Saturday, February 19, 2011


I forgot something really important in my last post.

We saw her.
And I love her.
Now that should be all for Sundance.
Hopefully exciting things start happening again so I will have something else to write about.

[Zooey Deschanel...for those of you who don't love her like I do.]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sundance Film Festival 2011

The Sunday before I went to Dallas, I came back to Provo for a day, after spending 10 days in Park City working at the Sundance Film Festival. It was such a great experience! I met tons of great people, saw some amazing movies (clearly, if you saw the long post before this one) and had a lot of fun. Chad and I worked at the Yarrow Theater and our friend Linze worked right next to us, but had an opposite schedule, which was kind of sad because we didn’t get to see her much.

[Proof we actually got to see Linze a few times!]

I love the little community or family that the festival creates! It was a lot of fun to get to be a part of it this year. One of my favorite parts was being able to actually meet and talk to the directors and writers and actors of these films and then to see them have people go up to them and congratulate them or to see them win awards. As cheesy as it sounds, it was pretty cool to see peoples’ careers take off or dreams come true right before my eyes.

[Our awesome group. Please notice the Shasta drinks Chad and I have in both pictures. Everyone fought over our free beer tickets.]

We worked A LOT (and early mornings) but played a lot too and met tons of great people. Our team was wonderful and our number one rule was to always smile and have fun. And we did. A lot of our team was made up of older women who come to the festival every year to work and catch up with one another. It has been a joke between Chad and I for a while that old people are “our people”, so we fit right in. One day we were all driving together in a van to the awards ceremony and we both just lost it and could not get our laughter under control. There were even tears. We realized that for the last 15 minutes we had been listening to a group of old ladies discuss different ways and recipes to make meatloaf. And what was so hilarious about the situation was that we didn’t even mind; we actually fit in perfectly. Actually, they all partied harder than we did at the awards party. It was pretty funny.

The woman with her arm around me in the picture below is Shannon and she was the best! She quickly became one of our favorites and for her birthday, Chad and I waited in line to get her tickets to see the premier of Kevin Spacey's movie. He was going to be there and she was dying to see him. It was totally worth it because she was SO excited! I think we each got like 10 hugs at work the next day.

[Like I said, "our people".]

I was getting a little nervous about working the festival as the date got closer and closer but I am so glad we did!

I loved it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lots and lots of movies

Working at the Sundance Film Festival was so much more enjoyable than going up for a night to walk Main Street and look for celebrities. I learned so much about the festival, the process of how everything works and got to meet the people who actually created the films. It was a pretty amazing experience and I am so glad I did it. I saw a lot more films working the festival as well. I was able to see about 12 and almost all of the films I wanted to…not too shabby!

This post will be long and probably not very interesting to you—it is mostly for myself. Here is a little bit about each of the films I had the chance to see:

We started off our first night seeing the SHORTS PROGRAM I. It consisted of six short films that were all very different. To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of a few of them but the most entertaining was “Fight for Your Right Revisited”, which included the Beastie Boys, Elijah Wood, and tons of other celebrity appearances. It was entertaining for sure but not award-winning material by any means. We were just glad the shorts ended on this funny, light note. Another good thing that came from the Shorts Program was the Q&A session afterward because that is where I caught my first glimpse of Ariel Kleiman, the director of “Deeper Than Yesterday”. Just ask Linze, it was crush at first sight.

THE FUTURE was our second movie of the festival. It was quirky and the best part was that it was narrated by a cat named Paw Paw. It was about the relationship of a 30-something couple, Sophie and Jason, and how their lives change as they decide to take advantage of their last month of freedom before they adopt a cat together. I liked it and the best word I could think of to describe it when people asked the rest of the week was that it was ‘interesting’.

From here on out it’s all really a blur. So here is what I have to say on the rest of them, in no particular order:


An Autobiography about Love, Death and Technology: I saw this film, which was in the U.S. Documentary category while I was working at the Yarrow. It was interesting but too personal to the director for my taste. The poster made it seem like it would be more interesting than it actually was. I would have loved if it focused more on how we are all connected to each other and to technology, but maybe that’s just me.


One of the main reasons I wanted to see this film was because Freddie Highmore was in it. He did a good job but it was almost strange seeing him try to transition from being a little boy to playing a more grown-up role. Basically it Is kind of a love story but along the way George (Freddie) learns that life and love don’t always go as planned.


This film won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the festival. Some said it was the “500 Days of Summer” of this year’s festival but I don’t agree it was actually that good. But it was good. The film was about two students, Anna and Jacob, who fall madly in love and then try to maintain their long-distance relationship after a problem with Anna’s visa. She is in London and he is in LA and they try to work things out despite all of the problems they run in to. I liked this film because it was a real relationship and in real relationships, not everything is perfect all the time. I found myself more invested in the characters than I thought I was when I was suddenly heart-broken if something went wrong.


This was another documentary that exposed various corporations, including McDonald’s, distort cases against them in order to promote tort reform. Director Susan Saladoff uncovered stories of families in the United States who have not been able to access courts to seek justice in cases where they have been wronged. Like the title of the film mentions, one of the cases was about the McDonald’s coffee spill that caused intense burns on an old woman. I am the first to admit that when I heard people were trying to sue McDonald’s because of a coffee spill, I thought it was ridiculous and they were just gold diggers. But that’s exactly what McDonald’s wanted you to think. Without going in to the details of the case, I learned that McDonald's and many other businesses go out of their way to dodge taking responsibility for their mistakes and because of that, people are being treated unfairly and left with millions of dollars of bills they shouldn’t have to pay for as well as physical and emotional damages.


