Fantastic Fest's Closing Night: Best Gig In Months...
A few years ago I was working as a freelance film critic and had been hired by We Are Movie Geeks to go to Austin Texas, a city I’d only been to once before, to cover Fantastic Fest, a film festival that I knew nothing about. I had no idea what to expect, what I’d be getting myself into or who I’d be meeting. It was that week that changed my life forever.
I met Matt, who was writing for the same site and while our boss was a bit on the lazy side, in the “journalism” game only for the movie premieres and connections he could make with famous people, Matt and I did all the work. Together we easily saw 50+ movies that year and reviewed most of them. The next year we covered the festival for our boss’ new site, VeryAware. It was then that we realized we hated writing for other people.
The next year we would attend with The72Pins.com, a blog/podcast we started together. We made connections with the people who ran the festival, got into screenings, saw a ton of movies, met a lot of cool people and it was a great year. Sadly this past year with me living in Portland became a divide. With my living situation it was harder for me to really do this podcast with Matt. But this year we reconnected, went back to Fantastic Fest and just went as fans… but I did get to do some work.
In the weeks leading up to Fantastic Fest I started thinking about how much fun it would be to play the final night party. This year I got that chance by making a mix based on the film Zero Theorem… or rather what I thought a mix based on that film would sound like. Lots of crunchy music, heavy bass and electronic sounds. It was a real joy to create even for a mini-mix. Sending that out in an email to Kristen Bell (not the adorable actress but rather the adorable woman who runs the festival) I got a response back from Laurie, one of the women who works for her. They asked me to bring out all my gear and play and play is what I did.
During the 4 hour set there honestly wasn’t a lot of dancing going on. Film geeks aren’t always the dancing type and booze was definitely necessary to get them going… but dancing is like a virus. You see people doing it, you see them having fun and you feel less worried about having fun yourself and the party kicks off. During the last hour and a half my beats spread like the most fun plague mankind has ever known.
Everyone was moving, grinding, shaking, bouncing, cheering, clapping, hollering at each other and loving what I was playing. Booty shaking bounce music from New Orleans by the way of Nicky da B and Diplo to the trap beats from Baauer and Datsik. It was a really good time and everyone who danced came up to me at some point and asked me where they could hear more, including one of my favorite actors Marko Zaror. The guy even asked for my phone number. How cool is that? (by the way go see Mandrill if you haven’t and see him in the upcoming grindhouse film Machete Kills where he plays a super bad ass assassin.)
I have to thank everyone who came out and made Fantastic Fest incredible and made my set so fun and amazing to play. Without you guys I’m just a juke box. A really cute juke box who happens to look good in pink, but still, just a juke box.
I’ve been informed that it would be in my best interest to change my stance on how my editor/boss at VeryAware and WeAreMovieGeeks acted during our festival visits. I won’t. In a rather awkward and veiled threat I was told it’s in my best interest to change where I said he acted lazy and was there for the celebs. I call it like I see it.
I never mentioned him by name but I’m kind of tired of the random accusations he’ll pop up with once every few months and blame me for, not realizing that maybe not everyone is as taken with him as he is with himself.
The first year I attended FantasticFest Matt and Myself did all the work. Our editor who I AM NOT NAMING BY NAME sat in the hotel room to watch football and saw a handful of movies. Matt and I saw 25-30 movies each. This was without press credentials. I had fun and I have to thank my editor for introducing Matt and myself because Matt has become one of my best friends. BUT There’s no denying that when your editor goes to a film festival, sees a handful of movies and goes only to meet and greets that it comes off as lazy and celeb hungry.
Telling me it’s in my best interest to remove that when you have zero power over my life does nothing. I’m very happy with where I am and how I have zero contact with this person. Oh and I guess I should mention that when I left his site he changed all my articles so they appear as though he wrote them all… he claims that this was an accident but really it comes off as the most calculated and unprofessional move I’ve ever seen in the film journalism game… oh and if you go to his site now you’ll see that there are 4 or 5 pages of articles written by other people who I would bet money aren’t getting paid for their time and that he is taking all the ad revenue that the site is making.
Don’t threaten me dude… thanks. <3