I am in Hollywood for the 11th annual Shriekfest film festival taking place at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood California. I came to support a fellow film maker, Tomax Aponte whose short, Confined, is playing on Sunday at 2pm.
Shortly after I knew I would be coming to Hollywood for the festival, I found out that a festival pass which guarantees me admission to every event and screening was available for only $100!
Coming from Austin, Texas where passes of that nature cost upwards of $1500, I jumped at the opportunity to spend a weekend in LA watching some of the best Independent horror films out right now.
So far I have been to the Opening night party and day one of filming (I did miss the first film due to the infamous 405 traffic) and I have to say I think I have found my festival.
I have already fallen in with a regular crowd and feel like part of it. This is why I love smaller, more exclusive festivals over the more crowded ones you get in Austin.
It is wonderful to feel a part of something that few know about and that pulls a crowd of professionals and enthusiasts rather than hoards of people who are just trying to get a glimpse of an A lister.
The festival is run by Denise Gossett and reminds me a lot of the Brancage Film Festival which I attended on the channel island of Jersey a few years back and of the Bafta events I used to attend in London. There is a feeling of being part of something that has not yet been discovered.
Shriekfest is small, exclusive, intimate, and you don’t feel that pressure you sometimes get at a large, crowded market festival. It feels like a tucked away corner of quiet sanity in a town know for it’s side show atmosphere.
With the quality that Denise delivers with Shriekfest, I am sure that some day it will be as large as those festivals that invade my current hometown of Austin, Texas and my former home, Edinburgh Scotland, but for now I am enjoying being part of a small in crowd who are intimate enough to remember each other.
I am also loving Los Angeles. Except for a short time in 1989, I have never been to LA or Hollywood. It is hard to avoid the nutty touristiness of Hollywood by Shriekfest is affording me the opportunity to step out of the madness into a quiet corner where people are enjoying a great horror selection put together by Denise.
Whilst in LA for the festival, I have a feature shoot going on in Austin which I am keeping in contact with by phone. That feature is a horror and I can’t help but wonder if we will get picture lock in time to submit to Shriekfest 2012.
That is all for now. I will be back with a full review after I return to Austin!