Friday, January 29, 2010

Sundance 2010 Mid-Week Two

So I am past my half-way point here in Park City for Sundance TwentyTen, but that doesn’t mean I’m slowing down. Here is a look at Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Tuesday: I wanted to get up very early and attend the ‘Meet the Documentary Funders’ program. I attended it in past years and it can be informative. However, this year, I wasn’t crushed that I missed it. I am focusing more on narrative filmmaking, rather than documentaries, so it wasn’t terrible that I missed it.

I did make it to ‘The Next Generation’ panel at the Filmmaker Lodge, which was moderated by John Cooper, Director of the Film Festival, himself. The panel was made up of the filmmakers whose films are in the NEW Next Program of the Film Festival. The Next Films were made creatively for less than $500,000. I feel it is a brave you new outlet for Sundance that will help up-and-coming filmmakers, like myself, have an outlet for our films. It was amazing informative to hear these filmmakers talk about their ups, downs, challenges and rewards while making their films, as well as what they learned along the way.

After the panel, I made my way to the Eccles Theatre and screened ‘Welcome to the Rileys’ directed by Jake Scott, son of director Ridley Scott, and stars James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart and Melissa Leo. This film, along with ‘The Runaways’ will never have you looking at Kristen Stewart the same any more. They are both very mature roles.

Tuesday’s Midnight Movie was ‘High School’ directed by John Stalberg Jr. and starring Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Matt Bush and Colin Hanks.

Wednesday: I got up and headed back up to Slamdance for another panel/fireside chat. Today’s panel was on Production Insurance and Legal issues filmmakers should know. The panel was made up of 2 distribution executives (one from New Video and one from Magnolia), an Entertainment Attorney and an Entertainment Insurance Specialist. It was actually very hands on as they spend the entire hour responding to the concerns of the few filmmakers in attendance. It was very informative. I even rekindled an idea I pushed off the table a long time ago.

I followed that up by attending the YouTube Presentation at the New Frontier on Main. I really didn’t know what to expect. The panel was an explanation and demonstration of the ad revenue and monetization methods on YouTube, including their new rental model and Filmmakers Wanted portal. It was very interesting to see how easy it is to use and what features are available. It definitely will open new avenues of distribution for the future.

Now that might seem like a busy day already… NO… I raced off to the Racquet Club Theatre to screen ‘Get Low’ from director Aaron Schneider. The film stars Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black.

I finished the night at work. The Midnight Screening for Wednesday was ‘The Violent Kind’ written and directed by The Butcher Brothers starring Cory Knauf, Taylor Cole, Bret Roberts, Christina Prousalis and Tiffany Shepis. Sadly it was not the first screening of ‘The Violent Kind’, and some of the cast, including Tiffany Shepis had already left Park City. Tiffany is going to be in an up-coming production I have on the table. The Feature was preceded by a short film, ‘Still Birds’, from director Sara Eliassen. I was not able to screen all of ‘The Violent Kind’, but I was able to see the entire short. I’ll post my review of the short along with all the other reviews.

Well, that should get my caught up through Wednesday. I do want to hear from you all. Should I post my review here as soon as I can OR should I wait and post them on my NEW film review website, which will be going online shortly after I return to St. Louis? I look forward to your comments.

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