Allan George’s script Everybody Has A Thing has won at the Oscar and BAFTA accredited LA Shorts Fest.
The festival was tweeting its winners during the weekend ceremony, a great help to those who weren’t able to be present.
— LA SHORTS FEST (@LAshortsFest) September 11, 2015
George got the news his script was one of the three finalists in LA while in a London launderette and then found out it had won in a Starbucks in Camden. Maybe not quite so glamorous as downtown LA, but George is currently on a five-week trip to UK for the Rugby World Cup, editing for Sky TV.
The script for Everybody Has A Thing has been on its way for a good while. George said it had been through 13 drafts and reckoned it was late last year it found its feet, fleshing out from the one-joke story it had started as.
Two drafts ago the script was selected as a finalist in the Screen Craft competition. That version of the script, along with the version that won in LA, were both knocked back by the NZFC for funding under the Fresh Shorts scheme, considered too international or not sufficiently Kiwi – while overseas the Kiwi humour is part of what’s considered attractive about the script.
George isn’t deterred, and said the win in LA has given him the courage to submit this draft to more festivals and competitions. The prize money on offer won’t make a lot of difference, as few competitions offer a top prize of more than US$1000 (although that’s worth over $1800 after the recent nosedive by the Kiwi dollar). The opportunity lies more in the feedback and the chance to get the script in front of someone who might see potential in George’s voice. The final of the LA Shorts Fest competition involved the finalists’ scripts being given a live read at the LA Regal Live, where everyone in the audience got a copy of the scripts.
If George is successful in getting Everybody Has A Thing made, the win for the script in LA guarantees the finished film selection at a future LA Shorts Fest.
George is currently one of the 19 writers (including three two-person teams) shortlisted for the 48Hours’ 48+ initiative, which was announced in April. Many of the names will be familiar as 48Hours national finalists.
As Everybody Has A Thing is a proof of concept for a feature, George hopes to advance that through 48+. 48Hours’ producer Ant Timpson has already had some success with that route, turning RKSS’ ABCs of Death competition submission T is for Turbo into festival favourite Turbo Kid.
George’s Tropfest winner Sounds Perfect had a good run on the festival circuit including selections for four US festivals.