My first week in Austin I found myself among a group of Austinite hipstirs. I wasn’t sure that I fit in their group, but for the night I was down for a little company, someone to chat with as apposed to simply sitting, starting off into space. They asked me about myself, and why I came to Austin, so on and so forth. I mentioned film. And one of the girls told me I would be smart to check out this thing called Fantastic Fest (http://fantasticfest.com/). So I did.
I was quick to send out an email and offer myself as a volunteer. After having worked as a volunteer at other fests I knew that usually a free pass is involved. It officially starts today, but I was scheduled yesterday to help hand out badges. I already know that I can’t wait to actually go to this thing. Everyone, as far as I can tell is so amazingly friendly and I am certain that the films in the festival will be just as the name suggests, Fantastic.
I worked in film for a bit in North Carolina, and eventually I realized that it stopped being fun. So I sort of walked away. And I wasn’t sure that I’d ever really get back into it. I mean it’s so exhausting. And maybe this was just a dream I needed to put out to pasture.
Two weekends ago though, I stepped on a set (and independent one but still…) and I couldn’t help but smile. I hated that I’d spent the last year hiding from something so great. I’d doubted film and all it could be. But just being around it again, I couldn’t help but smile and be surprised by how amazingly natural and good it felt. Why would I deny myself something that feels this good. It’s like I’d been seeing dull shades of color and suddenly everything is alive and vibrant.
And this week will be no different. I get to hang out and network with film people. I get to be around that “scene” and find my way into it. I get to shake hands and socialize. I get to be around people who are crazy about film in the same way I am. All of this. Because of a festival that just happens to be fantastic.