Well, the Austin Film Festival -- or, more properly, the Screenwriter's Conference portion of the AFF -- has again come and gone, and I am back at home on the real world.
The conference was, as it has always been, a bizarre and surprisingly affecting experience. I know some folks -- even some of my friends who were there and experiencing the very same moments -- will scrunch their eyebrows and wonder "what the hell is he on about THIS time...", but for me, the AFF conference truly is a miraculous ride. It's never so much about the technical learning as it is about the revelation and self-discovery and re-dedication that goes on during and as a result. To hear people whose work and career and dedication you respect and admire and envy and stand in slack-jawed awe for... and realize that they are nothing at all very different than you are, and that they have many of the very same demons and dreams as you do... is a wildly affirming and inspiring thing.
At least it is for me.
I'll not launch into an overlong review and babble-fest of all the arcane minutiae and miscellania of this year's conference -- that will come soon enough -- but I will say this: I love that event, and I will keep coming back so long as there is any possibility for me to make such happen.