Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Victory! We Have Victory!

No, we didn’t stave off 10,000 of Saruman’s fighting Uruk-hai at Helm’s Deep. We merely won the Third Annual Pitch Competition at the Austin Film Festival. We being Thomas Crymes (far left), my writing partner on American Jedi, and little ol’ me.

Which reminds me. The funny thing about the festival is that I almost didn’t exist. For weeks prior I had been receiving confirmation e-mails from the festival coordinators assuring "Thomas Crymes" that he had a spot reserved. I was happy for Thomas but not a little concerned that I would be spending over a thousand dollars to travel to a foreign country only to be turned away at the door because my papers weren’t in order. And since one goal of attending the festival was to become somewhat less of a non-entity to the film industry, well, this was a little vexing.

When we arrived at the Driskill I went through the process of proving my identity and managed to have a conference badge produced on the spot. The festival coordinators even threw in passes to that night’s Food and Film event. We were hungry and the food was good. Pretty cool.

So we’re at the first round of the pitch competition and it’s our turn to go. Thomas is called, I join him on the stage, we pitch, folks laugh, the judges advance us to the final round, and we make sure that my name is registered for the finals later that evening.


The Finals. Cuba Libre, downtown Austin. (Strangely, it’s right next door to the Alamo Draft House, which we’d written into the script.) We’d been waiting the whole day for this and I wanted to get to the fun stuff, like imbibing. The festival wrap a couple hours before seemed a cruel joke, since I’m a very spotty drinker and wanted to be sharp for the performance.

“Next up . . . Thomas Crymes.”

Okay, I get it. I’m not really here. This is all a dream. We had thought the whole two-person team concept was down, but maybe not. Thomas and I wend our way to the stage and I give my name.


There is only one mike, and it's not like we've done this before. I briefly entertain the idea of crooning a duet but reason returns in a flash. I hold the mike, Thomas leans in. We give our pitch, the crowd goes nuts, the judges try to stop laughing . . . and I promptly have a Guinness. We wait for the rest of the contestants to do their thing. A strange balance between trying not to wish ill fortune upon our fellow competitors (I’m better than that, aren’t I?) and yet holding myself open to the possibility of a royal fuckup (maybe not).

And we wait. And finally the emcee takes the mike.

“And our winner is . . . Thomas Crymes.”

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Blogger Brett said...

Very weird.

You were at Cuba Libre? What night was that-- Thursday? I was there. I have vague memories of Thomas, but none of you from there.

Curiously, memories of my totally vavoo waitress stand much more clear, but that's another tale for another blog.

I do recall meeting you Sunday 'round breakfast time, but since I was (ahem) "in a dark place" that day, I've been powerwashing memories of that entire morning like freshly-painted grafitti.

And what the hell is the Minnesota Men's Conference? For some reason that conjures images on a live-action RED GREEN SHOW in a auditorium setting.

And I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that.

11:32 AM  

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