interview: Beau Henry, Austin Film Festival winner 2008

Beau and I met through our wonderful writing group. Not only did he win Austin in the comedy spec category in 2008, he was also a semifinalist this year! You can follow him on twitter @BeauHenry and on his blog at http://readmypilot.wordpress.com.

You won the Austin Film Festival in 2008 with an Office spec, and you got to meet Greg Daniels. Can you talk about that experience?

Everything about the festival is amazing and if you’re thinking of going, do it.  Back in 2008, I knew nothing about the industry, I’d never even been to LA, and that Office spec was my first and only script.  I was completely unprepared.  Worse, I was stricken with “impostor syndrome.”  But I still had a great time, learned a lot, and met a lot of interesting people.

Greg Daniels was the recipient of the “Extraordinary Contribution to Television Award” that year.  I saw him at the BBQ and walked right up, and awkwardly said something like, “You’re Greg Daniels, I’m a finalist in the sitcom category and I want to talk to you.”  And he said, “Oh, why don’t you join me and my parents at this table?”  He was incredibly friendly.  He asked questions and listened, but didn’t talk much.  In fact, I don’t think he said a single funny thing, despite being one of the greatest comedy writers of all time.  He just wanted to hear what everyone else had to say.  His parents were wonderful as well.  At the awards luncheon, when I won, they both congratulated me, like I’d really made them proud.  It was really sweet.

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