The Daily Texanâ€™s guide to
SXSW Friday, March 7, 2013
SXSW Friday, March 7, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014*
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3•What to bring to SXSW
16•Capital Factory startups
10•The Twitter rumorists
17•The weirdest things to see at SXSW
20•What would Regina George do?
22•SXSW guide for film buffs
23•Film headliner guide
Hannah Smothers Lauren L’Amie Designers Bria Benjamin Jack Mitts Writers Samantha Grasso Lee Henry Jack Ken Colin McLaughlin Sarah Montgomery Alex Pelham Carmen Rising Courtney Runn David Sackllah Kat Sampson Vanessa Sliva Alex Williams Editors’ note South By Southwest transforms downtown Austin for one week every spring and has been doing so for the past 26 years. It’s grown from a small regional event with about 700 attendees to a national stage for music, film, technology and innovation. In this package, we did our best to capture as much of this year’s SXSW experience as possible in 28 pages. We hope this guide will make navigating the mayhem of Austin’s largest annual event a little bit easier. Enjoy your SXSW. —H&L.
Don’t be caught without your slouchy vegan leather tote bag full of SXSW goodies A look into the Twitter SXSW rumor mill
Cover photo by Chelsea Purgahn
Daily Texan file photo
Because there’s more to SXSW than Mindy Kaling and Neil Young
How Rust Cohle of “True Detective” and Regina George of “Mean Girls” would spend their SXSW
A guide to the mayhem of the SXSW Trade Show
The all-girl band from Masscachusetts brings its `90s-influenced music to Austin
For people who aren’t interested in Jason Bateman or Wes Anderson
Austin native John Pena returns home for SXSW under the name Heavenly Beat
A preview of the biggest films playing at this year’s festival
Future Islands are celebrating the release of their second album by playing SXSW
A UT alumnus will premiere his film “Thank You a Lot” at SXSW
Who’s covering SXSW Hannah Smothers
Lauren L’Amie @lamelamie
Hannah will be tweeting about the toils of being 20 during SXSW and the free food she finds downtown.
As a SXSW first-timer, Lauren will be tweeting enthusiastically about music, food, being lost, food, film and food.
Sam will follow bands around Austin and cover them until they file a restraining order.
Alex will tweet thoughts about the movies he’ll see during SXSW, except for in the two hours a day he’ll be sleeping.
Colin will tweet lots of snarky, yet intellectual, opinions and observations on all about the films he watches.
Alec Wyman @alecwyman
Pu Ying Huang
David will share stuff about all of the music events he can sneak his way into.
Alec will share blurbs on SXSW Interactive, Film, and the massive toll that music takes on his frail body.
Sam will share the full-on musical and general madness that will surely ensue right before her lucky camera.
Pu will cover what she refers to as “the shit show that is SXSW.” All of the sturggles.
Shelby will cover music and will shove lots of free food in her face.
Lianne La Havas
Ten startups are pitching their ideas to an audience at Capital Factory
Friday, March 7, 2014
How to pack your bag for SXSW
By Samantha Grasso @samjgrasso
Poor planning leads to poor performance. South by Southwest can be the magical, start-up, tech-dude schmooz fest you always dreamed it could be. On the other hand, underpreparing for long lines, unpredictable weather and last minute secret shows will leave you susceptible to experience the dreaded south-by-shit-show. If you want to avoid utter chaos, make sure to bring these things with you in your slouchy vegan leather SXSW tote bag. Backpack/Tote bag/Free Swag accumulator You don’t have to have a SXSW badge or wristband to be graced with tons of free promotional items. Some of this stuff you’ll love (like a pair of breakfast-themed socks, free cans of Red Bull or graphic tees). Other things you’ll wish they hadn’t handed to you. For all of this treasure/junk, and for all your other SXSW essentials, bring a backpack with you. Tote bags are cute and convenient for access, but the uneven distribution of weight will become a strain on your shoulders. If you’re looking to carry your stuff hands-free but avoid all the junk, the fanny pack is a great alternative. Cash Unless you’re a fan of paying $3.25 each time you withdraw cash from an ATM downtown, bring cash with you. Sure, there are a lot of freebies to be discovered during the week, but if you care to catch a real meal, be prepared for vendors who
don’t take credit or debit. At the same time, limiting yourself to cash keeps you from overspending. Yes, we all want to take a ride in that LED-lit boom-box-infused pedicab, but why don’t you just walk instead.
A flexible schedule Have a good idea of a few shows or events to hit up that day, and make sure that you’ll be able to have access if you do end up going. If you don’t have an idea of what’s going on that night, you’ll become frustrated that you can’t find anything free or available to do. Do not go with the expectation that you will get into everything you want that day, and always have backups. Follow a few SXSWrelated Twitter accounts for the latest news on pop-up shows and free giveaways. Overall, go with the flow. You can’t be too demanding or too careless with your South by experience. Short-length phone charger/extended battery pack Sure, it’s common sense to bring your phone, but visitors flooding downtown Austin by the thousands will put extra stress on the cell towers, causing your phone to search for signal longer and subsequently drain the battery faster. Recently, select venues have added cell phone recharge stations to their setup, but don’t bet on there being a short wait for a recharge locker. If you don’t have the cash for an extended battery pack, bring a phone charger that’s easy to plug in on the fly. And as a reminder, don’t leave your phone or any other belongings unattended.
Weather Preparation You will be waiting outside in long lines for hours. So check the forecast before you leave for downtown. Texas weather is unpredictable. The current 10-day forecast from weather.com predicts sunny skies starting Tuesday, and while the high barely reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the sun could have you burning in minutes. Bring what you know you’ll need for the sun, sunscreen and sunglasses included. Around 6 p.m. when it starts getting dark, it’s likely to get pretty chilly out, so bring a light jacket or sweater that you can carry around with you to avoid going home to change and missing the action. Comfortable attire Piggybacking off of weather preparation, dress practically. Yes, you want to look good, but don’t risk feeling uncomfortable when you’re battling fast winds and heavy rain in a long tank and board shorts. Don’t plan on eventhunting downtown in a pair of constricting, 8-inch heels either. Wear shoes that you’ve broken in, that you won’t mind getting a little dirty. Refreshing toiletries If you’re going to be out all day, be prepared. The weather will be hot, then rainy, and then hot again. You’ll be sweating a weird amount and your hair will get all mussed up and someone will probably, most definitely end up spilling their drink down your leg. If you want to keep up appearances throughout the day, do not panic. Bring a small brush, some hair ties or bobby pins, a small stick of deodorant or maybe some
Illustration by Hannah Hadidi / Daily Texan Staff
body spray, lip balm, just anything that will make you feel more comfortable and clean throughout the day. Guest Pass If you want to get into any of the official SXSW free events open to the public like the Gaming Expo or the
outside shows at Butler Park (formerly at Auditorium Shores), you’ll need to pick up a free “Guest Pass.” This is a new feature for SXSW, and it allows you to register your guest pass online to be entered to win prizes. You can pick up your guest pass at a few participating locations
such as Waterloo Records and Whole Foods on 6th and Lamar, or you can pick up a guest pass at the entrances of the SXSW free events. Keep in mind that guest passes don’t guarantee admission to an event — events still have maximum capacity requirements.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Heavenly Beat comes home for festival By David Sackllah @dsackllah
Heavenly Beat is the musical project of John Pena, one of the founding members of Beach Fossils. Pena released Prominence, his second album as Heavenly Beat, last fall and is already close to completing the follow-up for a tentative summer release. Pena grew up in Austin and moved to Brooklyn when he was 21. The Daily Texan spoke with him about his new band and coming home for SXSW.
Photo courtesy of Big Hassle
Indie pop-meets-punk band Potty Mouth recently released its second album, Hell Bent, and is playing several showcases at this year’s SXSW.
Potty Mouth brings 1990’s-infused music By David Sackllah @dsackllah
There was no shortage of young bands invoking the sounds of the ’90s in 2013, from blistering pop-punk to skuzzy indie-rock, but few arrived with the personality and talent of Potty Mouth. The four-piece from Northampton, Mass., released its debut full length album, Hell Bent, last year, and is planning its first full U.S. tour this coming spring. Singer/guitarist Abby Weeks and bassist Ally Einbender talked about preparing new music for the upcoming tour and their excitement to play SXSW for the first time.
The Daily Texan: Are you excited to come down for SXSW? Abby Weems: We’re so excited for it. I think it’s going to be crazy and super fun. Ally Einbender: Yeah, I’ve never been before and I’m just so excited to leave this polar vortex we’re in right now. It’s horrible here. It doesn’t stop snowing, and I never leave my house unless I go to work. I’m excited to have a real spring break. DT: Are you working on any new music right now? AW: We have a bunch of new stuff, and we’re actually recording a demo later today
so we can pass it around at SXSW. We have five or six new songs already. DT: Will the upcoming shows be mostly new songs? AW: Yeah, I think we have so much new stuff. It’s split between that and songs from Hell Bent. AE: I kind of feel conflicted about playing so much new stuff because I know that when I see a band I really like, in that moment I only care about seeing them play the stuff I know. When you see a band live, it’s so much about the experience, and you want to see the stuff you’re familiar with. But I think we all really
like our new songs, and we’re trying to keep it balanced. AW: We played a local show recently, and we thought it was OK to play a ton of new songs because everyone there had seen us a bunch of times and wouldn’t care if we played the old stuff they’d seen before. Then we realized for the U.S. tour, we’re going to cities we’ve never been to before on the West Coast and that people are going to want to see songs they know, so we’re trying to make that work. DT: Your music gets compared to music from the ‘90s a lot, but where do you see the influences com-
ing from for the songs you write? AW: For me, when I first started learning guitar, I was going through a major Green Day phase. It just inspired me that their songs are so simple. It was reaffirming for being a new guitarist that you can write songs that are really simple but still catchy. As we’ve been touring more we’ve been playing with tons of new bands like Swearin, Radiator Hospital, Ovlov, Speedy Ortiz, and I think they influence me more than anything else. You get to know the people you’re playing with, and that makes me think about the music more.
