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From First Draft to Feature

THIS EVENT IS TOTALLY SOLD OUT. Not kinda-sorta sold out, not ha-ha-just-kidding sold out, not “I know the website says it’s sold out, but was wondering if there was any way…” sold out. SOLD OUT. 

But! But! There will be a wait list AT THE DOOR TOMORROW. So come by the Writers Guild Theater before 9am and we’ll see what we can do. WARNING BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET IT: Getting on the wait list does NOT guarantee you a ticket. It merely guarantees you a place on the wait list. But you’re still better off than the people who stayed home, right? Right? Yeah.

For this year’s spring craft symposium, we’re bringing Austin to you. Much like Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise, the friendship between the WGF and the AFF is eternal and without peer. And like a mighty oak whose branches fruit with opportunity, our friendship affords you the unique chance to hear from a series of creative and executive luminaries, from seasoned producers and writers with long careers to those who just broke in.

It’s an unparalleled chance to learn how to navigate the entertainment industry, from getting your script read to getting your script made. We’ll have four separate panels full of experts, hosted in an atmosphere of genial and spirited harmony you don’t find at other screenwriting conferences.

And! And! Tickets are a slim 65 bucks – the lowest price we’ve ever offered for a day-long event.

OH YEAH AND ONE MORE THING. We’ll be giving out some amazing prizes during our trivia contest – specifically, two AFF Conference Badges (each one a $350 value) and three copies of Final Draft (each one a $249.99 value)!

Here’s what the day will look like:

FROM CONCEPT TO FIRST DRAFT. Moderator Kirsten Kiwi Smith (Writer, LEGALLY BLONDE, EXPENDABELLES) chats with panelsts Katie Dippold (Writer, THE HEAT, PARKS AND RECREATION) and Ron Yerxa (Academy Award-nominated producer of NEBRASKA and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) about turning that idea into a solid first draft you can read, be frustrated by, and rework into something better.

FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINAL DRAFT. John August (Writer, BIG FISH; co-host, SCRIPTNOTES podcast) brings his hosting prowess to a discussion with Linda Woolverton (Writer, THE LION KING, MALEFICENT), Kelly Marcel (Writer, SAVING MR. BANKS, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY) and Scott Neustadter (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, THE SPECTACULAR NOW) about what it takes to hone that first draft into something better – and how you know when you’re done.

LAUNCHING YOUR WRITING CAREER: COMPETITIONS. In the first of two panels curated by the brains behind the Austin Film Festival, moderator Daniel Petrie, Jr. (Writer, BEVERLY HILLS COP, THE BIG EASY) chats with panelists how writing competitions can be a lucrative venue to break into the industry. have yielded countless success stories and provide insider tips on what it takes to catch a reader’s attention. Matt Dy (Screenplay Competition Director, Austin Film Festival) and Greg Beal (Director, Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting) will discuss how their contests have yielded countless success stories, and provide insider tips on how to catch – and keep – a reader’s attention. They’ll be joined by Andrew Lanham (2011 AFF and Nicholl winner for THE JUMPER OF MAINE) Andrew Sodroski (2012 AFF finalist; writer, HOLLAND, MICHIGAN, #1 on the 2013 Black List), and Troy Anthony Miller (Horror Award Winner, 2013 AFF, for THE HITCH).

LAUNCHING YOUR WRITING CAREER, PART 2: THE WRITER’S PRODUCER.  Austin Film Festival Executive Director Barbara Morgan moderates this exploration of what happens between the last page of your screenplay and the beginning of its life as a noteworthy and talked-about work. She’ll be joined by Barry Josephson (Producer, BONES, ENCHANTED) and Mark Johnson (Producer, BREAKING BAD, RAIN MAN).

Click here for a complete listing of the day’s events.

We may bring more panelists on board, so keep checking back!

This event is sponsored in part by our good pals at Final Draft. Thanks, Final Draft!