Gabbi Lindgren here: Screenplay Competition Administrative Coordinator, or SCAC, if you prefer acronyms. Have you seen the Conference schedule and are totally overwhelmed by the myriad of choices presented? Do you like to have someone else around to make decisions for you, or at the very least guide your choices? When faced with a difficult choice do you ask yourself, ‘What would Gabbi do’? I am here to help. May I present to you: The “Gabbi” Panel Track, or the panels I would die to attend if I wasn’t an AFF employee and didn’t have to work the Conference. Believe me, it was just as hard for me to choose these as it probably will be for you (and I’ve never more desired a Time Turner for educational purposes – a la Hermione) but the panels below are my Official Selections that are sure to promise a fulfilling Conference. (And you may see me sneaking in the back of these rooms, just to soak up a few glorious moments of wisdom.)
Thursday October 13th
– 11:30 AM: Opening remarks. The perfect way to kick off the Festival with some words of wisdom (and a way to put faces to the names) from some of our veteran staff and longtime board members. I’ve been told I might even get to be included in this panel if they can find a chair for me!
– 1:00 PM: How to Work the Conference. As the first “official” panel session for the day, this panel continues the theme of opening remarks as it’s filled with advice from seasoned Conference-goers on how to best take advantage of everything that’s offered. A good first stop as it will help you chart out your path for the Conference this year.
-2:45 PM: How Comedy Works. Even as a self-proclaimed comedian, I could definitely still learn a thing or two from the great David Misch who, among other impressive credits was a writer on Saturday Night Live. (You’re going to see a Comedy theme here.)
Friday, October 14th
-9:00 AM: Morning Improv: Yeah, its early, and the last thing you want to do directly after waking up is say “Yes, and” to anything besides coffee, however, I fully believe improv in the morning is a great way to open up to a day filled with saying YES to networking, learning, and generally being more open.
-10:45 AM: The Triple Threat: A Conversation with Jason Segel: Like I said I’m a comedy person. My favorite comedy movie, I Love You, Man, stars this conversationalist himself. This panel really just kicks off a series of dream-come-true moments (see: Saturday 4:30 PM).
* A very close second: Live From New York: It’s Saturday Night Live Writers: This is where the Time Turner comes in.
-1:30 PM: Pushing Boundaries: A good comedian needs to learn how and when to take risks. With the President of Comedy Central paired with some of the producers of a few of my favorite TV shows, I really can’t go wrong. Plus, I’m dying to hear Stephen Falk speak a little about my new favorite show, You’re the Worst.
-3:15 PM Script-to-Screen: Ghostbusters: This panel is definitely going to be very popular, so be sure to get there early! Featuring one of our Awardees, Paul Feig, and his writing partner, Katie Dippold this journey from script to screen is sure to be spook-tacular!
Saturday October 15h
-9:00 AM: The Herlihy Boy: A Conversation with Tim Herlihy: Alright, one of the only things that could pull me away from improv-ing my morning is Tim Herlihy. And if you haven’t yet seen the “Herlihy Boy” sketch, YouTube is calling you! I’d let Adam Sandler teach my dog a trick… Just saying…
-10:45 AM: The Psychology of Storytelling: As a huge fan of positive psychology, I’m definitely not missing Lindsay Doran (a champion of all things comedy) speaking on how to infuse positive psychology into screenwriting.
-12:30 PM: A Comedian Walks into a Writers Room…: I’ve always been intrigued about the dynamic of writers rooms, and how to tone down my own jokes to work with others. Okay, so I’ll actually be at the Awards Luncheon during this time period, but my time-turning self will definitely be at “A Comedian Walks into a Writers Room…”
-2:45 PM: First Three Pages, Live!: The chance to see some of my favorite panelists/writers read their own work LIVE? Plus “a few other surprises”?! I’m intrigued already.
-4:30 PM: Script-to-Screen: I Love You, Man: A true dream come true. I don’t regret any second of watching I Love You, Man literally every night in my junior year of college. My boyfriend at the time was continually annoyed by my constant reciting of lines from this movie at any moment I could fit them in. Little did he know that someday there would be a panel that I could attend (seemingly one designed by the Conference Gods just for me) in which my knowing every line from a single movie would pay off. I sure showed him!
Sunday October 16th
-11:30 AM: There’s Something About Farrelly: A Conversation with Bobby Farrelly: Hopefully you weren’t partying too late at the Heart of Film Conference Party and you were able to fully refuel at the “Hair of the Dog” brunch so you won’t miss a single laugh with Bobby.
-1:15 PM: Psychological Thrillers: If there’s one thing that keeps me up at night (besides my excitement for AFF) it’s the true art form behind the delicious slow burn of a psychological thriller.
Well, that was exhausting, and I’m sure you are too after four long days packed with panels, parties, and promoting your script, film, or self. But wait – there’s still four more days of film! Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
See you at the Conference!