Amy Roberts: That’s a wrap
Sundance is over, and as such, it no longer deserves any ink in this paper. We all survived. We all have eyebrow-raising stories about tourists putting the car in reverse on S.R. 224 because they missed the turn they needed to take. (Really people, three rights make a left.) Or PIBs wearing their credentials on the treadmill at the gym — or my personal favorite — wearing their credentials in the hot tub. People do funny things in our town for 10 days, and we just shake our heads and laugh about it with friends who saw equally questionable decisions being made.
It’s February now, and we’ve got another 350-some days before Sundance should command any headlines again. But like a bad hangover, for some reason, I can’t seem to shake the 2015 festival. My body and my mind are ready to un-dance. But so much has happened in the last 10 days, the festival’s effects continue to linger, like the smell of burning plastic.
I didn’t even see a single movie this year, which is unusual for me. Typically, I buy tickets to see as many documentaries as I can. I figure, if I’m going to spend $20 on a ticket and two hours of my life doing something, I ought to at least leave having learned a thing or two by the time it’s over. But this year, I signed up for an extra-chaotic workload and missed all the movies. Hopefully CNN bought the good ones and I’ll see them later this year.
One of my dearest friends from back in my TV news days is now the executive producer of Extra, the Hollywood entertainment show. Instead of sending a full crew out this year to cover the festival, she asked me to be their ‘boots on the ground’ crew. "You’ll cover the red carpets, the gifting suites, the parties and all the action for us," she told me.
Though they were long, hard days, who can complain about 15 hours on your feet, in high heels, when you’re interviewing Ryan Reynolds? (I’m not sure if I’ve ever been in the immediate presence of a more gorgeous man.) Chatting up Brad Pitt, James Franco and Keanu Reeves also, admittedly, wasn’t my worst day at the office.
But my favorite part of the weekend came when Alec Baldwin called and wanted to do some type of skit with his wife at Stein Eriksen Lodge, where they were staying. My camera and sound guys and I all drove up there, scriptless and clueless. It’s rather unusual for an actor to call Extra and say "Come cover me, I’ll think of something funny for you." But essentially that’s what happened, so we went with it.
And I’m so glad we did. Alec, the comedian, brought his A-game. We stood on the hill behind Steins for about an hour as he and his wife, Hilaria, worked out a skit. It evolved several times and ended with Alec flailing about on the snow claiming a ski injury. I have to think that must be how Saturday Night Live happens. Funny people get together and say, "Hey, I bet this will make people laugh," and then they sacrifice life, limb and dignity to see if they’re right.
All in all, despite not seeing a single movie, the 2015 Sundance Film Festival gets two thumbs up from me. And as much fun as I had, man am I happy to say "That’s a wrap."
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.
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