After a totally relaxing and enjoyable Friday night spent away from home with Jarren, we returned to the city just in time for me to attend the first “Saturday meeting” of the year. A SXSW tradition since I can remember, every Saturday in February we have a two-hour staff meeting to go over what’s happening between every department in the company. Following the staff meeting, we relocated to Nick Barbaro’s house for our annual staff photo (to be used in the catalog). Which got me thinking about how every year, our staff photo features the entire group bundled in coats and sweaters. But we’re in Austin, TX. It just happens that way, because we always get the photo in colder-than-average February, yet it’s a fairly inaccurate portrayal of the “look” of the staff, year-round.
Immediately after the staff photo, it was back to the office for a Filmmakers Lounge volunteer meeting. And soon after that, it was onto readying the announcement of our feature films lineup, which will be made public on Tuesday. It’s looking good, shaping up. I think we’ve managed a great blend of various tones from various parts of the globe. Hopefully, people will agree with us. While finalizing the features announcement, we also began firming up the schedule, which we mock up on a giant magnet board with magnets for each program (more on that at a later date). The schedule is still in its most tentative form at the moment, but it’s always such a jigsaw puzzle, fitting together pieces that make sense. This is the time when you find yourself asking questions, about the selections, such as “Is this a 2 p.m. movie, or a 10 p.m. movie?” and “Can I really ask audiences to see three bleak documentaries back-to-back? Shouldn’t we mix it up a little?” Calling what we do a “science” may be a stretch, but it definitely comes close to something akin to chemistry.