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2014 Austin Film Festival and Conference Schedule

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Conference [clear filter]
Thursday, October 23
 

12:00pm

Opening Remarks
Austin Film Festival welcomes you to its 21st annual celebration of storytelling through film. Bringing together industry icons, independent filmmakers, aspiring storytellers, and everyone in between, this year features intimate discussions, workshops, film and television premieres, retrospectives, parties, and limitless networking opportunities. Join AFF staff and board members for Opening Remarks to learn more about the week ahead, last-minute additions and changes, and new special guests.

Thursday October 23, 2014 12:00pm - 12:30pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

1:00pm

A Conversation with Cary Fukunaga
There's no denying that this filmmaker has range. From Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, and the riveting series True Detective (for which he took home the Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Directing of a Drama Series), Cary Fukunaga is a master of visual storytelling. Join us for a conversation on creating rich and layered worlds, and how to sustain a diverse artistic repertoire.

Sponsors

Thursday October 23, 2014 1:00pm - 2:15pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

1:00pm

How to Work the Conference
Join panelists who have attended the AFF Conference over the years and made the most of their time here—from networking and mingling to navigating the screenplay competition and the robust schedule. They were once in your shoes and have made countless industry contacts to further their careers. Find out how to maximize your Badge and your time here at the Conference!

Thursday October 23, 2014 1:00pm - 2:15pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

1:00pm

Notes on Notes: How to Take a Meeting
Join these writers and industry professionals for a conversation on what to expect when you take a meeting, how to respond to script notes you totally disagree with, and what the development process entails.

Thursday October 23, 2014 1:00pm - 2:15pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

1:00pm

Romancing the Screenplay
When you think about it, a romance movie is an inherent contradiction. It takes something as intensely personal as love and plasters it onto the big screen. It makes the private public, and the intimate communal. It takes a skilled writer to work through this opposition and convince an entire audience to feel like they are witnessing a true love. Hear from writers who approached this challenge from different perspectives and processes, and can attest to how they romance the screenplay and, ultimately, the audience.

Sponsors

Thursday October 23, 2014 1:00pm - 2:15pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

1:00pm

The Lone Stars: Film in Texas
Join this panel of representatives from various film organizations within the great state of Texas for a discussion on the incentives and benefits available to help make independent filmmakers the next “Lone Stars” in the industry.

This panel is co-presented by the Houston Cinema Arts Society

Community Partners
avatar for Houston Cinema Arts Society

Houston Cinema Arts Society

Houston Cinema Arts Society

Thursday October 23, 2014 1:00pm - 2:15pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

1:00pm

Script-to-Screen: Groundhog Day
Danny Rubin, the co-writer of the beloved Harold Ramis classic Groundhog Day, will deconstruct how the film has become a significant staple and reference for screenwriters in the comedy world, using specific scenes from the film as examples. Join this panel for an in-depth exploration on how to best “stay in the loop” with good storytelling practices without having to start over every time you think you’re onto something… With any luck, you’ll be seeing your screenplay’s shadow this February.

Those who enrolled in the advance-sign up for this session are required to show up 15 minutes early and will be admitted first. The panel will then open to remaining Badge holders.

Sponsors

Thursday October 23, 2014 1:00pm - 2:30pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

2:45pm

A Conversation with Richard LaGravenese
Join a conversation with Richard LaGravenese, screenwriter of The Fisher King, for which he received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay. LaGravenese’s credits also include A Little Princess, The Bridges of Madison County, P.S., I Love You, Behind the Candelabra, and most recently, co-writer on Unbroken and the writer/director of the stage-to-screen adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years. Bring your questions about capturing the essence of strong relationships, and the elements that make up the heart of a story.

Sponsors

Thursday October 23, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

2:45pm

Deconstructing: Gone with the Wind
It’s been three-quarters of a century since David O. Selznick’s Gone with the Wind won best picture, yet Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler’s epic romance—with both each other and the Old South—continues to haunt America’s collective conscience. Considered one of the most enduring films of all time, panelists will discuss why Selznick’s masterpiece leaves you wanting two of the big screen’s most detestable characters to find happiness more than anything else. Join this panel if you do give a damn about the multitudes of ways Gone with the Wind can contribute to your own epic romance with your writing career.

This panel is co-presented by the Harry Ransom Center.


Thursday October 23, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

2:45pm

From Prose to Primetime: El Jefe
Join the writers behind Hemlock Grove, Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, as well as Pulitzer Prize finalist and LA Time Book Prize winner, Philipp Meyer, as they discuss their new company, El Jefe. Aimed at translating novels for television, the trio is developing Meyer’s latest novel, The Son, for AMC. Learn more about bridging mediums through the adaptation process, and this new opportunity for novelists looking to bring their stories to the screen.

Thursday October 23, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

2:45pm

Screenplay Competitions
Screenwriting competitions can be a great way to have your work read, receive helpful feedback, and even get noticed by the people who can take your career to the next level. But how do you stand out amongst an ocean of entries? Panelists will walk you through the ins and outs of the competition world, ways to use competitions to launch your writing career, and what to do if you—gulp!—win. Come with questions - this panel will feature an open forum for some of the most frequently asked queries received by leading screenplay competitions.

Thursday October 23, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Historic Sanctuary

2:45pm

The Ten Hour Movie: Anthology Television
With the rise of binge watching and new media platforms, anthology series are at the helm of revolutionizing storytelling through television. The strong embodiment of a three-act structure over the course of one-season narratives lends itself to new viewing patterns and the potential to attract high profile talent. Panelists hailing from such shows as Fargo and True Detective will discuss how to package an anthology that is not only compelling on a season-to-season basis, but also how to keep audiences engaged throughout the evolution of an entire series.

Sponsors

Thursday October 23, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

2:45pm

Using Improv to Improve Your Comedy
How do you craft a screenplay, with all the instructions, elements, and details that contribute to a great comedy, while still allowing space for improvisation? Panelists will partake in this discussion on how to plan for the unplanned, and the unique ways writing can use improv training to improve their comedies.

This panel is co-presented by The New Movement.

Community Partners
avatar for The New Movement

The New Movement

Comedy conservatory

Thursday October 23, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

2:45pm

Writing and Producing a Web Series
Long gone are the days of waiting on a studio or a network to give you permission to make something. Independent filmmakers have been financing their own films for decades. And now there's a viable option for filmmakers whose passion lies with serial storytelling. Web series are a cost-effective way to make and distribute your own TV show; some are even successfully making the leap from the web to traditional cable networks. Panelists will discuss the methods for getting your web series noticed by the right people, and keeping the quality when you make the jump.

