Short Cuts

Austinites make good as Nicholls finalists, Cinemaker presents local animation superstar Eric Patrick on optical printing, and Concordia gets its screen scream on Friday.

Austin Scribes Nail Nicholl Dept.: The finalists for the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2002 Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting have been announced, and in a remarkable case of the proverbial lightning striking twice, not one but two Austin scribes made have made the cut. Both Barbara Marshall's script Assumption and Annie Reid's script Revival were chosen from a record field of 6,044 screenplays and are now on their way to the final judging by the Fellowship's 10-member panel. Judges this year include actress Eva Marie Saint (North by Northwest) and cinematographer John Bailey (The Big Chill), among others, and the winners (there can be up to five) will walk away with a cool $30,000 and the understanding that they'll use the following year to complete a feature-length screenplay. Previous Nicholl-winning scripts include Mike Rich's Finding Forrester and Ehren Kruger's The Ring. Congratulations, then, to Marshall and Reid -- our fingers are suitably entangled... Optical effects in films have been marginalized of late by the emergence of digital trickery, but that doesn't mean they're any less cool (or fun to create) than they used to be. Cinemaker Co-op, of course, knows this, and is offering an Optical Printing Workshop, taught by filmmaker Eric Patrick, Sunday, Oct. 27, 11am, at the Hideout Theatre (617 Congress). Austin-based Patrick is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts' Experimental Animation Program, where he teaches animation, makes films, and has a hand in Nickelodeon's popular Blue's Clues. Spaces in the workshop are limited and run $30 for Cinemaker members and $45 for nonmembers. Reservations can be made online at www.cinemaker.org... Finally, Halloween is fast approaching, and although it (sadly) doesn't fall on a weekend this year, you can still get your creep on with the Fall Screamfest at Concordia University, a series of three (possibly four) locally produced spook shows that will screen Friday, Oct. 25, 6pm, at Concordia University's Louise T. Peter Center (3400 N. I-35). Admission is free and open to the public. Call Philip Goetz at 486-1271 for more info. Boo, scary!

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