This week, Jeremy Walker announced that he is taking a hiatus from the world of indie film publicity. While I certainly respect people’s wishes to make a life change in this business, I’m also kinda sad. Jeremy is a living legend in the world of indie film publicity. He wouldn’t remember this, but in my first year as SXSW Film Festival Producer, I made a lot of phone calls and knocked on a lot of doors. One of those phone calls was to Jeremy himself, because I knew his stature as one of the premier publicists in the festival world. He was really friendly and helpful but also realistic about his need to attend SXSW at the time (there wasn’t any).
“One day, it’ll be worth his while,” I thought. At first, he sent a few of his terrific staffers, and then he finally came to SXSW in 2007. I was thrilled, and he was busy. For once, I saw him without his trademark suit and tie, and he was wearing shorts and flip-flops around Austin. I thought, “If we can put together an event that not only gets Jeremy Walker to come, but to hang out in shorts, we must be doing something right.” Thank you, Jeremy. Your absence will be felt.