Tim Washer. Keynote Speaker + Event Emcee


Tagged ‘sxsw‘

Vampire Bats at SXSW

Technically, they’re not vampire bats, which might be behind the inferiority complex.  But the 1.5 million bats living under the Congress Bridge in Austin can brag about being the largest urban bat colony in the world, as Reuters reports.  Be sure to add this to your list of  destinations while you’re in ATX.    Last year I had a fun visit with Scott Laningham and Turbo Todd Watson about some of our humor projects at IBM, including Art of the SaleMad Science with John Cohn and the smarter planet animation series.

The year before, David Meerman Scott and I watched the bats along the way of our aimless tour of ATX.

I hope to see you if you’re heading down this year. Ann Handley and I will record an ATX version of our new series , and I’ll tweet out when we have the session planned.   If you need help picking which events to attend, check out the Golin Harris marketer’s guide, SX Scout.

Comedy at SXSW

I presented at SXSW Interactive about the role of comedy in corporate social media, and was amazed at how productive the conference was.  I had the chance to meet with quite a few social media leaders — when possible, over BBQ — including Jeff Pulver, C.C. Chapman, Guy Kawasaki, Pam Slim, John Jantsch, Erik Qualman and David Meerman Scott. I managed to squeeze in some comedy, kicking things off with Conan O’Brien’s  documentary premier.



Rainn Wilson and director James Gunn dialed in the flight-delayed Ellen Page and put her on speaker to talk about their new dark comedy feature Super.

Super team.  Photo: Austin360
Photo: Austin360

Director Todd Phillips shared the backstory of some of his comedies like Old School and talked a bit about The Hangover Part II.

Todd Phillips.  Photo: Austin Chronicle
Photo: Austin Chronicle

Dined with Vince Thompson, comedian Matt Kirsch and the LA crew at the Salt Lick BBQ.


I wrapped up the visit with some classic Austin trailer food at Trey’s Cuisine for an amazing New York Strip burger stuffed with mac and cheeses served on a croquette.

Trey's Cuisine

Trey’s Cuisine chef Cowden Ward.

Trey's Cowden Ward

Finally, dessert at Amy’s Ice Cream with my favorite NEW YORKER cartoonist, Matt Diffee.


SXSW panel: Late Night Comedy meets Corporate Video


Our proposed panel has made it through the first round of the SXSW Interactive selections, and now we need your vote to make it to the show.  Scott Teems, SXSW Film Festival winning director for THAT EVENING SUN and I (contributor to SNL, Letterman, Conan, The Onion) will discuss a few of our corporate YouTube video hits that earned recognition from The New York Times and Comedy Central, as well as lessons learned from near “fireable offenses.”   Bestselling author David Meerman Scott (New Rules of Marketing & PR, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead) will join us.

We’d appreciate your vote for our panel (voting ends 11:59 CDT Friday, August 27.) It takes a minute to register for an account, then click here [note: the panelpicker page doesn’t allow for listing of all panelists, hence the above post]



UPDATE: selected as New York Time’s Critic’s Pick, The Hollywood Reporter says Holbrook deserves an Oscar nom, and Hammer to Nail compares Teems favorably to Clint Eastwood!

I first saw THAT EVENING SUN at a screening in Tribeca.  The second time I drove three hours to the Newport Film Festival.  (Disclosure: part of the reason was to hang out with writer/director Scott Teems, who is also my comedy filmmaking partner.  Scott wrote a part for me in the film — a stand-up comic bombing at the nursing home, but the scene was cut before shooting.  Not to brag, but the director said I would have been “perfect for this role.”)

Characters such as Abner Meecham (Hal Holbrook) and Lonzo Choat (Ray McKinnon) reminded me of some of my own flaws that I’d prefer to hide from myself. I saw a story of how regret can crush a man and fuel hatred making forgiveness almost impossible. Because of this film, I’ll work harder to extend grace to others, and to myself. The movie also stars Walton Goggins (“The Shield”), Carrie Preston (“True Blood”), Mia Wasikowska (Tim Burton’s upcoming Alice In Wonderland), Barry Corbin (No Country for Old Men), and Dixie Carter.

The film won at SXSW and about 10 other festival awards, received a glowing review from Variety, and several of the Hollywood critics added to their Oscar prediction list Holbrook for Best Actor, and Scott Teems for Best Adapted Screenplay.   It opens this week in NYC at Cinema 123; purchase tickets online from Fandango. There will be a Q&A with the cast and director after the 7PM show on Nov 6th and 7th.  I’ll be there on the 7th, for the third and fourth time.

See the trailer below on YouTube, or in HD on Apple.com


THAT EVENING SUN, the feature film written and directed by my comedy filmmaking partner Scott Teems won its first awards yesterday, as reported by Variety. Its premier at SXSW in Austin this week earned it both the Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast and the Narrative Audience Award.  And the fun is just beginning, if film critic Eric Childress is on target:

Over the years we’ve seen some actors get that one big role late in their careers. Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond, Paul Newman in Nobody’s Fool, Richard Farnsworth in The Straight Story, Peter O’Toole in Venus and James Cromwell in Babe, Oscar nominees one and all. And some may consider Hal Holbrook’s nominated turn in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild to be that role for him. Certainly the best thing in that film, but director Scott Teems has gone a step further and done for Holbrook what Thomas McCarthy did for Richard Jenkins last year in The Visitor – given one of our great character actors a chance to shine in a lead role. And shine Holbrook does in That Evening Sun.

I trust there will be a meaty role for me in the sequel, as Holbrook’s tax accountant.