Sunday, January 08, 2012

Well, that's a real bummer.... Creative Screenwriting RIP

I was greatly looking forward to attending the Creative Screenwriting Expo this upcoming year, only to find out that the place seems to be closing shop.

That's an extreme bummer....
Years ago, resigned myself to the fact (due to personal stuff and different factors) that the day job would be, well, a day job. But on the sidelines, I could pour my energies into projects that I enjoyed, audiences be damned.

I actually have completed a few screenplays- but they're pretty much- well, 'first' screenplays. One made it through the rounds of the Walt Disney Fellowship (I remember talking to the person on the phone about why I hadn't received my response yet), but it didn't quite place.

The third one did much better...I think. But in any case, it didn't make it to the final round, and it's only the final round that counted. Sorta. Kinda.

One screenplay every couple of years isn't exactly dedication.

(There's a similar story I have for my comics, "The Preacher" and "Angels"- where I got a personal letter back from Tom DeFalco of Marvel comics at the time that said some complimentary things about the material that may have been just him being a nice guy, but ultimately- it got rejected. Rejection is rejection.)

In any case...

INTELLECTUALLY, everyone knows the ideal is just to bounce back, learn, and jump back on the horse.

In reality, the portfolio reviews and rejection slips can do a number on you.... but it also gets you to take a step back and see if there are also other areas in life that you have been neglecting beyond your creative dreams.

I did what most seem to do, keep the day job, and try to improve upon the creative stuff-- but, it is easy to get dispirited when the waiting takes so long (years) for any positive return.... Whether it's writing or drawing.

Even though I've just got done listening to an interesting podcast by John August about whether or not screenwriting books help, or whether or not the screenwriting conferences/events help...

For my part-
I don't know if it helps actually make a dream come true- it's highly possible that what the job actually requires may or may not be beyond what I can provide. (One professional in an interview said that tv writing/screenwriting is where you can make a 'killing', but not a 'living'.)

Just keeping it real.

Just like Comicon (when it WAS comicon, and not the overpopulated circus that I disdain now in attending, but continue to submit scribbles to the book, because it's still fun)....

Attending the Screenwriting Expo was a thrilling event for me, because it was like attending Comicon when it was smaller. It was far more personal.

Not being in an artistic day job, it was thrilling to be surrounded by other folks who knew the isolation of writing something that may or may not be completely ridiculous- and similarly had the crazy hope of actually seeing one of what they came up with actually get accepted and transformed into a film. Or be validated with a big wad of dollar bills thrown in their face in exchange for it. ;)

But, all kidding aside, I really dug being surrounded by people of all ages & sizes who hadn't 'made the sale' yet- (possibly never)- but were able to cheer one another on, in sharing their 'day job' stories and doing 40-50 drafts of their screenplays with the reality that it may all be in vain.

There were the professionals who were invited and always had one of three stories to tell that I found fascinating: (1) what life was for them before they 'got in' (not everyone was born/connected to Hollywood), (2) what the reality of the life is once they did get into that field, and/or (3) the mental frustrations and frustrations of trying to solve story and character problems.

I dug it all (and maybe too much, who's to say?).... but moreso the closing affair, where I was pleased to see a roomful of wannabe writers (I am, too, though part-time- but that's why I feel ok using that term) not be competitive and bitter towards one another, but cheer on smaller awards to the normal joes who had families to feed, no easy paths to get what they wanted, but still took the time and discipline to do the crazy and nurture that creative spark that could so easily get snuffed out by time, age, and life in general.

I hope that Creative Screenwriter & the Expo overcomes its hurdles and continues on.
If it doesn't, though, I'll remember that one year I was able to attend. It was nice.*

(*Although I'm leaving out the part about preparing my parody of Angel/"Vangelis" to give in person to the head writer of the actual "Angel" tv series, Tim Minear--- only to find out that God burned down his house at the time, so he couldn't attend at the last minute....EXTREMELY SUCKED-- but, hey, at least the rest of the trip was nice.)

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