I’ve decided to attend the Nashville Writers Conference in April. I tend to be leery of these types of events because too often the panels and breakout sessions are run by people anxious to sell you their “Write a Screenplay in Two Weeks” course or their latest book breaking into Hollywood when they have never sold a screenplay themselves. I often wonder how these gurus become gurus when they’ve never been successful in the industry they teaching you how to be successful in.
The Nashville Writers Conference is part of the Nashville Film Festival and is sponsored in part by Screencraft.org. I like Screencraft and some of the programs they have in place, and they have great articles on the business by writers like Ken Miyamoto. The lineup of speakers also seems pretty worthwhile with folks like the Hayes Brothers (Chad & Carey), Andrea Berloff and Max Borenstein in attendance. It seems like a good opportunity to make some connections, and I won’t have to just talk about my scripts; I can also pitch the website and build my brand. Consider it backdoor marketing.
The conference also offers a pitch festival, though who you will be pitching to has yet to be announced. All in all, it seems like a fairly legitimate event. As such, I have plunked down my credit card and reserved a spot at the conference and the pitch session and booked my flight. Luckily, depending on your point of view, my current job will end just before the conference, so I won’t have to take time off from work to attend.
I will take Come Ups and probably The Calling as my two spec scripts. If I can get The Devil’s Tramping Ground together by then, it will be my backup.
Speaking of Come Ups, I have begun the rewriting process based on the coverage notes from Screenplay Readers, and all I have to say is rewriting is a bitch. Some of the changes feel odd at the moment, but it may be due to the fact that I’ve had the script structured in such a way for so long that the new pacing feels awkward to me. And the ripple effects are killing me. Suffice it to say, simple changes are never simple.