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SXSW panel: Late Night Comedy meets Corporate Video

sxswi

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]

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/7744

Night of a Thousand Stars

To be fair, it wasn’t a “thousand” stars, but more like two or three.  And, it didn’t happen all in one evening, but was spread out over almost a fortnight.  The celeb-fest kicked off when I had lunch with Spider-Man creator Stan Lee in Santa Monica.  He was attending a small storytelling conference in Santa Monica, where I was speaking on a panel about comedy film. 

The following Thursday back in NYC, I went with Daily Show producer Ian Berger to Carnegie Hall to see Ricky Gervais, as part of the New York Comedy Festival.   We went backstage after the show, and had the opportunity to critique Ricky’s act, and a few episodes of “The Office.”  Also met Todd Barry and Janeane Garofalo, who is a lot less political in person.  We hit the After Party at the Empire Hotel Rooftop bar.   I don’t think I’ve stayed out that late since senior prom.

NYCF After Party

Photo: the WSJ gang Rhona Seymour, Melissa Magdits, Nancy McDonald and Ian Berger. 

Then, Friday night, my wife and I attended the NYC premier of THAT EVENING SUN.  Hal Holbrook and Ray McKinnon were at the theater for a Q&A.   On Saturday night, I saw the film for the fourth time, and had drinks after with Scott Teems and Carrie Preston.

THAT EVENING SUN Opens in NYC

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