Will There Be A Bug Eyed Bill For 2016 FiLMLaB?

We are preparing for the 2016 FilmLab launch this Tuesday, January 5th, at Tabor Space!

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.

So, let's get this party started! Come on down to Tabor Space, and together, we'll launch the 2016 FilmLab.

Dan Kyle as Bug Eyed Bill
Dan Kyle as Bug Eyed BillIf you're new to FiLMLaB, Bug Eyed Bill was a character prompt in the 2015 contest, and a formidable one at that. Combined with snippets of required dialogue and a prop, it was arguably our toughest FiLMLaB to date. Still, writers stepped into the lab and provided our judges with a colorful selection of Bug Eyed Bills to choose from. Mark Scarbrough from Plano, Texas ultimately won the grand prize (production of his script) by creating Bug Eyed Bill as the alter ego of an eight year old boy trying to save his mother.

Ruth Witteried

As Visual Media Director, Ruth Witteried works with all programs based in the visual arts, including screenwriting and film production. As Executive Director of the FiLMLaB competition and project, she produced the 2012 FiLMLaB short, Alis Volat Propriis, winner of the 2013 OIFF Best Comedic Short; 2013′s Coffee.Table.Book.; 2014's Unwelcome Guests, and in 2015, The Return of Bug Eyed Bill. She acted as Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference from 2011-2013 and occasionally teaches screenwriting at Clark College. She currently is Executive Director of Willamette Writers' FiLMLaB. You can follow her on Twitter @sityourassdown1 or Facebook at FiLMLaB. Contact her. (visualmedia@willamettewriters.org) 

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