SideTalk Panel Discussions

Our 2016 SideTalk panels haven’t been announced yet, but here’s a look back at 2015!

Saturday, August 29th

11:30-12:30 – Networking – Torry Martin

Ask veterans of the entertainment industry and they will tell you that, while talent is important, it’s who you know that makes the difference. Networking, schmoozing, or socializing – however reviled the concept might be in some peoples’ minds – is imperative. Learn how to make networking work for your film with Torry Martin, an actor, author, story-teller and standup comedian with an infectious personality.

1:00 – 2:00 – Casting/Directing – Ayoka & Bill Billions

At this panel, you will understand how important casting the right actor is to producing a quality product, learn how to find the right actor for the role, learn how to get past the lights and camera to focus on the action, understand the skills actors have that can help you, and learn how to direct actors to get the best performances. Bill and Ayoka brought years of acting and directing experience in Los Angeles to Bill Billions Studios at Hollywood Huntsville and Ayoka Billions Casting, also in Huntsville.

2:30 – 3:30 – Sidewrite Table Read AL Screenplays – Birmingham Film Actors Lab

Watch the Birmingham Film Actors’ Lab read the best of the best from Alabama screenwriters. The following scripts are our top three finalists from the Alabama category of our annual short screenplay competition, Sidewrite.

Alabama Screenplays
Our Dirty Laundry by Kimberly Tompkins
Sabrina by Ann Kathleen Williams
Welcome Back by Elizabeth Hagale

4:00 – 5:30 – Screenwriting – Steve Storm

Whether you’re a writer, producer, or director, it’s critical to make sure that the story you’re setting out to make is the absolute best it can be. Is your project generating buzz and attracting money and talent? Do people get excited when you share your idea (or better yet, when they actually read your script)? In this seminar, Steve will share how to address 5 of the biggest screenplay problems that keep financiers, producers and industry insiders from investing in your project — and, even more importantly, that keep audiences from connecting with your story. A USC School of Cinema-Television graduate, Steve is a screenwriter and veteran story consultant who collaborates with other writers and producers working across the television and feature landscape, including CBS, SyFy, Showtime, Lionsgate, Fox Searchlight, Warner Brothers, and others.

Sunday Aug 30th

12:30-1:30 – Sidewrite Table Read (Int’l) – Birmingham Film Actors Lab

Watch the Birmingham Film Actors’ Lab read the best of the best from screenwriters around the world. The following scripts are our top three finalists from the International category of our annual short screenplay competition, Sidewrite.

International Screenplays

1999 by Anthony Fernandez
A Good Day’s Work by Jess McCallum
Migration by Elyse Endick

2:00 – 3:00 – Interactive Documentary: After the Storm – Andrew Beck Grace

Andrew Beck Grace is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the director of the Program in Nonfiction Storytelling at the University of Alabama. His films and interactive work have appeared on PBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Independent Lens. Watch as he details his process in creating the interactive documentary about the aftermath of the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornadoes, After the Storm.

3:30 – 4:30 – Just do it! – Stacie Davis, Steve Storm, Torry Martin

Sit down with Stacey Davis, entertainment attorney and award-winning screenwriter; Steve Storm, USC School of Film and Television graduate and award-winning screenwrite; and Torry Martin, actor, author, and networking guru, to discuss the in’s and out’s of making your stories come to life and ushering your film through the production process. Panel attendees who have never submitted to Sidewalk before will receive incentives for submitting to Sidewalk 2016. If you’ve got an idea sitting on the back burner, don’t wait–just do it!

5:15 – 6:15 PM – Evolving Platforms: Episodic Content – Melodie Sisk, Van Hansis, Morgan Jon Fox

Morgan Jon Fox, Van Hansis, and Melodie Sisk, all of indie filmmaking fame, sit down and share their experiences and do’s and don’ts for creating new episodic projects. Morgan Jon Fox was recently named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine. His latest project, Feral, is an 8 episode drama based in Memphis, TN and is slated to premiere on a new Netflix-style platform called Gaius Digital in Oct 2015. Melodie Sisk and Van Hansis are fresh off production of the upcoming webseries, Miss Guidance.