I finally made it to the Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference for the first time. And I say, it is worth the trip. Since it was my first time, I didn’t want to shell out nearly $700 for the all encompassing Producer’s Badge which gets you into all panels and parties. I opted for the Lone Star Badge which gave me access to panels on Saturday, three of their parties, and all of the film screenings. For me, that option suited me pretty well. Depending on what you’re looking to get out of the festival, I don’t think you need to buy the Producer’s Badge. The pitch finale party was pretty crowded, and I’ve heard from others that the other parties were crowded as well, prompting some people to leave early.
I attended five back-to-back panels and then the Pitch Finale party on Saturday. Though I didn’t pitch, the most informative sessions for me were listening to the pitches at the pitch sessions and the finale party and getting to hear feedback from the judges. This specifically helped me work on a pitch document I’m polishing up for a TV pilot I’ve written.
If you’re looking to mingle and network, the panels are great for meeting people while you wait for them to begin. (Tip: Bring snacks cause you only have a few minutes between panels.) And The Driskill Hotel is swarming with filmmakers (and a few celebrities) in the evening. This year, they set up a networking lounge. I went there for the free coffee, but also chatted up some folks too.
Until next time, Austin.