Remember a few weeks back when I mentioned that my horse finally won in respect to Will Bigham of Canyon, Texas, winning the reality television show "On the Lot"? Well, AFF afforded me an opportunity to chat with this unassuming guy. Yeah. Who'd have thought? And he sure doesn't walk around acting like he just got a million dollar development deal from Steven Spielberg. He's every bit as likable and humble in person as he projected on the program.
Even though Will wasn't in Austin as an AFF panelist (he was there for his love of film), I summoned up my inner journalist and asked him my question about screenwriting and whether "On the Lot" contestants were told upfront that the contest required writer/directors. Will had nothing negative to say about "On the Lot" but did confirm that it wasn't until contestants were well into the process that they realized the participants who had better writing skills had a clear advantage.
Will said he sent his initial application in to the competition and then was told to condense it. A month later he got a followup phone call that basically amounted to "we want you to film a three minute movie and you have one week from today -- go!" The only direction he got was that the film needed to be about something lost. At that point, he could have gotten anyone to write it so he collaborated with his wife.
Although he's quick to announce that he hasn't turned into Clay Aiken and can usually take his family out without being recognized , Will does say that shortly after he won "On the Lot" he was accused of being the last comic standing. In fact, few people at AFF actually recognized him and he was able to enjoy most of the festival in anonymity and peace.
Until he met me on the Driskill steps, that is.