While Paul was clearly enjoying himself in Michigan, I was toiling in relative calm at CineVegas. Hey! I said it was RELATIVE CALM! This is definitely a festival for the Swingers set. I mean, how cool is it to be in the hottest town (possibly on the planet), hanging out at the coolest hosting hotel, The Palms – owned by those Project Greenlight saving brothers, the Maloofs?? Seriously cool fun.
Opening night film was the much heralded Hustle & Flow, followed by a poolside party at the Palms’ SKIN Club. Of course, every after party should have girls dancing half naked (because fully naked would just be crass) on platforms. There was even some nice indie celebrity in attendance! People like Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Lightening Jack COULD have been indie), Taryn Manning and John Singleton, and Eriq LaSalle, were all poolside, enjoying the good eats and drinks. As a counter to Paul, I stuck with a cold bottle of Perrier.
Some of the films there included the intriguing Murderball and the highly touted Mad Hot Ballroom. The WGA had a writer’s panel that boasted such luminaries as Joe Eszterhas, Ted Griffin – writer of Ocean’s Eleven remake, and Amy Holden Jones – writer of films like Mystic Pizza and Indecent Proposal. As usual, Ted was more funny and sardonic than verbose, Amy still hasn’t completely forgiven Robert Redford for Indecent Proposal changes, and Joe Eszterhas hasn’t forgiven anyone (except, maybe, himself). Good times.
Amidst it all, I met some great filmmakers (that IS why I go to these things) who, between marathon sessions at the crap table, managed to talk some shop, make some connections, and just basically be……..money (and know it). I managed to only lose half of my salary in Vegas. And that $3,000 receipt I submitted that looks like it was written on hotel stationary……….dude, that’s TOTALLY legit!