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Tag: SXSW Festival (1-10 of 50)

SXSW: Comedian Doug Benson and friends take on 'Big Trouble In Little China'

Depending on your perspective, comedian Doug Benson is either best known as a movie aficionado (he hosts the hit podcast Doug Loves Movies) or as a comedic hero to weed smokers everywhere (he directed the hilarious documentary Super High Me and recently launched a video podcast called Getting Doug With High that features him getting stoned with comic friends).

The former was on display on the last day of the annual South By Southwest festival when Benson hosted Doug Benson’s Movie Interruption at the Alamo Draft House Ritz in Austin. The Movie Interruption is a simple premise: Benson screens a movie, and he and a few cohorts sit with live microphones and riff on the film — not unlike a live, improvised version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.


SXSW: Comedy-nerd all-stars Fred Armisen, Marc Maron, and Scott Aukerman unite at IFC panel

IFC has made a mission of promoting up-and-coming comedians as part of the network’s growing lineup (in between the odd documentary or random indie flick from the ’90s, of course). Their poster child is Fred Armisen — along with Carrie Brownstein and their show, Portlandia — but the channel has also fostered new shows from comedians Marc Maron (whose upcoming show Maron grew out of his popular WTF podcast) and Scott Aukerman, whose Comedy Bang! Bang! show launched recently on the network. At a panel today, Armisen, Aukerman, and Maron discussed the transition from alternative comedy to television series.

Below, some highlights from the hour-long talk…

SXSW: 'Burning Love' cast talk online success, parody, and their brilliant commenters -- VIDEO

Ken Marino, Rob Huebel, and the rest of the Burning Love crew were at SXSW this week for a screening and to take questions about their success on Yahoo! (despite Huebel calling their users “stupid”) and their transition to “real” TV with E! recently picking up the show.

What was only meant to be a one-off — Marino says his wife wrote it as just a short piece “that we were going to try to get on Funny Or Die” — has turned into a successful parody show, both on and now off the web. But lampooning a reality show like The Bachelor can have its pitfalls. Sometimes viewers can’t tell if the show is a joke or not. Among the viewer comments the cast talk about below: “It honestly seems a little scripted to me, but hey, aren’t most reality shows?”

What’s Trending‘s Shira Lazar sat down with the Burning Love cast in Austin on Sunday. Check out their conversation below.

SXSW 2013: Five tech trends we can't wait to see

Just a brief look at the South By Southwest interactive schedule can boggle even the most experienced festival-goer’s mind. There are panels and conversations and films and workshops and even a daily 7:30 am run (in cowboy costume!) in case you weren’t getting enough exercise dancing your pants off at one of the many parties. But for everyone not going to the festival, which marks 19 years of interactive and film coverage this year, we have started to make sense of some already-emerging trends and news to look out for as the unofficial “spring break for nerds” kicks off in Austin, Texas.

ComiXology launches new portal for indie artists: EW's exclusive talk with artist Becky Cloonan -- IMAGE


Long ago, making it in the comic book industry used to be a relatively straightforward proposition: You work for Marvel, you work for DC, or you don’t work at all. But the rise of the indie comics movement has given more opportunities to comic book creators. Now, digital-comics platform comiXology is announcing a new portal called comiXology Submit, which aims to indie artists’ stories available on a wide variety of devices: iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8 apps. Submit, which was announced at SXSW, allows anyone to submit their work for approval at the comiXology website. (Creators split the profits equally with comiXology and retain full ownership of their work.)

For the launch, comiXology got 34 indie comic creators to contribute material. Entertainment Weekly spoke to one of the artists, Becky Cloonan, an Eisner Award nominee who last year became the first female artist to illustrate the main Batman title. (You can also scroll down for a first look at Cloonan’s contribution to comiXology Submit, Demeter.) READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Val Kilmer to appear in (and Tenacious D to promote) web series 'Ghost Ghirls' -- EXCLUSIVE IMAGE

Think there is no letter “D” in SXSW? Think again. Jack Black and Kyle Gass’ acoustic-metal rockers Tenacious D are set to play a concert in Austin to promote the new Yahoo! Screen web comedy Ghost Ghirls, about a pair of ditzy ghost hunters played by Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci. The concert, and a screening party, will take place on March 13 at Yahoo!’s SXSW venue. The show was co-created by Lund, Blasucci, and series director Jeremy Konner (Funny or Die) and is being co-produced by Black’s Electric Dynamite Productions and Shine America.


