2012: The First Quarter

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been through a full quarter of 2012. The past three months have been life-changing for me, and while it didn’t seem like it earlier in the winter, it’s been changing for the better.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I went through a major personal crisis at the end of 2011. While I don’t want to get into the particulars in such a public forum, the gist of it is that after eleven years of living together and more than five years being married, my husband and I split up. This has turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and while it’s obviously not something I would have hoped for, I firmly believe that it was the right thing to have happened.

So my goal for this year has been to really focus on my career. Not just my professional blogging career, but also my fiction writing, screenwriting, and filmmaking careers (’cause a girl can never have too many careers, right?). To that end, I’ve been very proactive for the past couple of months. In review:

  • I applied for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, held each August in Middlebury, Vermont. Bread Loaf is one of the oldest and most prestigious conferences in the world, and I’ve dreamed of attending for a few years, but always felt like it wasn’t possible, due to the time and money involved. Now that I’m single, I can spend my money on the things I want, and don’t need to worry about obligations to others (well, with the exception of my pets). I’ll find out whether I got in or not toward the end of May.
  • I applied for the Nicholl Fellowship. The Nicholl is probably the most prestigious screenwriting fellowship in the world, run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the organization that runs the Academy Awards). Even if I don’t win a fellowship (they do up to five each year), even making it to the quarterfinals can open up a ton of opportunities in the filmmaking industry. As far as I know, they announce the quarter-finalists in early August.
  • I completed my first short film! This one was huge for me. It’s an entirely DIY project, and I did everything from the camera work (or, more accurately, mounting the camera to the tripod), acting, and sound, to the editing and color grading. It was also done on a $0 budget, using only the equipment and props I already had. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I’ve had a few people watch it and it seems to get across the point I was trying to make. What more could I ask for?
  • I entered my short in the YouTube Your Film Festival. This is a huge opportunity for short filmmakers interested in creating content for the web. Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions watches all the films submitted, and chooses the best 50. From there, the public gets to vote for their favorites, narrowing it down to the top 10. Those 10 get to go to the Venice Film Festival and have their work shown there. Those 10 films are judged by a panel that includes Ridley Scott and Michael Fassbender, among others, to pick a winner. The winner then gets a $500,000 production grant to produce original web content, whether that’s a feature, a web series, or something else. Obviously, this would be absolutely amazing. Do I have a shot at it? Probably not. But it’s still worth trying! The 50 finalists will be announced by June 1st when public voting begins. Just re-read the rules, and I’ll find out whether I’m a finalist or alternate finalist around the middle of April. Which is significantly more awesome than having to wait until June! No idea what the rules say about announcing whether you’re a finalist or not, though…
  • I also entered the short into the Celtx Seeds contest. The winners (there are 10) of that get a $2,000 production grant and Celtx helps promote their work. Again, it’s an amazing opportunity for filmmakers. I feel like I have a better shot at this one (I get the feeling the competition isn’t quite as fierce as the YouTube contest). They’ll announce the winners by the end of April.

Now, next on my agenda is Script Frenzy, which starts April 1st. The goal behind Screnzy, as it’s called, is to write a 100 page script in 30 days. Since that’s a fairly slow pace for me based on how I normally write, I decided to write three scripts during April, each roughly 100 pages. That means 10 pages a day for 30 days. I think I can do it. And at a minimum I should finish at least one during April!

I’m also spending a lot more time working than I was at the end of last year. I took on the editor position at Webdesigner Depot last year, and have been devoting more time to that in the past couple of months.

As far as bigger, long-term projects go, I’ve got a feature film and a web series that will be entering pre-production soon. For the feature, I’m kind of waiting until I hear back from the Nicholl (it’s the script I entered), as a good showing there would obviously help with attracting talent and crew (and money). The web series may film this fall, depending on how ambitious I’m feeling over the summer. Either way, those are projects that will likely be tackled during the fall/winter of this year.

So while I haven’t been posting much here, it’s not because I haven’t been writing and working on other creative projects. At some point I’ll get back to blogging regularly here, but for right now I have too many other things on my plate! And I honestly like it that way!

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2 thoughts on “2012: The First Quarter

  1. You are an inspiration Cam.
    Keep your head up and remember that you are destined for great things.
    I’m going to resume writing just to celebrate you getting your groove back:)

    • Thank you! It’s been a rollercoaster of a winter, but I’ve come out of it in much better shape than I thought possible.

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