Thursday October 23, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room
 
Friday, October 24
 

9:00am

A Conversation with Michelle Ashford
Pull up a chair with Michelle Ashford, creator and executive producer of the TV series Masters of Sex. Known for her Emmy-nominated writing on The Pacific, Ashford is well-versed in the curiosity and artistry required in dramatizing everything from real-life events to extraordinary political figures to experimental research. Come be enlightened by this master of storytelling.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

9:00am

Biopics: Truth, Fact, and Fiction
Creating a compelling protagonist from scratch is always a challenge. Which is why writing a biopic—with built in, fully-realized, three-dimensional characters—can be such an appeal to screenwriters. But this can yield its own unique set of challenges: How do you condense a person's life into a two-hour narrative, complete with structure and nuance? How do you form a visually interesting and cinematic story when real life can often be anything but? And how do you decide whether to portray a slice of life versus an entire lifetime? Panelists will discuss their strategies on balancing truth, fact, and fiction while capturing the essence of real-life subject matter that, as a result, continues to live on in our memories.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

9:00am

Non-Linear Storytelling
Nonlinear narratives are powerful structural techniques as well as strong vessels for emphasizing character, theme, and a writer’s voice. If employed correctly, they can enhance and liberate a story in ways conventional narratives cannot. While there are no set rules to successfully deconstructing a storyline, panelists will offer their best advice and techniques on how to create nonlinear structures…in no particular order.

Friday October 24, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
The Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony

9:00am

Science Fiction vs. Science Fact
A lot of the allure of science fiction storytelling lies in the excitement of its outlandish worlds and imaginative circumstances. But there’s also a part where audiences can’t help but wonder: could this really happen? Between mass zombie outbreaks to intricate time travel to adventures through space, writers need to know where to pull from scientific fact, and where to bend the truth. Join this discussion on balancing fiction with fact and what’s required for viewers to truly suspend their disbelief so that the appearance of truth is always at arm’s reach. After all, the science fiction of today could very well be the science fact of tomorrow.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

9:00am

Sequels and Trilogies, II: Return of the Screenwriter
Your writing assignment: take a story with a pre-established foundation and craft the next part. Easy, right? After all, you already have a developed world and an ensemble of characters—how hard can it be?! Take another guess. Writing a sequel or three-quel requires ample research and preparation in order to breathe new life into old ideas while still maintaining forward momentum. The screenwriters behind Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 22 Jump Street, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 and 2 will converse about the challenges of life-after-the-originals, as well as the difference between trying your hand at multiple installments versus picking up from where someone else left off.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

9:00am

Short Films, Big Leaps: Story Development in Pixar Short Films
How can a single great note transform a short film? This talk traces two Pixar Animation Studios shorts, “Presto” and “Partly Cloudy,” from first pitch to final film. We will watch clips from the earliest reels of each film, hear the story notes that Pixar's Brain Trust gave the director, then see how those notes catapulted the story to a new level in the final film. Development Executive, Mary Coleman will share insights and anecdotes about the often rocky road to finding the big story in a four-minute film.

Friday October 24, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

9:00am

The Fine Print
Take off the reading glasses, and listen in for a discussion on the writer’s relationship with “the fine print.” Ranging from contractual agreements, options, and basic legal advice, this is your opportunity to hear from a writer, their attorney, and a representative from the Writers Guild of America, East, without having to sign on the dotted line.

Friday October 24, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Historic Sanctuary

10:45am

A Conversation with Randall Wallace
Every man dies, but not every man has a conversation with Randall Wallace, the screenwriter of Braveheart. For this iconic film, Wallace earned an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay and a Writers Guild of America award for Best Screenplay Adapted Directly for the Screen. Wallace was also behind films such as Pearl Harbor, We Were Soldiers, Heaven is for Real, Secretariat, and The Man in the Iron Mask. Come talk to him about the telling of true and noble tales, the definition of heroism, and bringing epic storytelling to the screen.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

10:45am

Adaptations: Young Adult, Old Child
Novels aimed at engaging teens and young adults have yielded some of the most show-stopping film and television programming out there. From big Hollywood fare like The Hunger Games to sweet indie gems such as The Fault in Our Stars, content intended for younger demographics is also finding an appeal with older audiences. Hear from panelists who have adapted these stories for the screen and how they have tapped into some of the universal themes needed to keep the young watching, and the rest of us feeling young at heart.

Friday October 24, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

10:45am

Agents
For a writer at the beginning of their career, agents can often be as mysterious and hard to find as the perfect ending to a screenplay. Panelists will share their advice on how to start the process of finding representation, what agents are looking for in a new writer, some of the most common problems they’ve encountered, and what a writer should expect from the relationship.

Friday October 24, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

10:45am

10:45am

The Sanity Spectrum
The protagonist is often the audience’s guide through a narrative, the anchor for all the twists and turns a story reveals. So what happens when that character is not what he or she seems, and when the very core of the film’s veracity is called into question? Screenwriters who have crafted characters that range from psychotic to psychopathic will discuss the difference between the two, as well as their own mental decisions when crafting such complex characters. Join the brains behind Fight Club, Big Fish, and Donnie Darko for an inside look at exploring distorted realities and the sanity spectrum in screenplays. We promise they’ll tell the truth.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

10:45am

Toon In: Animated Television
Sure, animated film and television is a little more…drawn than live action fare, but how different is the actual process of bringing it to the screen? This panel features guests that each play a different role in the animation process. They’ll discuss how a good animation script differs from its live action counterpart, the development process involved, and the transformation you should expect with post-production.

Friday October 24, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony

10:45am

Script-to-Screen: Dead Poets Society
Tom Schulman, Academy Award®-winning writer of Dead Poets Society, will walk us through the process of bringing his first screenplay to the big screen, how he referenced his own life as inspiration, and the writer/director relationship with Peter Weir. With script in hand and scenes projected during the panel for reference, Schulman will discuss what from the original screenplay worked, what didn’t, what needed to be changed for production, and why.

Those who enrolled in the advance-sign up for this session are required to show up 15 minutes early and will be admitted first. The panel will then open to remaining Badge holders.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 10:45am - 12:30pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

12:45pm

Script-to-Screen: Contagion
Scott Z. Burns, writer of Side Effects, The Informant!, and co-writer of The Bourne Ultimatum, will dissect his high-stakes screenplay, Contagion, and the story’s journey from script to screen. Burns will reference specific scenes from the film—with clips projected during the panel—and discuss the writer/director relationship with Steven Soderbergh: what from the original screenplay worked, what didn’t, what needed to be changed for production, and why. A great case-study for writers interested in learning more about folding tension into their work, as well as how to successfully weave together intersecting storylines.

