The past four days have been such a blur of ideas, conversation, food and shockingly warm weather that I’m still having trouble believing it’s Thursday already — I only flew down on Sunday to get a headstart on things and —. Did I say I’m having trouble believing it’s Thursday already?
I was very chuffed to attend the 2017 Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) Conference in Dunedin this week. It took me a good day or so to get my head around what the SRN mean by “rethink[ing] the screenplay in relation to its histories, theories, values and creative practices”.
Screenplays as more than just the starting points for film and television productions. I could dig that. Kind of.
Since Monday, academics and practitioners have rubbed shoulders and broken bread together on the Otago University campus, and I thought everyone played rather nicely together. Highlights included — beware shameless name-dropping:
- being on a couple of panels with filmmaker Tusi Tamasese, multihyphenates Steve Barr and Casey Zilbert, and producers Catherine Fitzgerald and Christina Milligan;
- enjoying talks by Rachel Lang, Fiona Samuels and Kathryn Burnett, and Alan Brash (scheduling meant I missed out on talks by fellow guild board members Allan Baddock and Andrew Gunn, and guild ED Alice Shearman);
- presentations by and/or chats with Terry Bailey, Shirin Brown, Alejandro Davila, Paul Janman, Desha Dauchan, Levi Dean, Eugene Doyen, Emily Duncan, Patrick Gillies, Mauro Giantini, Amie Taua, Rosanne Welch, Paul Wells, Gavin Wilson, and a gentleman screenwriter from Wanaka whose name I neglected to note;
- and keynotes by film maker Gaylene Preston, New Zealand Film Commission CEO Dave Gibson, New Zealand On Air CEO Jane Wrightson.
Big props to organisers Davinia Thornley, Al, Amie, Maureen Lloyd, Pippa, Katie Baddock, and a small army of volunteers for making the whole occasion smooth sailing.
The next conference is in Milan. How hard can it be to knock up an abstract on Screenwriting as discomfit: at which point did I begin to self-identify as a writer?