The Daily Texan: How has your experience been from playing SXSW to just going and watching shows? John Pena: I mean, both experiences are kind of the same. You kind of try to find as much free booze as possible and chill with your friends. It’s kind of the same thing. DT: I know you used to play by yourself with Heavenly Beat but have a live band now. How long have you been playing with this group of people? JP: I have four dudes that I play with besides myself. My first show with them was August at the Captured Tracks five year anniversary festival. It’s been a dream playing with them. Before them, I hated playing live. It was such a goddamn nightmare for me to get up there and just bomb every time. It’s a lot less stressful now to have four other dudes on stage with me sort of taking that stress off. DT: Have you begun to
HEAVENLY page 5
Friday, March 7, 2014
though it’s a darker record, it hits harder than Prominence.
work on any new material? JP: Yeah, I’m wrapping up the next record now that’s probably coming out during the summer time. The music’s kind of done, so I’m just laying down vocals. Hopefully I’ll have it wrapped and turned in by the end of this month.
DT: You grew up in Austin? JP: I lived in Austin until I was 21, and then I moved to New York. I’ve been here for about seven years.
continues from page 4
DT: What would you say the new album sounds like? Is it similar to Prominence? JP: No. The drum programming is better. The songs are a lot catchier even though they’re darker in both tone and theme. They’re more propulsive. I got really candid on Prominence, perhaps too candid about things going on in my life that had some real life consequences I had to answer for. The new record is about the fallout of all the horrible stuff I was doing on Prominence. Even
DT: Did you play in bands when you were in Austin? JP: No. The first band I was ever in was Beach Fossils. I didn’t even move to New York with the intention of making music. It was sort of an accident. DT: Why did you move to New York? JP: A friend actually asked me to help them move here, so I didn’t actually intend to move here. I came up here intending to stay for two weeks and help a friend settle in. In those two weeks, I spent all my money and had to get a job. Seven years later, here I am. DT: When you come back
for SXSW, do you have a lot of family you see? JP: Yeah, I have my mom and my father and sister. My sister, she works for the La Quinta there that I stay in when I’m in town, so it works out nicely. DT: Do you think it’s easier to make it as a band in Brooklyn? Did you join Beach Fossils when it started? JP: I was the original bassist in that band, yeah. With Brooklyn, all this sort of infrastructure for being in a band is here, so it definitely does make it a little bit easier to get started. That’s assuming that you have a band that people are interested in. You could live in Brooklyn and still be the worst goddamn band of all time. If you have talent and you’re here, the structure exists that makes it easier to be heard. In the end, it’s all about songs and talent, though. DT: What was the highest amount of shows you’ve
James Hinton performs his electronic music under the name The Range, and is playing more than eight shows at SXSW.
Photo courtesy of The Windish Agency
ever played at SXSW? JP: With Beach Fossils one year I think we did 14 or something like that. It seems really obscene now, but at the time it didn’t really feel like anything. DT: Did you enjoy doing that or was it stressful? JP: No, we were all really good friends so there wasn’t a lot of stress involved. We were
just having a really good time. DT: You hear a lot of stories about people who hate SXSW so it’s good to get different points of view. JP: I’ve never really understood that vibe. You understand what you’re getting into whenever you sign up for SXSW. You’d have to be really naive to go into that
situation and expect some great experience where you’ll be able to perform your art in the best possible experience. If you go into it with a mind frame that you’ll get to play some chill shows and chill with friends in a warm environment, it’s really easy to have a good time. You’re only going to have a bad time if you want to have a bad time.
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Friday, March 7, 2014
Six people you’ll see at SXSW By Courtney Runn @courtney_t_runn
SXSW attracts people from all around the world, but they’re all pretty much the same if you know what to look for. Here are the six people to look out for this week.
The newb This person will be easy to spot because he will probably walk in late to basically everything. A mixed look of confusion, awe and exhaustion will help set him apart from other attendees. He has been waiting to come to SXSW forever, and he is bound and determined not to waste a second. You’ll probably want to stay away from this person, unless you’re a newb, too. Then you’ll want to band together — the two of you will need all the help you can get.
The annoyed Austinite This person has lived in Austin for over a decade, which apparently gives them the right to rain on South By’s parade. They still call “Lady Bird Lake” “Town Lake,” and always will, and will proudly declare they loved Austin before it was popular. They will suggest alternative cities for tourists to disappear to, such as Houston or Dallas. Though they are bitter beyond belief, they kind of deserve their week-long pity party. Having millions of people descend upon your city and take over for a week can be a bit trying. Just offer them a smile and reassure them that no one will stay in Austin. Just one or two people. Or a few hundred. Illustrations by Shannon Butler / Daily Texan Staff
The famous person One day during SXSW, you will be walking down a crowded street, hungrily searching for anything that will get you through another afternoon of shows, when you will see him: the famous person. You will stare harder, but you just won’t remember who exactly he is. Yet, you will feel an inexplicable need to take a picture with him, just in case. He could be the most famous person you’ll ever meet. And you know all your friends will ask you if you met anyone famous when you get home. You will run through the crowd, your thumb ready to swipe open the camera app, but then he will disappear into a building, and the closed door will leave you staring at the reflection of your un-famous self in the glass. So you basically just met a famous person.
The networker This person is at SXSW for one and one reason only: to network. He probably has some mediocre idea that he is positive will become the next big thing. He will walk around in a zombie-like state, mechanically repeating his many accomplishments and shaking hands. He can recite his resume faster than you can pretend to have not seen him. Unfortunately, his efforts will probably appeal to at least one interested employer. But he also missed all the fun SXSW has to offer. You win some, you lose some.
The SXSW vet
si ea The indi that co to 2 the to b on 4 with
This person is your idol: SXSW royalty. This isn’t his first festival and it shows — he has everything down to a tee. Last year, when you were trying to decide whether to watch another “Harlem Shake” video on YouTube, he was w writing blog posts about who was du rumored to come to the festival. and And as soon as the lineups were abo released, he had already created ten, the perfect schedule. He walks the with ease and confidence and “ arrives on time to every event. He manages to not pay for anything and live off of free goodies for the entire week. Find this person and walk in his footsteps. But not too close — keep a respectable distance at all times. Who knows, maybe someday that will be you.
The cheap student Somehow this person managed to get a coveted SXSW badge. He probably has a family friend who bought tickets months before and realized he couldn’t go. In desperation to get in, he could also be volunteering to work the event. However he got there, he is making the most of his experience. You’ll find this person wherever free things are being passed out — it doesn’t matter what it is, this person will take it. He will somehow have an even more amazing experience than you will. He will probably be the person who happens to run into all the famous people — and have the cultural insight to know why they’re famous — and will become Twitter famous from his live tweeting skills. Let this person have his fun — he won’t be able to afford to come back for a long, long time.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Future Islands return to touring at SXSW By David Sackllah @dsackllah
Samuel Herring, the lead singer of Future Islands, is eager to get back on the road. The talkative lead singer of the indie rock group explained that after five and half years of constant touring, the band took almost the entirety of 2013 off to write and record their latest record, Singles, set to be released on March 25 on 4AD, the label they signed with in January. Previously, the band would write and record during weeks off of touring, and go into the studio with about five or six songs written, but decided to change the process for Singles. “With this album, we wrote
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about 24 to 25 songs, made demos of them, and picked 13 songs that were recorded in the studio,” Herring said. “That was later whittled down to the ten on the album.” Like every album they’ve made, they financed it entirely with money from touring and record sales, coming up with a finished product before shopping it to labels. While it added some pressure to the process, Herring viewed it as a positive thing. “There needs to be pressure.” Herring said. “You need to second-guess yourself so you can push yourself to your maximum potential.” After releasing their last two records on Thrill Jockey,
ISLANDS page 11
Photo courtesy of Mike Vorass
Synthpop band Future Islands recently signed to the 4AD record label and are making their first SXSW appearance this year.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Piano teacher turned R&B artist comes to festival By David Sackllah @dsackllah
Coming from Hamilton, Canada, Jessy Lanza is an electronic artist who creates intricate R&B. The piano teacher worked with Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys to craft her debut album, Pull My Hair Back, which came out last fall on Hyperdub. She is working on her followup and is going to make her SXSW debut this week.
Photo courtesy of The Windish Agency
James Hinton performs his electronic music under the name The Range and will play eight shows at this year’s SXSW.
