It's been a few years since I've been to the Expo. Not sure who the free/opening speakers are this year, but when I went it was William Goldman and Robert McKee. Both shared a lot about screenwriting and the industry.However, a lot of the classes that you register for are geared for the speaker to sell you their book, classes, or CD's. Just be wary of that. If you're interested, I wouldn't go the whole weekend. I'd just register if the speakers were good, or if there's some class that speaks to your specific interests. I'd recommend listening to Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean writers)if they're there again.They said Hollywood is like a wall with tiny cracks in it, and that you need to find any way you can to get into those cracks. They had a ten year plan to make it, and sold Little Monsters after five years.
I've been a couple of times and I like hearing the guest speakers. In the past, they've had Oliver Stone, Joss Whedon, and Aaron Sorkin. The big guests for 2008 are Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, and I'm pretty sure William Goldman is back again and he's just awesome. But apart from getting to rub shoulders (metaphorically) with established writers and directors I admire, I didn't get much out of it. All of the advice you'll hear is pretty standard, and the rest of the weekend is geared toward marketing you books and services that you probably don't need.
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