Those who enrolled in the advance-sign up for this session are required to show up 15 minutes early and will be admitted first. The panel will then open to remaining Badge holders.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 12:45pm - 2:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

1:30pm

A Conversation with Jay Duplass
Join this conversation with Jay Duplass, the man (along with his brother Mark) responsible for such clever, quirky films as Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Safety Not Guaranteed, Cyrus, and the upcoming television show Togetherness. This is your chance to ask about the Mumblecore movement, editing The Puffy Chair on a laptop, letting actors improvise, and how the movie Raising Arizona changed his life.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 1:30pm - 2:45pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

1:30pm

Dallas Buyers Club: Rising from Development Hell
Join Dallas Buyers Club writer Craig Borten as he discusses the fifteen-plus-years of growing pains between completed screenplay and his Academy Award®-winning film. Borten will address script adjustments, staying focused, and maintaining momentum within the soul-crushing purgatory of development hell.

Friday October 24, 2014 1:30pm - 2:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

1:30pm

Deconstructing: Annie Hall
Annie Hall is a primer on comedy, style, story structure, and, for some, relationships. The film’s magical quality, its postmodern yet sincere approach to romance, and the laugh-a-minute pace makes each viewing experience unique. A great case study in crafting a distinctive voice, setting, and tone, this Woody Allen masterpiece is one for the ages. Even if you don’t want to join a club that would have someone like you for a member, you should at least join this deconstruction.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 1:30pm - 2:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

1:30pm

Managers
Managers, for screenwriters, can sometimes make the difference between a career and no career these days. From “managing” expectations to the overall business of the industry, they can be the best sounding board and personal advocates a screenwriter has… if they have one. So how do you get representation? And what is the difference between a manager and an agent? Do you need both? Join this panel for an inside look at the blood and guts of the business, and what you can do to best position yourself to transition from an aspiring writer to a working writer.

Friday October 24, 2014 1:30pm - 2:45pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

1:30pm

The Creative Career: Practical Tips for Starting Out
A panel of successful WGAW writers will discuss what you need to know in your career, how to avoid common pitfalls, and what the Writers Guild can do for you.

This panel is presented by the Writers Guild of America, West.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 1:30pm - 2:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

1:30pm

The Law of the Land
Entertainment attorneys will discuss contracts, options, fair use, intellectual property rights, and all things found in the folds of the "fine print". Reading glasses and blue ballpoint pens not required.

Friday October 24, 2014 1:30pm - 2:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony

1:30pm

The Writer/Producer Relationship
Join Vera Blasi, Peter Gould, and Mark Johnson for an exploration of the writer/producer relationship and how this dynamic differs in the film and television worlds. Gould and Johnson will discuss their working relationship on Breaking Bad and how they are preparing for its spinoff, Better Call Saul; Blasi and Johnson will discuss their upcoming film collaborations. Learn what producers look for in a good script and what to expect before, during, and after production within these different mediums.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 1:30pm - 2:45pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

3:15pm

A Conversation with Edward Zwick
Join the 2014 Extraordinary Contribution to Film award recipient, Edward Zwick, as he takes us on a journey through his work on Glory, Legends of the Fall, Courage Under Fire, The Siege, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance, and more. Having been honored with three Emmy ® Awards, the Humanitas Prize, the Writers Guild of America Award, two Peabody Awards, a Director’s Guild of America Award, and the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Award from the American Film Institute, this is not a conversation you want to miss.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 4:30pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

3:15pm

A Conversation with Terry George
Irish screenwriter and director Terry George doesn't shy away from tough themes and dark subject matter. Having received two Academy Award® nominations for In the Name of the Father, Hotel Rwanda, and winning an Oscar® in 2012 for his live action short film The Shore, don’t miss this conversation with a man who knows no limit to the power of storytelling.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 4:30pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

3:15pm

Chicks with Bics®
Women make up a small percentage of writers in Hollywood, and working toward a full-time career in the industry requires of lot of flexibility and persistence. While this can certainly lend itself to a demanding journey, female artists are continuously changing the landscape of film and television for the better. Come chat with these devoted “chicks with bics” about their stories, viewpoints, and advice.

This panel is presented by LUNA.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 4:30pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Historic Sanctuary

3:15pm

Screenwriters' Agreements
Industry representatives in entertainment provide an overview of screenwriters' agreements, plus advice on securing the best deal, avoiding common mistakes, and knowing what a Writers Guild agreement has to offer.

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 4:30pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

3:15pm

Setiquette
In addition to being able to write quickly and well, the successful television writer must also be versed on how to navigate the complex and often stressful social climate of a television show. This requires a skill set that empowers the writer to make quick and diligent adjustments while being able to master the art of communication with actors, directors, and producers. Understanding and respecting the laws of social etiquette on the set—the “setiquette”—is essential for those who aspire to break into—and stay in—the writers' room.

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 4:30pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

3:15pm

Setting as a Character
Unless you are Thomas Hobbes, you probably believe that surroundings can affect a person. A story’s setting is often as significant to the content as its characters. The personality of a locale can define the identity of a screenplay, while also serving as a subtle commentary on a specific time period and culture. Documenting details unique to a milieu can be a difficult but crucial part of the writing process. In this panel, hear from writers that have successfully “set the stage” with stories that invite the setting to take on a role of its own.

Sponsors

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 4:30pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

3:15pm

Surviving Your First Year
So you sold your first spec, or a writing sample finally earned you your first assignment in Hollywood. How do you turn this opportunity into a full career in screenwriting? Scott Myers and Eric Heisserer will discuss what to expect in your first year as a professional, and how to make sure your big break doesn't spiral into a big breakdown.

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 4:30pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

3:15pm

Storytelling without Dialogue: Cast Away
Bill Broyles, writer of Apollo 13, The Polar Express, and creator of China Beach, will dissect the art of storytelling without dialogue using his original screenplay Cast Away as an example. Having worked on the film for over six years, Broyles will provide insight on the revision process and how to blossom the seedling of an idea into a well-defined script. With script in hand and film clips on the screen, Broyles will walk us through the development of this critically acclaimed story and the art of “showing” and not “telling.”
This panel will feature special Cast Away archival material on display in the Jim Hogg Parlor, presented by the Wittliff Collections.

Those who enrolled in the advance-sign up for this session are required to show up 15 minutes early and will be admitted first. The panel will then open to remaining Badge holders.

Sponsors
Community Partners

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 5:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

3:15pm

The Hart Chart
Come experience the famous “Hart Chart” first hand. James V. Hart (Hook, Contact, Bram Stoker’s Dracula) will explore how to develop characters and stories by getting to the “heart” of the script. Using notable films as examples, join this breakdown of establishing main character desires, charting their progress toward their goals, and creating a successful resolution. Through the Hart Chart’s guidelines for implementing craft, learn how to embrace structure as a friend, not an enemy, and how to flesh out ideas for the screen.