The Range makes Texas debut at SXSW By David Sackllah @dsackllah
Producer James Hinton has been making mid-tempo electronic music as The Range and playing shows since 2008, but last year his life changed completely. His newest album, Nonfiction, was released last fall and received acclaim from music websites such as Pitchfork. Hinton’s newfound success has allowed him to go on European tours, to quit his day job and focus on making music full time. “A lot more people are in my life and I’ve started to branch out and work with more people,” Hinton said. “It’s definitely a lot of added complexity to life since Nonfiction came out.” Hinton makes his songs by blending elements of am-
bient or downtempo electronic sounds with raps or hip-hop style beats. He often uses loops and repetition, but subtly changes elements in the music to keep it fluid. Nonfiction is filled with hypnotic electronic tracks, often built around obscure a capella hip-hop samples that Hinton found online. In some songs, such as “Jamie,” Hinton built the music around the sample he found. Hinton always begins his compositions with a single element. “I know a lot of people compose where they have the whole song in their head that they like to get out,” Hinton said. “For me, it’s always a small kernel of a thing that I try to expand upon.” Hinton, who is playing in Texas for the first time at
SXSW, crafts songs that fit well in a variety of settings — from studying in a library to dancing in a club. He makes an effort to find a midpoint between dance and ambient electronic music. “My music will never get too clubby, like a ‘Harlem Shake’ type situation, but it will also never be a 30 minute meditation or yoga music either,” Hinton said. Hinton is a fan of underground rappers, citing King Louie, Lil Durk and Young Thug as some of his favorites. While Hinton explained that he would never try to make beats, the ideas and attitudes behind recent hip-hop trends serve as an inspiration for his work. “It’s always a huge way of how I think about music,” Hinton said. “It’s definitely
important to me as a touchstone for everything. It’s this idea and mentality that I’m very conscious of.” Now Hinton is preparing for the release of Panasonic, an EP due out at the end of the month that serves as an addendum to last year’s record. Hinton describes Panasonic as having a sparse, compositional style, containing ’90s hip-hop tempos, unlike the jungle and footwork influences present on Nonfiction. Hinton said he wants to get back and start working on another LP that should be out by next year. But, for now, he’s focusing on taking advantage of the attention he’s received for Nonfiction. “I feel like I have a lot to say right now and want to get as much music out as I can,” Hinton said.
The Daily Texan: What type of equipment and setup do you use for your live performances? Jessy Lanza: I have a couple synthesizers. I have a Juno 106 and an Alpha Juno and then I run all the drums through Ableton, so I have a laptop as well. Then I have a delay pedal for my vocals and that’s it really. It’s a pretty simple setup. DT: Did you have a lot of experience playing live before you began this new project? JL: No, not really at all. DT: What, if any, was challenging about translating your songs to a live setting? JL: I think with electronic music a lot of times you can get into the feedback loops or hums and buzzes, especially if you’re using older analog equipment. You can run into a lot more frequency noises or have the frequencies be off so you have everything sound not so great. Those are some of the risks with electronic stuff. DT: You got a degree in jazz but you make electronic and R&B music. Do you find that there are any jazz influences in the music you make? JL: Yeah, for sure. I think a
lot of the people who produce R&B records are well versed in jazz music. The chord progressions for a lot of them are the same. They use the same kind of chords. Not chord for chord or anything, but I definitely think there’s a lineage there for sure. DT: I know that you collaborated with Jeremy Greenspan on the LP in terms of writing and production. Do you plan to work with him on future projects? JL: Yeah, we’re working on a second album right now actually. DT: How far along are you on it? JL: I don’t know. I don’t want to say too far because you never know what might end up being scrapped. Songs have a tendency to sound really awesome one week and really shitty the next. It’s coming along. Hopefully, it will be done for the fall. DT: Now that you’ve been doing this for a long time does the process take less time or get more fluid as you keep writing songs? JL: Yeah, I have a really clear direction or vision of what I want to sound like. When I first started doing this four years ago that direction wasn’t as clear as it is now, so that makes it easier. DT: What made you want to play SXSW? JL: I got booked for the Resident Advisor showcase, which seemed like a really good opportunity. I’ve been in Austin once before, and it’s a fun city. It’s going to be so warm there. It’s like minus 20 here. I’m pretty excited to go somewhere where it’s not fucking freezing.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Bloggers flock to Renegade Craft Fair during SXSW @withalittlejazz
The Renegade Craft Fair features a collection of artists and vendors who sell their work in cities across America. The fair will be going on during SXSW from Thursday through Saturday at the Palmer Events Center and will showcase more than 200 crafters and small businesses from all around the world. Danni Hong, blogger and small business owner of ohhellofriend.com, is packing up her merchandise and flying to Austin from Orange County, Calif. Hong started her business in 2008, but Renegade in Austin was the first out-of-state craft fair she ever attended. “We learned through going to Austin, it just opened up a new aspect of craft fairs for us.” Hong said. “We could go anywhere now.” Hong has since opened a store which features her own products in addition to a collection of other goods made by various crafters. Hong will be selling her line of encouraging and inspirational stationary. “We fell in love with Austin,” Hong said. “We’ve been dreaming about going back and eating all the food.” UT alumna Chandler Busby will be sending her products to the fair, though she will not be attending. Busby relocated to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after graduating from UT in 2012 with a dual degree in retail merchandising
and apparel design. Six months ago, she and her husband created “Fait La Force,” a collection of handmade products by Haitian artisans. “I think the set up will be great,” Busby said. “My friend is coming to work the event for us. I’m just excited that our products and our brand will be there even though we can’t actually be there.” Fait La Force sells metal and leather work as well as jewelry and a variety of other handmade goods. These products are made with the goal of creating jobs in Haiti. The business will also be using Renegade to launch a collaboration they have with fellow RCF vendor, “A Well Traveled Woman,” on a line of aprons, handbags and other products the businesses produced together. “I think Renegade brings in the younger generation, and I’m glad we can bring this together representing our socially conscious business and that products can be well-made while socially impacting people around the world,” Busby said. “All of the products that are sold there genuinely make a difference in the lives of the artisans.” For Manready Mercantile, a business that makes and curates a line of products geared toward men, Renegade is a chance to showcase its brand. Travis Weaver started the Manready in 2012 making soy candles in his kitchen and selling them door to door. This March, the Houston-based
Photo courtesy of Kate Stafford
Fait La Force, based out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will be sending handmade Haitian goods to the Renegade Craft Fair. UT alum Chandler Busby is the founder of Fait La Force.
business will be opening its first store location. “I’m proof that this ‘American dream’ everyone talks about works,” Weaver said. “Don’t just settle for some deadbeat job you don’t like for the rest of your life because that sucks. You should follow your dreams and don’t be scared to chase them down.” Whether this is their first time going to Renegade or not vendors can seize the opportunity to learn, grow and expand their small businesses while fair goers can buy from a collection of small businesses and look at handmade items from around the world all in one place. “What Renegade does, we admire,” Weaver said. “Renegade gives people like me to a chance to show their work to the public and that’s loudly important for small businesses to succeed and they do a good job at doing that.
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Friday, March 7, 2014
THE TWITTER RUMOR MILL By Samantha Grasso @samjgrasso
Illustration by Connor Murphy / Daily Texan Staff
When he first made his South by Southwest-related Twitter last year, Cameron Clark’s original intention was to organize the SX-chaos for his friends. As the man behind the Twitter handle with close to 10 thousand followers — @CameronAtSXSW — Clark said he’s never taken Twitter seriously. “It’s just social media, after all,” Clark said. “It’s fun to get hyped up, to get excited about something I’m looking forward to, and to play the
‘who’s coming to South by’ guessing game.” Clark, a 24-year-old web developer and graphic designer from Dallas, Texas, said he focuses on SXSW rumors because he likes generating excitement about the lineup. Outside of the rumor realm, Clark said he gets dozens of emails a day asking for event promotion, and doesn’t mind sharing some of them through his Twitter. “If an event has a good lineup, if it has free stuff, or if it’s unique, then it will stand out and I’ll notice it,” Clark said. “I shy away from the people who are like ‘Hey, can you post my band’s new video?’ and stuff like that, but if someone has a showcase or party or event or whatever, I don’t mind [posting] it at all.” To develop his predictions and interpret possible SXSW shows, Clark said he checks out artist tour schedules through hosts like Songkick or Bandsintown, searching through concerts and events happening in Texas around the time of SXSW. Aside from schedule scanning and keeping up with music industry news, Clark said he also asks around by emailing tour managers, tweeting at band members and talking to venue staffers. “There are a few people I know who give me info about events, but it’s mostly just me doing my research and asking around,” Clark said. Ashley Beard and Marshall Wesney of @SXSWhoa, another SXSW-rumor reporting Twitter account with over 7 thousand followers, said they also started their Twitter in order to aggregate SXSW events for themselves
without flooding their personal timelines. After the Twitter account’s creation last year, Beard and Wesney gained roughly 1.5 thousand followers in the first two months. Wesney said the Twitter page was never about gaining followers, but to help attendees sort through the large amount of SX-related noise on the Internet. “We realized you have to be smart to have fun at South by Southwest and in this day and age, Twitter provides a tool that easily trumps having lots of friends to call you and tell you what’s going on where,” Beard said. “Our mission statement is that we want everyone to have a badass time, and if you do what we’re doing, we can guarantee you will.” While Clark was incorrect about his SXSW 2013 Kanye West prediction, he said he’s most proud of his correct Justin Timberlake prediction, which he had predicted in an article for RSVPster earlier that year. “That was one of those ‘this will never happen, but what if ’ things that actually panned out,” Clark said. This year, Beard and Wesney have already been correct on their SX-predictions for Zedd, Capital Cities, Cee-Lo Green, Mac Miller, Skrillex, Snoop Dog and Soundgarden, amongst a few others. While they also predicted Justin Timberlake to play the conference last year, they were most let down by their prediction for Daft Punk. “Everyone kept saying Daft Punk would perform at the Capital,” Beard said. “We
TWITTERS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Cameron Clark (@CameronAtSXSW) What to look for: An essentially constant flow of tips and confirmed rumors. Ashley Beard and Marshall Wesney (@ SXSWhoa): What to look for: Real SXSW tips and snarky advice. Clinton Camper (@SXSWISLIFE): What to look for: A pretty inclusive SXSW inspired Spotify playlist and rumors. ATXShhh (@ATXShhh): What to look for: Free show tips and advice on #SXShoes. RSVPster (@rsvpster): What to look for: All the rumors and tips on which parties you actually need to RSVP for. SXSW Partylist! (@SXSWPartyList): What to look for: Information about all the parties you don’t have time to go to.
were thrown off by the Random Access Memories posters found around town.” As for this year, Clark said his favorite confirmed rumor is St. Vincent, and unconfirmed is Brand New. While he said he didn’t want to spoil anything that’s been told to him in confidence, he advised to watch out for a “something big” from Yahoo!, as well as for The Illmore, and may have confirmed one bigname celebrity. “I think everyone knows that Gaga is happening by now,” Clark said.
