Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sundance 2012 – Day 6

Still fighting off the sniffles, I woke up later than expected. I wanted to get over and see Shorts Program 3, but that didn’t happen. I am working to still fit it into the rest of my screening schedule though.

Now, I was able to meet up with friend, producer and manager, Jeffery Silver. Jeffery was one of the producers on ‘The Philly Kid’ which I worked on in the Spring of 2011. We were able to sit down, catch up and he asked about what I had on the table for 2012. He loved my two short film ideas, which really helps me stay motivated to get our crowdsfunding campaign up and running sooner than later. So please be on the lookout for that.

Later in the afternoon, I was able to meet up with another friend and colleague, Tony Nawrocki. Tony was my 2nd AD on ‘The Frontier Boys’ in early 2010 up in Charleviox, Michigan. He and I have actually been able to catch up here and there in passing, but this time we were able to catch a screening together. It was the 6:00 PM Egyptian Theatre Screening of ‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’ Dirs: Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim. OK, this is one of those movies that will either be loved or hated; it’s funny or it’s not; and quite often, goes WAY TOO FAR! But it’s definitely Tim and Eric’s style and within those parameters, they do NOT disappoint. I will admit, there are a few parts that grossed me out and I felt went too far… But, that’s just my 2 Cents.

Tonight’s two screenings on my shift were at 9:00 PM ‘Kid-Thing’ Dir: David Zellner and at Midnight ‘Wrong’ Dir: Quentin Dupieux. Now, I didn’t get to watch ‘Kid-Thing’, but the short before it ‘Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared’ Dirs: Joseph Pelling, Rebecca Sloan, I did get to watch. It was interesting and cute with a VERY dark an unexpected ending. You’ll have to watch it get what I mean. I’m not spoiling it! Then at Midnight, I actually got sucked into the film and went ahead and watch it, well the majority, minus popping out to handle something or the other. ‘Wrong’ is an interesting film, all around. Now, it’s in the World Dramatic category, but shot in English and in California, but the director is French. The story about a man living his odd life while searching for his lost dog, as a lot of weird twists and oddities go on around him that are hard explain. It is truly an ODD film. I’m really not sure how to react to it. It wasn’t bad, actually quite good, just ODD.

OK. There is Day 6! I think I’m pretty well caught up. I’ll write Day 7 later today. Thanks and don’t for get to comment!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sundance 2012 – Day 5

So, I had to take this Monday as a personal day. I had some errands to run. And since I woke up not feeling good and missed a panel I wanted to see, I just figured… Get myself taken care of. So between the post office and store, I took care of myself and some things I needed to get done, including stocking up on medication. YAY! NOT!

Now medicated, I felt better for my shift. Monday’s films I worked were the 9:00 PM Screening of ‘Can’ Dir: Rasit Celikezer and the Midnight Screening of ‘John Dies at the End’ Dir: Don Coscarelli. I know, broken record, I wasn’t able to watch the films, so I can’t give you any honest feedback about them. But it is was fun to meet Paul Giamatti.

OK, let’s see if I feel better tomorrow.

Sundance 2012 – Day 4

So, today was another day that was hard to get out of bed and get the day started. Today was also the day I realized that the pillows on my bed were most likely feather pillows, which of course, I’m allergic to. FUN! NOT!

I missed some panels I was looking at, but I was able to make it to Dolly’s bookstore on Main Street for a book signing of the book: ‘Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul’ by The Film Collaborative, Jon Reiss & Sheri Candler. I was excited because Jon Reiss is also the author of ‘Think Outside the Box Office’ which is an amazing resource. Now, Jon had already taken off (it was believed to go to the Film Independent Party) but I was surprised to discover who The Film Collaborative really is. I met Orly Ravid Co-Executive Director and she was very nice. She even offered the possibility to blog for them sometime in the future. YAY! The surprise to me was the other Co-Executive Director, Jeffery Winter. Jeffery used to work for the Sundance Film Festival assisting with panel discussions and the digital dialogues at the New Frontier which I loved so much. (HINT: Sundance bring back the Digital Dialogues!) It was great to catch up with Jeffery and see where life has taken since Sundance.

Now, I did have to take off from there to head back up to the Egyptian. I offered to help with the special Collective Screening of ‘Reality Bites’ Dir: Ben Stiller. Yes, this is the 1994 film and yes, I said Ben Stiller. I was interesting to hear some of his thoughts after the film during the Q/A / Chat they had. I had to miss the tail end because I assisted with Mr. Stiller leaving the Egyptian once the Q/A was completed.

