Friday, January 18, 2008
After a full day of airports (and a cozy airplane ride with a blanket named Bunky and the shrillest baby I've ever met—he's lucky he can flash that cherubic four-toothed grin!), here I am in Park City, Utah, where even grocery stores look like ski lodges. It's been snowing since we rolled into town around 8pm, just in time to layer up and stroll down twinkle-twinkle-little Main Street for the Slamdance Opening Reception at a local fave, the Star Bar.
Beginning with the Salt Lake City airport, where sunglasses indoors, shaggy haircuts, skin-tight jeans (are they wearing long-johns under those? really?), impossibly sleek parkas and phrases like 'okay, where's the driver?' abound, I realize this week will be a full-fledged episode of Los Angeles on Parade. A man in a gray suit and a wool fedora, a man I don't recognize but others apparently do, signs autographs beside me. I ignore him and turn to my Mississippi Film Office colleague, Nina Parikh. "I already feel unfashionable," she laments. I nod, me too.
The Hollywood aurora is confirmed as we vie for entrance into the bar, where the line wraps, and we have to show a million forms of ID to prove that we are on the list, we're the Mississippi Film Office, we're festival sponsors. (And this isn't even Sundance, folks!)
Once inside, I quickly gage the next eleven days. What begins as a friendly conversation with a filmmaker is transformed into a pitch—he knows Mississippi, he's interested, he's been there. So I hype the state, our tax incentive and our film festivals, trying to get him to send us his movie.
There are drink tickets, disco DJ's, silica-infused Fiji water and raw bars for the taking, all of which make me happy. Then it's 1am, and Nina and I head back to the condo, short-cutting across a large park. Perfect, billowy snow and open space make us giddy. Suddenly we're running, flinging ourselves in powdery banks, doing all the things Mississippians should do when confronted with such fantastic substance.
Back at our condo, owned by none other than Jim Shea, 2002 Olympic Skeleton Gold Medalist (it's kinda like body-sledding at 80 m/p/h), we dry off, put on pajamas, and curl up to—what else?—watch a movie…
ooh i'm so excited to be reading about this. i'm jealous, although i'd be feeling unfashionable too if i were there. have fun girls!! and bring MS some good films!!
- music chick
Must be nice to get to see so much snow. I forgot what it looked like. :-P
BTW, the AAN site is talking about Todd's involvement with a film competing at Sundance this year. (He was production manager.) A lot of Mississippians and Jacksonians were involved (including producer Nina Parikh, whom Cheree is referring to.) "Ballast" filmed in Mississippi in the spring of 2006. I'm sure Cheree will bring us more about the film as Sundance unfolds. Have fun, Cheree. And I'm sure you fit in fabulously!
no doubt Donna. Those two fit in anywhere. Mississippi - reprazent!
- daniel johnson