Monday, October 24, 2011

Day Two: AFF

Yes, it is now Monday, but I am going to backlog my experiences for all of you anyway. It's not my fault I didn't have internet for two days... although that's not really what happened. Honestly, I was just out super late at night, "networking," and was too tired to write properly upon returning home in the early morning hours.

Anyway, my Day Two was pretty solid. It started with "Comedy - The Hardest Genre?"with Alec Berg, Craig Mazin, and David Garrett. In terms of answering the question posited by the title of the panel, all the guys agreed, that, yes comedy is the hardest genre. It's the same thing as drama, but with the added element of making people laugh, which apparently is a hard thing to do. Ummm, hello, I do it every day, here's my card gentlemen. But to all you people who aren't as talented and as special as me, here is some advice from the panelists -

1. Comedy is at its best when it takes people's expectations and plays with it, flips, reverses it, whatever.
2. In a scene, both characters should not be funny, one can be funny, but what is really funny is what is happening between these two characters. For all you Seinfeld fans out there, Berg said that Seinfeld was okay with being the unfunny one. He knew that it would make the show funnier... BOOM mindstatusblown.
3. They all agreed that you can and should joke about anything and everything because everything has the potential to be funny, no matter how serious.
4. Finally, the life of a comedy writer can be described as this - "Even the bacon of success is wrapped in failure," at least according to Craig.

We also learned from Mr. Mazin that Charlie Sheen had kooky theories about 9/11, big surprise.

Instead of going to another panel, I went to the Script Library (the equivalent of some hip, underground, indie music club here at AFF), which is located in the Cloak Room at the Stephen F. (a great name for a hip, underground, indie music club). ANYWAY, I read all of the sitcom spec finalist scripts. Let me say, there is some good writing coming through this Festival. There are also free pens, water, and mints in there, so take advantage.

Then, I went to a panel called "Breaking into the Business: Julie Howe and Joyce San Pedro." I mostly went because Matt was moderating, and he's blind and it's funny to watch him pretend like he can actually see what's going on in front of him... but also because Julie's script, Jasper Milliken, is crazy good. Julie and Joyce were both great and very candid -

"Orphans are really funny." - Julie

Then, I just camped out in that room for "Agents and Managers" with Rebecca Ewing, Justin Manask, and Gayla Nethercott. Ugh, this one was depressing because it sounds almost completely impossible to get an agent or a manager, but they all had the same advice - don't be creepy. If that's what it takes, then I am ruined.

After this I went to the BBQ, saw A Swingin' Trio and Freakdance, went to dirrrrrrrty sixth, and fell asleep at 4:30 in the morning. THIS was the day that began setting me back on posts. Clearly.

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