We've had lots of helpful suggestions as to what the contest should look like this year: shorten the page count to just four pages (because seven isn't hard enough!); have two writing prompts instead of three; utilize the conference theme as a prompt; make it a green screen challenge; or focus on spatial visualization by writing for 3D.
All good challenges to test any writer.
But the number one comment directed at me during these myriad conversations was a question:
Will there be a Bug Eyed Bill for 2016 FiLMLaB?
Utilizing three writing prompts was a fun experiment. But in my mind, FiLMLaB should always be changing, finding new ways to test writers, and building new walls in which to box them -- so we can watch them break free.
It's supposed to be a challenge.
In keeping with the Willamette Writers mission of community, career and craft, writing for FiLMLaB will elevate your craft, even if you don't win. It will advance your career by allowing you to work with a professional film crew and give you your very own short film to use for promotion. And naturally, your community of creatives will grow as you are mentored through director/producer notes, script rewrites, and the collaborative process of filmmaking.
As I said, it should be a challenge, but the pay off is worth it.
But will there be another character prompt ala Bug Eyed Bill?I honestly don't know. One of the great things I love about being a part of FiLMLaB is that it's not all up to me to decide these things. You (Willamette Writers!) have a say in what the 2016 FilmLab will look like, but you have to come out to TaborSpace tomorrow night and let your voice be heard.
And don't forget to sign up for the first 2016 FiLMLaB workshop! Normally, I don't participate in these, I just organize them. In this event, however, I will be co-teaching short form with screenwriter/lecturer Randall Jahnson, and discussing my observations as a FiLMLaB reader and judge. It's going to be a great workshop.