Back to where I started

I’m back at my weathervane for activity, the Clockwork Café where I am the only one sitting at a table. It is obvious that the festival is winding down, even though there are four more days of film screenings and panel discussions. The stars have flown back to LA along with all the scantily clad tarts hoping to meet them. Those that remain, it seems, either have to be here or have come out from under the covers now that the hordes are gone.

Now that I have some time and there is the space to sit and write, I’d like to talk about some of the things that might actually be useful to know if you are considering coming here next year.

1) you don’t need a pass. I’ve seen five films at Sundance without one and it is usually quite easy to get into Slamdance screenings. Save your money for the overpriced, crappy food.

2) Eating here is expensive and, over the first couple of days, a hell of a chore. Our attempt to get into the ironically titled bar/restaurant the Hungry Moose on Friday night got me thinking about a few Sundance inspired names for some of these places- the Famished Writer, the Denied Non-Celebrity. There is very little take out food in the main festival area, making my budget of $50 a day a little tough to stick to. More problematic is finding the time to eat. With everything being on a schedule and with it taking so long to get from venue to venue, there isn’t much time to sit down at a crowded place and wait for food. If you are adventurous, the shuttle buses to more distant venues drop you close to some less harangued eating establishments. While waiting to get into see a film yesterday, I perused a local dining and entertainment mag, “Mountain Express”, where I got a better sense of where the locals probably don’t go. Most intriguing, not to mention upsetting, was the ad for the Saturday Night Western BBQ, where reservations are required and you are encouraged to “circle the wagons and round up your posse”—because Cormac McCarthy is the guest chef tonight at this gorge-yourself-buffet for the whole family. Adults, $47. Infants, free.

3) The locals really hate Sundance. Well, maybe the local bartenders like it. But, as my earlier posts have indicated, there is serious animosity toward this monster festival. It’s easy to understand why. The Main Street area is a lot like Olde City, with the bratty girls with flat ironed hair and their deal-making boyfriends treating everyone around them like props. I found out the hard way that the town of Park City aborts it’s down town for one week a year, having very little to do with the craziness of its non-stop, invite-only partying. Likewise, most Sundance employees are imports and can’t tell you anything that isn’t already in the program guide.

4) The bus, as much as it has been the bane of my time here, is a great place to meet people, even directors and actors. Everyone has to get to the movies somehow and it is entirely impractical to have a car. Public transit it free. But, if you don’t like waiting around, there are plenty of cabs.

5) If you lose something like, say, your wallet, the local radio station (there is only one in town) will announce it at your request. Give them some info on what to do with it if someone finds it and you’re good to go.

6) Not sure if the text messaging service ChaCha, free at Sundance, which is supposed to answer any question you may have- and I mean any- will be here next year. But, if it is, I encourage you to harass them with useless questions because they have disappointed most festival-goers with their answers to real questions (myself included). My housemate Kevin asked them what the crude epithet “choad” means. Lo and behold, they came back with an accurate answer, which is not suitable for Public Radio. Suffice to say that it is an area of the male body.

7) Even if you are here just to watch movies, check out some of the free panels and presentations. It might help you understand why there are so many guys with ponytails here.

Well, that’s it for me here at Sundance. Please follow my regular blog ( to see what happens with my screenplay. Thanks for reading.

Explore posts in the same categories: Philly@Sundance

One Comment on “Back to where I started”

  1. water man Says:

    I love independent films. They’re so much more pure than all that crap hollywood dishes out.

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