AFC News March 2008
Sp*rk 2008 was held at the Byron@Byron in Byron Bay 9-15 June. Eight writers met with eight advisors from Australia and overseas to discuss their projects in one-on-one meetings over the course of the week.
The writers were joined by their producers and directors for catch-up meetings with the advisors towards the end of the week. Advisors included Hollywood writer/director Robin Swicord, UK writers Dominic Minghella and Paul Fraser, and Australians Craig Pearce, Keith Thompson, Nick Beaumann, Mark Woods and Linda Aronson.
After dinner on the Wednesday night, Robin Swicord screened her most recent film The Jane Austen Book Club, and shared fascinating insights into how she came to write the film, and shoot it in 30 days on a tight budget. Byron Bay filmmakers and the board of Screenworks joined the advisors and participants for drinks on Thursday, and after dinner that night Paul Fraser screened his directing debut the music clip Scummy Man, and one of the earliest films he wrote with director Shane Meadows, A Room for Romeo Brass. The last night wrap-up dinner was held in the resort's Chinese Gardens, under a starry sky, with beautiful music by local band The Cassettes.
There were many memorable moments during the week, not least the giant centipede attack on Paul Fraser, and the amazing rap performance from Linda Aronson on the last night, but for me the absolute high point was the incredible creativity and generosity of the advisors, which made this week one of the most productive and stimulating Sp*rks ever!