Those who enrolled in the advance-sign up for this session are required to show up 15 minutes early and will be admitted first. The panel will then open to remaining Badge holders.

Friday October 24, 2014 3:15pm - 5:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony
 
Saturday, October 25
 

9:00am

9:00am

Finding Your Voice
There are many things about screenwriting that can be taught, from structure and character development to plot devices and plot points. But your voice is something that can't be taught. It's the decisions you make when the screen is blank: the cadence of the language, the poetry in the descriptions, the pacing and flow of the entire composition. It's all of those things and more. Simply put, it's you. Panelists will talk about not only finding your voice, but learning to recognize and hone it.

Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
The Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony

9:00am

Houston, We Have a Screenplay
From Méliès to Cuarón, Hollywood has always had a thing for space. It’s exotic, it’s mysterious, it’s terrifying, and it’s big enough to include any sort of world or story you can think of. Whether your characters are making contact or guarding the galaxy, there are certain...ahem...universal questions that arise after you decide to set your story in the final frontier. Writers will discuss setting stories in space and the issues they faced before lift-off.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

9:00am

Independent Filmmaking Track: The Climate of Indie Film
In an ever-changing industry, the independent filmmaker is required to concurrently adapt and change. Of course, with change comes opportunity, and between the rise of fundraising outlets, digital filmmaking, and innovative distribution models, indie cinema has become a creative forum in more ways than one. Join a few of the leading “opportunists” as they discuss their roles and the climate of independent film.

Filmmakers
avatar for Frank Hall Green

Frank Hall Green

Partner/Producer, Catch & Release Films
Frank Hall Green is a film producer, writer and director. His directorial debut feature WILDLIKE is produced by Christine Vachon/Killer Films, Tandem Pictures and Joseph Stephans. It was filmed on 35mm in Alaska and stars Ella Purnell, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty, Nolan Gerard... Read More →
avatar for Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown

producer Listopad, Punk In Africa; co-producer No No: A Dockumentary
Jeffrey Brown has produced a number of award-winning films in Europe, Africa and the USA. His Czech narrative feature Mamas & Papas won Best Film and Best Script at the 2010 Hamptons IFF while Shut Up and Shoot Me, a Czech–British co-production, won Best Narrative Feature at... Read More →
avatar for Ryan Piers Williams

Ryan Piers Williams

writer/director The Dry Land, X/Y (2014); producer Kilimanjaro
Twitter: @rpierswilliams | Ryan Piers Williams was born and raised in El Paso, TX. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Upon graduation, he worked for Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney on several producti... Read More →


Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

9:00am

POV
No two people experience the same event in the exact same way. Exploring the subjective qualities of memory and perspective can help define characters by showing how each one views the same situation. Panelists with experience writing films from multiple points of view will offer strategies on keeping track of the story while constructing complex, interlinked narratives. This panel may or not be for you… it all depends on how you look at it.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

9:00am

Scribble to Screen: My So-Called Writing Process
Winnie Holzman, writer of Wicked and creator of My So-Called Life, describes how she breathes life into characters, giving them honest reactions to true-life situations.

THIS IS SCRIBBLE TO SCREEN.
Writing a script is like going on a road trip. You pack up the car with ideas: Characters and scenes. Notions and concepts. Shouts and mutters, emotions and reactions. Then you get on the road: Start writing. Map your outline. Find the right song on the radio. Reverse course. Rethink an interaction. Retool some dialogue. Finished the first draft? Stop for snacks and a bathroom break. But top off the tank and check the tire pressure while you’re at it, because the really rough riding starts here. More drafts. Rewriting. A hundred sets of notes from a hundred backseat drivers - a few of whom might know just the right shortcut, so keep your ears open. And that final shooting script? Your final destination? It might look nothing like what you intended at the start of this whole thing. And thinking back, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Scribble To Screen is about that journey - about the path a writer takes from Point A to Point Z. It’s a roadmap to the creation of the stories and characters we love, and the culture the whole world consumes. It’s the history of the zigzagging route from first draft to final cut, and all the stops in between.


Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

9:00am

Storytelling through Documentaries
Though many documentaries are pieces of non-fiction, they still very much employ conventions of storytelling. In fact, there's even a multi-layered writing process involved. From conception to post-production, documentary filmmakers are required to constantly adapt to unforeseeable elements and craft a narrative based off the stories and accounts they are able to capture. Join Paul Stekler (Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style, George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire), Academy Award®-winning documentarian, Vanessa Roth, and the Executive Producer of POV, Simon Kilmurry, as they share just how important storytelling is within the world of documentary filmmaking.

Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

9:00am

The Serious World of Comedy
Some of the best comedies are the ones where the characters have no idea they’re being funny. Think about how straightly everyone in Airplane! delivered their lines, or how stern everyone is in Dr. Strangelove. No matter how absurd or comedic a situation or world is, the humor comes from the characters committing to its verisimilitude. Comedy writers will discuss crafting worlds that are simultaneously serious for the characters and hilarious for the audience, and how to maximize the comedy within this dichotomy.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 9:00am - 10:15am
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

10:30am

Script-to-Screen: Rachel Getting Married
Jenny Lumet is a rule-breaker. The formula for her screenplay, Rachel Getting Married, breached the laws of Screenwriting 101, all while creating rich, edgy, and unconventional characters within an equally intricate world. Join her for a script-to-screen discussion on the honest relationships in the context of the film both on and off the page—between the two fictional sisters, and also between Lumet and director Jonathan Demme. With script in hand and clips on the screen, learn more about your own relationship with your writing process and how Rachel Getting Married can inform what rules to break and when.

Those who enrolled in the advance-sign up for this session are required to show up 15 minutes early and will be admitted first. The panel will then open to remaining Badge holders.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:30am - 12:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

10:45am

A Conversation with the 2014 Awardees
Join this highly anticipated conversation with the 2014 Awardees as they discuss their careers, and their approach to the art, craft, and business of storytelling through film and television.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

10:45am

Independent Filmmaking Track: Crowdfunding to Build Independence
The only proven path to independence as an artist is a direct connection to your audience. Crowdfunding is becoming a fundamental piece of most financing plans for independent film. However, many filmmakers miss the opportunity to turn their film funding campaigns into audience-building opportunities that can last an entire career — and provide the groundwork for theatrical distribution that you control. This class for film-related projects will provide the crowdfunding action plan most likely to create a lasting, flourishing, direct relationship with your audience.

