Friday, June 29, 2007

SCRIPTS Washington Screenplay Competition

I was recently a judge for the Washington State Screenplay Competition. I used that experience to write a little piece for about the common mistakes that inexperienced screenwriters make. I didn't name any names or quote from any of the scripts specifically, but all of the mistakes that I mention are ones that I ran across.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

SIFF Wrap-up and "Reject Fest" responses

I wrote on

I wrote a wrap-up piece about SIFF for which gives mini-reviews of a lot of the movies from the second half of the festival.

Also, my Festivals for Rejects piece stirred some controversy when Clint Berquist, founder of the Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF) posted a response, which prompted me to post a response to his response and then Adam Sekular from the Northwest Film Forum to post a response to his response.

The funny thing is, I don't know if or when I would have found out about his comment if Clint himself didn't call me to make sure I didn't take it personally. That was cool of him. I didn't take it personally. The more voices the merrier, I say.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SIFF Awards and Comments

I went to the awards brunch, and not just for the bacon (which was crispy and delicious). I brought my little digital tape recorder and grabbed some comments from the winning filmmakers, which I thought was a nice touch. Follow the link for a list of winners and some color commentary.

SIFF Closing Weekend

I wrote this one just before the end of the festival, just before the final weekend.

SIFF Festivals by and for Rejects

I've been bad about posting the links to my articles at I'll try to make it up to you (and by you I mean me) by posting a few right now. First was the article I wrote about those little festivals that pop up around more established festivals . Slamdance started the trend, being a festival started by people rejected by Sundance, and it's a formula that has been repeated around the world, though never as successfully. Seattle has had a few of them, and now we have another, the Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF), which just finished its third year.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

SIFF Halfway Through

The Seattle International Film Festival has hit its halfway point, and I wrote about the festival so far at Find out the good, the bad and the ugly by clicking HERE.

Monday, June 4, 2007

SIFF Meeting Anthony Hopkins

I went to see Anthony Hopkins' movie Slipstream last week because I thought I might be able to interview him. Early reviews sort of dismissed it as an experimental film wannabe, but fellow SIFF programmer Peter Lucas liked it and I suspected I would like it too. So Heidi and I went over to the SIFF Cinema to catch it.

Turns out we both liked it. Hopkins made the movie with an unbridled enthusiasm that's infectious. It's in the David Lynch postmodern mode but doesn't delve as deeply into the psyche, not that it matters, really, because it's a heckuva lot of fun... as long as you don't mind indulgent (in a good way), playful, wacky editing and a film within a film within a dream story. It also helped to have him come out before the movie and warn us that it's a strange film and that he wouldn't even try to explain what it meant.

I did end up sitting down and talking with him for nearly 45 minutes. What a nice guy. Seems like he'd be fun to hang around with.

Anyway, I wrote a piece for and you can find it HERE. Oh, and a nice addition to my piece is the fact that the people interviewed Hopkins, his lovely wife Stella Arroyave (who produced and acted in the film), as well as actors Christian Slater and Lisa Pepper when they were all at Sundance, and there's a link to that at the end of the piece.

CELEB The Meaning of Life

Got this little tidbit from the World Entertainment News Network, which I believe is the gossip site that the IMDb links to. It got me thinking about how sometimes I wonder when I'll discover my own purpose in life, and maybe, just maybe, as it is with Paula Abdul, it won't be by creating new work but by cheering on other people who are creating new work.

Here's the story:

"Pop star Paula Abdul is so grateful for her seat on the American Idol judging panel - because she has finally found her purpose in life. The singer experienced huge chart success in the late 1980s and earlier 1990s, but believes her current stint as a judge on the hit talent show is what she was destined for.

"She tells U.S. magazine OK!, 'I knew since I was a little girl that I had this profound way of touching people. My purpose is bringing out everybody's best and being that cheerleader to other people's success. Being a judge on American Idol overshadows being a Grammy Award winner and selling millions of records.'"

CELEB The Big House

I don't know why I like this sentence so much...

"She was booked into the jail at 11:38 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Web site, after days of partying and just hours after attending the MTV Movie Awards."

And yes, I do feel a little guilty following this celeb story, but just a little. My favorite bits of her press release are:

"'During the past few weeks I have had a lot of time to think and have come to realize I made some mistakes,' she said in a statement released by her lawyer. 'This is an important point in my life and I need to take responsibility for my actions. In the future, I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make.'"

I can't tell if it's youth or money or "celebrity" that has allowed her to take such a passive role in the decisions she has made so far.