Austin Film Festival: Day 3 (Awards Luncheon)

Well, if you weren't there, you didn't miss much as far as the food went. That's generally true of these kinds of things; any time a kitchen has to mass produce large quantities of food, the results tend to be questionable.

Held at the Austin Club, the Awards Luncheon handed out several "typewriters" (that's the shape of the award, which Frank Darabont found very cool) to filmmakers and writers under various banners. Maybe Noah Buschel is right about the whole "just go buy a camera" thing, considering he won Best Narrative Feature for Sparrows Dance. There were a lot of other winners, but I didn't have a pen to mark them on my program, and anyway, I'm still a little bitter that St. Peter in Chains couldn't find a home at AFF (there is no short film screenwriting category, so I tried it as an hour-long pilot, but it isn't really, so no surprise it didn't advance). ::shrug:: The AFF site will surely list all the winners.

Other honorees were Chris Carter (writer and producer of The X-Files among other things) for Outstanding Television Writer, who had his award presented to him by Robert Patrick; Eric Roth (Munich, Forrest Gump) for Distinguished Screenwriter, award presented by Dan Petrie, Jr.; and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) for Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking, award presented by Jeffrey DeMunn. Weirdly enough, I was also really excited to be in the same room as Drew Struzan, whose artwork is fucking awesome.

Well, and Chris Carter. My first spec script (which was my final project as an undergrad) was an X-Files script. But it was a two-parter, and my advisor told me, though it was very good, it would never work as something to send out because it was two parts. I wouldn't write another script for over a decade, having gone into publishing instead. Though when I interned for a producer at FOX, I did look Carter up in the directory and called his office a couple times, only to hang up when someone answered.

Eric Roth mumbled his acceptance, and still made tears come to my eyes. I probably only caught half of what he said; if I'd heard more, I might have been openly weeping. [AFF later posted Roth's speech.]

And Frank Darabont is just such a buoyant character. As I said, he was mightily pleased with the "typewriter." Also, he sounds almost exactly like Alan Alda when he speaks.

Now I must find caffeine because the lunch only offered water and tea . . . There may have been coffee at some point, but I hate coffee. I'm on break until tonight's screening of Murder By Decree. Chris Carter is hosting it AND it has Sherlock Holmes? How could I hope to resist?

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