Welcome to the first edition of Learn from a Local! Guest writer Joe Marshall talks to Austin film folks, on a mission to extract valuable intel on local tips and tricks, and how to get the best out of your SXSW experience.
Kat Candler (pictured) is a seasoned filmmaker and festival veteran whose work routinely wins showings at Sundance, Slamdance, the Los Angeles Film Festival and - of course - here. Writer and director of Black Metal (screening at SXSW 2013) , she teaches film at the University of Texas in between developing new features like the forthcoming Nikki is a Punk Rocker and Hellion (two films that make compelling cases for punk-rocking and hell-raising, respectively). Running around town shooting Black Metal seems to have taught her a thing or two about Austin cuisine. The key? Breakfast tacos.
What SXSW will this be for you?
- Oh gosh, I've been going to SXSW as a filmmaker and movie lover for quite some time now. Years, we'll say. Many, many years.
What's a simple mistake first-timers at the festival often make - or that you've made in the past?
- I'm a freak about getting to the theater way early. I can't sit in the front row so I always make sure to arrive with plenty of time to spare. Some of the venues are much smaller than others. The Violet Crown is a prime example. They're tiny and fill up quick.
- Breakfast tacos! I'm a sucker for all things breakfast tacos. I feel like Jarod Neece (SXSW Programmer) is the king of all taco knowledge. I'm a sucker for Torchy's Fried Avocado taco. It's addicting. If you can find an East Side King trailer around town, that's stuff's amazing. I dream about their food.
- Fringe benefits …getting to show your movie at SXSW? I think that in and of itself is like striking gold. This is an amazing film festival that breeds innovative filmmakers and being a part of that community is pretty special. The real benefit is getting to know all of the other filmmakers.
And nope, no diamond badges. If you have a film in the festival, your badge is as significant or insignificant as everyone else's badge. I don't know about any “golden ticket”-type badges.
Because I live here, I've got a car. I save up cash to park in those lots that last all day long. Otherwise, you're high tailing it to the meters every few hours. I feel like if you give yourself enough time, walking from the Convention Center to the Topfer theater is a pretty walk. As long as it's not freezing cold or scolding hot or raining buckets like last year.
And if you live here, I like to hit up the Alamo Village and Slaughter once the music hits. I'm a sucker for good parking.
The greenbelt is a nice place to escape to. It's a sweet little hike. If you're up for a road trip, pretty much any little tiny town in Texas is fun. I guess some of the default places would be South Congress or the UT campus, the Hike and Bike Trail around town lake.
I just plan on sitting in dark movie theaters all day every day.