It doesn’t take long to realize that South By is a waterfall of information, and that you’ll be lucky to ingest a few drops. As life on the “outside” begins to creep in, friends in town, emails from the office, etc., you become consciously aware of all that you must miss. I joined my brother and our old friend and co-worker, Rommel Sulit, who now runs both his own architectural practice in Austin as well as a theater company, for Mexican breakfast at a place called Cisco’s. A delightfully kitschy and popular joint, this would be one of two sit-down meals I’d eat over six days.
Sometimes, the best-sounding panels are the most disappointing. I entered “Future 15s: Indie Film” just in time to hear Dan Berger of Oscilloscope Laboratories (the Beastie Boys-affiliated film distributor) excoriate the audience for the number of bad indie films reaching theatrical distribution, as if those filmmakers in attendance were planning to make bad films. To his colleagues: “If you see bad films, fuck that, sweep them under the rug,” he said, addressing his fellow distributors and exhibitors, more than the makers. Not that anyone would especially argue with such a manifesto.
Berger was followed, unfortunately, by Owen Egerton and Stephanie Trepanier, who delivered platitude-infused pep talks, at widely varying paces, based on their own experiences. I can’t speak for everyone in the room—perhaps some needed it—but skip the encouragement and give me information! Read More