This year’s South by Soutwest (SXSW) was the first time that the But Why Tho? team has gotten the chance to cover the event officially. Thankfully, we were able to have three of our contributors cover the expansive number of events happening at SXSW. The Best of SXSW 2019 from films, networking, houses on Rainey Street, panels, and more, it was a week of experiences that they can’t wait to cover again. Below, you will find the highs of the festival according to our three contributors who covered the festival.
1. Best of SXSW 2019: What was your favorite movie you watch?
LaNeysha: It’s a close call between Little Monsters and Snatchers for me. Both are great horror-comedies that I really enjoyed. But overall I have to go with Little Monsters, because Lupita was fantastic with comedy and action. It was great seeing her in a film like this too.
Kate: Pet Sematary was my favorite film of SXSW, hands down. There was something about being immersed in Stephen King’s novel alongside other horror fans who reacted and felt like I did. It was a film I was hesitant about, but blew me out of the water.
Matt: My favorite movie I watched during SXSW was Apollo 11. Overall just a phenomenal documentary. I do want give an honorable mention to Little Monster as I really enjoyed that movie more than I thought I was going to.
2. What was your favorite house you attended?
LaNeysha: Any of them that had an open bar. But seriously there were so many great houses and I think the American Gods’ House was my favorite. Mainly because Kate and I got hugged by Ricky Whittle and did a really fun and impromptu interview with two of the stars, Mousa Kraish and Omid Abtahi.
Kate: This is an easy one, the Starz American Gods house. Beyond getting invited to the cast and crew party where we got to meet some of the actors behind my favorite characters, the house itself was extremely creative. The drinks were clever like Laura’s Moonshine and Jinn and Juice and the set pieces in the house from the Shadow experience to Bilquist’s bed were a perfect piece of immersion.
Matt: This is a tough one as there were really some great houses I attended. If I have to pick one as my favorite I will go with Alienware Outpost. I am little bias because I enjoy esports, but overall the atmosphere, drinks, and games was great.
3. What was your favorite talk/panel you attended?
LaNeysha: My favorite was the Us Buzzfeed PROFILE interview with Jordan Peele, Lupita Nyong’o, and Winston Duke. It was great hearing talk about their individual processes from performance to directing. It made me even more excited to see the movie!
Kate: Since Neysha already said the Us Profile, I’m going to pick the SXSW Gaming panel, held by Michael Espinoza. Titled “Austin’s Blind Gaming Champ Shares His Amazing Story,” the talk, given by Espinoza, was more than just about his journey. In it, he explained the pathways towards more accessibility in games, how he has been working with developers to help blind players, and how reviewers can detail game features that let disabled gamers know if they can play a game or not. It was a great panel.
Matt: My favorite talk that I attended was at the LG Inspiration Gallery. Listening to people from LG Electronics talk about the future and their innovation along with their goals for affordability really has me looking forward to future LG products.
4. Best of SXSW 2019: What was one thing you missed but really wanted to attend?
LaNeysha: I really wanted to attend the premiere screening of Us but, unfortunately the line was insanely long by the time we got there and there was just no way we’d get in. I later learned that some people started lining up at 8 am that morning for a spot in line, just for a chance to see it.
Kate: Us. My main goal of the festival was to see Us, but unfortunately I was unaware of how long the wait would be to see the film. Even though we got there two hours ahead, the line was at capacity.
Matt: There were so many things I wanted to attend, but just couldn’t make either for various reasons. I learned I needed a clone if anything for covering SXSW with just so many events. I got to see Apollo 11, but I did miss all the other talks/panels that NASA and people from NASA were involved in so that was disappointing.
5. Best of SXSW 2019: What was your favorite moment of SXSW 2019?
LaNeysha: Honestly there’s so many! Some were of top favorite moments was doing the red carpet interview with the stars of Broad City. Eating late night ramen with Kate at the Japan SXSW House. Hanging out at the Good Omens garden and making a Full Metal Alchemist-esque gif with their photo booth. And of course getting to have breakfast and interview the filmmakers of Snatchers.
Kate: This is a hard one to answer, but I think it would have to be the red carpet of The Curse of La Llorona. I had been speaking about the movie for time and to be in a position to ask them my questions regarding production was an amazing feeling, especially since the cast and crew were all open and responsive to the questions.
Matt: My favorite moment is not really one single moment but a series of events. We ended up attending a dinner on food safety and traceability, which I know is not something you think of when think of us, at But Why Tho?. I am still not sure exactly how it all happened, but the dinner was amazing, the best meal I had all SXSW, and we were able to meet some really awesome people in the process, who also by the way were just as confused to why we were in attendance. We went to their after-event and made a night of it then got a chance to attend the ‘Revolutionizing Food Safety with Blockchain’ panel. It was great surprise as we met people that never even thought of would have met and it was fantastic and learned quite a bit about food safety and produce along the way. I would like to give a shout of to Andy Kennedy for the great panel and just overall great night.