The festival selection premiers were: Short films, documentaries, feature films in a variety of genres. I found myself getting very involved in some of the films. There were others that had many flaws in the production, direction, acting, technical portions and the story. I will be the first to admit I am not an expert in the field. I do have a film degree and I understand most aspects of script writing, producing, directing, camera, editing, lighting and acting. Since I am a screenwriter, I paid attention to the story. I found several films hard to follow or they just didn’t make since.
I published a book “Seasons Once Upon My Innocence”. The book is 274 pages long. The book is about several teens and a small community. There are a lot of things happening in this book and a wide variety of characters. When I decided to write a screenplay based on the book, I knew I had to much content. What I did was to take the portion of the book that my readers are speaking the most about and put into a screenplay.
When you write a book, you can have as many locations, characters and B roles you want. You have no limits. When you are writing a screenplay, you have limitations. You think about your budget, the number of locations and characters. You are also limited by the length of your film. You may have to break it into a mini-series or television series.
Have you ever heard someone say, “That was nothing like the book!” There is a reason for that. For my screenplay to work, I had to progress the story faster and add in new parts to make it flow. I had to choose only the important characters and add some filler characters.
The first few minutes will determine how engaged the audience will be in your film. Timing is important. I watched a film and was having a hard time trying to figure out where the story was going. They took half the movie before the main characters met. The set-up scenes were to long and the audience was losing interest.
I watched several documentaries that went to long. That again is all about the timing. Some of those may have been better set-up as a mini-series. The information was amazing! I know it was hard to figure out what was most important to tell and what could be left out. I was involved and loving the information! I just felt after a while it became redundant. There was a documentary that I felt was very well done. When watching it, I was so focused they never lost my attention. The timing was perfect and the amount of content was right on.
This festival was more than just premiers and awards. This festival is designed to help film makers learn from each other and from the wealth of knowledge available through the panels. I was disappointed at the number of people who did not go to the panels. I was about the only one who brought a notebook. I was there to learn and make contacts.
One of the first steps in success is knowing you have room to improve. If you are wanting to break into the film industry. Enter your work, go and learn. You may not always win, that does not mean you do not have talent. It means there were a lot of entries and the judges decision was tough. Out of the 1000’s of entries there are only a few spots to win.
You have a God give dream, but it’s up to you to develop it! God is not going to do all the work for you. That would not be fair to you. Put your passion and inspiration into your writing. Dig deep and you will find success!