Thursday, February 2, 2012

Slamdance Recap - Now With Photos!

Although startled by white flakes falling from the sky, I survived and enjoyed my first Slamdance!
12 hours on the road and a time
change and we're still gorgeous!

After a 5:30am pickup on Friday the 20th and a 12 hour drive to Utah The Magic Man crew (director, DC Kasundra, cinematographer, Tom Krymkowski and producer, yours truly)  checked into our hotel, changed, drove another 45 minutes and rallied for the opening night party!

Amid all the music, drinks and meeting fellow filmmakers, we gave out a lot of 3D glasses to get people excited about our film.  We were part of the Anarchy Program (though I still don't understand why) and screened two times during the festival. But more on that in a moment.

A snowy first day
Saturday morning we were up early to get back to Main Street in Park City.  It was a positively blizzardy day! Well, maybe it wasn't a blizzard but there was a lot more snow than I'm used to seeing. Fortunately, I was dressed appropriately with a jacket, hat, boots and gloves. I still needed to get some lessons on how to walk heel to toe so I didn't slip and slide to an early grave - or twisted ankle.

Main Street
As fabulous as it looked, it was cold and gave me a good excuse to stay inside, give some interviews with our crew, watch some films and socialize. A poorly done documentary that shall not be named was followed by Rollertown, a funny film about the mafia taking over a roller rink to turn it into a video arcade. Did their evil plan work? I bet you know the answer.

TMI - Home of Slamdance
(and sometimes home of TMI)
All of the Slamdance festivities took place at the Treasure Mountain Inn - and yes, they call it TMI. When we weren't watching movies, going to panel discussions or schmoozing at the happy hours there, we were eating and drinking at our favorite restaurant on Main Street, the Wasatch Brew Pub!

Yes, the biggest draw was the fact that it was right across the street from TMI but they had good food and brewed their own beer on site. My favorite (for the name) Polygamy Porter - Why Have Just One? Why indeed.

Tom and DC enjoying the local brew

Why don't I wear 3D
glasses more often?
Sunday we arrived at TMI for the Slamdance red carpet photo shoot.  Too bad the email we got had the wrong date and it had already happened Saturday. No worries, we've got cameras and we know how to use them. We did also get a private photo shoot with the official Slamdance photographer. I'm waiting to see if we can get a copy of those photos.

Tom shoots DC
Another thing that kept us busy all week was putting up posters. Main Street has a few designated spots for both Slamdance and Sundance posters. Sundance was this other film festival taking place on Main Street that week. You might have heard of it.

One of the biggest differences between the two festivals (besides the fact that the Slamdance films really were made independently as opposed to the Sundance films which were made with A&E Indie Films and HBO Documentary) was the clothing.  One of the Slamdance teams was running around in plastic yellow ponchos with the name of their film stenciled on the back.  The Sundance volunteers all wore Kenneth Cole ski jackets with Sundance stitched into the front. Sheesh.

Tom fighting the good fight
But back to the posters. We would put ours up, only to have them covered by posters from all the rest of the films.  This process was repeated multiple times a day.  I suggest they get archeology interns to take the posters down and study the layers as they work backwards in time.  You've got to be able to learn something.

Posing before the posters
are covered up.
Finally Sunday night arrives and our film screens.  A full house, 3D glasses on everyone and rave reviews!  DC did a great job speaking after the film.  He repeated the questions and had answers to all of them without rambling, giggling nervously or chewing gum.  Huzzah!

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were much of the same.  Movies at TMI, parties and happy hours up and down Main Street, buffalo burgers at the local eating establishments and far too little sleep.  Celebrity sightings included: Spike Lee, Neil Young, the kid who plays Luke on Modern Family, William H. Macy (seen behind me but not by me), Nia Vardarlos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), John Hawkes (Deadwood) and Terri Garr - though I was the only one who saw her so this can neither be confirmed nor denied. Even so, I have totally convinced myself it was her.

Even the graffiti is film related
Thursday we were able to watch most of the other shorts blocks - some creepy films, some beautiful films, some films that made you cry.  That afternoon The Magic Man screened again.  Smaller crowd but still a big, positive response.
Beth our Slamdance liaison

At the end of the night it was the closing party.  A chance to hang out and then say goodbye to some of the people we met, a chance to try and meet just a few more.  It was exhausting but fun.

Goodbye, Utah

The next day - a week after we arrived in Utah we hit the road, going back to Cali.  Now I've got to get on following up with people I met and keeping those connections going.  That and posting these pictures on Facebook.  I'll get right on it as soon as I finish my nap.

Team Iceland!

Hell to the Yeah

Chillaxin at the Slamdance HQ

I love snow!
(for one week only)