SXSW Diary: Director Drew Goddard on prepping for 'Cabin in the Woods' premiere -- EXCLUSIVE

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Image Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Drew Goddard, the writer behind some of your favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Alias, and Lost, will make his directing debut with The Cabin in the Woods at the SXSW Film Festival this Friday. Goddard co-wrote the highly anticipated horror film with producer Joss Whedon; it stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchison, Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins. Here is the first of his diary entries from the festival:

I’ve been asked by Entertainment Weekly to keep a diary of my up-and-coming trip to Austin for the South by Southwest Film Festival, where we’re premiering my directorial debut, The Cabin in the Woods. This will be a weekend of firsts for me. First time I’ve been to SXSW. First time I’ve been to Austin. Very excited for both. I’m not sure what to expect. Actually, that’s not true. I have lots of expectations, but I suspect some of them are ill-informed. But here they are anyway:

I expect to have a lot of fun. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Austin. Fun. The festival itself is notorious for being a good time. When people come back from SXSW, they always look bleary, and they say things like, “I can’t remember much after Saturday afternoon. But somehow I ended up singing “Islands in the Stream” with McConaughey at the Highball.”

I expect there to be a lot of drinking. I feel like any time people talk about seeing movies in Austin, they always mention how you can drink beer in the theaters. I’m not sure if it’s all theaters, or select theaters, but in my mind, everyone is sauced from the moment they sit down at the cinema. Which, in all honesty, is probably the ideal way to view Cabin. If I could force people to drink while they were watching the movie, I would. But Lionsgate tells me that’s illegal.

I expect Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez to greet people at the airport. Those guys are like the mayors of Austin, right? If they’re not handing barbecue to passengers as they get off the plane, like the Hawaiians do with leis, I’m going to be very sad. I expect to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about what my mom is saying to Bradley Whitford. This will be the first time they’re in the same place, and thus far, every time I mention to my mom that I made a movie with Bradley Whitford, the first thing she says is, “Oh, he was SO GOOD in Revenge of the Nerds, Part Two.” I’m going to try very hard to keep her away from him. “Remember, that was the one where the nerds were in paradise, Drew.”

Also, this will be the first time my family has seen the movie, so I expect to be painfully aware of just how much sex, drugs, and violence we actually put in this thing as I sit next to my mom in the theater. I guess I’ll just blame Joss for all that stuff. Like I always do.

I expect to see bands like Das Racist and Neon Indian just sort of hanging around, even though the music festival hasn’t started yet. Austin feels like the sort of place where interesting people hang out. Also, if someone could please tell At the Drive In to reunite while I’m there, I’d appreciate it.

I expect to be very excited to see all sorts of movies at this festival (top of the list? 21 Jump Street, The Raid, Nature Calls, Small Apartments, Girls, Chasing Ice, and that one where Will Ferrell speaks Spanish through the whole thing) and then be disappointed when I’m told I can’t see any of them because “this is a work trip.”

But mostly, I expect to have fun. This will be the first time I’ve screened Cabin with a public crowd, and I’m excited to see the response. I can’t imagine a better crowd for our premiere (see above re: drinking in theater, sex, drugs, interesting people hanging out, etc.) and I have been looking forward to this night for a long, long time.

I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.

Read more:
SXSW preview: 10 buzzy events, from ‘Cabin in the Woods’ to a conversation with Seth MacFarlane
‘The Cabin in the Woods’ second trailer: The mystery continues
‘The Cabin in the Woods’: Check out the first trailer for producer Joss Whedon’s new horror movie

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