My talk at Gasparilla 2011

Now that the press conference is over and Gasparilla is getting the word out, I can flap my gums about being a speaker at the festival, where I’ll be discussing the making of my first feature film, The Bunker. This had been in the works for quite a while, but now it’s official. The talk is scheduled for Sunday, March 27th, 2-4 p.m., event hall to be announced.

When my distributor first brought up the possibility of me speaking at the festival, I thought it would be on an independent filmmaker’s panel, something like that. I figured it’d be me and a couple of other indie guys, taking questions, talking about what it took to make our movies, etc. In fact, I was going along under that assumption until Russell told me, “No, we’re not talking other filmmakers. Just you. The whole event is going to be focused on you.”

Well, that was a surprise. But a cool one. True, the film is a first. But making it an advertised feature event at Gasparilla? Being invited to come do it?

So, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been waiting to blog about it, to start spreading the word via my social networking sites, all that jazz. If you’re coming to the fest, I hope you’ll drop in. I’ve been spending what little free time I’ve had the past week or so working on the presentation, choosing which scenes from the film I’m going to use, which trailer, and which clips from the Making of… documentary I’m going to bring.

I’m used to panels, been doing them at comic cons forever, going back to 1989 when I first dipped my toes into the comic book waters. They’re fun, comfortable affairs. This is slightly different. It’s a presentation, to be followed by a Q&A session. The difference? Unlike most speakers, I can’t rely on notes to help me keep everything straight. Well, let me clarify–it’s not like somebody’s preventing me from having index cards/notes, but being blind…? They aren’t going to do me any good up there at the podium.

But I’m not sweating it. I’m good on my feet and good in front of a crowd. I got a standing O in Mexico City during one of my speaking engagements at the festival of Fantasy and Terror. I got swamped after a lecture at the college in Tlascala by people who had questions we couldn’t get to in our allotted time, about how I was laying out my own comic book stories with stick figures, the way I’d done when I had sight. I’m comfortable talking to people about what I do. And The Bunker? Heck, I’ve been living with this film longer than I should’ve had to. Knowing it inside and out is why I chose to direct it in the first place, and why I refused to let anyone along the way try to take control over any aspect of it. We’re all going to have a good time on the 27th, that much I can promise you.

They better assign somebody to pick on people for the Q&A, though. It isn’t going to help for me to point out into the audience and go, “Hey, you, the one who looks like your mom dressed you. What’s your question?” 🙂

Hope to hear you at the talk. Check back here often for more details.

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Follow the blind guy on Twitter. I assure you, I won’t lead you over a cliff or anything.
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Currently listening to: Green Grass & High Tides by The Outlaws

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