"45RPM" Director Juli Jackson's Austin Travel Blog

 Filmmakers Juli Jackson and Zach D. Turner at RXSM

Filmmakers Juli Jackson and Zach D. Turner at RXSM

So when I mentioned that my film 45RPM was headed to Austin in March, everyone’s first assumption is “You’re going to SXSW! Awesome!” Actually, I got rejected like so many other filmmakers this year. I am not here to complain. Sure, South by Southwest’s trademark “X” got stamped on my heart but my little road movie/music adventure film has had a good run all over the country and picked up some awards here and there. We are soon to screen at the Atlanta Film Festival which is incredibly exciting. Who cares if SXSW passed on us, right? But you know who did want to screen this music nerd’s first film to an Austin audience? The Self-Medicated Film Expo. Or as they liked to be called RXSM.

RXSM is a 5th year festival that runs at the same time as SXSW and their aim is to be Austin’s truly indie, truly underground, film festival. It seems they are happy in the very large shadow of a much bigger fest with their venues and parties speaking to the DIY indie filmmaker and the vast Austin hipster crowd moreso than say, the Austin Convention Center does. So this festival certainly appealed to my no-budget moviemaker self and I was happy to make the journey with fellow Arkansas filmmaker Zach D. Turner to represent his short film, Mary.

 Spider House at night - Combination bar, cafe, food truck, and multiple screens all rolled into a favorite venue for RXSM and locals

Spider House at night - Combination bar, cafe, food truck, and multiple screens all rolled into a favorite venue for RXSM and locals

As an avid music lover, and someone who just made a film with over 40 tracks of rock and roll crammed into 97 minutes, perhaps the best part of this Texas premiere is having the perfect excuse to go check out a ton of Austin’s legendary records stores. This, of course, is all conveniently under the guise of “film promotion.” 10 minutes of hanging posters and chatting with the ever-friendly locals easily earned me 15 or 20 magical minutes of record flipping at each locale. I’m not even joking when I say some of these are some of the most immaculately kept music shops that I have ever seen.

In addition to drooling over stacks of vinyl, I got to hang out at some really fantastic Austin hotspots with friends in town for SXSW. Started at Spider House Cafe - a hip festival venue, Holy Mountain to meet up with friends, a club called Barbarella’s busting out favorite tunes from the 1980s, a sea of late night food trucks and, after some merciful sleep, brunch at Magnolia Cafe. What can I say, I lucked out. The rest of the trip was devoted to all the typical festival hallmarks of meeting really cool filmmakers, swapping set stories and watching incredible films that hit you in the gut or the heart depending on the creator.

 RXSM Q&A at the Spider House Chapel

RXSM Q&A at the Spider House Chapel

While the city and RXSM showed me a damn good time, I was honored and more than a little pumped to walk away from this festival with 45RPM winning “Best Soundtrack.” With so many awesome bands that contributed to 45RPM, it’s a meaningful win for everyone involved in the project. I was happy to get to scrape the surface of what Austin has to offer the indie filmmaker during its busiest time of the year. Can’t wait to hit the road again and see what the future holds for my film.

Check out www.45RPMmovie.com for more info and get your tickets below.