Cheezburger founder Ben Huh on SXSWi: Jumping the shark has jumped the shark


Ben Huh is the founder of the Cheezburger Network, home to wildly popular Internet meme sites including LOLcats, FAILblog, and I Can Haz Cheezburger. His goal is to make the world happy for five minutes a day. Huh attended South by Southwest Interactive in Austin this week and below shares his takeaways from the annual hotspot with EW:

In just a few years, South by Southwest Interactive has grown from the scrawny, geeky, younger brother of the SXSW festival family to the largest Internet conference on earth — boasting every possible promotional stunt, giveaway, costume, and business model. In my first year of attendance in 2007, the entire conference occurred in the Austin Convention Center. Now, some conference locations require a transfer between multiple methods of transport (say, a pedicab and a shuttle bus).

I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of friends in the tech world who have complained and resolutely sworn they wouldn’t be back, and last year was no exception. Yet here we are. Voices ragged from trying to have a conversation at loud parties, belt lines stretched from too much amazing Texas BBQ, and shoes ruined from waiting in too many queues with the inebriated and uncoordinated.

So why do we keep going back? Simple logic. First, technology that connects people creates more demand for actual face-to-face interaction. Second, Austin in March is warmer and more fun than most other places in March. Third, (most) of what people do at SXSWi still falls under business expense — so at best, it’s free, at worst, it’s tax deductible. When was the last time you turned down a free five-day fete of beer, BBQ, and technology?

Maybe the early adopters will slowly start skipping SXSWi, but the show will go on. So far, it still rocks.


Morally Ambiguous Question of the Day: Is it wrong to use homeless people as Wi-Fi hotspots?

In the clearest evidence yet that we are living in the dystopian world our ancestors had nightmares about, reports are coming in that at this year’s South by Southwest, 13 people from a local homeless shelter were given wireless transmitters and matching T-shirts which proudly advertised: “I’m [Name], a 4G Hotspot.” According to the Times, the homeless volunteers were outfitted by BBH Labs, the innovation unit of an international marketing agency — which is roughly equivalent to the mad scientist unit of an international evil agency. BBH claims that they were performing a “charitable experiment.” Which is fair enough — they actually created a website that allows you to funnel money straight to the volunteers, which is probably worth more to the homeless people than a million snarky Orwellian Internet references. And yet, does anyone else think it’s strange to literally turn less fortunate people into cheap avenues for our own techno-leisure? What do you think? READ FULL STORY

John Oliver spearheads SXSW Comedy lineup

john-oliverImage Credit: Martin Cook/Comedy CentralThe Daily Show‘s John Oliver will highlight the comedy lineup at this year’s South by Southwest Film and Interactive festivals, beginning March 12 in Austin, Texas. Comedy Central will present a special edition of “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show,” while Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon, Anthony Jeselnik, Peter Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, Al Madrigal, and Dave Foley are also set to perform during the festival. In addition, Scott Aukerman’s “Comedy Death-Ray Radio” will be one of four comedy podcasts that will be recorded live during the week-long event.

“Standup comedy at SXSW touches on all the best things about our event,” says SXSW Managing Director Roland Swenson, in a statement. “Great comics are masters of live performance, the best story-tellers and pioneers in new media. We’re incredibly proud that so many great comics choose to join us here.”

A complete run-down of all the comics performing at SXSW is after the jump, and a complete schedule is here. READ FULL STORY

Director Gareth Edwards talks about making his sci-fi movie 'Monsters': 'I was s--ting myself'

Gareth-EdwardsImage Credit: Matt Carr/Getty ImagesBritish director Gareth Edwards admits that he was “constantly s—ting myself” while filming his debut movie Monsters, which hits screens this Friday and was shot in Mexico and Central America. “In Guatemala, there was a gunfight outside our hotel,” he recalls. “And there was a prison riot and prisoners decapitated some inmates and put their heads by the prison fence. We tried to hide that from the actors. One time we went through Mexico and the week before, there had been a machine-gunning at a local café. We tried not to tell the actors about that either.”

Edwards contends, however, that his terror during the shoot had nothing to do with such incidents. “It was never about what was happening around us,” he says “It was always about, ‘Is the story making sense?’ We were trying to make something that was different. So there was always this sense of, ‘What are we doing? This is crazy!’” READ FULL STORY

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