Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tales of a Sydney Summer Evening

The NSW Writers' Centre was the venue for the filmmakers of Sydney to assemble for Christmas drinks last Friday night. Somehow I received an invitation as one of the Twiteraity. The centre is located in the grounds of the former Rozelle Hospital, is a sandstone building. There are beautiful grounds with flowering trees, a veranda perfect for drinks on a warm summer's night and book lined rooms. Part of the site is occupied by the Sydney College of the Arts.

It was easy to tell who were the budding actors: the younger more stylishly dressed with business cards ready at hand (one I met was a part time property speculator, who having finished their NIDA course had one a scholarship to the NY Actors School at LA). It was more difficult to tell the editors from directors and writers. People would come up with a mindful of ham and a glass or Rose and say "are you a director or editor"? It was too difficult to explain I was a computer programmer, so I settled for saying "Writer: my latest book was released last week at an event with the Prime Minister", which stuck the right tone.

After confessing to doing web design I was asked for advice by a media PR person. I confused them by recommending they get a blog, as their target audience are journalists who have no interest in pretty layout,: they just want text. I had to explain that I did useful web sites, designed to communicate information, unlike those used in the creative industries (as an example the style over substance web site of the Australian Directors Guild with markup errors, accessibility problems and incrorrectly sized images). Only later did I realise ADG was one of the hosts of the party (it would be very difficult to work this out from their web site, or discover anything at all from their web site). As well as ADG, also hosting were Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC), Australian Screen Editors Guild (ASE), Australian Screen Sound Guild (ASSG) and Women in Film and Television NSW (WIFT) and the all have much better web sites than ADG.

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