Today at the Austin Film Festival I attended a panel titled “A Conversation with Marti Noxon.” (The “Conversation” panels are really just a way to get a scoop on and pick the brains of various members of the industry.) I learned that Noxon and I have a lot in common, including but not necessarily limited to:
- A mother who has gone through a “religious” experience
- A love of Steven Spielberg’s work
- Having come to screenwriting due to the fact that it was cheaper than trying to make a student film
- An enjoyment of psychological horror but a gore threshold that doesn’t allow us to watch many horror films except through our fingers
I would like to think I could have as solid a career as Noxon one day, but she had the dumb luck of getting discovered while waitressing, and I don’t really intend to move to L.A. and waitress in the hopes of encountering someone who will take me on as an underling. Maybe that shows a lack of effort on my part, a lack of willingness to put it “all in” and suck it up or something. I mean, I got this really great feedback on my script, so I’m here at this festival to answer the age-old question: Now what? So far I’ve heard a lot of stories about how people got to where they are, but none of this really pertains to me. And of course I’ve heard a lot of “don’t give up” and “keep writing” and talk about perseverance, but I have this feeling real writers don’t need to be told to keep writing. A real writer can’t stop himself (or herself) from writing. Even when the writing is shit, you just sort of have to have that in you to begin with. So what we need is to learn what to do with the writing once we’re done with it. That’s what I want to know. But so far no one has addressed this.
Well, I’ve got a couple more days here, so I’ll see what I can find out. Maybe someone here would be interested in “discovering” me; after all, I could be the next Marti Noxon.