There's nothing like being in a group of like-minded individuals to inspire. Ideas started to spin in my head. Every night, when back in my hotel, I wanted to start a new project.
I was humbled, inspired, jazzed and exhausted. Austin was brimming with events, films, panels, and parties. If only I could have cloned myself so that I could have experienced it all. The famed Driskill Bar was always buzzing and Bob, well I'll call him, Bob (above) oversaw it all. After a few Pink Prairie Dogs you'd swear that his eyes moved and followed you. Really!
Mostly, it was affirming. I enjoyed hearing seasoned veterans share their struggles when facing a blank screen or page. Some being honest about hating the actual process and how they too endure the pain of trying to create something. Most wondered if the work was worthy, being positive that it was crap. Some explained the efforts and tenacity needed to never give up on getting a project made. Others revealed the profound joy of having created, and the ultimate excitement of learning that they had connected with an audience or a reader.
For me, all reassuring and well, a little mind blowing too.
One of the highlights of the festival was the awards luncheon. New screenwriters and filmmakers were celebrated alongside of the amazing Jonathan Demme, Vince Gilligan, Barry Josephson, Callie Khouri, and Susan Sarandon. A lot of emotion was heard in most acceptance speeches reminding me that it is always a long road and for most it is still a thrill to see a project come to fruition.
Thank you #AFF20th. You rock. Let's make a movie.