March 30, 2006
I went to Sundance and found God - Part Three
I'm still writing about Sundance? How long ago was it, like two months? But, I promised I'd give you the whole story, and I'm a man of my word, mostly, so here goes.
I really liked my shorts program. The programs were put together as to not have a theme, so we all had very different movies and very different personalities. There was Jacques, the fearless leader, Dan the tech expert, then there was the weird foreign guy who didn't come to the festival... I could go on and try to give roles to everybody, but who's got the time. If I had to give James and myself a role, it would probably be the two doofy guys who made a Batman movie with some famous actors. In every festival I've been to, there have always been a handful of movies that were clearly in there just because somebody famous was in them. I always hated them vehemently. Anyway, point being, I didn't get to hang out with my co-Shorts Program 3-ers as much as I would have liked to and I hope they thought more of us and our movie than I usually do of movies like it.
Our program was shown six times, I made it to four of them. (One was on the day I left, the other I ditched out on to go see Justin's feature at Slamdance, The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang.) I only actually watched the program twice. Yeah, I liked the movies, but come on. Q&A's were fun, although, as I guessed, we were only ever asked if DC Comics was going to sue us and how did we get Sam and/or Justin to do it.
Everything in Park City is kind of fake rustic, like a cross between Starbucks and a winter sports supply store. I figured out how to get around fairly quickly, or rather I learned that it was easier just to ask the volunteers they have everywhere how to get around than figuring it out for myself.
About the time my flu let up, James left, and I moved out of the hotel. I ended up running into an old friend of mine from college, Malcolm. He was in a few of my junior film partner's projects and also has the honor of launching my drumming career. I saw him and his friend playing guitar at the campus cafe, and I told him they needed a bassist (I had just started playing bass a few weeks before). He told me they didn't -- they did need a drummer. I told him I could play drums too (I couldn't). He told me they had a show booked for tomorrow night and wouldn't have any time for practice, and I was too far into my lie to back out, so we played the show as The John Wayne All-Star Heavy Metal Jam. I didn't do a terrible job, and he eventually invited me back to play a big outdoor festival after I graduated. But I digress, more than usual. He was staying with two lovely British documentarians and they had a couch for me. I took them up on it and spent the next two days with the three of them and wandering around by myself.
It's a funny thing when you're away form home with no one to talk to. You become a lot more social, or at least I do. I ended up chatting up whoever was around. There's a valuable lesson that my friend Josh taught me. When you're talking to a stranger for the first time, don't be clever. Most of the time, a simple statement of fact will do. I was over an hour early for Cargo, a movie that a total stranger in the hotel gave me a ticket to. And when you have a ticket, you really don't need to show up much before the show starts at all. A young woman was in line ahead of me. I leafed through a magazine for a little while and then I looked up at her and said, "We're pretty early." Probably the least insightful thing I said all day, but we became friends and chatted each other up for the hour and exchanged emails and whatnot.
Speaking of Cargo, I saw a lot of movies at Sundance, and there was one question asked at every single one: "How long did it take to shoot?" That is the most boring question of all time. The answer is always going to be more than two weeks, less than two months. It is impossible to give an interesting answer to that question. (Except for us, of course, three hours.) Most Q&A's were generally unenlightening although Cargo's was only because the movie sucked so much, people were asking questions like, "Why did that part happen?" and "Who killed the bald guy?"
Anyway, this post is getting long, so I'm going to wrap this up in part 4, where I run into a friend of mine I hadn't seen since high school, harass some celebrities, and move into a place with a hot tub. Seriously.
You can see most of the movies in Shorts Program 3 on Sundance's web site:
Or just ask me for a dvd next time I see you.
March 12, 2006
There's more hilarious Sundance tales coming soon, but in the meantime, check out the first assignment of our newly created director's club: