As you know, I took my novel, Pennies from Burger Heaven, and turned it into a screenplay last spring. Next, I entered it in the Austin Film Festival screenplay competition. They had a record number of entries this year — 9,100 screenplays!
It took me 7.5 weeks to write the screenplay. That’s not enough time, but it’s all I had before the contest deadline.Here’s how Pennies performed …
I made it to the Second Round. That’s the top 15%, or the top 1,365.
Am I proud of myself?
Am I disappointed?
Wouldn’t it have been cool to final, or better yet, to win the whole shebang? There’s a mishmash of emotions swirling inside me, but I have to remind myself this was only the second screenplay I’ve ever written, and the first one was over 11 years ago in 2005.
Writing a screenplay writing is completely different than writing a novel. Each is its own kind of hard. Each requires a different set of creative skills, which I discussed in Turning Your Novel into a Screenplay.
What Austin Said about My Work
The form part of AFF letter said, “This year’s scripts proved to be incredibly competitive, and featured a high-standard of exemplary stories, including your own. This is a tremendous accomplishment, and you should be extremely proud of your success.”
The handwritten comment on my letter said, “Your twist on the crime genre by having a twelve-year old homeless girl as the detective is fresh and compelling. Good work!”
I’ll receive my reader’s notes about Pennies in December, but I’m delighted. I was scared (terrified, in fact), but I wrote a screenplay, and made myself enter the contest. That may be my biggest victory.
I’m Pitching Pennies Next Week
I’m attending the Austin Film Festival, October 13 – 16, 2016. Because I’m a “Second Rounder,” I get to attend special workshops and round tables for the top 15%. Maybe, there will even be a special ribbon on my name tag!
But, wait! There’s more!
I’ve also entered the AFF Pitch Competition. I’ll have 90 seconds to sell them on my story. I made it to the finals when I competed back in 2005, so NO PRESSURE, Marcy!
Send Good Vibes My Way
I’ll do my pitch on Friday, October 14, between 10:45 am – Noon. There are 160 participants total, with 16 people in the 10 different pitching sessions. I can’t recall if 10 or 20 folks make it to finals on Saturday night.
Please send any and all good thoughts my way next week.