Fantastic Fest

Monday, November 12, 2007

My 2007 FANTASTIC FEST TRIP - Maurice Devereaux

By Maurice Devereaux (writer/director END OF THE LINE)
September 28th, 2007.

Now I was really happy when my film END OF THE LINE was chosen to be part of FANTASTIC FEST in Austin Texas. It was one of the rare festivals I actually paid the entry fee to enter (for all the others, my film was invited) as I felt it was important to try to be part of this fast growing, and happening event. And because I had heard nothing but praise from anyone who had gone to the fest and the legendary status of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema itself.

Not to mention the potential of many journalists that would cover the film (including, of course, the Ain't it cool gang).

I arrived for opening night, with the premiere of George Romero's Diary of the Dead with the man himself in person! Now I am a huge Romero fan, I have seen all his films (even There's always Vanilla) and his work, as been a huge influence on me and especially END OF THE LINE. So after the film, in true FAN BOY mode, I shook his hand, told him he was one of my heroes...He nicely told me "You have to be your own hero" and I agreed, as I always sought to forge my own "voice" as writer/director of all my films...

I have to say this is the most FUN I have had at any of festivals I've been to...I and the many other guests, were treated like kings! Free food, daily activities, including: eating a ton of delicious BBQ meat with our HANDS at the oldest BBQ place in Austin, a delicious lunch at Festival honcho's (and all around cool guy) Tim League's house, shooting Shotguns on a range and visiting Roberto Rodriguez' TROUBLEMAKER STUDIOS, which is HUGE...I left feeling very impressed (and very puny), we didn't get to meet the MAIN MAN himself (busy prepping for the BARBERELLA shoot), but we were given many gifts (A BONE SHACK T-Shirt, and pencil mug from Grindhouse, and a new music CD from Robert’s band).

Now in between seeing films and eating tons of food, it was a blast meeting and hanging out with the other guests...My good friend and fellow Montrealer Karim Hussain (Beautiful Beast), Ryan Shifrin and Theresa Eastman (ABONIMABLE, KING IN A BOX), Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2), Richard Gale (Criticized), Damon Vignale (The Entrance), Rod Gudino (Demonology of Desire), Ryan Thiessen, Greg Swinson and Sandra Paduch (Five across the Eyes), Phil Mucci (Far out), Adam Green (Hatchet) Nacho Vigalondo (Time crimes) the crazy BRIT PACK Harvey Fenton (FAB Press)Ian Rattray, Paul Mcevey and Joahana (FrightFest) and the many journalists Chris Cargill (AICN) Scott Weinberg (Cinematical) Matthew Kiernan (Fangoria) and Michele Williams (Austin Movie Show), just talking films, talking shop, exchanging war stories, made for a fun and productive few days...

Of course the staff of the festival were super cool too, Tim, Devon, Thomas, Dillinger, Jasmine and all those I'm forgetting...

During the shotgun outing I had mentioned to Tim League that it might be fun to do some KARAOKE after the FANTASTIC FEUD TRIVIA GAME that night, well Tim gets on the phone and WHAM!!! That same night it was organized...This man is amazing!

As for the screenings of my film, I was really nervous because Harry Knowles was there, it was quite surreal...But the crowds really seemed to enjoy the film and the kind comments I got and good reviews, just made me want to rush out of the theatre, grab a plane back and GET TO WORK ON ANOTHER FILM as soon as possible...It is very addictive to get that kind of feedback, attention and yes...Love.

Also Tim League chose my film as the first ever screening in the still unfinished NEW ALAMO THEATRE. The private screening for guests and journalist went over well I was told (I was doing the Q&A for my screening at another theatre at the same time)

And finally, also on my last night was THE PARTY...Now I'm sure you've read a lot about the FANTASTIC FEUD TRIVIA GAME and the KARAOKE PARTY after, let me tell you this...Everything you will hear about that party is true...

Now the TRIVIA GAME was a hoot, Kudos for master of ceremony, Scott Weinberg, who was hilarious!

I fucked up on a few trivia questions, but held my own (I could not believe I was the only one who knew that Ed Harris played in Knightriders)

Then the KARAOKE, well that was just insane...Hasko Baumann (Moebius Redux) and I went for a LOVE BOAT duet. Nacho Vigalondo (Time Crimes) brought down the house with his many inspired antics on stage, this man is multi-talented, not only was he a great SHOT at the range, now he was a crazy entertainer...There was nothing he could not do...Tim League was also quite a hoot, Richard Gale was actually a good singer...

After the Karaoke at around 5AM, two super cool and very beautiful girls (Martha and Claire) invited me and a few others to continue the party at their place...Could this evening get any better?!!!

Unfortunately before anything memorable could happen, I had to leave to catch my flight back home at 10am...Damn! I want a rain check to continue that party some other time...

And just minutes ago, I found out I WON the Special Jury Prize For innovative Vision...UBER COOL!!! Now that is just icing on the cake! Now I really have to get cracking on a new project to live this all again...
Stay scary!
Maurice Devereaux


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