For all my peeps heading to or landing in Park City to do Sundance, here are some healthy notes based on my amazing trip there in 2016.
1. Take your vitamins. Emergen-C, Elderberry. Zinc.
2. Drink more water than booze. That may sound difficult but dehydration at those levels are no joke. Don’t ignore the headaches or write off dizziness as the fun side effect of whatever free booze you can score.
2. Watch what’s in the air. Whatever line you find yourself in and you will be in lines, chatting up the person next to you is a great idea. Be CURIOUS about them and not just sell yourself. And while you’re doing this are-we-gonna-be-film-friends thang be vigilant of sneezing, coughing and laughing up germs on their drinks and what’s being sprayed back on yours.
3. Carry hand sanitizer for when you have to stand and hold a rail in a packed shuttle bus which is actually a large petri dish on wheels.
4. Eat healthy food. There are some amazing restaurants in Park City. Make reservations and be patient but enjoy.
5. Layer up against the cold. Big boots, faux fur hats, thick scarves and Smart Wool are the fashion.
6. And try to get some sleep. Again, like the more water than booze note, this one may be hard to do but try.
These first notes are what I learned the last two nights in 2016 when illness came hard at me, Peter and our daughter. At the last screening of our film, Peter got sick. And then later, Bird woke us in the middle night like she was still five and not 24 to tell us she was ill, too. I tended to her and slept in a chair by the pull-out in the living room until the grocery store opened. I bundled up and made the trip on the icy roads for soup, tea, ginger ale and crackers. I remember walking through the store when my hands began to hurt pushing the cart. From deep where a fever brews in the bones up through my skin. Then within minutes a chill tore through my body before I heated up. I was full-on sweating at the register and my voice was gone. I made it back to the condo. Made sure my sick family ate and then crashed. We were hit so hard by this fast moving Sundance illness, we missed the final awards dinner where First Girl I Loved, the beautiful film Kerem Sanga wrote and directed and we were executive producers on, won the NEXT Audience Award.
Peter woke me from a fever induced sleep to tell me about the win. I think I mumbled “cool”, shoved more cough drops in my cheeks and went back to sleep. The next day, we put our sick child on a plane in Salt Lake City to New York City and drove back to LA with Peter having the flu and me with one of the worst throat infections ever. We didn’t speak as he drove except for when he asked if I wanted to stop for food. I said “soup.” and he nodded.
Once home we were wiped the F out! For days! I left only to go to the doctor to get a major dose of antibiotics and reup on cough drops.
So, these first five notes are valuable so you can do the next five ones:
6. Check out the innovations in filmmaking. There are some incredibly smart and exciting things being developed.
7. Screen films with the awe and respect that they deserve. Making a movie is no joke! It’s takes hard work, dedication, and more people than audience realize. You don’t have to like everything and you probably won’t, but take the time to give credit to all the work it took to get the film from idea to screen.
8. Support the cinematic storytelling of women and POC’s, of LGBTQ filmmakers, of voices, faces and visions that serve the robust canons of independent film but are not often seen. Theres’s beautiful, funky and mind-blowing stories being told and you all need to see them!
9. BE RESPECTFUL TO THE RESIDENTS OF PARK CITY! Remember you’re a guest.
10. But most of all, have a blast!
I hope to see you all next year.