Friday, March 7, 2014
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Illustration by Alex Dolan / Daily Texan Staff
How to eat like a pro at SXSW By Courtney Runn
do all the work of finding the perfect meal.
From breakfast tacos to barbecue, Austin is known for its variety of mouthwatering food. SXSW is the perfect time to sample Austin’s best, but it’s also one of the city’s busiest weeks. The Daily Texan made a list of tips to help navigate the food scene.
2. Bring snacks With long lines, mustsee events and large crowds, it’s inevitable that your eating schedule might be off track. Make sure you bring snacks and water to keep you going. The city is also known for its healthy eating, so when in Austin, eat granola as the Austinites do. For a quick, healthy snack that will fill you up plus satisfy your savory or sweet tooth, try a LARABAR. The granola bars come in more than 20 flavors, never contain more than a few ingredients and are compatible with all the weird food allergies. Because of their natural, unprocessed formula, they also don’t melt — which is a plus in the Texas heat. Chances are, someone will also probably be handing them out for free. Granola, nuts and fresh fruit are also good sources of energy. And don’t forget to hydrate.
1. Use social media The past few years, The Peached Tortilla, an Austin food truck and catering service, partnered with other local food trucks to serve free food to SXSW participants. They spread the word through Twitter and Facebook, giving away more than 3,000 tacos in 2012. Paying attention to your newsfeed during the week could not only be the key to free shows, but could also be the key to free food. Chefs Feed is also a good tool for the week. The app lets you find recommended dishes by top chefs in your city. Based on price, location, diet limitations and category of food, the app will
3. Experience the foodtruck scene
SouthBites, the official food center of SXSW, includes food trucks from around Austin hand-picked by “Top Chef ” winner Paul Qui. From classic southern fried chicken to Australian cuisine, this moveable food court will fulfill your every culinary dream. 4. Stay close If you don’t want to miss an event or spend time away from the festival, choose restaurants close to the convention center. For delicious, easy, comfort food, try Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, Le Cafe Crepe or Annies Cafe and Bar. Don’t forget about the classics, though: After a long day, unwind at Kerbey Lane Cafe, Rudys, Hut’s Hamburgers or Shady Grove. 5. Accept the lines Don’t complain. No matter where you go, other people will be there too. Good food is worth the wait — enjoy the atmosphere of thousands of people uniting over music, cinema and technology and savor Austin’s delicious cuisine.
the band talked to a few other labels before ultimately signing with 4AD. “We wanted to take a step up, a step in a different direction,” Herring said. “4AD was one of the labels that was interested in what we were working on. That’s where we wanted to be, but we didn’t know if that was going to happen. We kept in touch with them throughout the writing and recording process. They really loved what they heard and it went well.” Because of the extra time, Singles may be the band’s strongest release to date. Herring said the themes that tie the record together include childhood, memory, and growing up in North Carolina. “A lot of the songs like ‘Back In The Tall Grass’ and ‘A Song for Our Grandfathers’ are very much about North Carolina,
links to the past, and seeing into the past as you look into the future,” Herring said. Above all, Herring explained that the album primarily covers universal themes of love and loss. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Herring said. “We know that we have our own style about doing things, but we consider ourselves a pop band above all.” So far, Herring describes the fans’ reception of the new songs as positive. “The crowds have been going crazy so far,” Herring said. “It’s a really great feeling to play the new songs and have people respond to them in a such a positive way when they haven’t even heard them.” One big change for the band is that they have added a drummer, rounding out the live set. They had been using a drum machine for the past five and a half years, so adding a drummer greatly altered the
dynamics and added more energy to the performances. “Going back to the drummer was scary at first, but it grew on us really fast,” Herring said. “I think after the first show I was just like, ‘Man, this is the dumbest idea we’ve ever had. This is terrible.’ But by the third show, it actually felt really good. We just had to work out the kinks and figure it out. At this point it just feels great.” This will be Future Islands’ first time at SXSW, and Herring is thrilled at the prospect of hitting the road and playing two to three shows a day. Herring is excited to share these new songs with fans, and describes Singles as a diverse group of songs that they feel are honest to the band. “If you make music and art that’s true to you, you’ll really connect with people in a real feeling,” Herring said. “That’s always been our main goal.”
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Friday, March 7, 2014
Dress the best at SXSW Of the major events in Austin, SXSW is the most diverse — with everything from movie screenings to keynote speakers. Finding a fabulous outfit for all these events can be a hassle so The Daily Texan has compiled a list of outfits that can be worn to all the different kind of events offered. Think comfort, monochromatic color schemes and details. Photos and story by Sarah Montgomery @withalittlejazz
Concert While ACL and Fun Fun Fun Fest have already blown through the city, SXSW is a different kind of festival with a weeks worth of action. So, take it easy with a cute twist on basics, like this velvet crop top to wear to a concert while sweating like a sleepless maniac. This effortless look will stand out among the crowd, or surf above it. Outfit details: Top and skirt: Homecookedkarma Shoes: Madewell Radio-television-film freshman Caroline Touma
Speaker Chelsea Clinton, Brandon Stanton and Mindy Kaling are just a few of the big names giving speeches this year. Go to the keynotes with a collar and high-waisted shorts to look both professional and fashionable. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand high when Q-and-A’s roll around. All eyes — including the speakers’ — will be on you. Outfit details: White Shirt: Mac Demarco Band Shirt Shorts: Urban Outfitters Biochemistry freshman Vivian Nguyen
Attend the next blockbuster or check out the indie movie screenings like a red carpet star. Since film screenings are stationary events, take the opportunity to go out in dressier attire. Don’t forget to play up the details. A hand full of rings or a statement necklace can take any floral dress from a casual day outfit to a fabulous Hollywood-ready ensemble.
The day doesn’t end with concerts and movie screenings. The right outfit gains access to the right afterparties. Dress up for the night but wear low heels, especially if hopping around town from party to party. Adding a fun statement piece like this poncho will make the outfit one to be remembered. The night? Not so much.
Outfit details: Dress: Mamastonevintage Boots: Forever 21 Cameo necklace: Art Show
Outfit details: Poncho: Charm School Vintage Heels: Aldo Pants: American Eagle
Journalism freshman Kris Seavers
Undeclared freshman Anna Escamilla
Sight-Seeing Take out a day or two see the local sights. While South By events will be numerous, Austin boasts of several local places to eat and see. Take the time off school to go shopping on SoCo, check out the capital or take photos at the graffiti wall. With a comfortable pair of tennis shoes and some sunglasses, roam around town with the local Austinites. Outfit details: Outfit: Forever 21 Shoes: Keds Public relations freshman Crystal Garcia
Friday, March 7, 2014
Until The Ribbon Breaks brings R&B to SXSW By David Sackllah @dsackllah
Until The Ribbon Breaks is the name for the musical project of British singer/producer Pete Lawrie Winfield. Combining elements of R&B and hip-hop, Winfield released his debut EP, A Taste of Silver, in 2013, and that led to opening slots for tours with Lorde and Phantogram. The Daily Texan spoke with Winfield about the new EP he is releasing in March and his music writing process. The Daily Texan: How long have you been making music? And how long did it take you to write and record the Taste of Silver EP? Pete Lawrie Winfield: I’ve been making music since I was 16. Both my parents are
classical musicians, so instruments have always been a part of my life. I didn’t start making production-style music until I was 16. DT: At what point did you realize that you wanted to make music rather than film, which you were studying? PW: The process for film just took too long. With a film, it often takes two years to enjoy the finished product, and by then you might hate it. When you write a song and finish a song, you can enjoy it right then. You might hate it after two years, but that’s a different story. DT: How important is the visual aspect to the music you make? PW: It’s just as important as the music — they go hand in hand for me. I wrote all the
music while projecting silent film footage. It was integral in the process. I watched films by David Lynch and Terrence Malick and a lot of silent documentaries. Well not silent, but filled with montages. Long montages were a big part of it.
The Jewels and told me I had 24 hours to get something back to him. I started freaking out. I think it ended up really well, though. I got to play the song live a couple of times with him and Killer Mike and it was just incredible.
