This may well be my last post before the London Screenwriters’ Festival kicks off this Friday (but do check in regularly as I have a very special guest blogger reporting from the festvial).
Right now I am slightly delirious as I am so exhausted. Forgive my ramblings.
OK, I have got to say, running a festival of this enormous scale, with NO funding from any bodies, councils, organisation etc… it has been a challenge. It’s not just a big festival, it’s a MASSIVE event with many, many moving parts that appear to be in constant flux. More than once I have asked, what the heck am I doing?
Then I remember.
What we are doing IS making a difference for our delegates. And a real difference.
And because we have NO funding, we need to make the whole event work from ticket sales only. It truly exists BECAUSE the delegates want it to exist. People could have chosen to save their money, buy a book, do another course… But they didn’t.
Think about that for a moment as it’s more profound than it first appears.
It was pointed out to David Chamberlain, MD of the festival today, by one of the biggest name speakers to attend. ‘The festival exists ONLY because your delegates want it to exist’.
If what we had offered didn’t sufficiently serve our delegates needs, and at a price point that they could afford, the festival would not happen. We just wouldn’t get enough people in attendance.
And so I celebrate the delegates who are attending this years festival. Thank you! This is YOUR Festival and it will ROCK!
So here’s my promise.
Everyone at the festival will do their utmost to create something magical, extraordinary and empowering. And when we get things wrong, as we surely will, we will learn from those mistakes for next year. We will also listen closely to your feedback and suggestions for the festival in 2011. Why wouldn’t we? You are the boss. We want you to be successful in your career so that you keep coming back, hopefully contributing as a speaker sometime. And we want this festival to be 100% sustainable and prolific (and available year round, but more on that in the coming weeks ;-))
And while I am in this slightly delirious state, I also want to acknowledge the wonderful speakers who have given their time 100% for free. No speaker is getting any fee of any kind. They are here because they want to help. Isn’t that really awesome? Really, I just got a little tear in my eye.
And also our staff who get in super early and go home way too late, not forgetting those who work from home too…. Thank you! It’s quite humbling to see how much you give in order to be part of something that makes a difference.
Finally, we just got news of a lovely write up in The Spectator magazine – you can read the online version here. But in short, here’s what award-winning writer for the screen Nathaniel Tapley concludes…
The schedule is immense, the speakers are impressive, and if the Festival can achieve only a modest proportion of what it sets out to in terms of helping writers network, initiate projects then it will be incredibly valuable, but with its online community it has been designed not just to be a 3-day event, but to provide a supportive community to help them move projects along through the year up until the next Festival.
Now its down to the writers, the storytellers, the creators to take the tools they have created and use them to make new stories, big stories, small stories, funny stories, heartbreaking stories: a whole new generation of films that still only exist as ideas in someone's mind. And we will.
Blimey. If only I had time to go to the festival instead of running the damn thing!
I neeeeed my beeeeeeed!
Onwards and upwards!