of his writing and directing processes, including the origins of his characters, the progression of his career as a storyteller, the importance of a story’s setting and a character’s profession, and the deliberate pacing of his films, plus much more. Thanks to the Austin Film Festival, we present this conversation with Jeff Nichols in two parts, the first of four AFF panel discussions we will be sharing over the coming weeks. More »

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Austin Film FestivalOne of the most important career skills a screenwriter should learn is how to take a meeting. New screenwriters may dread these meetings, but preparation and knowledge of the development process can help even the most reticent writers express their visions clearly to people with the power to turn their screenplays into film and television. Thanks to the 20th Austin Film Festival and Conference, we heard from a panel of development executives spanning film, television and animation who offered their advice to screenwriters on how to take meetings and explained exactly what the development process looks like from their perspectives. More »

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Vince Gilligan Breaking Bad Austin Film FestivalThe series finale of Breaking Bad left most viewers quite satisfied – an exceedingly rare feat in television. Yet, the finale also left a vacuum in our collective entertainment. Now what are we supposed to watch on Sunday nights? Or on Netflix? Or iTunes or Amazon? Breaking Bad changed the way many of us discover and watch television as well as the way we view the basic cable landscape. Now that it’s over, we want our next fix. Until then, the 20th Austin Film Festival and Conference recently presented an in-depth and candid conversation with Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. The conversation ranged from Gilligan’s early influences to breaking in to Breaking Bad. More »

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Austin Film Festival Conference 2013 nofilmschool promo codeThe Austin Film Festival & Conference is the only major film festival in the United States truly dedicated to the art and craft of screenwriting. Like many festivals, AFF shows a slate of independent features and shorts in competition alongside upcoming major studio releases. What makes AFF special, though, is the Conference the festival holds each year featuring top screenwriters from Hollywood as well as award-winning screenwriters of independent films discussing their screenplays, their craft and the business. I feel lucky and humbled to be one of this year’s Conference panel moderators at AFF because of my contributions to nofilmschool. To find out more about the 20th Anniversary Austin Film Festival & Conference and an exclusive nofilmschool promo code for $50 off their Conference and Producers badges, check out the details below. More »

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Duplass Brothers Mark and Jay Austin Film Festival Film CourageFor the past decade, the Duplass Brothers, Mark and Jay, have been one of the driving forces of the mumblecore movement. One of the misconceptions of the Duplass Brothers’ films (The Puffy Chair, Baghead, Cyrus, Jeff, Who Lives at Home) is that their dialogue-heavy, naturalistic scenes are all improvised. Certainly, this filmmaking duo gives actors space to explore their characters and situations within each scene, but their stories are scripted out well before they get to set. Film Courage recently asked writer/director Jay Duplass to describe his first seven days writing a screenplay while the Austin Film Festival’s On Story podcast featured an in-depth conversation with the Duplass Brothers, covering the evolution of their filmmaking career. You can watch and listen to both interviews below. More »

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Lawrence Kasdan Austin Film Festival On Story PodcastWhether staring at the blank page or struggling to cut 30 pages from a bloated first draft, every screenwriter has likely had the same thought: “This is so much easier for other screenwriters.” Guess what? It’s not easier for other screenwriters. Writing screenplays is hard. Sure, some screenwriters are very successful at writing great screenplays, but that doesn’t mean it was easy to write them. Don’t take it from me, though. Listen to Lawrence Kasdan tell you about the challenges he still faces today when he writes a screenplay, thanks to Austin Film Festival’s On Story podcast. More »

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on-story-austin-film-festivalScreenwriters are undoubtedly propelled by the question, “What if…?” Many times when writing a screenplay, however, we are tempted by the question, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” This question can certainly lead to dramatic action sequences or hilarious set pieces, but may not reveal the true nature of our characters or propel the story forward. Thanks to yet another episode of On Story, the PBS series presented by the Austin Film Festival, we can watch the screenwriters of Wanted, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Snitch discuss how they write thrilling action sequences that define the characters in their stories. More »

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.40.07 PMOn Story from PBS in Austin is a “new series which takes a look at the creative process of filmmaking through the eyes of some of the entertainment industry’s most prolific writers, directors, and producers.” Recently they had a great panel discussion with Danny Boyle, Jason Reitman, and Ed Burns at the Austin Film Festival where they discussed the challenges of finding the right story and writing to suit your budget. It’s a must-see for indie filmmakers and screenwriters. Check it out below! More »

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If you haven’t already discovered Austin Film Festival’s PBS show On Story (about which we’ve posted before), you’re missing out on a treasure trove of excellent videos from former AFF panels with screenwriters and directors. In the most recent episode, Ted Tally, Academy Award winning screenwriter of The Silence of the Lambs, shares some gems about how he discovered Thomas Harris’ novel, staying ahead of your audience and collaborating with Jonathan Demme on this classic film. More »

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Austin Film Festival recently kicked off the second season of On Story, its PBS series with directors and screenwriters curated from interviews from the festival. In the season premiere, the legendary late Sydney Pollack identifies the moments in the development of his classic films Tootsie, The Way We Were, and Jeremiah Johnson, when he discovered the keys to making his characters work in the context of the stories he was trying to tell, and how those discoveries were translated into the scripts and the final films. In this same episode, David Milch, creator of NYPD Blue and Deadwood, also describes how he created the character of Andy Sipowicz and how he channeled his frustration of not being able to tell the biblical tale of Paul into a storyline for Deadwood. You can check out the full episode here: More »

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Have you already submitted your polished script to the Nicholl Fellowship?  Did you miss that May 1 deadline and wish you had a few more days and another chance?  Then you should consider submitting to the Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Competition.  Screenplay awards for Drama and Comedy category each include $5,000 plus reimbursement for round-trip airfare (up to $500) and hotel (up to $500) for the conference and festival.  Teleplay awards for Sitcom Spec, One-Hour Spec, Sitcom Pilot and One-Hour Pilot each include $1,000, plus reimbursement for round-trip airfare (up to $500) and hotel (up to $500) for the conference and festival. More »