DT: How did you get involved in working with Killer Mike and El-P for Run The Jewels? PW: I made a song, the remix of “Pressure,” with this artist called Mr. Exquire. He came in and did a verse for it, and I was telling him that El-P was one of my favorite rappers. He told me that they were friends and gave me his phone number. I called him up and he was like, yeah, I’d love to work with you. He sent me this song for Run
DT: How was your tour with Lorde? And, given the choice, would you pick a headlining set to a smaller crowd or an opening slot on a bigger stage? PW: They’re both equally satisfying but in different ways. We got to play with Lorde right before she blew up and became the Lorde she is today. She was still very popular, and we were in the states right when her song hit No. 1 there, and it was very exciting to watch how quickly it all happened.
Photo courtesy of The Windish Agency
Pete Lawrie Winfield of Until The Ribbon Breaks blends R&B and hip-hop in his music.
By David Sackllah @dsackllah Pitchfork Day Party
When: 12 p.m. Where: French Legation Museum Who: DJ Rashad + DJ Spinn, Speedy Ortiz, The Range, Ex Hex, Perfect Pussy, Cashmere Cat, Coachwhips, Protomartyr Age Restrictions: All Ages The first Pitchfork Day Party is half ’90s-inspired indie and punk rock and half electronic acts who never come through Austin.
Under The Radar SXSW Party
When: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Flamingo Cantina Who: EMA, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Future Islands, Connan Mockasin Age Restrictions: Not listed Under The Radar will be throwing parties Wednesday through Friday at Flamingo Cantina, but with appearances from indie pop act The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Future Islands, day one boasts the strongest lineup.
Consequence of Sound Cosigns Day Party
When: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Hype Hotel Who: Against Me!, Wye Oak, Albert Hammond Jr., Hospitality, Together Pangea Age Restrictions: 21+ Here’s a chance to see Against Me!, who just released the excellent Transgender Dysphoria Blues, for free alongside some of the better indie rock acts — including Strokes lead guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. — who are attending SXSW.
Red Bull Sound Select
When: 8 p.m. Where: The Belmont Who: Earl Sweatshirt, Lil Herb, Thurz Age Restrictions: 21+ This is the only opportunity to see Earl Sweatshirt, the young rapper from Odd Future, play a free show during SXSW. This is also his first time in Austin since Doris, his last album came out. Make sure to RSVP to get in.
When: 12 p.m. Where: French Legation Museum Who: Fucked Up, Lunice, Mutual Benefit, Isaiah Rashad, Kelela, Classixx, Future Islands, Eagulls Age Restrictions: All Ages
When: 12pm Where: Bee Who: Power Display Age Restric
Day two of Pitchfork’s free parties focuses more on hip-hop and R&B with Lunice, Isaiah Rashad and Kelela. Expect dance parties with Classixx and insane mosh pits with Fucked Up as well.
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Stereogum Day Party
When: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Mohawk Who: Cloud Nothings, Fucked Up, Speedy Ortiz, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Perfect Pussy, Ema, Mutual Benefit, Chloe Howl Age Restrictions: All Ages Here is where you can see most of the best indie rock acts playing SXSW in one location. This might be the most impressive lineup of the day.
When: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Side Bar Who: Diarrhea Planet with Melissa Etheridge, The Midgetmen, Big Ups, Upset, Potty Mouth, Solids, Connections Age Restrictions: All Ages The Midgetmen, a local rock band, harrassed Melissa Etheridge enough that she agreed to play with them at their annual SXSW party.
When: 12 p Where: Blac Who: Bob M Age Restric
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How to have fun at this year’s festival without a badge
Pitchfork Day Party
When: 12 p Where: 901 Who: Real E Age Restric
Real Estat is your best
When: 12 p Where: Emp Who: Fucke Sophie, Cas Age Restric
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p.m. – 5:30 p.m. ckheart Bar Mould, Wye Oak, Speedy Ortiz, Eagulls ctions: 21+
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te’s latest album, Atlas, is incredible, and this bet at catching them for free.
p.m. – 6 p.m. pire Garage & Control Room ed Up, Power Trip, Destruction Unit, Classixx, shmere Cat ctions: 21+
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When: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Farewell Books Who: Speedy Ortiz, Grass Is Green, Each Other, Psychic Teens, Pale Hound Age Restrictions: All Ages UT’s student-run radio station’s day party features a group of ‘90s insipred indie rock acts. Headlined by the always entertaining Speedy Ortiz, who sound like Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. and are amazing.
Control Touring Day Party
Thrasher X Converse Death Match When: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Scoot Inn Who: Lil B, Perfect Pussy, Destruction Unit Age Restrictions: All Ages
The almighty Based God is coming to play this party in a rare and blessed appearance. Lil B shows are less rap concerts than spiritual revivals, and this is one you don’t want to miss.
Rayban x Boiler Room
When: 8 p.m. Where: TBA Who: Four Tet, Julio Basmore, Omar S, Tinashe, DJ Mustard and more Age Restrictions: All Ages Last year, this party featured rare appearances by Death Grips and Mount Kimbie, and was one of the most innovative SXSW experiences of the year. This year they’ve already confirmed exclusive performances by great electronic producers like Four Tet, and this will surely be one of the best parties to attend.
Red Bull Sound Select 4 Days in Austin When: 8 p.m. Where: The Belmont Who: Danny Brown, Lucki Ecks, A.Dd+ Age Restrictions: 21+
1) Mutual Benefit / Courtesy of The Windish Agency 2) Future Islands / Courtesy of Thrill Jockey 3) Cloud Nothings / Courtesy of The Windish Agency 4) Angel Olsen / Courtesy of Jagjaguwar 5) Wye Oak / Courtesy of Merge Records For video coverage of SXSW, check out dailytexanonline.com
Friday, March 7, 2014
Startups present at Capital Factories
By Kat Sampson @katclarksamp
Capital Factories, the leading technology incubator for startups in the Austin area, will host Capital Factory Demo Day 2014 during SXSW. The stakes are high, as 10 of Austin’s most promising startups will have
an opportunity to pitch their product to a room full of investors, press, entrepreneurs and potential customers. Here’s a sneak peek at what these products are and the faces behind them. Aceable Aceable, founded by Boston College alumnus Blake
Technology incubator Capital Factories will host Capital Factory Demo Day 2014 where 10 Austin startups will have the opportunity to pitch their products to investors, press and customers.
Garrett, is an online education platform that weaves in interactive games, animations, stories and reward systems in an effort to make the learning process not only more enjoyable, but also more effective. Aceable is currently partnering with companies that provide driver’s education and safety courses in order to make those more entertaining. Cratejoy Amir Elaguizy founded Cratejoy — a site that helps online sellers streamline their storefront to payment collections — after speaking with many subscription commerce founders. “They were more then eager to tell me just how terrible the existing tools were for subscriptions,” Elaguizy said. “We’re builders through and through and can’t resist a problem we know we can solve well. It was inevitable that we’d end up trying to fix subscription commerce once we learned of the problems.”
Fabian Fernandez Daily Texan Staff
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Famigo While many toddlers can navigate tablets with amazing ease, Famigo CEO Q. Beck — a former executive at Nickelodeon and DreamWorks — felt there was a need for a more family-friendly experience on them. Matt McDonnell, Famigo’s vice president for operations, said Famigo was created to fill this need. “It is a platform for families to find the best mobile apps, videos, websites and games in the safest environment,” McDonnell said. Local Plant Source Zac Tolbert, the founder of Local Plant Source, spent years working as a landscape architect before realizing that there was a need for a more efficient mode of communication for landscapers, architects and the nurseries they buy products from. “I realized that if landscape architects
could design projects based on plants grown at local nurseries, the entire industry could operate more efficiently,” Tolbert said. With the creation of the online forum, Local Plant Source, Tolbert plans to “transform the way nurseries connect with their customers, empowering them to comfortably and confidently do business online.” Loop & Tie When it comes down to buying someone a present, gift cards can be the least offensive and mostly uncreative option. Loop & Tie has taken it upon itself to make the gift giving process easy for the gifter and exciting for the giftee. Gifters are able to select a monetary amount and plug in the recipient’s email. Once the recipient gets an email, they are able to shop for gifts that fall under the price range chosen without ever knowing the exact amount. Most of the items allow the shopper to pick from a variety of foods, gadgets and home decor. Mahana In a city like Austin where a large emphasis is placed on hip, up-and-coming restaurants, Mahana makes the dining experience easier. The app lets users see how long the waits are at all their favorite restaurants and works with the restaurants to reward returning customers with free appetizers, invites to small events or priority seating. NuHabitat When homebuilder Jeff Burke tried to sell houses during the 2008 economic collapse, he ended up learning a lot about the how brokers market properties. “I didn’t understand why all the data an agent sees in the Multiple Listing Service wasn’t available to
the public to provide buyers and sellers 100 percent accurate data delivered in real-time,” Burke said. “That’s what NuHabitat provides.” NuHabitat, which is set up like a search engine, gives agents, homebuyers and sellers the ability to use MLS, the most reliable source for real estate data. “We want to make NuHabitat the best online search vehicle to find your dream home while improving the value proposition agents bring to their clients.” Rail Yard “We founded Rail Yard to give businesses a way to find Internet and phone service online and get the right services at the best price,” Rail Yard co-founder Cristi Jakubik said. “Our company has moved the Internet and phone service marketplace online, which brings transparency and efficiency to an entrenched industry. In addition, we’re working on predictive modeling to better inform our recommendations of services to our customers.” Weeva We all have an aunt who somehow finds the time to artistically and thoroughly put together a scrapbook of family memories. Weeva allows the same thing in a more efficient and streamlined manner. The website, which places a greater emphasis on storytelling and preservation, gives users the chance to collect memories from family and friends and compile them into a book with space for photos. Weeva is a great way to commemorate a family member or an event in someone’s life. Spokefly Nate McGuire, founder of Spokefly, says the idea for
STARTUPS page 21
Friday, March 7, 2014
Strange things to do at SXSW Interactive By Brigit Benestante @bbenestante
The Interactive portion of SXSW isn’t all Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling. Every year, SXSW brings some interesting characters and events into town with it. Here are some of the alternative options for this year’s festival. 1. How Douchebags Ruined Dating This session presents the argument that “douchebags” have ruined the online dating platform for nice guys. This is apparently an epidemic which the presenter, Elissa Shevinsky, is hoping to solve. 2. I Measure Everything My Kid Does Amy Webb, mom and CEO of Webmedia Group, explains how she has logged everything her child has done — including eating, burping and pooping — since she was born. According to Webb, she realized she could “quantify and study [her child] in attempt to optimize all of her development.” If that wasn’t enough Webb will teach you why doing this makes you a better parent. 3. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon This panel, which features Kevin Bacon himself and
many “surprise” guests, explores the 20th anniversary of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon phenomenon. Plus, it’s Kevin Bacon. 4. Font Nerds Meet Up Are you a font enthusiast? Good news, SXSW is offering a chance to meet others just like you. Here attendees can discuss the terrible Comic Sans, the classic Times New Roman and the popular Helvetica. 5. Alternative Healing Meet Up Attendees can join in on sharing their stories of using alternative ways to get through hard times. The session will focus on things like “The Secret” and the “Law of Attraction” and how social media connects people practicing these methods. 6. A Conversation with Nicholas Cage Nicholas Cage in front of a full audience. Need I say more? 7. Four Caffeinated Strangers Launch a Product, Live One coder, one designer, one statistics expert and one moderator will create an online product that will be available on the market in just an hour. They will assess everything about the product in this short time —
the product itself, logos and industry trends. 8. Live From Space! Talk with Astronauts in Orbit Attendees will be able to talk with astronauts in orbit 240 miles from Earth’s surface. The audience will also be allowed to ask these astronauts questions about the work they’re doing in space and about the technology it takes to communicate back down to Earth. 9. International Space Orchestra Yeah, this exists. The International Space Orchestra (ISO) was founded two years ago. Space scientists from NASA, the Search for Extraterrestrial Institute, Singularity University and the International Space University got together to perform on Apollo 11’s mission control. Attendees can hear from ISO’s founder about the creation and journey of the orchestra. 10. Life Lessons from a Professional Dominatrix Professional Dominatrix Kali Williams will explain how her experience with latex catsuits, cages full of willing submissives and the exotic underworld can be applied to every day relationships. Those in attendance can gain advice from Williams on how to ‘whip’ their lives into shape.
