This afternoon, while eating a quick Thai lunch in between screenings, I was reminded just how much of an insular world Planet Sundance seems to be, for me at least. The
Mountains seem like another world,
surrounding in a snowy haze, filled with enthusiastic
out-of-towners invading what would otherwise be a small town. While eating a
quick Thai lunch, the Presidential inauguration was airing. I’m ashamed to say
I forgot it was today until the muted TVs above the bar showed the Presidential
Inauguration. Sundance is all about what’s happening at Sundance, nowhere else.
Now that I’m back in my hotel, I’ll have to read about it before going to bed,
and yes, if I’m being honest, after I finish this blog. Park City
|Impressive pianist on Main Street playing in 20 degree weather. Rock on, Park City!|
On the shuttle bus back to my rented car with my boyfriend, we chatted about my Sundance experience as compared to journalists and even people who have films in the festival for the first time. My advice to anyone coming to the festival that is interested in making an indie film of their own is to come into the festival having done a lot of research. Knowing what films you like, you should go through the program guide ahead of time and try to target films that you think you may learn something from. I would say that going to see the big premiere, celebrity packed films isn’t important for me, just as it shouldn’t be for indie filmmakers.
Try to meet these filmmakers and find out what they did and how they did it. What steps did they take to go from idea to the big screen at Sundance? Now realistically, there are a billion ways to navigate the complicated steps needed to make a film, but it helps to not only learn from others successes and trip-ups, but also just to network. Maybe their DP is someone you’d love to work with, or some other crew member.
I’m not the only one touting this, but indie film has to be about community. By seeing and supporting Sundance small indie films, you not only learn from them, but you show that there is a want and need for smaller films in the film landscape. Why see a film with a well established director, veteran actors and a larger budget when it will probably be out in theaters or at least available On Demand in a few months or a year? Go see the things that may or may not get picked up. Take advantage of the smaller films Sundance has to offer. I’m strangely proud to say that I haven’t seen many celebrities. I’m looking for the passionate people out there, the like minded newbies trying to make it happen.