Daily Screens
IFC Entertainment Picks Up 'Nights and Weekends'
Variety's reporting that IFC Entertainment bought worldwide rights to Joe Swanberg and Greta Gerwig's Nights and Weekends, which world-premiered at South by Southwest last night.

SXSW has been interpreted by some industry figures as a great place to hang out, but not necessarily to buy films – a perception that might be shifting.

The Nights and Weekends deal marks the first time a SXSW world premiere film has been purchased at the fest.

Check out the Variety story about the acquisition here.

5:21PM Mon. Mar. 10, 2008, Kimberley Jones Read More | Comment »

It's Like a Trailer but Bigger
One of the great things about SXSW is (wait for it, wait for it, buzzword ahead) the synergy of it. Events like this morning's panel, Pimp My Film Website, where film makers learned more about this webernet thing.

If this sounds, in this post-The Blair Witch ARG-fired era, obvious stuff, moderator Tim Nolan of Firstborn Studio asked for a show of hands. The result was about 50-50 techies/film makers, which Nolan said almost never happened. Film makers are not interactive designers who are live their life around industry-defined best practices: they're working on the best film they can make.

Quick tips from Nolan: the nice, simple, clean website you built to attract investors won't sell your movie to viewers. For those of you behind the lens who don't have time or resources (or the techy friends) to build up a kick-ass website, then take advantage of the tools that are there, like Flickr and MySpace. Plus, Flash is your friend. And don't forget: you're creating lots of content anyway (your film, the scripts, cast bios), so this is just putting it in a different, non-scary format.

12:34PM Mon. Mar. 10, 2008, Richard Whittaker Read More | Comment »

When Too Much Information Is Inevitable
It’s de rigueur to bemoan the media – too much, too chaotic, too raunchy, too closed, too open, too, too, too whatever. Well, there is a lot to talk about, but if you take a walk through time with new media writer for Forbes Magazine Quentin Hardy, who spoke at Saturday’s panel Managing the Media Blur, there’s nothing and everything to complain about. In fact, “complain” isn’t the right word for it. Like puberty, middle age moments, and getting your heart broken (at least once), the current media revolution is not unlike those that came before it – inevitable, necessary, and endurable. Whenever a new medium exploded on the scene – books following the invention of paper, hand scripted books to books printed in signatures on a printing press, radio, TV, film, VCRs, DVDs, video games, the Internet – human beings, Hardy reminded the audience, wrestled with it, charged it with the extinction of intellect if not mankind itself, but ultimately, somewhat unceremoniously, accepted it as another thread in the fabric of communication life.

8:14AM Mon. Mar. 10, 2008, Belinda Acosta Read More | Comment »

DIY Tech
Maybe “sewing” and “knitting” in the old-school manner don’t really matter that much within the scope of Saturday's panel "High-Tech Craft: Why Sewing and Knitting Still Matter," as no actual sewing or knitting was discussed (nor why they still matter). Instead, the DIY crafter-panelists were more concerned about the state and future of the marriage of fashion and technology.

8:06AM Mon. Mar. 10, 2008, Melanie Haupt Read More | Comment »

I'd Like to Thank My Widgets
Nineteen awards in one hour. Chronicle cover star Eugene Mirman may have officially become the greatest award ceremony emcee ever after wrangling the 11th annual South by Southwest Web Awards to an efficient end. Because, as he reminded everyone, we all had drinking to do.

After handing out his own special award to Mike Birbiglia for most pointless and rambling blog (apparently, according to Mirman, awards presenters are allowed to do that), he continued with the awards ceremony. But it wasn't just back-slapping and praise; the audience learned something, as well. That if you don't turn up to collect your award, the guys from Ask a Ninja will pick it up for you; that winner Elf Yourself was designed as a front for ninjas; and that, because the Web develops so quickly, a classic website is one that predates Jan. 1, 2007. As the folks from Wired put it, "This means we've been around a year. I look forward to the guys from I Can Has Cheezburger winning this next year."

Read the rest of this story for the full list of winners.

1:26AM Mon. Mar. 10, 2008, Richard Whittaker Read More | Comment »

Bitchin' and Moanin'
Consider this the appropriate message for non-badge-holders to vent their rage. Comment away, my angry turned-away neighbors! OK, is it just me, or does there seem to be an abundance of full houses at this year's South by Southwest? Saturday, the badge line (including me) didn't make it in the door for Mister Lonely at the Alamo Ritz. That's not as big of an issue as the lovely folks who didn't bother to inform the remaining badge line, which waited very patiently for another 15 minutes ...

And, sure, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay was a world premiere and much of the crew for the Louisiana shoot came from Austin, but did the suits really need to keep their real audience outside by claiming a couple hundred prime seats front and center? From the aroma both within (either that or a skunk got loose) and without the theatre, many potential fans may have been too baked to notice the slight.

I also heard from those with badges who were turned away from Baghead on Sunday. Is this is a positive or just a statement about the size of the Ritz? Your feedback is welcome ...

1:08AM Mon. Mar. 10, 2008, Joe O'Connell Read More | Comment »

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Jeffrey Tambor Can Act, and So Can You!
Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Jeffrey Tambor has graciously given me permission to overwrite this blog. Only then shall we verily find the truth within. Consider the challenge accepted as we learn how to act in 10 easy steps. Ready? Start your thespian engines …

Greta Gerwig and Kent Osborne are our model acting students. These two artistic poster children will laugh, cry, throw bottles across the room, and pretty much do whatever Tambor asks. He was on The Larry Sanders Show, folks!

Now on to those 10 easy (well, sort of) steps to success. Consider this the digest version until our potentate of pontification gets that book written. (He was on Arrested Development, my stars in waiting!)

12:33AM Mon. Mar. 10, 2008, Joe O'Connell Read More | Comment »

I Can Has Metrics?
Eric Nakagawa, he of I Can Has Cheezburger? and lolcats, had some helpful suggestions on how to know when you have a website that has become a runaway cultural success:

People mail you with helpful suggestions about how to change the site.
People mail you death threats if you change the site.
Journalists who have never visited your website call you for an interview.
Journalists who have taken the effort to visit your website still want to call you for interviews.
You have to re-size every image so it cuts down on bandwidth.
You give up re-sizing every image because you're getting 8,000 images a day.
You realize that people are downloading two terrabytes of funny pictures of kitteh.
Your ISP kicks you off before you're killing their servers.
You can't afford to grow the site because the hosting costs are bigger than your house rent, and you can't afford both.
You get measurable traffic from Denmark.
You can give up your day job.
You're making enough money to hire nine full-time staff to make funny pictures of kitteh.

5:30PM Sun. Mar. 9, 2008, Richard Whittaker Read More | Comment »

That's Pwnage
Live from the Screenburn arcade: all-female gaming clan The Frag Dolls. Last year, Morgan "Roulette" Romine and gaming twins Amy "Athena PMS" Brady and Amber "Athena Twin" Dalton took part in a great panel discussion on women in gaming. This time around, Valkyrie, Pyra, Mischief, and Calyber have been doing what they do best: pummeling all comers on Rainbow Six Vegas (it was supposed to be Vegas 2, but there were network issues.)

Don't get caught up in the "making grown male gamers cry" stuff: this has been equal opportunity pwnage. Score so far this weekend: Frag Dolls, every single bout; rest of world nothin' but air.

4:28PM Sun. Mar. 9, 2008, Richard Whittaker Read More | Comment »

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