This was one of my favorite films I saw the whole time and I was very excited to hear that someone bought it so I hope to see it in theaters some day soon. It was about a young man who had a tumor in his brain removed, which damaged his memory. He had not seen his parents in years and the story is the journey the three of them go through to make up for lost time. The dad, J.K. Simmons, was able to have the relationship with his son that he had missed out on through the help of music his son loved, especially The Grateful Dead. I loved this film!


This film had one of the most star-studded casts of all the films this year. It included Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones and a few others. I think Paul Rudd did a great job playing Ned, a man whose life is full of problems, but he always manages to be positive and see the best in people around him. This character trait of his always seems to get him in to trouble and causes his family to think of him as the ‘idiot brother’. While Ned causes a lot of problems in his family, he brings them together as well. To me the movie was very real as it dealt with family and relationships.


This documentary was another one of Morgan Spurlock’s crazy ideas (he’s the one that did “Super Size Me”). He created a documentary all about product placement and advertising that was financed completely by product placement, marketing and advertising. It was pretty brilliant, very interesting and made me want to drink POM pomegranate juice.


I was lucky enough to see this film one day while I was working at the Yarrow. And actually, I heard that it won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film or something like that. It definitely deserved some sort of recognition because it was a great movie. Most of the story is about two ten-year-old boys, Elias and Christian. Elias is constantly bullied at school until he becomes friends with a new kid, Christian. Christian stands up for Elias but the boys eventually get in to trouble when it becomes clear that Christian takes his need to get revenge for others too far. The journey of these two boys and their families is a rocky one but the movie ended well, with some hope of better lives for all of them in the future. I thought it was a beautiful film.


This was another great film that starred Ewan McGregor. It is a love story but also almost a thriller about two people and how they deal with a global pandemic that breaks out. People all over the world are suffering from strange symptoms that first affect peoples’ emotions and then take away their senses, one by one. First the affected feel great sadness and then their smell goes, then taste and then anger, which is followed by a loss of hearing and eventually eye sight.


This was one of the last movies I saw at the festival and I could not have ended on a better note. It was a documentary about Ayrton Senna, a race car driver from Brazil (and maybe the greatest race car driver that ever lived). Honestly, this film was so great that it is hard to even try to say anything about it. It was amazing to learn about this man and how he was a genuinely good person who did the right thing always and was the one thing that brought hope and pride to Brazil when they had nothing else to have hope in. He was an idol there, and for good reason. Watching his journey to the very end was inspiring and emotional and I loved it. Plus, he wasn’t too bad to look at for 90 min either. I wasn’t excited when I realized I would be seeing a documentary about a race car driver (boring!) but I am so glad I did!

Th-th-that’s all folks!

They were saying that more movies were bought this year than have been in a long time. I can’t wait to see some of these come out and how they were changed or edited. That will be interesting to see and cool that I was able to see the original version.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yep, still here

Today was our last day in Dallas (hopefully) and it was the best one so far! We actually got to leave our hotel room for more than two hours and went to two events. The first was "Smocks for Jocks" which was an art auction with current and former athletes and the second was health screenings at a local hospital done by the Living Heart Foundation. Although they weren't Project Hope events, we were able to go and help out and get some good interviews and pictures. Really we were just glad to be outside the hotel!

We had planned all week to go to The Melting Pot for dinner after these events and it was delicious! After dinner we headed over to the stadium to check it out and take a few pictures. I am actually kind of glad that we won't be at the game tomorrow because there are a ton of crazies in town for the Super Bowl! We were so glad today turned out well and we were finally able to drive safely in the snow and ice and make it to some events.

Now that we did at least one fun thing, we can't wait to get back to Provo! We are just praying that the snow that is supposed to come tomorrow morning waits until after 10am so we can take off...wish us luck!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Update from Texas

We were pretty excited to have an event to go to today but I have demonstrated for you with my waffle what it looked like here in Dallas when we woke up this morning. We had a good 5 inches of snow and our events were canceled! We had to clean off our car with a styrofoam plate from the hotel.

So, we bought the last two logs at the hotel lobby to start a fire and came back to our rooms where we have been the rest of the day. Our day has involved a little bit of homework, lots of facebook and YouTube and calling every restaurant we think is close enough to drive to safely to see if any are open. Luckily we just found one that is braving this weather so that's where we are headed now!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just in case you were wondering...

Hell froze over and I got stuck in it.
And that's part of the reason you haven't heard from me in a while.
The other part is because I was at the Sundance Film Festival which was so much fun.
I am working on a more positive post on that trip.

This is the parking lot at our hotel. Pure Ice.
After a canceled flight, I finally headed to Dallas to find the whole city covered in ice and people acting like it was the end of the world. The freeways and every parking lot literally look like skating rinks with at least a 2 inch layer of ice. We had to call around to see if any restaurants were open so we could eat dinner and ended up at IHOP. Nice. Today we ended up at the "Hooters" of Utah. Who knew "Big Racks" wasn't talking about ribs? Our options are slim since most stores and restaurants are closed due to the fact that people aren't leaving their homes. I have never been more excited to get back to Provo.