1.) To be 100 percent surrounded by mountains. Yes, I’ve been to Colorado and rode up to the top of Pike’s Peak, but I’ve never stood in a town and been able to turn 180 degrees and see nothing but a jagged barrier landscape, makes you feel like you’ve been dropped in a teacup where the sides of the cup are gigantic mountains.
2.) Such rustic lodging. There were deer antlers on my wall, ‘nuff said.
3.) To regret forgetting a hat. I know how that sounds but I had gloves, multiple scarves, two winter coats and snow boots; yet, because it snowed nearly every day a hat became paramount. Good thing we had hundreds of awesome SAGIndie hats and I eventually got my hands on one.
4.) To see Robert Duvall in person! Probably the actor I was most moved to see. He came up on stage along with his co-stars Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black after the screening of their film Get Low. He didn’t have too much to say but he did speak fondly of the mule they used in the film.
5.) To meet Amber Benson and Adam Busch. They attended SAGIndie’s Filmmaker’s Lunch and they were representing their Slamdance competition films Cummings Farm and Drones. Yes, I know each of them as an ex-Buffy season 6 cast member and that season’s wannabe supervillian, respectively.
6.) To learn so much about Right to Work states. Utah is one of them, which made for an interesting discussion during our SAGIndie Panel, which included our National Director Darrien Gipson, SAG’s Diversity National Director Rebecca Yee, as well as the New Media National Director Mark Friedlander and National Director of Digital Marketing Steve Graham.
7.) To see John Carroll Lynch at our SAGIndie Actor’s Brunch and have him not talk in a Minnesotan accent.
8.) To have a film that I knew little about end up being my Sundance favorite: Hesher. Obscene and unapologetic, it had some authentic, heartfelt moments.
9.) To be one of the audience members who asked a question during a post-screening Q & A. After I saw Splice, I had to ask director Vincenzo Natali a question: did he mean for his sci-fi horror flick to be so darn funny? Splice had the most audience participation of any film I saw, it scared us, made us grimace, gawf, squirm and most importantly, laugh. His answer: horror and comedy make good bedfellows so yes, absolutely, I was expecting laughs. I was happy to hear this because if you can laugh at the characters and the story a little then this movie has got to be my second favorite.
10.) To have a week in Utah go by so fast.