First, to my amazing, wonderful, loving and supportive partner Sarah who has encouraged me to go on this crazy adventure since Day One. I doubt I'd be here without her as she's been a constant source of suggestions and support. Second, thanks to my amazing family - my mum and dad, my brother and sister, my grandma and grandad, my aunts and uncles Anne, Don, Jamie & Pauline - who all supported me far more than I would have ever asked for or expected (financially, as my family has always been really good with being there and supporting). I am really lucky to have such a supportive family - they may not all understand this crazy love/obsession I have for films and genre films in particular but they have recognised the necessity of it for me and supported me above and beyond. A huge thanks to all of my friends who also helped me along the way here: Mez for taking the fantastic promo photos (that I'm still using around the place) for free; my fundraising supporters Rebecca, Ben, Meera, Chris H, Sarah-Rose, Alexis, Chris T, Patricia; Rajeev for the awesome poster (which you can check out as my twitter account background) and badge I wore every day of the Fest promoting this blog.
I'd also like to say a huge thanks to Tim League and the staff and volunteers of Fantastic Fest and the Alamo Drafthouse - these guys worked their collective asses off to provide an awesome Fest experience. From programming to ushering to wait-staffing to the intros before each film and the Q&As after these guys really helped to ensure a great time for all. Also a big thanks to all the fellow attendees of Fantastic Fest; I have never experienced such a friendly, communal vibe at a film festival before. While there is a sense of exclusivity surrounding some of the events at Fantastic Fest what it all comes down to in the end is the films, and everyone was really there for those great, crazy and wild films and it was never too difficult to start chatting with someone. And also a thank-you to the kind, helpful people of Austin, Texas. I've often been waylaid because I've just ended up chatting to someone, about politics, travel and whatever. This is, from my experience, a friendly city with a lot of great folks in it and, no joke, the most courteous drivers I've ever seen.
And to you guys, out there reading this blog. I know I don't have the biggest audience but I truly love writing this thing and I'm going to keep on doing it and I hope you keep on enjoying it (and sharing it with your friends!). I've got a few reviews to catch up on from between the NZIFF and Fantastic Fest and I hope to have separate entries for all films I saw at Fantastic Fest too. I'll also be bringing you tales of my further adventures in the States (I'm off to San Francisco tomorrow and then LA on Wednesday before flying back home on Friday).