I’m headed to Austin tomorrow to participate in four panels at the Austin Film Festival. They have me scheduled very tight, so if you’re inclined to introduce yourself, it’s generally easier to catch me at the start of a session than the end of it.

As I’ve written before (“Are you somebody?”), in daily life I’m fairly anonymous, so it’s unnerving on those rare occasions when I’m recognized in public. But in my biennial sojourns to the screenwriter-centric AFF, I feel like a minor TV star. “Wait, is that..?”

Yes, that’s me in Quiznos, debating which size sandwich is just too much. Feel free to say hi.

Friday, October 17th

Young Filmmaker Program Pitch Session
Driskill Hotel, Victorian Balcony
1:45pm to 3:00pm
Co-sponsored by the Mobile Film School, the student pitch session gives high school students the opportunity to pitch to industry professionals. Watch the finalists battle it out and learn more about the art of the pitch. Panelists: John August, James V. Hart

Shot of Inspiration
Driskill Hotel, Ballroom
3:15 to 4:30 pm
Giving up on writing is not an option. Listen to screenwriting professionals describe their first big break. Hear motivating and inspiring stories from writers who were once in your shoes. Panelists: John August, Shauna Cross

On Friday night, I’ll probably make it to the Texas Film BBQ at the French Legation, which is always a good time. I’m also curious to see Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, which is playing at 7:30 at the Paramount.

Saturday, October 18th

Dialogue: Finding the Voice
Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Ballroom
9am to 10:15am
How do you create dialogue that drives the story but feels natural? How do you make sure that the dialogue flows with the scene and pacing of the film? Get tips from the pros and make your dialogue really say something. Panelists: John August, John Lee Hancock, Steve Harrigan

Young Filmmakers Panel
Texas State Capitol Building
10:45 to Noon
Aimed at students aged 9-17 but open to all. Panelists discuss how they got started in the industry, answer questions about the craft and business of screenwriting and filmmaking, and offer encouragement for those beginning their journeys in the film business. Panelists: John August, Melissa Rosenberg, Terry Rossio

From there, it’s back to the airport and back to Los Angeles.