Writer/ Actress Meredith Johnston knows exactly what she should be thinking about in preparation for her first trip to SXSW… what shoes to wear.

When we asked if she’d been to the fest, she responded, “I’ve never been before! I’m not even sure what shoes to wear!”

As a seasoned SXSW vet, I’ve learned one thing over the years. Comfort far outranks fashion. But then again, I’ve never had a film debut at the festival.Meresith Johnston

Johnston’s first screenplay, Pet Names, is making its world premiere (she also stars).

She describes the film as, “A non-scary movie that takes place in the woods.

To be more specific, that trip to the woods is prompted by grad-school-dropout Leigh inviting he ex on a camping trip, after her ill mother urges her to take a vacation from her caretaking. The two soon find that confronting old wounds during a weekend in the woods is anything but restful.

We asked Johnston to tell us more about how the project came about.

This was my first screenplay so I wanted to keep it within the realm of my own experience before diving in to completely fictional narratives. I think that was the initial impulse behind the sweet-sad-n-simple kind of feel to the whole thing.

Besides the entire SXSW experience, Johnston is excited to reunite with her cast and crew and celebrate the project. Especially since it will be happening in warmer weather (most hail from Chicago and Milwaukee).

Well, let’s HOPE for warmer weather. You never can know what the Texas weather gods may send our way.

To further get her in a lone star state of mind, we sent over our totally Texas questions.

What is your favorite movie and/or TV show shot in Texas? 

“I really love Bottle Rocket. When I was in high school a cool kid I had a crush on said it was his favorite movie. So I pretended it was mine too. Then I actually watched it and fell in love.”

Who is your favorite Texas musician? 

“Solange. Enough said.”

What actor would you call “totally Texan?” 

“Matthew McConaughey comes to mind. He brings Texas wherever he goes.”

What Texas food are you most looking forward to eating (and perhaps instagramming) while in Austin? 

“I want all of the food.”

What advice do you have for Austinites looking to get into the biz? 

“Don’t wait for anyone to give you permission to do something. Everything is punk if you don’t wait for permission.”
SXSW 2018

Check out Pet Names at the following times during SXSW:

Saturday, March 10, at 12pm at Alamo Lamar C.

Monday, March 12, at 7:30pm at Rollins Theatre at The Long Center.

Wednesday, March 14, at 10:30pm at Alamo Lamar B.

For more on what celebrities are confirmed to attend the fest, click here.

And see the top 10 TV events happening here.