Sling Blade Director To Handle Widespread Panic Video

That would be Vic Chesnutt, who appears in the upcoming Widespread Panic video.

Fresh from winning the Best Screenplay Adaptation Oscar for his

film Sling Blade, Billy Bob Thornton returns to his native Arkansas this

week to begin filming Widespread Panic's video for "Aunt Avis." A source at

Capricorn Records, Widespread Panic's label, had not yet seen Thornton's

treatment for the piece, but did confirm that Laura Dern will star in it. The

single, to be released in July just before the band joins the H.O.R.D.E.

festival, will be the third drawn from the album Bombs &


Just how did the band hook up with (now very) famous

writer/director/actor? We're glad you asked, because the connections are enough

to warrant a TV mini-series themselves.

The ties between Widespread Panic

and Thornton began in 1991, when the author directed the band's longform video

Live From The Georgia Theater. Simple enough. Now stick with


Also starring in the "Aunt Avis" video is...

Also starring in the "Aunt Avis" video is

singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt, who wrote the song with Bombs &

Butterflies producer John Keane, and who takes a turn at the microphone

with W.P. singer John Bell.

Diehard Panic fans should already be familiar

with Chesnutt. He joined forces with the band in 1995 under the name Brute to

record the album Nine High A Pallet.

But the ties don't stop there.

Cinema students will remember that Chesnutt has his own Billy Bob Thornton

connection: the director cast him as an on-stage musician in Sling


And just how did Chesnutt score the part? He was suggested to

Thornton by a Mr. Phil Walden, president of Widespread Panic's label,

Capricorn. Thornton, you see, had long been accustomed to asking Walden for

advice: Walden used to manage Thornton.

Back in 1991, it was Walden who

suggested that Thornton direct Widespread Panic's Live From The Georgia


As they say, it's all in who you know.