Sitting at the Sundance HQ, waiting for the shuttle to SLC airport to arrive to take Zack and I away from Sundance 2008 once and for all. Got myself the nice, comfy couch spot outside of the press office, and Zack is next to me passed out, I know he’s asleep because occassionally he twitches, snores and he didn’t notice when I started stacking Heath Ledger “Entertainment Weekly” copies on his head. Only one remains, and it is placed in such a way as to appear as if Zack’s head has been replaced with Heath Ledger’s. It’s both fascinating and creepy.
Speaking of which, the news of Heath Ledger’s death arrived on Monday (I think… was it Tuesday?) Anyway, the current issue of “Entertainment Weekly” has a big article on him as well as a cover photo and… we’ve had that issue since Thursday meaning that, best case, EW turned around the issue in 3 days!?! Worst case, more like 1-2 days. How the Hell is that possible?
I was going to ask Owen Gleiberman about that during the panel we were both on, but I never got around to it. The panel was entitled “Critics Cornered” and it was all about the relevance of film criticism today. I was on the panel with Scott Foundas of “LA Weekly” (Scott moderated the panel), IndieWire.com’s Eugene Hernandez, “Entertainment Weekly” writer Owen Gleiberman and local Salt Lake City film critic Sean Means.
I think the panel went over in a positive way, folks seemed to be very receptive and kind after we wrapped our conversation, and that made me feel good because… you just can’t tell sometimes. One of my biggest pet peeves is a boring film festival panel, Lord knows I’ve attended my fair share, and the last thing I ever want to do is participate in one. Still, sometimes you just can’t tell.
Owen definitely dominated the panel, as his answers were quite (break in thought, some folks just came out of the press office, saw Zack sleeping with the EW Heath Ledger on his head, and they proceeded to take camera pics. did i wake my friend? no, funny is funny) lengthy. I got in my thoughts when I needed to, though I would’ve liked to hear more from Scott on the topics. Though, as moderator, it’s not necessarily his place. Eugene didn’t get to speak much either, but when he did he had some wonderfully insightful things to say and I was impressed (not that I thought he wouldn’t be a good panelist; the exact opposite, I’ve seen Eugene on a number of panels and the man knows his s**t, it’s just I’ve never seen someone make such efficient points on a panel). All told, again, I think things went well.
I’m already trying to formulate plans for next year’s Sundance, ways in which I would do it differently, better. I think my team did a great job, again, and I’m the weak link of the batch. I’ve got 8 reviews I need to write, and video interviews with Morgan Spurlock, Ari Gold, Michael Madsen, Larry Bishop, Eric Balfour, Jaycee Chan, Kenneth Bi, Brian Cox and the rest of the cast and filmmakers of “The Escapist.”
I was a big fan of the webcam, but I don’t think it was on quite enough. This had to do, predominantly, with poor internet at the condo and poor server status on the Stickam side (I blame that damn Eric the Midget show… little bastard has been dominating the Stickam frontpage all week and, as a Howard Stern regular, is bringing in quite the audience). Still, the wheels are turning on how I can improve the webcam experience for the upcoming SXSW Film Festival, and I may have a plan or four.