EIFF 2004 Diary: Day Four

Learning to be a pro at fest workshops.

by Douglas Bell

Doug at the EIFF: day 4

Doug at the EIFF: day 4

One little known part of the Ed Film Fest is the strand of workshops, seminars and lectures aimed at educating and encouraging young talent and veterans alike. Some of these are open to the public, and you too could gain access to top advice, from how to write a script to how to get started in this often alien business.

I managed to get myself into one such event today, and discovered a world of people you would otherwise never see. The Script Factory, who organised the lecture, is aiming to clarify the difficulties in understanding between writers and those who can promote and develop the work into celluloid.

In short, very few people have a clue as to what the industry wants to read and how to present your work to someone with the cash to make it happen. This kind of event provides invaluable advice, without which many scripts have little chance of making it past the waste paper bin.

Watch the Kevin Spacey masterpiece Swimming With Sharks if you want to see how these film developers work: you may be shocked at how cut-throat it is.

Those who fancy themselves as the undiscovered Ridley Scott should make enquiries about two particular events: on Wednesday next (25) there's a Skillset Careers in Film event you should try to get a ticket to, and on Thursday next (26), something called Short Film Beginnings, for those who want to make a short film, but don't know where to start.

You may not yet have heard of Orange Wednesdays. Here's an opportunity to make the most of corporate sponsorship. If you or anyone you know is an Orange mobile phone customer, you can get a buy-one-get-one-free deal, "BOGOF", on cinema tickets, every Wednesday. This includes the film festival.

All you need to do is text 'Film' to 241 from an orange phone, and they send you a reference number, which you can show to the box office and get a free ticket. It's as easy as that. Additionally, for those who want news updates on the festival can get free exclusive news texts by sending 'Ed Film Fest' to 247. Your diarist has himself signed up and is disappointingly, however, still awaiting some news. I promise to pester them severely until they send me something interesting.

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