Today was a great day. I was able to get in five hours of sleep last night, which was a record for me so far. I hopped on a bus at 11:30 a.m. with 50 other filmmakers and we drove up into the mountains for the Directors’ Brunch. The food was delicious, and more importantly, free. The room was packed with some of the best filmmakers on planet earth.
I got to chat with Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair, Baghead), John Krasinski (The Office, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men), and two of my new favorite Scots, Adrian McDowall and Finlay Pretsell, who directed the short doc Ma Bar (among two other British Academy winners), and have promised me a place to stay whenever I decide to visit their home in Scotland (under the condition that I mention their film in this blog and stand on the corner of main street with my shirt off and “Ma Bar” painted on my stomach.) Their film is about a 73 year-old bench-pressing champion named Bill McFadyen. I’ve heard only good things and plan to see it on Wednesday. They’ve asked me to come up with a tagline for them, so here it is: Ma Bar, a film about a really old guy with big muscles. (I told them I’m really bad at coming up with taglines).
The highlight of the brunch was a speech by the Sundance Kid himself, Robert Redford. It was pretty surreal, listening to him talk to us about the importance of telling honest stories and the true mission behind the Sundance Film Festival. It’s just so weird to actually be sitting there alongside such unbelievable talent, getting a pep talk from one of the greats. It was humbling and inspiring. Mr. Redford stayed around and talked with everyone until we were finally ushered back into the bus. It was a beautiful morning.
We also had a midnight screening today, which was packed. Most of the people from the cast and crew were there, including Michelle Steffes (producer), Katie Taylor (casting), Bekah Macias (production coordinator), Ross Hendler (sound design), Phoenix Henke, Katelin Henke, Adam Shapiro, and Tania Verafield. Our shorts program is made up of an amazing group of films, including the directing debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, Mysterious Skin). Okay, thanks for reading as usual. I just realized it’s 5 a.m. It was time for bed 8 hours ago.