O.K., so I’m engaging in film festival revelry. I have now consumed more alcohol (I mean, I’ve seen more films) in a week than I would normally do in………..uh, 8 days.
Life is good when it’s full of movies, mudslide drinks, and a really great ice luge. These are the primary elements of the Waterfront Film Festival. I arrived in the airport and met up with some of the motley crew that would become my drinking buddies. The group is impressive, all bringing great films to the fest (but enough about that for now – who am I, their press agent?). We boarded a bus bound for Saugatuck, looking like a group of city kids headed to camp. As the bus rattled on, we traded names and projects (me being the cool SPONSOR, i.e. untalented one in the group). Once we got to the Ship N Shore Motel, which would be our weekend home, we were greeted by our host family, the DePrees (that’s Dana, Dori, Kori, and Hopwood, plus the ‘rents). And from there, the festivities began.
I met my soulmates in sarcasm, Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, the producer and writer/director respectively of the SASQUATCH DUMPLING GANG. These NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE alum proved to be a constant source of amusement. Good guys, but don’t tell them I said so – they’ve got enough juice right now. I saw some other good films as well, including IN MEMORY OF MY FATHER (see Christopher, I actually SAW your film!) and Ed Burns’ newest, THE GROOMSMEN (his best film in my opinion). It’s always a pleasure to go to a festival and meet cool people, indulge in gluttonous behavior, AND see good films. Saugatuck could be heaven, if not for the mosquitos. Sadly, my chance at getting a good night sleep (my first trip without Darrien, Jr.) was squashed by the constant partying until 5 am. This is not a festival for wallflowers or the faint of heart. BUT, if you’re ever in the southwest part of Michigan, off Lake Michigan, you MUST check out the festival. It’s got to be good if you can have 100’s attend a film festival in a town that doesn’t HAVE a movie theater!!!!
Despite my hangover from Waterfront, there was no rest for the wicked. Within 24 hours, I was dispatched to CineVegas Film Festival. This was a quick trip, dropping in to host a party and disappearing into the night. Of course, when CineVegas suggested that we host the ‘Filmmaker’s Bowling Party’, it seemed like an easy do. I’m sure it was just an oversight that they didn’t mention that the bowling went from 1am to 4am!!! Again, no sleep for me. But I have to say that it was a blast. I was a bit worried about attendance, especially since the party beforehand was in honor of none other than Sylvester Stallone. But by 1:15am, the party was jumping. We all got these cool CineVegas bowling shirts and said, in the immortal words of Adrian Zmed in the iconic film GREASE 2, "Let’s Bowl!! And bowl we did! Check out these hipsters.
And anyone who doubts the stoic conservatism that is an essential to a big time festival programmer, check out Trevor Groth, programmer of CineVegas and Sundance, displaying his genteel sense of propriety. This is the guy who turned your film down.