Tag Archives: Sundance

Healthy notes for doing Sundance

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.
Peace

A Toast to PSH Collective, First Girl I Loved and SUNDANCE!

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Before this all goes into a suitcase. Before we load up the car with bags, boots, and Kind Bars for the road trip, I have to take a moment and not just pinch myself but give a huge SHOUT OUT to some incredible filmmakers we now have the privilege of working with.

PSH Collective, writer director Kerem Sanga, producers Ross Putnam, Dave Hunter and Seth Caplan  have made this beautiful film, First Girl I Loved.

And we, Through The Wilderness, had the business savvy (If I dare say so, myself) to invest in the film. And now, as Executive Producers, we’re on our way to Sundance for its world premiere. I can’t wait for the audiences to fall in love with this film!

I have dreamt of attending Sundance for years. Long before I even had an idea of how I could write scripts, let alone, make a movie.  It can be something terrible when what we don’t know manifests into an obstacle so large you never hunt down your dreams.

But I did…against huge odds. I did.

I moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to pursue film. I wasn’t sure how that would look. I was determined to get into film school, though. I ached to learn how to write a script.  How to envision a story for the screen and then bring it to life. I WORKED hard to learn what I could and got into USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA in Screenwriting program fall of 2008 (days after my wedding– there were a ton of firsts happening that year!)

In my very class at USC, I met a young guy who was really smart and funny. And he had a ‘voice’.  He had what I knew we each could have. What we would work towards developing. He had what plenty more other writers did in the program, except his was defined. It was unique. Stood out. And he was a hard worker. He gave everything to learning more.  I admired that. Kerem and I became friends for more than his approach to screenwriting but because I found him silly and refreshing.

I think it was that first week or so I met Ross, too. I remember taking the bus from USC north to Echo Park and thinking…”how can a dude so young be so smart?”  And Dave Hunter…he just makes me smile. His storytelling is incredible and entertaining.

By the end of two years I had been in classes with Kerem, Ross and Dave. We were friends. Beers had been shared. They knew and dug my husband. And I was a supporter of their endeavors.  I became a fan, though, when the scenes from the last class I took with them made its premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival years later. The Young Kiewslowski moved me. I was touched by frank and tender characters. By unique story. It was fresh and authentic.

When the fundraising campaign came for First Girl I Loved, it didn’t take us long to get on board.

PSH Collective is a small but powerful group of filmmakers. I now call Seth, a smart and powerful producer, a friend, too. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this film. And to bring them all into the Through The Wilderness tribe.

So, here’s a Toast to PSH Collective, First Girl I Loved and Sundance.  Let the party begin!