Learning the Ropes

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I started my first full day at Sundance at 6:45am.  I left to go wait in line hoping to get “wait-list” tickets for the movie Terri starring John C. Reilly (see my review below).  The wait list tickets go to those who get a film at least 2 hours prior to its screening by receiving the spots that people who already purchased tickets did not end up using.  Confusing process at first, but pretty much it is just a long wait to get someone’s spot who didn’t show.  Usually you get in.  I have yet to not get into a film by getting there 2 hours early!

Brent, David, Gabby, and I all agreed we enjoyed Terri because it was simple and we felt a deep connection to the character.  It also helped that John C. Reilly made a hilarious high school assistant principal.  After Terri, we stuck around for a Q&A, which included some of the cast and crew.  It was really cool seeing a star we had just fallen in love with on screen walk on stage and answer questions!  I even quickly shook hands with the director, Azazel Jacobs!

When we left Terri we went over to the Sundance box office and claimed the tickets we ordered online and looked around at the official Sundance schedule and store.  Let me tell you, I am NOT going to be buying anything from there.  $30 posters, $100 jacket, $35 t-shirts…I don’t think so! My souvenirs are my photos!

Before our second screening of the day, Leigh and Kaitlyn showed myself and some others this building that was taken over by Cedar Rapids promotion company that was giving away free t-shirts, hats, bags, mugs, and necklaces in order to hype up the movie.  It was interesting to see that side of Sundance.

Our screening was Slacker, a film that premiered at Sundance in 1991, so exactly 20 years ago! wow I was as old as that movie! It was a strange movie that simply focused on the bizarre lives of people that crossed paths with each other in the streets of Texas.  Once you got to know one character another person walked by and you were already focused on him or her…interesting concept, just a little boring for my liking.  The look of the film, however, was very grainy because obviously, then they shot with film cameras.  It was cool seeing that type of format that is rare to see today; it helped set the setting.

After Slacker, we walked around Main Street to search for celebrities and we ended up spotting/meeting/talking to James CromwellK’NAAN, and Jeremy Irons. There’s so many people that look famous we’ve probably walked by dozens more and just haven’t recognized him or her.

After wandering the streets for awhile, we ran into this extremely nice El Salvadorian family that spoke English well.  We exchanged information on why we were both here and learned that they were making a documentary about each film festival around the world.  One of the men was a producer so we invited him to our house and he sat agreed and brought the whole family.  Everyone loved having them here. It was our first real interview at the house so gathering equipment and setting up was stressful but worked out. The producer discussed his passion for film since he was a child and that the “sky is the limit” he said.  I loved hearing that from someone who is successful because it made me realize that I’m here because I’m passionate.

– Will Anderson

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About The Spirit of Sundance

A group of Elon University students experiencing the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
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