Welcome – Willamette Writers FiLMLaB 2015

Willamette Writers FiLMLaB 2015 will be beginning its fourth annual Script-to-Screen Competition soon. In preparation, we had a brainstorming session yesterday that included myself, Ruth Witteried (last year’s FiLMLaB chair), Stefan Feuerherdt (last year’s conference chair), Martin Vavra and Alyssa Roehrenbeck (Director and Assistant Director of this year’s film, Unwelcome Guests), and the always amusing and insightful screenwriter, Randall Jahnson.

My experience with film is limited, so it was a fascinating meeting for me. I love learning more about the process. Did you know that short films are usually considered to be 15 minutes or less–but some festivals will accept 30 minute movies as “short”? And that it’s nearly impossible to shoot a fifteen minute script in one day? And that if you do add on that extra day, it typically doubles your expenses? Yes. Doubles. I had no idea. Even my experience over the summer on the Unwelcome Guests set didn’t prepare me for that drastic of an increase in time, effort, or money.

It was wonderful to get so much insight into the world of filmmaking, and the different perspectives that directors, content creators, and writers have about what FiLMLaB is, and the potential that it has for the future. I won’t go into details (I’ll leave that up to later articles), but I will say that everyone is really excited about it and the next Script-to-Screen Competition that will produce the next Willamette Writers FiLMLaB 2015 production.

Willamette Writers will be hosting a FiLMLaB event at its member meeting on January 6th, 2015, at the Old Church. More information will be upcoming in Peter Field’s monthly meeting article, but I can tell you that we’ll be showing the 2014 film and having an informal discussion and Q&A with writer Jon Dragt, Martin Vavra, Ruth Witteried, and others who were instrumental in making this film happen.

Ruth Witteried, Executive Producer, Willamette Writers FiLMLaB 2015

Ruth Witteried, Executive Producer, FiLMLaB

Willamette Writers FiLMLaB 2015 Director, Ruth Witteried

I’d also like to introduce (again) the fabulous Ruth Witteried, who has agreed to come back as Executive Producer of FiLMLaB.

It was because of Ruth’s prompting that we all got together yesterday, and her excitement is infectious. She has her own amazing ideas on how to improve the contest and make it better for the screenwriters and filmmakers both. And although yesterday was informal and some of the ideas tended to get a little crazy (which is the point of brainstorming, of course), she was also extremely responsive to them. As always, with everything Willamette Writers, it will be a writing community effort that will be fun and beneficial for us all.

I can’t wait to see what comes of the 2015 contest!