After that I grabbed a bite to eat and went in at 8:30 for my shift. Our two films this night were: at 9:00 PM ‘Mosquita y Mari’ Dir: Aurora Guerrero and at Midnight ‘Shut Up And Play the Hits’ Dirs: Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace. Once again, I wasn’t able to watch either due to work I had to attend to.

OK… There is Day 4. I’m getting caught up now…

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sundance 2012 – Day 2

So as the first full day of Sundance 2012 gets underway, I planned to jump out of the gates strong.

I started my day with a screening of ‘Hello I Must be Going’ Dir: Todd Louiso. This is one film I was making it a point to see. The lead actress, Melanie Lynskey, is the real life wife of one of the cast members on ‘Breakout Kings’, Jimmi Simpson. The film is a coming of age film of sorts about a divorced woman falling for and having a romance with a younger man. It was really an amazing film. It had great performances from the entire cast and really captured Melanie’s character as she went from giving up on life to picking herself back up, while dealing with her family and insecurity about what to truly do with her life. There is even a great cameo by Jimmi himself.

Next, I raced over to the Yarrow Theatre to catch Shorts Program 2. Much like Shorts Program 1, Program 2 has a very diverse and quite impressive grouping of short films:

- ‘ ’92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card’ Dir: Todd Sklar The short is about two very different brothers dealing with the loss of their father, sometime in very immature ways. It’s a great comedy/coming-of-age (if I can call it that) film with honest moments between both brothers, which I can relate too all too well. Also, the film was shot in Branson, MO with a friend or two working on the crew! YAY!

- ‘The Arm’ Dirs: Brie Larson, Sarah Ramos, Jessie Ennis A very cute story about a community dealing with the loss of a teenage girl and the boy who was known to be her boyfriend. Very creative tale of how context from text messages can be taken WAY too far!

- ‘The Black Balloon’ Dirs: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie Amazing tale of one balloon’s journey to find companionship. Impossible to describe balloon choreography! Is that what it would be called? Great visuals with a cute story. I still wonder how they did some, ok just about all, the things they did.

- ‘Girl’ Dir: Fijona Jonuzi An interesting short about a young man who invites an older woman over to party with his young friends one night. The relationships are interesting and it definitely leaves you wondering exactly what happens that night.

- ‘Henley’ Dir: Craig MacNeill A creative tale about a young boy who finds entertainment, and a little profit, in bringing roadkill to his father, the owner of the roadside motel they own and live at. This film definitely plays a little on the dark side making you wonder just how far this young boy will go. Great performance for a young, new talented actor.

- ‘OK Breathe Auralee’ Dir: Brooke Swaney An interesting tale about a woman dealing with her desire to have a baby. There was interesting visuals with a little supernatural feel, as well as interesting chemistry between the lead actress and two men she desires.

- ‘The Return (Kthimi) Dir: Blerta Zeqiri A simple yet quite unnerving tale about a woman reunited with her POW boyfriend/husband. As they cope with the struggles each has been through, it’s hard to tell who has had it worse. Simple, yet impactful.

Also, while I was entering the screening, I ran into a friend and former Sundance volunteer, Heather Kasprzak! I found out that her and her boyfriend, Tyler Dixon, are finalists, AGAIN (YES, I SAID AGAIN), in the Doritos Superbowl Commercial Competition! YAY! So please go vote for their commercial ‘Dog Park’ at:

I truly hope we all can cheer her and Tyler on to win the competition this year! So please visit the link above and VOTE for ‘Dog Park’!

Next, I took advantage of a late notification of a special panel at the Sundance Filmmakers Lodge! The panel, ‘The New Social Pollinators’, which covered using the Internet and social networking to help get projects off the ground, seen and moving forward. The panelists were Alex Carloss (YouTube); Bob Moczydlowsky (Topspin Media); Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter); and moderator Wendy Levy (Tomorrow Partners). It was amazingly informative about how to use these resources and those similar to cross social networks and benefit a project. I’m glad I caught the notification and was able to make it there!

Now, today was also the first shift I had at the Egyptian Theatre. We had two great and packed screenings. At 9:00 PM we had ‘Violeta Went to Heaven’ Dir: Andres Wood and at Midnight we had ‘The Pact’ Dir: Nicholas McCarthy. ‘The Pact’ is the feature film version of a Short Film from Sundance 2011 of the same name. Now, I regret to inform you that because I had a lot to handle in my shift I was not able to screen either film. Some Midnight shows I can, and others I can’t. These I couldn’t.

OK… there is Day 2 at Sundance 2012. More to come as the Festival rolls on!