In anticipation for SXSW 2008, Austin film bloggers Jette Kernion and Chris Holland are each offering up some helpful tips for people who have never attended the festival or even useful reminders for those who have.
Jette has plenty of details about the Film Festival venues, including: “The Paramount is nearly 100 years old and hosts the official opening-night and closing-night SXSW films, as well as other SXSW movies likely to draw large crowds. The theater can seat about 1200 people, and it does fill to capacity for splashy premieres and local favorites. Lines for the films form outside the theater and wrap in both directions down Congress. The lines can look deceptively long, so just because a line is stretched around the block and into the next street doesn’t mean you won’t get in.”
Chris has listed some last-minute prep ideas, including: “When you introduce yourself as a filmmaker with a film in the festival, the very next question is usually ‘what’s it about?’ and hopefully followed by ‘when’s it playing?’ Your screening flyers should contain that information, though you should take the opportunity to answer the questions personally. Follow up the conversation by handing over a flyer with a smile and a question of your own: ‘Will you come see my film?’ Personal commitments like these may be your best chance of filling your screening, so you should always ask. If they say yes, say ‘I’m looking forward to seeing you there!’ If they say no or are non-commital, point to the flyer and ask them to hang onto it just in case they find their prior engagement has fallen through.”