Illustration by Alyssa Creagh / Daily Texan Staff
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Friday, March 7, 2014
Navigating the SXSW Trade Show By Kat Sampson @katclarksamp
With more than 250 vendors, the SXSW Trade Show can seem daunting and chaotic. The following guide will show you where to find anything from Canadian barbecue to a Screen Actors Guild application. Sweden @ SXSW Both Sweden and Swedish Boot Camp will be on exhibition at the trade show. Like many of the tourism-focused vendors run by countries from around the world, Swedish vendors will have a section of their trade show space focused on networking and promoting Swedish music, film and business. Swedish Boot Camp is a place for creative digitizers, geeks, musicians and startups from anywhere in the world to immerse themselves in Swedish culture. Italy @ SXSW This will be the first year Italy has a promoted vendor at SXSW and it has a lot in store. Promoted by The Italian Music Hub and Puglia Sounds, the stand focuses mainly on the Italian music scene, though there will be a vendor with information on tourism. Canada @ SXSW What’s interesting about Canada @ SXSW is the variety of its events. The stand has information on Canadian Blast, which is focused on promoting the complex music and interactive industries of Canada. One event going on later in the week is The Canadian Blast BBQ and Showcase, held
on Wednesday at Brush Square from 2 – 6 p.m. At the event, which SXSW badge holders and invited guests can attend, barbecue will be served while artists from Canada play in the background. The New School The New School, with its flagship located in New York City, is a university that focuses on offering a nontraditional education to students who plan to get a degree. With emphasis on collaborative problem solving and interdisciplinary work, the school isn’t a typical university experience. Students and representatives from the school will be at the stand. Texas MBA Program The UT business school will have a booth set up at the trade show to inform potential students about the different disciplines and degree programs the program and the school offer. University of Michigan School of Information All the way from Ann Arbor, Mich., the representatives from the School of Information at the University of Michigan will be ready to talk all about the specificities of a degree in Information Studies. The school is a part of a growing sector of higher learning that focuses on how information is created, processed and presented. Austin Music People Austin Music People, whose motto is “advocating for the brands, bands and fans that make Austin the Live Music Capital of the World,” will have its own booth at the show. Austin Music People is a coalition with a purpose
of strengthening the music scene for the benefit of the local economy. The booth is representative of the types of musicians that call Austin home, as well as the work the group does to collectively serve the music industry. Start Out Start Out is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to serve the LGBTQ community with business marketing and support. Through events held nationwide, the group’s goal is to inspire LBGTQ business owners to start new companies and be involved in the corporate community through either owning a small business or mentoring others. Knowbility This Austin-based nonprofit is all about making technology user-friendly for those who have physical impairments such as blindness or impaired fine motor skills. Its goal is to make technology more accessible so information can be conveyed without barriers to children, youth and adults with disabilities.
that are then placed in a cart that you can shop from later. The site’s goal is to make the video watching experience more interactive and give the viewer an opportunity to shop for products of interest. The vendor will be giving tutorials on how to use the website at its booth. Squerb While the application may seem a bit ambiguous and overwhelming, the idea behind Squerb is the innate desire people have to talk about something they have just seen, heard or experienced. Squerb allows the user to build an opinion on a particular product, movie, song, etc., without having to write a single word. Starting with more general descriptions like “interesting, moving and offensive,” the user can dive deeper into those categories, creating their well-formed opinion in just a series of clicks.
Gigg.com The leader in online music competitions and music expression, Gigg allows users to post videos of themselves singing. The videos can then be used for competitions against other users, or just as a mode of expression for new artists. A Gigg account is like having a YouTube account that is just for music. The vendor will be offering tutorials on how to use the site and sharing artist success stories at the booth.
Social Imprints Social Imprints, a company that builds branded merchandise campaigns, has a deeper purpose that involves providing job training, highly professional positions and a second chance to recovering drug offenders, formerly incarcerated individuals and at-risk veterans. The company does work for Dropbox, Square, Wikipedia, Pinterest and Hearsay, among others, and will be sharing employee success stories and selling apparel at its booth.
CinemaTICE.com CinemaTICE lets users select items from a video
The New York Times The premiere newspaper will have a booth at
Illustrations by Andrew Cooke / Daily Texan Staff
the trade show dedicated to answering questions about the publication. Looking for a subscription or an opportunity to get networking information? Look forward to some sort interactive activity and certainly some swag (probably a stress ball). SAGIndie
SAGIndie, a booth sent from the Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, will be set up at the Trade Show to answer questions about SAG membership and what the Screen Actors Guild is all about. Those interested in show business can learn more about how the industry works.
Friday, March 7, 2014
By Vanessa Sliva @vanessasliva
Authors from different professions are coming to SXSW Interactive to share their latest novels, covering topics from film creation to a take-over of technology. This year, SXSW Interactive has chosen 120 authors to debut their books from March 9-15. Authors will read excerpts from their books, and following each presentation, the authors will also sign books for about 20 minutes. Dean Silvers, a filmmaker, actor and producer, is the author of “Secrets of Breaking into the Film and TV Business.” The book talks about how the film industry has
opened up to aspiring filmmakers because knowledge about film is easily accessible over the Internet, technology is more user-friendly and social media is reaching a larger audience. “When you look at some of the subject matter, it’s just unmatchable,” Silvers said. “[SXSW] Interaction has a whole section on technology and education and that blends in perfectly with what I’m trying to do in film. Though I make movies, I want to educate people and show them through the use of interactive technology.” The books being released during the week fall in 17 categories, including Comedy, WTF and Beyond, Content and Distribution and Health
and Business. During SXSW Interactive, key speakers will give technological and educational lectures while the authors sign books, which Silver says will complement the education principle his book advocates. “I really want to inspire people — not just filmmakers, but anyone,” Silvers said. “As an author and as a filmmaker, after doing this for 20 years, hopefully I can inspire people.” Adam Braun, founder of the Promise of a Pencil foundation, is the author of “The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change.” The book follows Braun’s journey from being a college kid with an idea and $25 to being a keynote speaker who has established international education programs around the world. “I found I had learned a lot of lessons,” Braun said. “A lot of the lessons weren’t for people with power or fame,
they were for the college student who didn’t have a lot of money and had a big idea. I wanted to write a book that gave someone the blueprint to turn their idea or passion into a full-time movement, business or organization.” Byron Reese, the founder of six online startup businesses, is the author of “Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War.” His book predicts the future of technology and details the methods that can be taken to solve issues that plague society. “I like the energy. [SXSW is] an invigorating kind of place,” Reese said. “You meet people, and you talk to them and you get to see what the other interesting people are doing. Usually I talk to a dozen people who have read my stuff and it’s really fun.” The SXSW Interactive
Byron Reese is an author of Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War and is one of the author’s visiting the SXBookstore at this year’s festival.
