If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I watch a lot of television. However, my obsession did not really start until college. I watched a lot of TV in high school, but never really paid much attention to specific actors or directors. While it mostly started out as a way to avoid studying for my college courses, it eventually turned into something more than that. Once you start watching a lot of television, you quickly learn to decipher between good shows and bad shows. That is not to say that many bad shows cannot be entertaining, but you begin to recognize the different calibers and styles of acting/writing/directing/etc.
I eventually became the person that all my friends turned to when they wanted to know about new shows or when they recognized a guest star on Grey's Anatomy and could not figure out what else they had seen that actor on. There are more of us TV nerds out there than you probably realize and now we have some place to celebrate that, just like all you movie and music lovers :o)
This weekend I have the esteemed pleasure of volunteering for the first annual ATX Television Festival here in Austin. Beginning tomorrow night, June 1, and running through Sunday, June 3, this festival will bring together actors, writers, directors, producers, music supervisors, studio executives and fans to talk about the past, present and future of television. Operating similarly to a film festival, there will be screenings, panels, parties and live music with some of the industry's leading professionals.
To kick things off on opening night, ATX is screening the season premiere of USA Network's Royal Pains along with an episode from the first season of Suits. Also in attendance will be the executive producers from both shows, David Bartis and Michael Rauch, and Royal Pains cast member, Judy Greer. A few other shows screening this weekend are: Life Unexpected, Parenthood, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Firefly, Criminal Minds, a few Web series and even some Hasbro cartoons.
The panels throughout the weekend include Women in Television, TV Fantasy Goes Mainstream, a Love Monkey Retrospective, Music in Television and a final goodbye to One Tree Hill. There will be a discussion between Bill Lawrence (creator of Spin City, Scrubs and Cougar Town) and a few of his friends about what it has been like to work together over the years. Jason Katims will also reflect on his career, which started on My So-Called Life and also includes Boston Public, Roswell, Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. Moderators for these panels and screenings include Meg Masters from TVLine, Robyn Ross from TV Guide and Ben Blacker from Nerdist.
And if all that was not enough to make your head explode with excitement, the Alamo Drafthouse is hosting The Ultimate Children's Hospital Marathon on Saturday afternoon. Cast members Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Erinn Hayes and Executive Producers David Wain and Jonathan Stern will all be in attendance.
However, the event that I am probably most looking forward to is the Friday Night Lights Outdoor Screening taking place on Saturday night at the Hotel San Jose. It is open to the public and includes a screening of the Pilot and Finale episodes and will showcase music from cast members Alicia Witt, Dora Madison Burge and Jesse Plemons. A few of the other cast members who will also be on hand for the event are Scott Porter, Gaius Charles, Michael B. Jordan, Matt Lauria and Louanne Stephens. It should be tons of fun and I cannot wait!
This weekend, there is really something for everyone and if you are not in Austin you are definitely missing out on what is sure to be a FABulous time.
Like I said, I am working for the festival Friday through Sunday, but I will try my best to update Facebook and Twitter with behind-the-scenes info and pictures. And if I manage to meet Kristen Bell, it has been nice knowing you all because, I will probably die of excitement :o)
For more ATX Festival information:
For Children's Hospital Marathon information: http://drafthouse.com/movies/the_ultimate_childrens_hospital_marathon/austin