What a blast that was. Don't believe me? The Man They Call Arnopp has all the photo evidence you'll need, right here. I'm particularly proud of that selfy photo I took while Jason wasn't looking but am slightly embarrassed by how ridiculously giddy I am at the prospect of some chocolate flowing on to a marshmallow/strawberry stick.
The absolute number one highlight of the festival that sticks out is the people. Bloggers, writers, producers, directors (hello Dan! was he the only one? there were a few writer/directors but not many sole directors), execs, script editors, readers, assistants, runners and, perhaps most importantly, barkeepers. The blogging contingent was strong, and it was a real treat to put faces to names while also feeling that these guys had been your friends all your life. Lee Thomson (looking nothing like his blog photo, which quickly became a cliche to say), Stuart Perry (soon to be known as The Hoarse Whisperer), Piers Beckley (the most unassuming and hospitable gent you're ever likely to meet), Jon 'Mine's a Cider' Peacey and the mighty Arnopp led the way, while Jimbo 'Don't call me Jimbo Or I'll Decapitate You With a Fork' Moran came in on the 2nd day to show us all how it's done. Then of course there was the Poole Posse of me, The Timster and Dominic 'I better call my wife' Carver, while Martin was part of the festival set-up, although all he seemed to do was stare with a furrowed brow at his clipboard and tell everyone he had an assistant.
It wasn't all about a blogging love-fest, of course. Networking and schmoozing with fellow scribes and new contacts was a breeze of good humour and informal chats, especially in between sessions or in one of the many 'scriptbite' roundtable discussions. And then there was the inspiring and insightful talks from many of the speakers, including Stephen Woolley, Tony Jordan, Barbara Machin, Phil Parker, to name but a few.
Expect to see a lot of festival reports from the scribosphere over the next week or so, and this blog is no exception, but just to start off with saying that if you want to network, meet new friends and make exciting contacts (or simply need to get out of the house for a few days), then the Screenwriters' Festival is definitely worth your time and money.