Photo courtesy of Damon Leo
book excerpt readings and signings will take place at the SX Bookstore in the Austin Convention Center, which will be open from March 9 to 15.
“It gives a personal touch to give a small meaningful note to an individual who would like to read it,” Braun said. “It’s the fabric of an experience.”
Rust Cohle The first time I came to Austin, I was working undercover. It was here that I discovered time is a flat circle. I think some of you Daily Texan readers might enjoy some of my recommendations for this year’s SXSW. Take heed. I might be dead in the next few days — Sunday at 8 p.m. Central.
When I first heard SXSW was in Texas, I was like, “gross.” I don’t want to be walking around in these brand new Manolo Blahniks stepping in cow shit, do I? But when Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar for playing that drug dealer, I totally started reconsidering. The state might have something to offer besides oil and obesity. When I remembered “Varsity Blues” is my favorite movie, I thought I’d give the Lone Star State a chance. So all you betches who read The Daily Texan, here are my recommendations!!!!
I’m a Texas boy so I have to recommend Billy Joe Shaver. Be there when he sings “Live Forever.” Remember that death is only the beginning, so — rejoice.
Flux Pavilion. I totally saw him once and he invited me backstage to hang out — OMG perv, nothing happened. Go see his show and tell him I said hey! But don’t if you’re fugly. Seriously, don’t. 2 Chainz. Gretchen Wieners had him at her Bat Mitzvah and he was totes awesome. Her dad, the inventor of toaster strudel, got pissed at him for getting stoned in the butler’s pantry, but whatevs they’re like, famous. And you can REALLY twerk to “I’m Different.”
Like all of them, duh!
Friday, March 7, 2014
SXSW according to Regina and Rust By Jack Ken Illustration by Hannah Hadidi
Go see “Joe.” The description calls it “a gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption in the contemporary South.” And it stars Nicholas Cage, Generation X’s Humphrey Bogart. What more could you ask for? Also check out “Faults.” It deals with a man hired to kidnap a couple’s brainwashed daughter from a cult. I have extensive experience with daughters, brainwashing and cults, so this one is a no-brainer. Bring a case of Lonestar and your foot-long moleskin.
Y’all have to see the Edward Snowden live stream. As a fellow conspiracy buster, I can say that all you biological puppets will have a good time listening to him talk. He’s a good guy to sit down and have a beer with and maybe swap damning evidence and talk about futility.
Friday, March 7, 2014
A guide to free stuff at SXSW By Courtney Runn @courtney_t_runn
Don’t let money stop you from going to SXSW this year. The free, public events offer a taste of all aspects of the festival. From gaming to DIY, there’s an event for everyone to enjoy. The Daily Texan compiled a list of some of the free highlights of the festival. Friday, March 7 Starting Friday, experience SXSW Create, a
chance to do hands-on projects and learn more about the DIY world. This event is available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. SXSW Gaming is also open to the public throughout the weekend. From actually playing games to networking and learning about innovation in the field, all gamers are welcome. Latinos in Tech will discuss the impact Latinos have had on the field of technology and their crucial voice in the years
to come. Saturday, March 8 For the first time, SXSW will host Gaming Awards, an event honoring the top gamers and creators in the industry. SXSW Eco Light Garden will also be available. This light show connects art, geometry and urban structure and is open to the public Saturday and Sunday. Thursday, March 13 Through Saturday, the Renegade Craft Fair will
feature more than 180 crafters and offer music and food. The fair is open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. to the public. Flatstock 46 will also be available every day until Saturday. The event showcases top gig poster artists, displaying famous concert posters and allowing the public to meet the artists. Music Gear Expo will be a haven for music tech lovers with gadgets from amps to apps. This event will be available through Saturday as well.
FILM GUIDE continues from page 22 Among the Living (90 min) Monday, March 10, 11:59 p.m. at Stateside French horror flicks have a touch for the truly demented, and works such as “Martyrs” and “Inside” have tested the resolve of the most seasoned horror fans. The directors of the latter film, Julien Maury and
Alexandre Bustillo, will b ring that horrific sensibility to “Among the Living,” a coming-of-age story about three teens who see a man in a clown mask committing horrible crimes in a field one day. That concept combined with the directors’ grisly track record is essentially a guarantee for visceral nightmare fuel.
STARTUPS continues from page 16 his company came one day when he was waiting for a bus next to a rack filled with bikes. He wondered why he couldn’t just take a bike from the rack and ride it home. With Spokefly, finding, renting and riding a bike is made easy. “You use Spokefly by reserving a bike on
our mobile app and website and then unlocking the lock on the bike using the combination we show you. You can ride the bike wherever you want, so no fixed endpoints. You lock the bike up wherever you want and check it in with your smartphone’s GPS.” McGuire said.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Film buff guide to the SXSW schedule By Alex Williams @alexwilliamsdt
While the headliners are the most anticipated films at SXSW, many of the best surprises out of the festival are under the radar. Some have already played the Sundance Film Festival, and others are having their world premieres at SXSW. The Daily Texan sifted through the festival’s extensive lineup and came up with a few films that demand a spot in the schedule. NOTE: Some films may also have additional screenings at Satellite venues – check the SXSW film schedule for those times. Premature (93 minutes) Friday, March 7, 8:45 p.m. at Alamo Ritz 1 Every SXSW has at least one excellent coming-of-age story, and among this year’s most promising films is “Premature,” a “Groundhog Day” riff which throws a high school senior into a time loop on the day he struggles to get into college and lose his virginity to the girl next door. The premise is a smart mashup of two classic scenarios, and the film, which co-stars “Firefly”’s Alan Tudyk, is intriguingly included in the Visions program of the festival, which features eclectic narrative and documentary films from innovative directors. Vessel (88 min) Sunday, March 9, 11 a.m., at Stateside There are also tons of great documentaries to check out at this year’s festival, and “Vessel” is easily the most interesting in a lineup that includes “Doc of the Dead,” an oral history of zombie films, and other documentaries. “Vessel” follows Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, who escapes restrictive foreign
abortion laws by performing procedures on a boat that sails from country to country. It’s a controversial concept, and hopefully will serve as an interesting, thoughtful conversation starter. Hellion (98 min) Sunday, March 9, 2:15 p.m. at ZACH Radio-television-film professor Kat Candler directed this atmospheric snapshot of a family imploding in the port cities of Southeast Texas. “Hellion” stars newcomer Josh Wiggins as Jacob, a teen whose criminal antics in the wake of his mother’s death cause his father (“Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul) to lose custody of his younger brother (Deke Garner). Candler’s coming-ofage story is set to an energetic heavy metal soundtrack, with Wiggins and Paul both giving authentic, touching performances. A Wolf at the Door (100 min) Monday, March 10, 4:15 p.m. at Alamo Ritz 2 Based on true events, this feature debut from Brazilian screenwriter-director Fernando Coimbra about two parents whose child is kidnapped promises to be a harrowing, messy ride. “A Wolf at the Door” will hopefully be a memorable declaration of voice like 2002’s “City of God,” another riveting crime drama set in Rio de Janeiro that led to an Oscar nomination for its director. The Guest (99 min) Saturday, March 8, 11:59 p.m. at Marchesa Director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett are one of the most exciting teams working in horror right now. Last year, the pair’s wildly entertaining “You’re Next” hit theaters along-
Photo courtesy of Brigade Marketing
Josh Wiggins makes his feature debut in UT professor and videographer Kat Candler’s “Hellion.”
side the second installment of the “V/H/S” franchise, which had segments from both Barrett and Wingard. “The Guest” received wildly enthusiastic reviews out of Sundance, which praised the tale of a soldier (“Downton Abbey’s” Dan Stevens) who visits the family of a friend who was killed in action and brings more violence with him as a surprising but welcome departure for the team. The cast is rounded out by Lance Reddick (who also appears in “Faults” at this year’s festival), Leland Orser and frequent Wingard collaborator A.J. Bowen. Stage Fright (88 min) Monday, March 10, 11:45 p.m. at Alamo Ritz 1 One of the most promising films playing at SXSW
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton play vampires struggling with the perils of immortality in Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive.”
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
this year is the feature debut from Jerome Sabler. Sabler directed one of the all-time great horror shorts, “The Legend of Beaver Dam,” a musical slasher film that blended rocking original music with familiar but
cleverly deployed horror tropes. “Stage Fright” is in the same wheelhouse, taking place at a theater camp whose patrons are picked off one-by-one, while presumably singing and dancing. If that wasn’t
exciting enough, the film co-stars Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver, and is easily one of the can’t miss additions to this year’s slate of midnight movies.