This panel is presented by Seed and Spark.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

10:45am

KAPOW! ZAPF! SCREENPLAY!: Adapting Comic Books for the Big Screen
You’ve likely noticed the abundance of comic book inspired films cropping up at the local Cineplex. The rich back-catalogue of nearly a century’s worth of content provides a seemingly never-ending source of inspiration for big budget spectacles, offbeat comedies, and even quirky romances. And while many of these characters are transformed before our eyes into heroes and villains, how do the writers transform their source material to something that can kick-butt on screen? Learn from our superhero panelists on what they did to stay true to such mystical worlds while still infusing originality into these beloved and intricate stories.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

10:45am

Screenwriters Labs
Screenwriting labs are a great step in a career. Not only are the networking opportunities plentiful, but writers have a great hands-on opportunity to rigorously hone and explore their craft. Representatives from intensive labs such as Film Independent, Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab, and the new Sundance Episodic Story Lab will shed light on the benefits of these programs, and what writers can expect from the application process and beyond.

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Historic Sanctuary

10:45am

Status Quo
Some of the most satisfying screenplays revolve around characters who choose not to conform to the status quo. Whether they are carpe-ing the diem or smuggling drugs to save lives, the act of taking matters into their own hands makes for rich and often emotional stories. Hear from the writers behind Dead Poets Society, Dallas Buyers Club, and Fight Club for a conversation on ways to infuse themes of status quo in your screenplay, and where to break your own rules in regards to story structure and development.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

10:45am

Write What You (Don't) Know
The old adage write what you know becomes less stringent as our access to limitless resources expands in today’s digital age. Research is an essential step in the screenwriting process in order to ultimately portray a sense of authenticity and verisimilitude. Join these panelists as they discuss various research methods and ways to emerge as an authority of your subject matter.

Saturday October 25, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

12:30pm

Artistic Integrity
Whether you want to direct your own script or hand it over to someone else, the process from script to screen often entails an arduous path of compromise and readjustment. This panel will focus on finding a balance while staying true to the heart of your story, finding success in an oversaturated marketplace, and selling your screenplay without selling your soul.

Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

12:30pm

Heroes, Villains, and Happily Ever After
The last decade of film has popularized the anti-hero and the cold grey worlds they inhabit. But kids see the world in exciting primary colors where the heroes are dashing and the villains are dastardly. Join this conversation with Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent) for a discussion on writing well-defined hero/villain relationships and crafting unambiguous endings where the hero wins the day and the villain gets what they deserve. Woolverton will explore the “once-upon-a-times,” the “happily-ever-afters,” and everything in between.

Sponsors
Community Partners

Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

12:30pm

Historical Fiction
History—it feels like it’s been around since the beginning of time. With the expanse of material available for writers within those parameters, it’s easy to see the allure in sharing the past with present-day audiences. What’s perhaps not as easy is the research required for writers to familiarize themselves with the language, setting, culture, and customs of a particular time or era and how to fold these into a compelling narrative. Hear from panelists who have mastered this craft and can shed light on their own past experiences. This panel will be one for the history books!

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

12:30pm

Independent Filmmaking Track: The Nuts and Bolts
The script is done, the money is raised (or as much as it will be), and it is time for the real fun to begin: shooting schedules, casting, permits, putting together a production team, and resetting the entire film in an apartment. Learn how to make the tough decisions that reside within the scope of pre-production so you can leave room for creative choices once you are on set.

Filmmakers
avatar for Andreas Schmied

Andreas Schmied

writer/director Taking It Back
Andreas Schmied spent his childhood in a small village in the austrian mountains. He began his directing career in his teens, shooting shorts with his friends and music videos for local musicians. | Moving to Vienna in 1998 Schmied shot dozens of low budget videos where he served... Read More →
avatar for Dru Brown

Dru Brown

director The Suicide Theory
Dru is an award winning Australian filmmaker. Dru began his career based primarily in Asia, and working on both Asian and international productions for The History Channel, HBO and MGM among others. After two years of gaining experience and establishing himself, Dru Returned to Australia... Read More →
avatar for Nick Matthews

Nick Matthews

writer/director One Eyed Girl
Nick Matthews ACS is an AFI award winning filmmaker who trained in Europe in camera departments on productions including the Steven Spielberg produced HBO series Band of Brothers and Working Title's About a Boy. Since returning to Australia, he has produced, edited, and photographed... Read More →


Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

12:30pm

Inside the Writers' Room: Orange is the New Black
For a show as involved as Netflix’s breakout drama Orange Is The New Black, a lot has to go into crafting each episode. The writers must inhabit the points of view of the large array of diverse characters while staying true to the show’s voice and big picture objectives. OITNB writers will share their experiences in the writers’ room, adapting the novel for the screen, and how they work together to create the individual and overarching storylines.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

12:30pm

Scribble to Screen: Anatomy of a Crap Attack
Bob’s Burgers writers Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux talk about the process of writing innovative characters like Tina Belcher.

THIS IS SCRIBBLE TO SCREEN.
Writing a script is like going on a road trip. You pack up the car with ideas: Characters and scenes. Notions and concepts. Shouts and mutters, emotions and reactions. Then you get on the road: Start writing. Map your outline. Find the right song on the radio. Reverse course. Rethink an interaction. Retool some dialogue. Finished the first draft? Stop for snacks and a bathroom break. But top off the tank and check the tire pressure while you’re at it, because the really rough riding starts here. More drafts. Rewriting. A hundred sets of notes from a hundred backseat drivers - a few of whom might know just the right shortcut, so keep your ears open. And that final shooting script? Your final destination? It might look nothing like what you intended at the start of this whole thing. And thinking back, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Scribble To Screen is about that journey - about the path a writer takes from Point A to Point Z. It’s a roadmap to the creation of the stories and characters we love, and the culture the whole world consumes. It’s the history of the zigzagging route from first draft to final cut, and all the stops in between.


Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

12:30pm

Scriptnotes Live!
For the third year running, veteran filmmaker John August will record a live presentation of his incredibly informative screenwriting podcast, Scriptnotes, in which he will discuss craft and career, complete with special guests, audience questions, and other surprises.

Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Historic Sanctuary

12:30pm

Words that Go Bump in the Night
While many writers have found their entrée into the industry via the horror genre, writing a script with all the necessary thrills and chills is not an easy task. This panel will explore the psychology of terror that taps into the root of our fears and anxieties: the depth of the unknown. Learn from these writers on how to fold scares and suspense into the language of your screenplay while still managing to embrace originality in a genre that is seemingly oversaturated.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 12:30pm - 1:45pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

2:45pm

Bonus: The Hart Chart Returns
Back by popular demand! We've added another session of the Hart Chart! Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

Come experience the famous “Hart Chart” first hand. James V. Hart (Hook, Contact, Bram Stoker’s Dracula) will explore how to develop characters and stories by getting to the “heart” of the script. Using notable films as examples, join this breakdown of establishing main character desires, charting their progress toward their goals, and creating a successful resolution. Through the Hart Chart’s guidelines for implementing craft, learn how to embrace structure as a friend, not an enemy, and how to flesh out ideas for the screen.

Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

2:45pm

Independent Filmmaking Track: Directing Your Own Script
The prospect of directing your own script is an exciting one. Though this endeavor hands you the creative reins of the project as a whole, it also presents a new set of obstacles and responsibilities to navigate. After all, writing a script is free, but shooting a film can cost an exorbitant amount. So how should your roles as writer and director affect and inform one another? Writer-directors will share their own experiences and constructive advice crucial for aspiring multi-taskers.

Filmmakers
avatar for Jason Strouse

Jason Strouse

writer/director Teacher of the Year
Jason began his writing career on NBC’s Caroline in the City. He then returned to his first love, stand-up comedy, and appeared regularly at the Laugh Factory, The Improv and The Comedy Store before leaving the stage and becoming a teacher in Los Angeles. As Head Coach of Varsity... Read More →
avatar for Jay Martin

Jay Martin

writer/director 7 Minutes
7 Minutes is Jay Martin’s first feature. He has directed music videos for Death Cab for Cutie, Nas, Plain White T’s, Kid Rock, Melissa Etheridge, Christina Perri and Dashboard Confessional, among many others. He’s been directing music videos and commercials since 2003. Jay started... Read More →
avatar for Justin Simien

Justin Simien

writer/director Dear White People
Justin Simien (Director, Writer and Producer) was recently lauded as one of Variety's "10 Directors to Watch." He earned a Streamy Award nomination for the web series "INST MSGS," which was distributed by Revision 3. In addition to producing and directing online companion pieces... Read More →
avatar for Ryan Piers Williams

Ryan Piers Williams

writer/director The Dry Land, X/Y (2014); producer Kilimanjaro
Twitter: @rpierswilliams | Ryan Piers Williams was born and raised in El Paso, TX. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Upon graduation, he worked for Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney on several producti... Read More →


Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

2:45pm

Inside the Writers' Room: Justified
Justified is filled with cowboys, criminals, and all sorts of colorful characters – and that's just the writers’ room! Panelists will discuss the distinct dynamic behind the scenes of the show, and how they collectively come up with those clever southern quips Raylan always has at the ready. So saddle up, put on your Stetson, and ride into Harlan for a spell.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

2:45pm

Scribble to Screen: Writing Relatable Space Raccoons
Guardians of the Galaxy writer Nicole Perlman - the first woman with a credit on a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie - talks about bringing life to a cosmic world full of down-to-earth characters.

THIS IS SCRIBBLE TO SCREEN.
Writing a script is like going on a road trip. You pack up the car with ideas: Characters and scenes. Notions and concepts. Shouts and mutters, emotions and reactions. Then you get on the road: Start writing. Map your outline. Find the right song on the radio. Reverse course. Rethink an interaction. Retool some dialogue. Finished the first draft? Stop for snacks and a bathroom break. But top off the tank and check the tire pressure while you’re at it, because the really rough riding starts here. More drafts. Rewriting. A hundred sets of notes from a hundred backseat drivers - a few of whom might know just the right shortcut, so keep your ears open. And that final shooting script? Your final destination? It might look nothing like what you intended at the start of this whole thing. And thinking back, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Scribble To Screen is about that journey - about the path a writer takes from Point A to Point Z. It’s a roadmap to the creation of the stories and characters we love, and the culture the whole world consumes. It’s the history of the zigzagging route from first draft to final cut, and all the stops in between.


Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

2:45pm

Sitcom Writers' Room Confidential
A fly-on-the-wall perspective of a sitcom writers room, where story notions and joke pitches combine to ultimately form the shooting script of a TV show. Writers and producers of Nickelodeon’s hit series, The Thundermans will screen part of an episode, then explain how it evolved from an idea, to a single writer's draft, to a final script pawed over by eleven quarrelsome writers. Expect panelists to argue over who wrote which jokes and deconstruct the art of choosing what restaurant to order dinner from.

This panel is presented by Nickelodeon.

Sponsors
Community Partners

Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

2:45pm

Stop, Collaborate, and Listen
Whether they meet-cute or get paired up on the same case, writing partners have the same goal: get it done—preferably twice as fast as everyone else. Panelists will team-up to talk about finding a writing partner, developing a collective voice, staying organized, and how to effectively apply the creative powers of two minds… without knocking heads.

Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Historic Sanctuary

2:45pm

The Art of War Writing
The art of composing a war story for film or television requires meticulous strategy and technique before embarking upon the battlefield of the script. A writer must go to the trenches when researching the depths of the setting, history, and culture in order to dramatize these conflict-driven and layered narratives. Sit down with writers as they swap their own war stories on how to best execute bringing your vision to life.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

2:45pm

Ticking Time Bomb
A ticking time bomb in your script—be it literal or figurative—can help elevate a story’s tension and momentum. Used in all types of genres and mediums, this plot device raises the stakes by implementing time-dependent crises. Panelists will only have 75 minutes to unlock the secrets of accentuating conflict, suspense, and urgency in your screenplay. Let the countdown begin!

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 2:45pm - 4:00pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

4:30pm

Based on True Events: Fictionalizing Disaster
Writing about real life tragedies can be cathartic, but requires some delicate consideration when exploring something that is still so raw in an audience's hearts and memories. Still, universal themes of survival can be a powerful avenue in connecting with a wide range of viewers, and man-made and natural disasters often provide a wealth of material for writers to tap into. Panelists will talk about being true to real-life events while straddling the balance between being tastefully artistic, fictionalizing fact, and avoiding exploitation.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

4:30pm

Demystifying the Development Process
The term "in development" can be a scary one for a writer, mostly because once a script goes into development it's not a sure thing it'll ever come out. What exactly goes into developing a script, who's involved, and how can a writer best prepare for the process? This panel will shed a light on the black hole that development can be, and how to navigate the best practices for advocating for your story and sustaining creative momentum.

Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:45pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Historic Sanctuary

4:30pm

Independent Filmmaking Track: Storytelling Through Editing
Film production takes many hours and many minds, but one of the most important roles often goes under-recognized: the editor. The editor's job is akin to that of the screenwriter as they are required to shape the story based on condensing many weeks of footage into something cohesive and succinct. Join us for a conversation about the critical questions all editors must ask and answer during the syncing, bridging, and slicing phase of any film, and how their role as a storyteller is pivotal to the post-production process.

