So it has been about six months now since we all moved down here to Austin, Texas (ATX), and it has been one hell of a ride. Since I haven’t blogged anything since I’ve been here, I’ll let y’all in on the highlights for me (this is Will btw). First off, my first few weeks here kicked off with a boom. Within three days of having internet I was able to find a job (well a non-paying job) sound mixing on a full length indie film called “Snuff”. It was like a psychological thriller type film on which I worked with some of the finest people that I have met so far in this city. The set was filled with a small crew and enough beer to feed a crew at least six times the size of ours. It was a grueling, yet rewarding experience, that I’m ready to start all over again this July when we are shooting our next movie about some old gangster in witness protection. That movie took me from early January through mid February (with a few re-shoots in April). Once I was done with that, I took about a week off to decompress. The thing about relaxing/taking time off in Austin, is that relaxing can often times turn into benders that you will never either forget or remember at all. There is such great night life here that it is hard to stay away when you have some free time on your hands.
After acquainting myself with the Austin nightlife for a bit, it was back to work. I went down to beautiful Belle Rose, Louisiana to work on the crew of the action packed Speed TV show “Pinks All Out”. This was definitely a new realm of production for me. The crew on this show is gigantic, like 60 plus people. Firstly, the premise of the show is that all the people from around that area bring their drag racing cars to race, and try to win their particular speed class. They move from city to city filming at different tracks. It was intense. As a sound mixer it was challenging because of all the revving engines and screaming rednecks in the background of all the shots. Beyond that aspect, there is also the fact that you have to deal with car explosions, and standing on the edge of the track when dragsters catch air, crash and burn, and begin flipping right towards you while you try not to piss yourself on the edge of the track.
I was able to make it out of that shoot with minimal urine stains on my pants, and made it back to Austin for another stint of relaxation. I took the time to find some of the parks around here, there are some nice ones. Many dog friendly, and others that are just awesome. This city really values outdoor living, which is a really nice thing when you live in a warm climate.
The month of March was an amazing month for me. I got to travel to Africa with my parents to shoot a promotional video for their website. I traveled in Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia. Believe it or not the most interesting part of this trip was actually both times that I had travel through the Frankfurt, Germany Airport on that trip. The stop between Dulles and Johannesburg, South Africa that we used was Frankfurt, Germany. On the way to Africa I made it all the way to the gate to board my flight to South Africa when I was turned down by the lovely German airport staff. They told me that I did not have the proper amount of pages in my passport to travel on to South Africa. My father and I tried to argue that I did have the proper pages (which I did), but the conversation was ended when this metrosexual German finally yelled at us, “Don’t try and use your American logic on me!!” It was the last line of a half hour argument that ended with me having to stay an extra night at the airport hotel in Frankfurt. Trapped in Germany, I was reading a book called FateLess… not a good combination. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but that city sucked. Every German looks at you like you killed their baby just because you’re an American. I’m more American than most though, so maybe that’s why? At any rate, I was able to get the approval needed from the airport people in South Africa, and was able to reach my destination in JoBurg a day late. The trip though Africa went amazingly. I got a lot of good footage and met a lot of cool people. Southern Africa is an incredible place.
Unfortunately, the cool people were all gone by the time my parents and I arrived back in the Frankfurt airport. This time all of our flying arrangements were accepted, but our entrance into the louge where we were to wait for our flight was denied. Although we had the proper paperwork once again, this chubby German lady with short styled hair was insistent that our paperwork wasn’t up to date… Germans have always been so serious about paperwork (see any movie about WWII or the holocaust)… anyways we had a wonderful French gay man (Stephan) come to our rescue and vouch that we actually did have the proper papers. Who would have thought that the French would be saving the Americans in Germany??
To my disbelief I actually made it out of Germany eventually, and made my way back to Austin. Once back in Austin it was time for me to edit together all of this footage that I got over in Africa. Most of April was filled with long nights of either editing or finding new places to spend my money in Austin.
After the April showers I was brought May flowers in the form of trips to both Baton Rouge and Las Vegas.
It was the first time I had been back in Baton Rouge since graduating LSU in December ‘07. I was delighted to find that not much had changed. They still party harder than everywhere else, have all of the same bars, and crawfish boils still bring joy to all who attend or even think about going to one.
The crawfish boil turned into a slip and slide party, which then transitioned to a late night out on the town to celebrate the LSU Rugby team coming in #6 in the country this year. If you haven’t had a good night out in Baton Rouge before, I would strongly suggest it.
After coming back to Austin it was time for a few kickball games. Mark, Eric, Stephanie and I all joined a co-ed kickball league to try and make some friends here in Austin. We ended up on a team called the “Bad News Brews”. We were good, but unfortunately did not end up winning the championship. However, I did find out that the hipster stigma that surrounds adult kickball leagues is negligible in real life, and it’s definitely a fun thing to do if your heart so desires.
A few days after turning 24 I took off to Vegas for my buddy Mark’s bachelor party. It was memorial day weekend, we stayed at the MGM Grand, and that’s really most of what I remember. Between lazy rivers, beers, and three card poker tables I actually managed to come out on to about $200 even though I lost the bet I put down on Rashad Evans to beat Machida.
Betting against Machida was a mistake. If you haven’t seen “the Hangover” you should, because although some of the jokes are outlandish, I felt that it captured the spirit of a Vegas bachelor party to the “T”. Galifinakis’ speech about wolves roaming the desert really hit the nail on the head.
Coming back home to ATX from Vegas was a rough transition. You really wish you were back in fantasyland for about a week after you return. Since then I’ve done a few small shoots, fixed my computer so I could write this blog, and continued to look for new places in Austin to spend my money. While I still haven’t found my watering hole of choice, I have found a few that I know are not it. So far in old ATX I have found some really awesome people, and some truly amazing natural locations. I’ll let y’all know what comes next…