You wait in line for what seems an eternity and a half before reaching the ticket counter. You produce your badge from under the George Romero tee-shirt, already sticky with the remnants of a humid Austin morning, and triumphantly call out the titles of the films for which you will be needing tickets. These are films you spent all night reading about in the guide in and wrestling with the b-side website in a stressful attempt to maintain your six movie efficiency. But then, like something out of a black-and-white movie, the attendant executes the equivalent of pulling down the box office shade by uttering the most harsh couplet of words this festival can offer: sold out.
Especially if you are lacking a VIP badge, this moment is becoming more and more commonplace as the festival continues to grow. Our own Jacob Hall, in his riveting Diary of a Fantastic Fest Virgin, has experienced this and it is very easy to get bogged down with the crushing disappointment of this scenario. But to Jacob, and all the Fantastic Fest newbies, I submit to you that you are in a remarkably advantageous situation.
I respectfully ask you to consider this radical notion: it is sometimes a good thing to not get into a film.