Live from Park City!!

Okay, well, I think you've figured out by now that it's not live, but, well, you don't get much better than this. It's 2.30 in the morning of Sunday the 20th of January, and I've just arrived home from Day number 2 of the Sundance Film Festival. It's been an exciting ride so far, so I thought I'd update everyone with what's going on.

The following is a very selfish opinion, and what is said about celebrity figures is not necessarily true. I do not know these people personally, and to be honest, I think I relate and understand many of their actions. Regardless, these, again, are my impressions, and mine alone. Don't judge them solely based on my observations.

Okay, now that I've got that out of the way, I think I can finish this entry without the fear of someone's lawyer ever calling me. Of course, I'm just not that important, so why would they call me anyway?
Yesterday was the first full day of the festival. I had grand plans to go spend the day in Park City, go to a panel on technology and film, and then come home in time to get in the wait-line (wonderful student passes only get you free tickets from the wait-line) for the gala premiere of "The Great Buck Howard." I fly with the public transportation around these parts, which just isn't as good as it might be elsewhere, so I ended up being later than I was hoping. I got number 88 in the wait-line for that 6.30 showing, and I think only numbers 1 and 2 got in. Yeah. So, we went outside and saw John Malkovich get out of his car. Cool guy, in a hurry, but seriously, he seemed genuinely kind. He dished out a few autographs, and then made his short way into the theatre's lobby (where we weren't allowed, of course). A few minutes later, Colin Hanks came with his wife/girlfriend/a girl that happened to be with him (not quite sure about that, I don't stalk him). He was also really cool with people. Surprising how much he truly resembles his father, Tom.
I missed the coming of Tom Hanks, I was getting back in line to see if I'd get in. But he came, and then he went. All the while, I didn't get into the first showing of "Buck Howard," but I was able to immediately secure a very nice #30 spot in the wait-line for the 9.30 showing. Nice. It just so happened that about 36 people got into that one, so that was grand.
As we sat down, to our surprise, Tom Hanks was introduced and brought out onto the stage, where he introduced and presented the rest of the cast--including John Malkovich and Hanks' son, Colin--to the audience. How about that? Right in front of us. Well, I was surprised of how normal I felt. I didn't feel lower than them, oh no. Quite the contrary. I was surprised because I didn't feel "star-struck" and I had no yearning to go...touch them; or whatever it is that people feel like doing when they see famous people.
Tom's pretty funny in real life. He made some good jokes about the writers' strike, about Tom Arnold's wives, what else? He was just so genuine--it made me happy to see that.
After they left the stage, the movie started. "The Great Buck Howard" was probably one of the best films to start the festival I could have seen. It was good; you could call it one of those feel-good films of the year. Plus, it hit right at home, which meant a lot to me. Overall, it had great acting--hello!!! John Malkovich!--and just an all-around great feeling. So, it carries my recommendation if you want a feel-good time with some memorable roles. "Isn't that wild?"
That same day, I was called by a friend of mine who had hooked up with a producer named Soroush Shehabi who had a film, "Kicking It," in the festival. Soroush had asked my friend if he knew of any videographers who could come and just document the "ride" of premiering a film at Sundance. Well, I was recommended, and got the job.
I got the equipment that I needed (thanks to Ash, and Pictureline, even though I really had no need for the lighting kits!!) and went up to the library in Park City, where the premiere was going to take place.
I wasn't met by Soroush, but by some other person (PR dude?) working for the company. He wanted me to get right on shooting--didn't even let me put a mic on...tsk tsk--and he took me around to the execs that funded this film.
The film is about the Homeless World Cup, so it hit home to me. No, I'm really not homeless, even though sometimes I feel that way, but I do love soccer, so I thought it was cool. The neatest part was that Colin Farrell was the narrator. Which meant he was coming. In fact, when he got there, I was filming him. So, my first celebrity on my footage was Colin Farrell. Who'da thunk it? Not me. Of course, even though Soroush promised him that the paparazzi was cleared out and that one photographer and I would be the sole people recording him...I don't think Colin thought that was cool. If Colin Farrell was my first star, then he was also the first one who pushed my camera out of the way...twice. I should explain.
So, my "correspondant" with Soroush, and Soroush himself, wanted me to be close to Colin. It's good publicity, obviously, to have someone that famous come to your premier--even if he's in it. However, I don't think they understood telephoto and its magic. I'd get perfectly framed shots from a good distance--I mean, come on, Colin's a person too, and deserves his space, right?--but they kept on telling me to go closer...and closer. Well, Colin started talking to someone about something (I'm not sure because my headphone's were half on and there was noise in the room) that he obviously didn't want me recording, so he put his hand up to the camera in true anti-paparazzi style and shooed me away. His friend had already come up and told me, in short, to back off.
I understand, I really really do. I had two people to please, and I didn't want to piss Colin Farrell off. Meanwhile, I also understood why Soroush wanted that footage. So...I played it easy. And it worked. I got plenty of Farrell shots, while I thought I was still respecting him.
Well, that is, until the after-party.
I was supposed to go and film that, you know, show the world what it's like or something. It took a bit to track all the equipment (including the lighting kits that I didn't use) back to my car, and then go find something to eat...and THEN go get a new parking spot closer to the party, so by the time I had got there, it was half over.
However, it was still full, so I went in...with a mission: to be able to come back out alive.
I went to the back door--I obviously couldn't get in that way, so I went to the front where there was a huge(!) line. I tried to call Soroush, didn't get a hold of him, when he walked out. I yelled to him and he joked with security that I was supposed to be filming the party and got me in. How about that. Once inside, however, it was so dark that I couldn't get much. I realized that I had to re-prep the camera, since it had ran out of battery, etc. so I found a little bar I could do it at in the back. At that time, Dennis Quaid and his lovely wife came in. How's Dennis? Awesome. He was really kind to the workers there at Cisero's and even encouraged them to take pictures. Nice guy. Plus, he stayed at the back. Up front we had dancing and who knows what else, but back in the "lounge" it was just a crowded talking party. I wandered around a bit, not wanting Dennis to think I was stalking him (I'm very self-conscious) when I came to another little table where I could rest my camera. What I didn't notice was that the camera was probably right next to Colin Farrell's head. That's embarrassing. I decided to leave, and when I did, Colin's friend/bodyguard/assistant/you name it, came up to me, ticked off as all get out (maybe not that bad) and told me not to shoot them at the table. I responded very friendly-like, and even patted him on the shoulder, and apologized. I don't think he cared. Whatever. That was number two.
The movie, "Kicking It" will be rated R, unless some F-our letter words are bleeped out, distributed by ESPN, and should definitely be on your documentary watch list. I enjoyed it, and it was a poignant look at how the homeless really struggle, and how we as their "neighbors" treat them. It was some great moments, and had a great creative infrastructure which kept the movie rolling and the audience in it.
The stars for today, Dennis and Colin, received differing "grades." Colin's probably number last on the short list right now for congeniality, while Dennis is put right next to the Hanks'. Then again, I was paparazzi-ing (not really) Colin without really meaning to, so I probably had him in a bad mood. Too bad we didn't talk it out. Communication solves *so* many problems these days.
Well, I should go to bed so I can prepare for tomorrow's long day as well. Who knows what great adventure we'll have then.

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