Short Cuts

Gamers, get ready

• As Austin retools itself to become not only the best city in the country in which to make films but also to design video games, opportunity is beating a steady tattoo on the doors of local gamers, wannabe-gamers, and people who have Battlepets tattoos. That banging you hear at the portal to the big room with the blue ceiling is the Austin Game Initiative's "LivePitch" program, which is currently accepting developer applications from now until Sunday, Aug. 15. What you say? "LivePitch is the AGI's industry matchmaking initiative," which, contrary to what you might think, won't get you a date on Saturday night (you were going out with Ms. Croft again, anyway, weren't you?), but will give you a chance to pitch your game to a big-shot game publisher. The actual pitching will take place here in Austin during the Austin Game Conference, which this year runs Sept. 9-10. Gaming companies scheduled to review pitches during the conference include, among others, Hudson Soft, Midway Home Entertainment, Eidos Inc., Vivendi Universal, and the recently added Disney Buena Vista. So how do you, the lowly unsigned game developer, participate? Easy. Go to and fill out the application. It's free, and who knows? You might end up with the next Dance Dance Masturbation on your, um, hands.

• Ouch! 20th Century Fox's feature comedy The Ringer, which shot in and around Austin last fall under the helming of director Barry Blaustein (screenwriter of Eddie Murphy's flatulence-happy The Nutty Professor and its sequel, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps) has received its first online review on Harry Knowles' Ain't It Cool News, and it's a doozy (and not in a good way, either). Of the alleged comedy, which feature's Jackass posterboy Johnny Knoxville infiltrating the Special Olympics, poster/spy/nom de guerre "John Cocktoasten" says, "They should stop worrying about it being offensive and start worrying about it being funny," and goes on to call the (admittedly as-yet-unfinished) film "incredibly boring" with a "painfully bad" ending. "Short Cuts" can attest that Blaustein, a former Saturday Night Live scribe, is a swell guy – we ran into him several times during the shoot, and at one point he convinced us he was not a director but, indeed, a dentist, which we were suckered into because, well, the guy looks a lot like a dentist. Go figure. Since The Ringer is still classified as being in post-production, this early screed doesn't mean the finished product will be anything less than uproarious, but still ... Barry Blaustein, DDS does have a certain ring to it.

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The Ringer, Ain't It Cool News, Barry Blaustein, Austin Game Initiative, LivePitch Program, Austin Game Conference

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