CT Film Festival
Back in June I attended one day of the CT Film Festival.
This year it was held in Danbury, CT - kind of an odd location but they do have a number of available theater venues for screenings.
First I went to a keynote address by Mike Reiss, a writer and producer of the Simpsons, whose biggest claim to fame is the Spiderpig song from the Simpsons' Movie. Yes fellow COW's, celebrities don't get much bigger than that.
Using clips from the show and movie, as well as clips from his independent show about a gay duck, he entertained the audience for about 90 minutes with stories from his career. He also spent a good 5 minutes making fun of Connecticut, but he was born in Bristol so he's allowed.
Next I went to a 90 minute workshop on writing marketable screenplays. Taught by Peter Fox from TriPeg Studios in Hamden, CT, this rapid fire class discussed strategies to develop your characters and story before actually sitting down and writing the screenplay. He also talked about story structure and conforming with expected screenplay conventions so as to avoid the circular file.
With some time to spare before the Comedy Shorts screening, I walked around downtown Danbury looking for some food. I did not find any. I even bumped into the Spiderpig guy and his wife, who were on the same misguided quest. I introduced myself, and we spent the rest of our walk through town making fun of Connecticut (just the dodgy parts!).
Next to the aforementioned Comedy Shorts. Screened in the basement of the library, there were about 6 "films" shown. The first couple had good intentions, but to me, were neither comedic nor short enough. Ouch.
Next was a pseudo comedy/superhero parody/drama, shot with a RED camera and edited in a very jarring style. A great camera makes not great entertainment. My opinion of course.
Next was a little story about a teenage boy whose best friend is a talking deer. That was quirky and funny.
Note to future filmmakers - when submitting your video for a festival, make sure the DVD is set to play automatically. Cheesy iDVD menus are good for family birthday parties, but not for film festivals.
Finally I attended a 90 minute workshop with a comedy writer, talking about how to write comedy. The Rule of Three was the focus, with clips from Borat as examples. Laughing yet?
That evening was the Film Industry Mixer. Although I did not have time to attend, it is supposed to be the place (in CT) for networking. The organizer, Neil Thomassen, is also involved with the current push to keep the CT Film and Television Tax Credit from being legislated out of existence.
So that's my first little brush with the CT film industry. It won't be my last.