This amazing festival brings together actors, writers, directors, producers, music supervisors, studio executives and fans to talk about the past, present and future of television and it is all happening right here in Austin, Texas! From June 4th to 7th, there will be screenings, panels, parties and live music with some of the industry’s leading professionals. These are the things which excite me the most.
1. James L. Brooks
The recipient of this year’s Achievement in Television eXcellence Award, Brooks is best known for creating The Simpsons, but also worked on The Andy Griffith Show, My Three Sons, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, and so many more influential shows. He is participating in a conversation with fellow TV creator & friend Phil Rosenthal, as well as a panel on the evolution and history of The Simpsons.
2. The Whedonverse
Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods, Much Ado About Nothing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Danny Strong (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Sean Gunn (Angel), Joseph Sikora (Dollhouse) and Jesse Garcia (The Avengers). My Joss-Whedon-loving heart cannot handle the excitement!
3. From Dusk Till Dawn
I only just recently watched this show in preparation for the festival and it is fantastic! The first season follows the Gecko Brothers to Mexico after a bank heist. They are pursued by a Texas Ranger and make a dangerous stop at a strip club that is run by vampires. It is filmed right here in Austin and we are premiering the first episode of season 2. Most of the cast will be here for a Q&A following the screening.
A lot of attention is paid to the screenings, but there are also a ton of great panels going on throughout the weekend: CBS Summer Writer’s Forum, Turn Down for What?! A Look at Testing + Focus Groups, The Devoted Niche vs. The Casual Mass: Is It Really All In the Numbers?, Boy Meets Girl Meets World, A Kiss Is Just a Kiss presented by GLAAD, and SO MANY MORE! I do not actually get to see any of these live, but luckily they will all be on YouTube for those of you that cannot make it to Texas. Here is one from Season Three with Faking It creator Carter Covington and actor Michael Willett, moderated by ATX Ambassador Wilson Cruz:
5. Friday Night Lights Outdoor Screening
As usual, Hotel San Jose is our meeting spot for a night of tailgate activities, music from Delta Spirit (as well as a few special guests), FNL cast members, and one great episode of television!
We are blessed every year with some amazing sponsors that provide for us all weekend. This year’s include (but are not limited to): USA Network, Southwest Airlines, Google Fiber, Adult Swim, Starz, Hasbro Studios, FX Networks, Shiner Beers, Bulleit, Ciroc, Fox, Kind Snacks, HBO, Entertainment Weekly and GLAAD.
7. Kristian Bruun
This season of Orphan Black has been FANTASTIC and I have some questions for Mr. Alison Hendrix about this:
8. Gilmore Girls
Stars Hollow is coming to Austin! Lorelai, Rory, Emily, Luke, Dean, Logan, Jess, Lane, Paris, Miss Patty, Kirk, Michel, Jackson, Zack, Brian, Doyle, and their creators Amy Sherman Palladino and Daniel Palladino will all be here to reminisce!