by Ruth Witteried
Welcome to your final Monday before the 2013 Willamette Writers Conference! Not only are we looking forward to the FiLMLaB Premier of INSPIRATION, our winning Script-to-Screen short script written by Barbara Thomas and produced by Willamette Writers; we are looking forward to the infectious excitement and enthusiasm inherent in the gathering of so many creative, inspiring writers.
I’m talking about you.
But first things first. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you already know that Adam Blum, Vice President of Production at Panay Films, had to cancel his conference appearance. He called from New Orleans, very disappointed that his production schedule requires his presence in the Big Easy for another week. He was excited about his first visit to Portland and was looking forward to meeting amazing new writers (we’ll move him to the top of next year’s list!).
Dannie Festa, Manager/Producer at World Builder Entertainment, will be leaving the conference a day early due to family illness. She is available all day Friday and Saturday to hear your pitches.
Changes in the consultant line-up can be very frustrating, especially this late in the game when you’ve spent so much time and energy planning your conference strategy. In film, however, it goes with the territory. We ask consultants to commit to us in the winter, often before their production schedules are set. Then we cross our fingers from March to August and hope Real Life is kind to us.
Sometimes it’s just not, and we have to scramble. Trust me when I say I understand your frustration. This is what my frustration looks like the week before conference: binge shoe shopping. I’ll come to my senses before too long and return a few of them because: I. Am. Not. Stressed. There, I said it, and you can say it too: I am not stressed. I am inspired (especially by the neon blue pumps that I did NOT buy or the red patent leather slingbacks . . .must get a hold of myself!)!
The FiLMLaB Premiere is this week! Friday, August 2 marks the official opening day of the conference (but there’s lots of stuff happening Thursday as well)! The Welcome Reception Brewers Bash kicks off the weekend at 5:00 pm in the Mt. Adams Ballroom and continues till 7:00. This is so much fun; a chance to relax over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with fellow writers, faculty and consultants after a frenetic day of classes and pitching. All registered attendees are welcome.
The FiLMLaB Premiere immediately follows the reception and is open to the public from 7:00-9:00 pm. Invite your friends to join you for a beer and popcorn as you meet the author, cast and crew of INSPIRATION. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Script-to-Screen Contest, the FiLMLaB goals and production, the stress and anxiety of actually winning, and the pros and cons of do-it-yourself filmmaking. Take notes, ask questions, make suggestions for next year’s contest, and help us celebrate the dedicated, creative talents that collaborated to bring this project to life!
Who knows? Maybe you’ll find some inspiration of your own for next year’s FiLMLaB?
Ruth Witteried is the Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference and Executive Producer of FiLMLaB. She teaches screenwriting at Clark College.You can follow her on Facebook at SitYourAssDown; Twitter @sityourassdown1, or as RH Cohen on her Young Adult website zombienoel.com. She wants you to know she is.not.stressed. but is admiring Brynn Baron’s shoes.