Filmmakers
KF

Kieran Fitzgerald

writer The Homesman, P.O.V.
avatar for Marie-Lou Gingras

Marie-Lou Gingras

editor Once Upon A Crime: The Borrelli – Davis Conspiracy
Before embarking on a career as a film editor, Marie-Lou studied graphic design for six years in Montreal then went on to work as a web and graphic designer. A life long passion for filmmaking eventually lead Marie-Lou to the film program at the Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver where... Read More →


Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:45pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

4:30pm

Scribble to Screen: Writing with Mouse Ears On
Linda Woolverton, who has written a slew of animated and live action Disney movies, chats about the ups and downs of playing in one of pop culture’s greatest sandboxes.

THIS IS SCRIBBLE TO SCREEN.
Writing a script is like going on a road trip. You pack up the car with ideas: Characters and scenes. Notions and concepts. Shouts and mutters, emotions and reactions. Then you get on the road: Start writing. Map your outline. Find the right song on the radio. Reverse course. Rethink an interaction. Retool some dialogue. Finished the first draft? Stop for snacks and a bathroom break. But top off the tank and check the tire pressure while you’re at it, because the really rough riding starts here. More drafts. Rewriting. A hundred sets of notes from a hundred backseat drivers - a few of whom might know just the right shortcut, so keep your ears open. And that final shooting script? Your final destination? It might look nothing like what you intended at the start of this whole thing. And thinking back, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Scribble To Screen is about that journey - about the path a writer takes from Point A to Point Z. It’s a roadmap to the creation of the stories and characters we love, and the culture the whole world consumes. It’s the history of the zigzagging route from first draft to final cut, and all the stops in between.


Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

4:30pm

Tinker Tailor Screenplay Spy
If you join this panel, watch your back. You’ll be face-to-face with KGB agents, toe-to-toe against sailors with no loyalties, and nose-to-nose with a woman in a red dress known only as “Madame La Mort.” If you can handle it, then join our undercover panelists for a Top Secret briefing on the world of espionage and writing an intricate spy script. Equipment needed for survival: a pen and notepad. The password is swordfish.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:45pm
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bethell Hall

4:30pm

Writing Across Mediums: Big Fish & Wicked
John August and Winnie Holzman team up for a conversation on writing across mediums, transitioning from the screen to stage, and how to saturate a world with imaginative elements that ultimately produce a magical experience for an audience. Using Big Fish and Wicked as examples, the duo will explore adapting novels for film and theatre, how one medium can inform the other, and all the nooks, crannies, shoeless towns, ruby slippers, towering giants, and flying monkeys that are inevitably part of the journey.

Sponsors

Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

4:30pm

Young Filmmakers Panel: Coming of Age in America
What does it really mean to be a teenager today? Top Hollywood writers for teen films and shows talk about what real-life struggles they choose to focus on in their material, and why those issues matter. Come get personal with the writers of The Fault in Our Stars, Smallville¸ Nashville, Once Upon a Time, and more.

This panel is open to those in the Young Filmmakers Program, only.

Saturday October 25, 2014 4:30pm - 5:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony
 
Sunday, October 26
 

11:30am

11:30am

A Conversation with Matthew Weiner
Shut the door and have a seat for a conversation with Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men and recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Television Writer award. Weiner has received nine Primetime Emmy® Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row for Mad Men. With a diverse background in field, ranging from Becker to The Sopranos, don’t miss this opportunity to chat with one of the greatest minds in television today.

Sponsors

Sunday October 26, 2014 11:30am - 12:45pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

11:30am

A Conversation with Susannah Grant
Take part in this lively conversation with Susannah Grant. Before receiving her Oscar® nomination for Erin Brockovich, Grant penned Pocahontas, Ever After, 28 Days, and the acclaimed TV series Party of Five. Since then, her credits also include In Her Shoes, Charlotte's Web, and Catch and Release. This is your chance to learn more about finding your voice, creating strong female characters, and transitioning between mediums and genres.

Sponsors

Sunday October 26, 2014 11:30am - 12:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room

11:30am

Deconstructing No Country for Old Men
The Coen Brothers have a knack for nihilism, and never before has that been conveyed so terrifyingly well than in their 2007 masterpiece No Country for Old Men. Using a simple hook, a man stumbling upon the aftermath of a botched drug deal and taking off with the money, the movie plunges the viewer into a world of moral relativism, injustice, and existential woe. Featuring one of the best screen villains of all time, this Cormac McCarthy adaptation has already cemented itself as an essential work of American cinema.

This panel will feature special Cormac McCarthy archival material on display in the Jim Hogg Parlor, presented by the Wittliff Collections.

Sunday October 26, 2014 11:30am - 12:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

11:30am

Independent Filmmaking Track: Marketing & Distribution
Even after post-production, the independent filmmaking journey is not finished yet. The end goal, after all, is for people to see your film. Along with navigating the festival circuit, often a filmmaker’s ideal scenario is to find distribution. This can be challenging and arduous work. This panel will feature representatives from The Weinstein Company, Gravitas, Amplify, and Oscilloscope as they provide insight on the ever-changing indie film industry, marketing strategies and practices, and the positive role film festivals can play along the journey.

Sunday October 26, 2014 11:30am - 12:45pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

11:30am

Screenwriting, MD
Scrub up, because this panel is going to dissect the heart of writing medical dramas. Hear from a team of trained professionals on how to create stories of illness, recovery, and redemption without ever stepping foot in an emergency room. After all, no villain is scarier than the undiagnosed disease. With the amount of tension, terror, and drama inherently present in a hospital room, it’s no wonder how many medical dramas have found success on television. Writers from standout shows such as Combat Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and House, MD will discuss how they operate on each episode while keeping the tension high, the topics fresh, and the research sound.

Sunday October 26, 2014 11:30am - 12:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

11:30am

The Anatomy of the Writers' Room
The writers’ room can be a mysterious place for someone trying to break into television. It’s the place where good ideas, contentious debate, and an endless supply of snacks mix together to create all of your favorite TV shows. But how does it work? What’s the etiquette expected? What are some of the most common issues that occur? What’s the difference between a Writer’s Assistant and Staff Writer? Story Editor and Executive Story Editor? Different producing roles and the role of the Showrunner? Perhaps more importantly, how does one work their way up the chain of command? Panelists will provide a glimpse inside these closed doors, offering secrets, anecdotes, strategies, to-do’s and not-to-do’s.

Sunday October 26, 2014 11:30am - 12:45pm
The Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony

1:15pm

A Conversation with Jim Sheridan
Join renowned Irish writer and director Jim Sheridan, the 2014 recipient of Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award, for a discussion on telling stories rich with love, loss, and hope. Sheridan’s credits include In America, My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, The Boxer, Brothers, and The Field. He has garnered two Academy Awards®, sixteen nominations, and numerous international awards. Bring your appetite for great storytelling and learn more on how to make your own narratives compelling and visionary.

