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Sundance 2011 | The Glamour Of Sundance? Waiting!

Sundance 2011 | The Glamour Of Sundance? Waiting!

Some photos from Sundance. Captures my experience in a way no celebrity red carpet shots can… Sundance is all about waiting. Waiting and waiting. And waiting…

The day starts at 7:40 AM with a nice walk and wait at the bus stop. One of the best feelings at Sundance is the recognition that the pair of lights in the distance have materialized into the bus you actually need.

The bus ride leads to the Press and Industry (P&I) tent, located in the parking lot just across from the Holiday Village Cinemas. Situated in a strip mall next to an Albertson’s Fresh Market grocery store, the P&I Tent is, movie theaters aside, the place where P&I attendees spend most of their time, waiting in line for movies. The tent is equipped with a great WiFi connection but, unlike the Yarrow Hotel of old, no place to actually sit down and write. So, instead of using time spent waiting to get some work done, the Tent is pretty much a bust. It also is a little noxious, with gassy P&I delegates filling the place with all sorts of foul humors that stay trapped under the plastic roof and combine to produce a very unique smell. I like to think of the P&I tent as something Temple Grandin might have designed if she wanted to punish delegates while herding them efficiently into the movie theaters.

Out of the line, into the theaters to face down the screenwash while you wait for the movie to start. This looping piece of video changes every year and I love what Sundance does with them. They always give me a lot to look at and allow me to play mental games. This year’s screenwash referenced moves that played at past festivals, combining to form the snowflake logo at the heart of this year’s campaign. It is a nice way to kill time in the theater prior to the movies. You can’t help but look at it.

Park City rests at roughly 7,000 feet above sea level. The air is thin and it takes a few days to get acclimated. So, when the city founders decided to build the downtown on a giant hill, itself in a valley surrounded by other hills, it was probably a choice made specifically to say “fuck you” to out of towners. This set of stairs, leading from Main St to Ontario Ave in downtown Park City, was the equivalent of getting the wind knocked out of you by a punch to the gut. I took this picture as I literally waited 5 minutes to catch my breath after the climb. The price of socializing at Sundance can be steep. Literally.

One of the benefits of having a P&I badge is that it allows you to visit the Eccles for the first screening of each day. You get to watch some of the most popular films at the festival with a real audience instead of being cloistered solely with the P&I crowd. This year’s process was a huge success for an early bird like me and a GREAT benefit. When I was headed in to see Tom McCarthy’s excellent Win Win, I ducked into the ticket holders tent for a quick view. This is about 50% of the tent at 8:40 in the morning. As a programmer, I can’t help but be insanely jealous to see 1300 people show up for a movie at 9:00 AM. Every morning I went, weekend or weekday, the tent was packed with people waiting to see a movie. Seriously envious.

The view inside the Eccles. This is about 9:00 AM again. Couldn’t get the balcony in this shot; not a great picture, but again, massive envy. Waiting for the movie to start. Again.

I’ll be wrapping up my Sundance experience very soon… finally, time and a place to write… you’ll just have to wait for it…

All photos were grabbed on the run on my phone, so apologies for the lack of professionalism…

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