Thursday, 17 September 2015

Imagination and Rejection Letters

A friend of mine recently got his stock rejection letter from a certain very well known b-list British film festival, which addressed him by his surname (weird, rude, amateur hour clerical error?) - as my friend read the text to me over the phone it all sounded eerily familiar - in fact exactly the same as the body of my rejection letter I had received 10 years earlier from the same festival for my flick Crooked Features - which went on to win awards and developed into a stage play.

Think about that.

Ten years of business and the stock rejection letter hasn't changed a bit. It made me realise (again) that festivals are (still) run by change-averse bureaucrats and curators - and that does not infer they have one iota of imagination - imagination to spot your raw talent.

Revolution will not be encouraged from the festival circuit. Jumping the curve is tantamount to being utterly mis-understood by the establishment.

So why continue on the festival treadmill?

Well - you have to keep going too.

A personal example:
Any potential career as an author was cut dead by two handwritten but similar-ish rejections from Interzone over 20 years ago - from that point on, young naive me decided the time and emotional investment wasn't worth the agony and would just stick with ideas, concepts, and screenplays - the barebones of modern storytelling in the age of motion pictures.

'Thank you for submitting your story to Interzone. It
is not for us, I'm afraid. It is neither a good story
nor a bad story but says too little that is new
and needs (to my mind, at least) a resolution.
What was its point? (Why use insects, for example,
rather than human beings?)'
'Thank you for submitting your story to Interzone.
It is not for us, I'm afraid. Some nice ideas
though somewhat crudely strung together. The piece
says too little that is new and ends in the
middle of nowhere. Sorry.'

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