Friday, June 22, 2012

"No one's killin' any folk today, on account o' we got a very tight schedule."

After three straight days of "all ATX Festival all the time," I needed a few days to recuperate and process my weekend. A few days turned into a few weeks and I am sorry that I am just now getting around to posting about my experience. I went through a bit of withdrawl the week following the festival, but it seemed as if others who attended had the same reaction (and are still craving queso and bbq three weeks later). The overall consensus is that everyone had the BEST. WEEKEND. EVER!

The festival kicked off Friday night, June 1 at the State Theater with a red carpet and screenings of USA Network's Suits season finale and Royal Pains season premiere. After the screening, Robyn Ross from TVGuide moderated a great Q&A with Suits Executive Producer David Bartis, Royal Pains Executive Producers Michael Rauch and Andrew Lenchewski and actress Reshma Shetty. The Opening Night After Party was held at the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental and included amazing performances by Landon Pigg, Mae Whitman and Alpha Rev with a special guest performance by Jason Ritter. I also got a chance to hang out with Ken Marino and a few of the guys from Children's Hospital as well as Robert Maschio and Neil Flynn from Scrubs.

Saturday morning, after getting about three and a half hours of sleep the night before, I headed back to the Stephen F. Austin where all of the panels were being held. My job for the weekend was to make sure that all the panelists showed up and made it to the correct room at the correct time, which basically means I was running around like a crazy person starting at 9:30 a.m. until the panels were over at 4:00 p.m. trying to track people down. (I may forever be referred to as "the girl in the green dress.") However, it also means that I got to talk to all of the panelists that were there! Everyone was extremely nice and very easy to approach. Saturday's panels were: TV Fantasy Goes Mainsteam, The Creators, Friday Night Lights Revisited, Women on Television, TBS very funny, Book to TV Series, One Tree Hill Says Goodbye, a Love Monkey Retrospective and The Stages of a Television Writing Career.

There were also screenings and Q&As going on at the Alamo Drafthouse and State Theater throughout the day, but if it did not happen at SFA, it was not on my radar.

After an Industry Reception at Austin Studios on Saturday Night, everyone headed over to the Hotel San Jose for the Friday Night Lights Outdoor Screening. Before the sun went down, there were musical performances by cast members Dora Madison Burge, Alicia Witt and Jesse Plemons. This event was free and open to the public and everyone was encouraged to bring their lawn chairs. Once it was dark enough, the crowd got a chance to see the premiere of the new Explosions In The Sky music video and then the cast of Friday Night Lights introduced the screening of the series finale episode. Following the screening, we headed back to the Stephen F. Austin for the Children's Hospital Marathon After Party. Although, I did not stay very long for this because I was so tired from the day that I almost fell asleep halfway through my Tito's Vodka Texas Sipper :o)