My zombie script takes a couple bites out of the Action On Film Festival in California!
July 31, 2011
Last night it was good being me. My screenplay, Belzec: The Made Undead won first place in both categories it was nominated (Horror and Science Fiction) at the Action on Film awards ceremony in Pasadena. I was stunned. Awarded two top prizes far exceeded my expectations. I would have been thrilled receiving an honorable mention…once. But hot damn, running the table is all right with me! I guess those boyhood days at the grind house finally paid off.
Seriously, even I forget how many hours, weeks and months we writers put into a single project. And with work and family obligations, much of the writing has to be done late at night, when everyone’s asleep. (Perfect time to pen a zombie thriller, yes?) My point is though a labor of love, it’s still labor. So, it’s nice being validated.
A bit about the AOF… What started as a festival to show the work of artists who might otherwise be marginalized is growing into what founder, Del Westin calls a “mentor festival” producing projects for filmmakers and giving them greater access to the Hollywood machine. As Del put it at the awards ceremony, he literally wants to “push” new filmmakers and writers forward. He likened it to cramming us onto a subway in China!
I don’t doubt he’d do it. Del is a force of nature.
He and the entire AOF team are to be commended for building and fostering such a passionate community. I’ve been to my share of advertising award shows and film festivals. The esprit de corps at AOF trumped them all. At the writer’s ceremony, everyone cheered for everyone and those winning honorable mentions were encouraged to make speeches. Losers were told to keep on writing. Fellowship like that is rarer than you think, especially at award shows.
At my table was a screenwriter from Amsterdam, an east coast scribe, a writer from Ireland and a student author, as well as their spouses and partners. Very cool. I normally cringe at award shows (win or lose) but this was as fun as a good dinner party.
And then I won. Twice. Look- I don’t know if Belzec will ever get made. For any screenwriter that mountain is high, let alone a fabulous nobody like me. But my confidence grows with each prize that it garners. In any event, there are worse ways to spend an evening.
By the way, if anyone out there wants to make a zombie move with gravitas, find me. Horror, as I’m finding out, can be pretty damn lucrative.