FILM GUIDE page 21
Friday, March 7, 2014
films not to be missed By Colin McLaughlin @Colin_Mc92
For film lovers, SXSW is like an all-you-caneat buffet. There are 133 films of all types will be playing at various locations around Austin. The Daily Texan created mini preview of some of the bigger-profile screenings to watch. Boyhood (164 minutes) Sunday, March 9, 10:30 a.m. at Paramount Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke were in town last year to premiere “Before Midnight.” The duo has another film at this year’s festival, this time a dramatic chronicle of a family. Filmed over more than a decade from 2002 to 2013, the 164 minute long “Boyhood” looks at the challenges of raising a family and the experiences of growing up. It’s an ambitious project, but Linklater is in familiar territory here. He brought us back to the same couple over three movies spanning almost 20 years, and “Boyhood” attempts something similar — except all in one film. The Grand Budapest Hotel (99 minutes) Monday, March 10, 9 p.m. at Paramount UT alumnus Wes Anderson’s latest film will have an Austin release on
March 14, but on March 10, SXSW-goers will have a chance to catch a screening of the film and an extended Q&A with the director at the Paramount. Anderson has compiled one of his most impressive casts to date, including Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan and Tilda Swinton. Ralph Fiennes stars as Gustav H, the concierge of a famous hotel in Europe between the two World Wars who is unwittingly caught in a battle for a priceless heirloom. In true Anderson style, it all looks gorgeous. For fans of the eccentric director, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” should not be missed. Joe (117 minutes) Sunday, March 9, 2:45 p.m. at Paramount David Gordon Green’s new film stars Nicolas Cage as Joe, an ex-con who forms an unlikely bond with a local kid (Tye Sheridan). Similar to last year’s “Mud” (which also featured Sheridan and played at SXSW), “Joe” is a violent, Southern-fried coming-of-age story with impressive performances from both of its stars. Only Lovers Left Alive (123 minutes) Saturday, March 8, 6:15 p.m. at Stateside Jim Jarmusch’s film, starring Tom Hiddelston
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Rama (Iko Uwais) slices and dices his way through an entire city of gangsters in Gareth Evans’ hotly anticipated “The Raid 2.”
and Tilda Swinton, is a vampire story that examines how immortality can affect an emotional bond. Though the supernatural couple has repeatedly reunited over the years, their bond is truly tested with the collapse of modern society. The film co-stars Mia Wasikowska and Anton Yelchin and was raved about at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Raid 2 (148 minutes) Sunday, March 9, 9:15 p.m. at Paramount Two years ago, Gareth Evans’ insane marital-arts flick “The Raid: Redemption” had the SXSW audience cheering in its seats. This year, the director reunites with star Iko Uwais for another Jakarta-set crime story. This time around, Rama goes undercover to take down the syndicate that has targeted his family.
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Friday, March 7, 2014
Alumnus debuts new film at SXSW UT alumnus Matt Muir’s new film “Thank You a Lot” will premier at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Muir, who is premiering his second film at SXSW, collaborated with many of his former MFA Film and Media Production classmates in order to make “Thank You a Lot.”
Alumni Spotlight By Lee Henry @LeezusHenry
UT alumnus Matt Muir’s new film “Thank You a Lot,” is a fun, winsome example of the collaborative relationships formed in the school’s Master of Fine Arts program. The film follows Jack (Blake DeLong), an unsuccessful music promoter, through the Austin music scene as he struggles to sign his estranged father to a recording contract. As he attempts to convince his father to return to the studio, he confronts long-standing issues he has with his family and himself about his
Michelle Toussaint Daily Texan Staff
MUIR page 27
John Fiege premieres East Texas focused documentary By Carmen Rising @carmen_rising
In an effort to raise awareness about how oil production affects the environment, filmmaker John Fiege headed to East Texas to document several locals who are trying to stop the building of a major oil pipeline. Fiege, a UT alumnus and documentary filmmaker whose film, “Above All Else,” premieres at SXSW on March 10. The film follows David Daniel, a man from East Texas who is trying to stop the oil company Keystone XL from building oil
pipelines across his land. Daniel gathers environmental activists from around Texas to help protest the pipeline and raise awareness about the affects of tar sands and the pipeline on the environment. As a passionate environmental and social justice advocate, Fiege wanted to capture Daniel’s story and shed light on the consequences of the Keystone XL pipeline on the environment. The Daily Texan spoke with Fiege about his interest in the environment and being a radio-television-film Master of Fine Arts candidate at UT.
The Daily Texan: How did you become interested in environmental issues? John Fiege: All through college and graduate school, I studied environment studies and history. My interest in that goes back to when I was in junior high and I went to some islands called Assateague and the Chincoteague islands and learned about the stuff that Rachel Carson talks about her in book about chemicals polluting the environment. So that was my first experience and it sparked my interest in environmental issues and I’ve
pursued it ever since. DT: What sparked your interest in the oil industry in particular? JF: It’s a long process, but it started four and a half years ago when I got cancer. I didn’t know if I was going to live for very long and I started planning a film and I thought it might be my last. I wanted to do something about how the oil industry impacts our culture. The cancer I had wasn’t genetic, it was something environmental, so everything kind of came together in my life, I wanted to figure out a way to deal with oil in our
culture and economy. I didn’t know where to tell that story. But soon after that I went to Louisiana to film the BP oil spill, and my cancer came back. So around that time I heard about Keystone and the protest in Washington, D.C. People were out on the streets protesting before the project was even approved to prevent something like the BP oil spill, and I realized that’s where the story is — how you fight back and change things. DT: What do you think the biggest takeaway from the film is, especially in
regards to environmental issues? JF: I think that what the film is really about is how, when we’re dealing with environmental issues, there’s a very important personal side of that fight. That’s what we’re really trying to show, the intimate, personal struggle of taking on such huge issues. It’s a different story than what’s often seen in the media about environmental issues. We’re really trying to go beyond those simple dichotomies around environmental issues and really tackle the intimate
FIEGE page 27
Friday, March 7, 2014
Steve Mims premieres ‘Arlo and Julie’ Alumni Spotlight By Alex Pelham @Talkingofpelham
Radio-television-film lecturer Steve Mims’ film “Arlo and Julie” will premiere during SXSW on March 10 at the ZACH Theatre. The film revolves around a couple who become involved in a mystery as they receive letters containing puzzle pieces. As the puzzle starts taking over their lives, the two begin to question their commitment to each other and ponder the
identity of the sender. “I had the idea with people being obsessed with puzzles for a while,” Mims said. “I built the story around [lead actor Alex Dobrenko].” Mims first learned about UT’s film courses when he visited Austin for a film festival and explored the program. He graduated with a Master of Arts in radio-television-film in 1987. The film was produced in an Introduction to Narrative Direction course that Mims teaches. His students worked on the set as camera and lighting operators, grips and production assistants. “I pitched the idea as a way to get my better students the opportunity to work on a film,” Mims said. “I can’t say enough about what a great
job they did.” “Arlo and Julie” was filmed in various places in Austin, including the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center on campus. The film includes some of Mims’ personal touches, including his fondness for jazz music and his interest in historical figures, particularly Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant. According to Mims, he wrote these quirky subjects into the film to make the story richer. Mims said that he and the producers are looking into finding a distributor, although there are no definite plans. “I wanted to premiere at SXSW because it’s a great festival and really important,” Mims said. “We’re thrilled to have ‘Arlo and Julie’ among the other films that they’re showing.”
Photo courtesy of Steve Mims
Ashley Spillers and Alex Dobrenko star in Steve Mims’ film “Arlo and Julia.”
@thedailytexan Follow us for news, updates and more.
Photo courtesy of Jorge Corona.
UT alum Steve Mims is an Austin-based filmmaker. His film, “Arlo and Julie,” is screening at this year’s SXSW.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
MUIR continues from page 24
UT alumus John Fiege’s documentary follows the journey of Daniel, a man who protests an oil pipeline being built on his East Texas land.
Photo courtesy of Keegan Curry
continues from page 24 issues of what it’s involved in trying go change things. DT: What was your experience as a film student at UT like? JF: It was a really great program for me. It really gave me a lot of freedom to explore film and storytelling. I was able to
make a documentary for my senior film, which became a feature film. It was a great opportunity and great experience it really laid the ground for everything I’ve done. DT: Why did you want to bring your film to SXSW, and what was it like having your film admitted? JF: We’re very excited to
be at SXSW. We were trying to have the film finished in time for SXSW. So, it was the earliest festival we could have played in, and it makes so much sense to play here. I’m from Austin and I think we’re going to get an enthusiastic crowd. And SXSW has become such a prominent festival and we’re very excited to be premiering here.
failings as a manager. Muir’s first film is an entertaining exploration of a man scrambling to stay ahead of rapidly deteriorating circumstances. Muir pulled double duty as director and screenwriter, but he also enlisted some of his peers from the UT MFA Film and Media Production program to work on the film. “I had a really good group of classmates that I was in there with,” Muir said. “We started great relationships there and continue them to this day with our professional experiences.” Production Designer Caroline Karlen studied alongside Muir at UT and introduced him to his producing partner Chris Ohlson. Both worked with him on “Thank You a Lot.” “I graduated from the
MFA program in 2005,” Muir said. “It was a great way to engage with an incredible group of creative people who are always kind of making stuff constantly and working on each other’s projects.” This is Muir’s second submission to SXSW. His short film “Sons of the Rodeo” screened at SXSW in 2005. “Thank You a Lot” is akin to Robert Altman’s “Nashville,” an influence Muir identified. Music is a driving force in these characters’ lives, but in a way that feels measured and nuanced rather than saccharine. Jack’s life revolves around music, but it is his relation to the musicians in the movie that matters. Muir wrote Jack’s role with DeLong, a friend and frequent collaborator, in mind.
THANK YOU A LOT When: Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. Where: ZACH Theatre Credentials: Platinum badge, gold badge, music badge, music wristband
DeLong’s charming dopeyness, which is visible when he swings his body across a bar or slouches into a board meeting, makes his character more relatable. Veteran actor Sonny Carl Davis delivers a lived-in, remarkable performance as Frank, Jack’s father’s manager and oldest friend, and actress Babs George exudes Susan Sarandon levels of calm and subtlety in her few scenes. “Thank You a Lot” is an engaging portrait of family and failed ambition and an effective first feature from Muir.
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