It has been my experience that some of the most interesting people I have met and conversations I have had often occur while waiting for things at Sundance.
Last year I met this great woman while waiting in line to get into American Teen who was a big exec at a big TV producers company. We later sat down over a hot chocolate and she let me pitch her the film I was trying to find money for. Unfortunately, my micro-mini budget didn’t suit her need for projects 5 million and over, but I guarantee I would have never had the privilege of learning this had we not been waiting next to one another at the Library.
In 2001, I was sitting on the bus (a form of waiting) and started talking to this guy who was launching a new company to submit your films to festivals called Without A Box. It sounded pretty good, kind of like the common application to get into colleges (yes, that was my reference in 2001) so I signed up.
I had an amazing time one year, maybe 2002’ish waiting outside Harry O’s trying to get into the Project Greenlight HBO party. I think half of HBO was outside with me as there was obviously some big mix up at the door. I sold a documentary to HBO in 2005. (Okay, these occurrences had nothing to do with one another, but I still recognized some of the people who braved the cold with me that night at various events and panels.)
This year the festival was empty. You didn’t have to wait anywhere. It was absolutely wonderful but I also realize that I did not meet nearly as many people. I kind of breezed through. Any waiting that occurred was artificially constructed. My best waiting story this year was while in the lobby of the Eccles. I was standing by for a return text from a friend after seeing PUSH, when I spotted Harvey Weinstein in all his great glory (and no, I will not go into any greater detail as I have dreams of doing business with the Weinstein Company some day.) That was a first and someone, I must admit, I have been waiting almost a decade to see live and in person.