Had I actually been able to take 5 minutes between the movies, parties, beer and BBQ at South by Southwest, 2010, I might have noticed that I too could post a blog here. What can I say, I get wrapped up and our internet was sketchy at best while I was at the fest. Before I begin my wrap, I wanted to note that I was a juror for the documentary shorts at SXSW and was presented a gold badge and a $20.00 Alamo Drafthouse giftcard for my jury duty. The gold badge gained me the same access that my press pass would have but I wanted to have a little transparency to you readers in terms of my role and “perks” from the festival. I handled my own airfare and sleeping arrangements.
As Mark mentioned, we both arrived in my favorite U.S. city, Austin, TX on Friday, March 12 and immediately got our fest on. We both got our badges incredibly fast (way to go volunteers!) and then went and saw “Trash Humpers” which even a week and change later after I’ve seen it has me wondering if I even liked it. I think about it daily though so that’s saying something. After that, Friday night and Saturday are all a blur.
I know we went to the opening night party and it was packed. I saw so many good friends though and that great feeling of SXSW camaraderie came flooding back to me. I think this is my 6th year and I saw all the friends I had made over the years back drinking free beer at Buffalo Billiards. I also met a few folks I’ve met via twitter and on various other online haunts so that was cool too. We stayed out late and I slept in. So much so that when I woke up, I was the only person of the 6 staying there still at the condo. I made it out of bed and Mark and I caught a shuttle to the Alamo on South Lamar for my documentary shorts screening.
Truth be told, jury duty for the festival was a real treat as all the films in our doc shorts block were really, really good. So good in fact we (myself and fellow jurors Findlay Pretsell and Ron Mann) couldn’t decide on just one film so we awarded a Special Jury Prize to “White Lines and the Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug” which was a very cool, well made short doc about a DJ in the early east coast hip-hop scene who got wrapped up in drugs. Those types of stories never end well and this one is no exception. Director Travis Senger has put together a highly watchable little film that revealed a story I had never heard of before and I dug it. But the three of us all kept coming back to “Quadrangle,” a very intriguing short doc about two “unconventional” couples back in the 1960’s. I can’t really talk too much about the film because doing so would kind of take away from it, but it stuck with us and we all agreed to give the Jury Award to the films director Amy Grappel.
But, I digress (or, flash forward) as the awards weren’t until Tuesday night; we still had stuff to do Saturday! We hit up the sponsored party which was frankly too loud and crowded to have much conversation so Mark and I split to another party. After that, I’m unclear on details. I know I had my first Irish Car Bomb ever, humped a parking meter, ate hummus and went to a strip club all alone and man, were the strippers there grumpy. I got home late but got up Sunday to do it all again.
Stay tuned for Part Two of DON’S SXSW 2010 ROUND-UP…