In the spirit of getting into the story quick...
Upon excitement at the prospect of its learning and contact potential, I almost hit purchase by PayPal, but then it hit me.
Around a total £500 for a three-day ticket, accommodation, and food and drink for the weekend.
"Yeah, it's totally worth it."
But am I ready? As an aspiring scriptwriter, as a newbie, as a wannabe businessman? As a dude with spiky hair and glasses now all steamed upon having to make an executive decision.
Have I done enough with the knowledge and projects I currently have?
How many scripts, treatments and pitches do I have refined and ready to aim and fire at will?
Do I fully understand my various audiences and genres?
Do I have a clear scope on British television/film and its production companies and producers?
Have I been writing long? Have I reached a happy medium with my writing?
Do I have enough experience networking in person?
Could I do more? Could I be more prepared?
In short, "No, I'm not ready."
Preparation is Key
In truth I don't feel ready and would rather spend that large amount of money on a subsequent year's entry and when I am able to use the opportunity to its fullest. I know if I went this year I would learn a lot but I would like more time writing before I go to such an event.
It would be too easy to rush into this year but I know I would feel a little out of my depth in terms of industry knowledge and reaching a balance on completed projects and time spent developing and writing, as I have barely begun.
At the moment I'm often saying: "I have this amazing idea which is about [enter pitch]."
When I would rather say: "I have this amazing idea which is about [enter pitch] and have a completed script (or treatment) for it."
I feel that this festival isn't something that should be rushed into and taken lightly. But for the cost of the festival I feel it's wise to spend it when I am comfortable and confident that I will be able to get the most out of the weekend by being fully prepared.
The Year Ahead
From now till this time next year is going to be a big year for me in terms of writing and chasing progress. I have an over abundance of projects and long to make some way with a number of them. By this time next year I aim to have made considerable progress with a number of existing projects and developing a batch of new ones that will form as the next few years worth of rewriting.
It's going to be a busy and productive twelve months and I would feel better served for completing it before I even think about attending the festival and getting truly involved.
For now, I will experience the online and alternative London Screenwriters' Festival 2011. It's amazing value for no money. This entails scanning scriptwriting blogs for coverage of attendees experiences and advice garnered from the festival. e.g. Jez Freedman and others.
Maybe next year or the year after I will be giving back and serving others with my own experience and knowledge gained at the festival. Who knows.
Let's just get through this year first and see what happens...
Are you going to the festival this year? If so, how do you prepare?