Sponsors

Sunday October 26, 2014 1:15pm - 2:20pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

1:15pm

Deconstructing: The Fly
As a tragic love story with a delightfully strange protagonist and an unforgettable transformation, The Fly filters elements of classical storytelling through the distinct voice of horror legend David Cronenberg. Splice your mind with these panelists as they deconstruct the substantial themes, artful tension, and face-melting gore of this modern genre masterpiece. This very well might answer your own questions on how to craft fear within your own screenplay. Be excited. Be very excited.

Sponsors

Sunday October 26, 2014 1:15pm - 2:30pm
The Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room

1:15pm

Independent Filmmaking Track: The Long and the Short of It
Sling Blade. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Saw. Machete. Bottle Rocket. 12 Monkeys. All feature films that, actually, started as shorts! Take part in this discussion on how to not only craft a strong short film, but also how to use it as a great platform when thinking about the big(ger) picture—turning it into a feature. Panelists who did just that will share insight from their own journeys: the advance planning, the marketing advantages, and how to best apply the lessons learned when transitioning from producing a short to a feature film.

Filmmakers
avatar for Antonia Bogdanovich

Antonia Bogdanovich

CEO/Owner, STATION 8 FILMS
Antonia Bogdanovich is a writer, director, and actress who has accrued an impressively long and varied resume. Even before attending UCLA where she wrote her first screenplay, Antonia worked as a production assistant on George Miller’s The Witches of Eastwick, was an assistant editor... Read More →
avatar for Brad Ragland

Brad Ragland

director Looking for Lions
Since graduating in 2001 from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Bradley W. Ragland has been working in the industry producing various music videos (Stephen Curtis Chapman, Jump5, Helmet), commercials (IFC's SXSW campaign, Partnership for Drug Free America) and web series... Read More →
avatar for Norman Lesperance

Norman Lesperance

writer Looking for Lions
Tenacity and resilience have been the hallmarks of Norman Lesperance’s career. While studying at Brooks Institute of Photography, Lesperance co-wrote, produced and directed his first feature film as well as writing and producing a Vietnam/Twilight Zone-style short.Following a grueling... Read More →


Sunday October 26, 2014 1:15pm - 2:30pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room

1:15pm

It's A Wonderful (So-Called) Life: A Conversation with Winnie Holzman and Edward Zwick
Winnie Holzman and Edward Zwick will discuss their collaborations in television which include some of the best programming from the 90s, ranging from My So-Called Life, thirtysomething, and Once and Again – all produced by the Edward Zwick/Marhsall Heskovitz company, Bedford Falls Productions. The duo will explore crafting memorable characters and relationships, the power of angst, and how to create a successful television series that will linger on in an audience’s collective memory for years to come.

Sponsors

Sunday October 26, 2014 1:15pm - 2:30pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

3:00pm

A Conversation with John Ridley
Don't miss a chance to talk John Ridley, screenwriter of Three Kings, and creator of the upcoming television show American Crime. Best known for writing 12 Years a Slave, a film that won three Academy Awards® (including Best Adapted Screenplay!), one Golden Globe®, and two awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Ridley will share insight on the art and craft of storytelling through film and television.

Sponsors

Sunday October 26, 2014 3:00pm - 4:15pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Ballroom

3:00pm

A Conversation with Whit Stillman
Come absorb the wit and wisdom emanating from author, screenwriter, and director Whit Stillman. Known for writing and directing the films Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco, and Damsels in Distress, Stillman is a modern Jane Austen, critiquing the "urban haute bourgeoisie" with satirical charm. Learn about the art of observation, contemplation, and articulation in your stories while enjoying some “Whitty” repartee along the way.

Sponsors

Sunday October 26, 2014 3:00pm - 4:15pm
The Driskill Hotel, Ballroom

3:00pm

Breaking Into Late Night
In a world that combines jokes, topical subject matter, daily deadlines, and even sketch comedy—all after hours—a writer really has to be on top of their game. Infusing comic relief into current events and trends, many of which can be delicate discussion points, requires writers to be on-their-toes and always five steps ahead. Panelists from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Dennis Miller, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will share their experiences in this unique medium, covering the diverse skill set needed to write everything from opening monologues to desk pieces, and how a job in the late night world can be a lucrative role in one’s career.

Sunday October 26, 2014 3:00pm - 4:15pm
The Driskill Hotel, Crystal Room

3:00pm

Independent Filmmaking Track: The Writer/Director/Actor Relationship
Join this panel of writers who went on to direct their own work for a discussion on how to craft complex and layered characters, and how this is communicated, ultimately, to their cast. What changes or adjustments do you make, if any? How do you work collaboratively to translate the original vision onto the screen? Writer/directors will be joined by leading actors from their films for an in-depth look at this dynamic and how to sustain a lucrative and creative relationship.

Filmmakers
avatar for Ella Purnell

Ella Purnell

actress Wildlike
Born on September 17, 1996 in London, England, Ella can currently be seen playing the young Angelina Jolie in Disney's Maleficent and will also appear in the lead role of the feature film Wildlike. Ella's also due to portray a young Jane in the upcoming remake of Tarzan. In 2008... Read More →
avatar for Frank Hall Green

Frank Hall Green

Partner/Producer, Catch & Release Films
Frank Hall Green is a film producer, writer and director. His directorial debut feature WILDLIKE is produced by Christine Vachon/Killer Films, Tandem Pictures and Joseph Stephans. It was filmed on 35mm in Alaska and stars Ella Purnell, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty, Nolan Gerard... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Harlow

Jennifer Harlow

Producer, SHO Pictures, writer/director The Sideways Light
Jennifer Harlow, native Texan, started writing stories between ballet classes as a child. She earned a BA in Theatre, and turned to independent filmmaking soon after moving to Austin. Jennifer acted in several films, including John Bryant's Momma's Boy which played Austin Film Festival... Read More →
LB

Lindsay Burdge

actress The Sideways Light
Lindsay Burdge is an actress, producer, and casting director who has starred in films screened at Tribeca, Sundance, and SXSW Film Festivals. Credits include A Teacher and First Winter as well as the upcoming The Midnight Swim and The Invitation.
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Matthew Newton

Cast, The Sideways Light
MATTHEW NEWTON is a critically acclaimed award winning actor, writer and director who worked extensively in his native Australia in theater, television and films, before relocating to America. His many leading roles on screen include starring in “Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities... Read More →


Sunday October 26, 2014 3:00pm - 4:15pm
InterContinental Stephen F Austin, Assembly Room