CANNES ’99 DIARY: Day One — This Ain’t Park City?!
by Dan Myrick
[EDITORS NOTE: The makers of the “The Blair Witch Project” have agreed to write a diary of their experiences in Cannes for indieWIRE. The first entry is being published today at indieWIRE.com.]
It all started off with a very long plane ride. Aside from the “coach seat crush” and a little turbulence, the flight was like any other, just longer, oh yeah, and it was headed to Cannes. About half way through the journey I realized I was sitting directly in front of Lance Weiler and Stefen Avalos, the creators of “The Last Broadcast.” Lance and I got into a fairly lengthy philosophical discussion about the state of technology and we grilled each other how our respective projects were going. They were both very cool but acknowledged that they were as drained as we were from all the jet setting around the countryside.
We got to France unscathed. Jeremy Walker picked us up from the airport and took us straight to the hotel. Once we settled in, I began the process of trying to figure out how to flush the toilet, find the phone, and work these wacky AC outlets. Soon after, Jeremy took us by the hand and gave us a quick tour in and around the streets of Cannes. It’s an amazing place. From the yachts anchored off the beach on the Riviera, to the renegade Vespa drivers in the streets, Cannes seems to thrive on the attention this festival brings. It wasn’t long until Jeremy had to go off somewhere, leaving us to our own devices. That was interesting to say the least. You have to imagine the Haxan boys trying to order water and coffee at a local cafe. All the snide tourist remarks we’ve made over the years to the hapless victims from our home base in Orlando came back to haunt us. We took turns laughing at each other while we attempted to communicate with the local vendors. I’m quite certain I paid about eighty bucks for a couple of rolls of film and a Hi-8 tape.
I can’t help but make comparisons to Sundance (I’m thankful that I have the luxury to do so). Some things are the same. The black clad, cell phone to the ear “dealmakers” are out in force much as they were at Park City, the only difference is that without the Ralph Lauren parka it’s easier to see who’s been maxing out their food per diem. Some things are different, mainly the fact that I can get a tan while I stand like a moron trying to read the French translation of “Entrapment,” one of the many elaborate movie displays. I never thought of the “American Pavilion” as a refuge from total confusion, but if you’re a unilingual Yank like myself, it can be your beacon in the madness, steering you in the right direction.
So, now Ed and I are scheduled to do a few interviews today and tomorrow. Believe it or not, we are to be appearing with Ron Howard and Spike Lee on an American filmmaker forum today moderated by Roger Ebert. I feel like we’re filling in for someone that should really be there, something like what the soaps do when an actor is out sick. “The part of the successful filmmakers that should be on the stage with Ron Howard and Spike Lee will be played by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez.” We’ll just roll with it.