It’s the end of the year, and the end of a decade. What were my favorite projects of 2009? What did I have the most fun working on?
I can’t help myself, I like to write fiction. People have asked me how I could leave my job and then spend countless hours alone, in a coffee shop, writing a novel. I’ve offered advice on setting a schedule and being committed, but the truth is that writing a book is a huge sacrifice and something that you must really, really want to do. And something that you must enjoy doing more then anything else.
This year, I made sure to really enjoy the festival, not only as a screenplay contest judge but as a participant. For the first time, I was in town for all the parties and saw some great films, including Funky Prairie Boy. What’s great about DC Shorts is that you get to meet filmmakers and other creative folks in a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere. And with the Screenplay Competition held a month after the main festival, I got to enjoy both events. The funny thing about being a volunteer is that if you show up and prove to be reliable, you get given all sorts of other interesting duties. For DC Shorts, I’ve been a film judge, screenplay competition manager, executive judge, film panel moderator, assistant emcee, furniture mover and event photographer – anything for the cause!
“One time, at Transparency Camp…” Embarrassing, I know, but Transparency Camp was really a revelation for me. Having worked in government, I firmly believe that it should be more transparent and accountable, which was the focus of the event. The most interesting part was the format – it was an “un-conference” where the participants devised the agenda and put on the presentations. And it was free. That’s a tremendous development, because most web conferences cost thousands of dollars and feature sitting in cold rooms looking at PowerPoint presentations from various experts. By contrast, the un-conference format enables tapping the knowledge of the group in a democratic and open session. Plus, free beer!
The end of the year found me embarking on a new project – interviews with artists and other interesting DC creatives for the Pink Line Project. These are people who are risk-takers, who go out and start film and theater festivals. I think that everyone is creative and with my interview series I hope to encourage others to write that book or make that painting.