Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, Sheri Deterling, Geoff Hakwes, and The Highland Hotel, The Dallas Film Society Honors is a glamorous banquet designed to honor the winning filmmakers of the 2015 Dallas International Film Festival.
This year, the writing, animating and directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller (THE LEGO MOVIE, 21 JUMP STREET) were honored with the Texas Avery Award. The honor celebrates career achievement in animation and pays tribute to Fred “Tex” Avery, one of the most celebrated figures in the history of animation.
The award was presented to Lord and Miller by Reel FX’s Jorge Gutierrez and Brad Booker (THE BOOK OF LIFE) last night (April 17th), where the duo thanked family and friends for their great honor.
Fresh Fiction caught up with Lord and Miller on last night’s red carpet outside the Highland Hotel. We discussed rebelling against the naysayers of the film industry, animated crushes, teaching classes, and, of course, how everything is awesome.
Also watch our interview with John Landis‘ son, Max (writer of CHRONICLE), where Lord and Miller do the hype man bit.
A special screening of THE LEGO MOVIE took place this morning at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas; however, there are still plenty of good films worth checking out at DIFF. All ticket and screening info can be found on diff2015.dallasfilm.org.
Feature Photo: Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Max Landis and Preston Barta on the red carpet for Dallas Film Society Honors (April 17, 2015). Photo courtesy of the Dallas Film Society.