In attempt to get myself as much good press as humanly possible, I will be writing a little daily piece here telling my story, my failures and triumphs, and all the hell and happiness that is my experience with my film “Monday” in Park City this year. Already an outsider, being at Slamdance rather than Sundance, I figure what better way to really seal my outcast status by walking FilmThreat readers through all the mistakes I’m about to make while hiking up and down Main Street.
PARK CITY – January 25th
People don’t have time to sit down at a Slamdance party…
Yesterday was supposed to be focused on selling the rest of our tix for our Thursday screening by having Joe and Dylan play at the Slamdance party at 10pm. Of course focus can be diverted easily by snowfall, gift suite hopes, and dinner at Chimayo. We were pretty much sold out already but that just means the tix were sold, not that the people who bought them were going to wake the hell up for a screening at 10am. And I can relate, Thursday had stood out as hell day, having to get up and be there that early and look like I had been out all not “blocking” for Alice.
I made it to my meetings at Slamdance 10 minutes late, with many apologies all the way around. Met with some management, distribution companies, 1 production company, and a company that can only be described as “not fully formed yet”. They’ll remain nameless, despite the fact that their hearts were in the right place, it was just a little bit of a waste of time, considering I was barely able to stand or sit without my eyes closing at this point.
Went back to the condo wanting to nap before dinner, but Joe and Dylan were rehearsing and making me laugh all too much. Still without sleep, I made it back out, to go to the coolest little dinner party this side of the dinner party circuit. It was downstairs at Chimayo, where I’ve never had the chance to eat before because the studios and producers tend to reserve their tables at the good places on Main Street months in advance.
Kodak was hosting. Lorette and Janet were adorable, witty, and funny. Alice, my DP, had brought me along willingly. The food was fantastic, even the vegetarian dishes we ordered, and we left stuffed and silly from the fun night of stories and wanting so badly to have enough money to shoot Kodak next time.
We made it to the Slamdance party, and Joe and Dylan (GUM) went on and played to a packed house of standing people. Ele Keats got up and sang our song “Monday”, the title song to the film (duh), and the boys promoted the following day’s screening between breaths and tuning changes and songs.
Joe was dead and went home with Ele. Again. And Dylan and Alice and I set about making sure our tix were going to sell out the next day.
Slamdance screenings definitely aren’t the breeze of an audience that Sundance’s are. You have to con the audience into leaving their fluffly Sundance life to make it up the hill to your little movie with uncomfortable seats and possibly a cold climate (even though my screening was just the right temperature for comedy). This isn’t so bad when you enjoy the film, and in most cases is quite worth it, but it can be very painful if the film isn’t all that you expected. And mind you, Sundance has some bad seating situations as well, I just haven’t been to a Sundance screening in so long that it’s hard to remember exactly where those theaters were or know if they even exist any longer.
We wound up at another mansion party in Deer Valley for the New York Film Office. Jerry was at the door and asked me where I shot “Monday” before I’d even gotten to the list. I told him Sherman Oaks. He then asked where I was going to shoot the next one and made me say it. “New York, of course.” He let us right in.
John Bernstien of course had found the wristbands needed to get into this party, and we’d found 3 more in the parking lot at the bottom of the hill when kind people got out of a cab having just come back from the party. They all gave us their wristbands and we were there.
Gave away the other three bands to 1 boy who was following Alice around, a co-worker of Joe’s, and his friend. Dylan hit the indoor basketball court while Alice and I explored. It was rumored there was some kind of sex room in the upper levels of the house, but we already felt like there was too much sex around us to begin with, so we had no desire to go and check it out.
Dylan nearly cried every time he missed a basket, and then in a 3-on-3 game he was pounced on, despite his being part of the NBAE league. Alice was jumped on by another eager girl player moments later, and then she was quickly upstairs again where I’d found another boy to follow her around (happy birthday, Alice).
As we were leaving I played an only-semi-fun prank on John Bernstein just to keep myself entertained. We left in a cab of 15 people and Dylan annoyed them all with an “Oh Susanna” harmonica solo from the backseat at 3am.
We’d heard earlier that Ele had been stuck in the snow near the house she was staying in (by herself) and that Joe had to drive all the way over there to help her. He was already exhausted when he left, so I tried hard not to talk to him for the rest of the night so he could work through his upset. He was asleep when I got home, so I was spared any wrath about it at least until morning.
The snow fell harder, and winding back down to Main Street and the illegal parking space, that we had been using every day since we’d arrived, John’s car slid around and crunched ice beneath us and Alice constantly reminded him to be careful even though we were only going about 5-10 miles an hour.
We drove the 4 wheel drive back to the condo and passed out just trying to piece together how this week was shaping up. People were interested in the film. Management companies seemed to be interested in my career again. And the film was getting the little happy/laughing audience we’d been wanting.
And yep, still just want both those things I’ve mentioned a hundred times before…and they’re finally feeling closer. Just had to get enough sleep to make it through the last screening and then maybe I could relax just a little.