On the road again.
Today it is the Sundance Producer's Lab in Utah.
I have been to Sundance many times over the years, mainly to the film festival, but my dad and his former girlfriend used to live part-time in Park City, so it was a great opportunity to bring the family up there for ski trips and reunions. Sadly they moved out (and broke up I might add) some years ago, so business has been my only excuse to get up there recently.
Several films I have been involved with were screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Sliding Doors played at Sundance (it was the opening night film) as did Birthday Girl, and more recently Alpha Dog had a special screening there.
My wife Elsa came up with me one year and it was the very first time she had ever seen snow. She grew up in Cuba, and her only prior travel outside the island had been to warmer climates or during the summer season. Even wrapped in a big down jacket like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, she was fascinated by the white powder snowflakes, but she didn't like the cold.
But this is the first time I have participated in their lab programs. It is an honor to be invited, but a struggle to think of anything Positive to say to the participants in the current bleak landscape for independent filmmaking in this country.
Hmm. They say everything is cyclical, but the problems plaguing the so-called specialty theatrical film business - too many titles, eroding audience, competing alternate smart tv programming, stay-at-home options, lack of important critical voices and outlets - don't feel transitory, but part of the tectonic plate shifts we are all experiencing as our lives and culture hurtle along at warp speed.
Oh well, lots to think and talk about. And certainly an amazing environment to do it in. The Wasatch mountains are a spectacularly beautiful place in any season. I'm going to listen and learn as much as to proffer my own opinion, so I hope to have some interesting things to report on upon my return.
And I hope to slip in a little time to finish up McCarry's Old Boy's too.
Best wishes from The Mountain Top