In the Waiting Line
A true South by Southwest film fest first: a waiting line to get into a panel. Course, this was the Mark Cuban-Michael Eisner panel, which just let out -- releasing, oh, some 300-plus sweat-soaked badge-wearers who stuck it out for an hour in the Austin Convention Center humidor in which the New Media Mav and the Old Media Meh talked mostly about concepts and content. Eisner, ex of Paramount and Disney, is too much a pro to spark much controversy or make much news at an event like this; said critic Elvis Mitchell, about to moderate a conversation with Billy Bob Thornton, "It's like trying to bait Dick Cheney at this point."
So they talked about bandwidth, making content for film vs. television vs. the Internet and, oh, the downside of downloading. Eisner mostly said things like, "Your intention is not to do crap ... Usually, you smell it after the fact," lovely. And, "In five years, content on the Internet will be as important as content on cable, satellite, whatever." And, "I don't understand anything you said," when Cuban complained about the difficulty of downloading HD content in a house in which more than one person's riding the bandwidth.
And it was a trip down Amnesia Lane, as Eisner lamented passing on Kramer vs. Kramer when he thought it nothing but a made-for-TV movie. "$100 million later ...," he moaned. Alas, no one asked Cuban about this -- surprising, given the open laptops live-blogging from the panel. --Robert Wilonsky