September 18th, 2011

arkham

HPL Film Fest Los Angeles 2011

I drifted (slowly through Friday rush-hour traffic) down to San Pedro for the start of the second Los Angeles-based HPL Film Fest [here's what little I wrote about the first one down here]. Any annoyance at the traffic was alleviated by being ushered into the VIP reception hosted at the Grand Vision Foundation's digs near the Warner Grand Theater itself. Got to hobnob with friends old and new, and drool over the props and things from Whisperer in Darkness. Sean and Andrew brought a ton of stuff along, and it looks as good in person as it does on screen. Also had a chance to try out some Bowen's Whiskey before it's available in stores. They served it in some ice shotglasses that were a little better in concept than execution; it forced you to drink fast as your beverage and container rapidly turned into a puddle in the middle of your hand. So I didn't linger over the bouquet or taste, but it was pleasant and a bit on the sweet side. I also had one of their whiskey-ritas. It sounded like an abomination -- clearly perfect for a Lovecraftian gathering -- but the combo of whiskey and basil-infused lemonade was surprisingly good.

Oh, and I suppose there were some films, eventually.
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Craig at Unfilmable was kind enough to post up my review of the Festival. He also has a nice rundown of the winners, and he provides YouTube links so you can watch Static Aeons and Black Goat (and a quick preview of The Raven).

I think I already mentioned that I was one of the judges (with the other writers) of the screenplay competition. The winner and runner up were my two favorites by a considerable margin, and I'm glad the choice wasn't left only to me, because I couldn't pick a favorite. Fortunately, the other writers' votes helped to determine the victor: Bill Barnett's The Old Man & the Box. And I was glad I was able to meet Bill and congratulate him on his work at the after party. But I did also really enjoy the runner-up, Death Wind by Jim Pinto & Travis Heermann.