I attended the 7th season of the ATX Festival which was held June 7th through the 10th in Austin, Texas.
On opening night, while in line for the Sharp Objects premiere, our group was stopped while we were walking into the Paramount Theater so Amy Adams could enter the red carpet. (Lucky us!) While standing there waiting, I noticed James Lafferty, Stephen Colletti and Michelle Lang taking a photograph behind the Red Carpet set up.
I recognized Michelle Lang from the Small Town Crime premiere at SXSW (Where Lafferty also appeared as part of the cast) and, after some research, found out she was attending the ATX Festival with James and Stephen as an executive producer for their new show, ‘Everyone is Doing Great.’
It turns out that was not the only time I would see them...
As someone who attends the ATX Festival as an industry hopeful, I feel as though observing Lang, Lafferty and Colletti throughout the weekend was a masterclass on how to stir up excitement for a new project. Nearly every time I was in line for a panel or on my way to a screening, I witnessed Colletti and Lafferty chatting or taking pictures with fans.
There was never pushback or an excuse to get out if it. They also genuinely seemed interested in everyone they interacted with. Each time I saw them out and about, I also saw Lang, who was, in my opinion, being an exceptional producer and fostering these exchanges. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed.
What impressed me the most, though, even after seeing their consistent presence throughout the festival, was on the last day right before the screening of their pilot…
Admittedly, I was in line for the show Strange Angel which was airing opposite of Everyone is Doing Great, but I still was able to witness Lafferty and Colletti greeting everyone who was waiting for their show in the hot Texas sun.
“Hi, everyone,” Lafferty said, rounding the corner of the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, making eye contact with everyone he walked by, “We just wanted to come out and thank you for standing in this heat.”
“It’s just going to be a little bit longer, but we wanted to come out here and thank you,” Colletti said, beaming and shaking hands with fans.
When one attendee asked for a photo, Lafferty turned down the request but quickly added, “Don’t worry, we’ll take pictures with everyone after the screening.” And I believed him — I attended the first ATX Festival and witnessed him take pictures with a long line of people that went all the way out the door of the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Bar.
As the guys made their way towards the end of the long line of fans, back about ten feet was Lang, keeping a close eye on them. Just then, the volunteers starting letting the festival goers into the theater and, grinning from ear to ear, I watched Lang, Colletti and Lafferty disappear back around the corner towards the entrance.
This is why fans go to these festivals -- There is the hope that you’ll get to interact with the people you go there to see. In my opinion these three knocked the ball right out of the park by creating great memories for fans (It certainly got my attention) and a loyalty that will hopefully lead to a successful pickup of their series.
Lafferty and Colletti are currently touring with Everyone is Doing Great and will next be at SeriesFest in Denver, Colorado June 23rd and 25th as well as the New York TV Festival in July.
About Everyone is Doing Great:
Stephen Colletti and James Lafferty of course starred on the insanely popular television show One Tree Hill but apparently their friendship continued offscreen and, after years of collaborating on ideas, they came up with Everyone is Doing Great.
The storyline revolves around Seth (Colletti) and Jeremy (Lafferty) who are actors struggling to reclaim the success and relevance they received years prior when their popular vampire show was a hit. In this dark comedy, the best friends work on figuring out their careers while they explore life and love. Lafferty also directed the pilot.
You can support Everyone is Doing Great on Indiegogo and receive some great perks while helping produce the remaining five episodes (which Lafferty and Colletti have already written) of the first season.