I’ve been to Park City three times before. The first was in 2008, when I had a short play at Slamdance. The second was the following year, when I helped my friend Bryan Poyser make [Rooftop Films 2010 Alum] Lovers of Hate. The third was last January, when that same movie premiered in competition at Sundance. I tagged along for the ride, and at some point, at some party, I ran into Trevor Groth (you can always recognize him because of his suits) and told him that I’d be sending something to the festival following year. I don’t doubt he had no idea who I was, just as surely as I had no idea what it was I might be sending – a film, presumably, although I don’t believe I gave any real indication that this was the case.
But I did send something, and it was indeed a new film, and now my fourth year at the festival is nigh and, for the first time, I’ll be attending as a director. What I made turned out to be a short film entitled Pioneer. I wrote it in May, shot it in September, mailed it off to Sundance with the typical entry form and submission fee, and got a call from them at 8am the morning after Thanksgiving. It premieres this coming Friday night, and as of yet I have no tickets for the first screening – or any of the subsequent screenings, for that matter.
Sundance, you see, requires that every audience member be a ticket holder, even if they’re the ones who made the movie; short filmmakers get two tickets to each of their screenings, and are then provided the opportunity to purchase up to ten more. I was planning on doing this. Bank accounts being bank accounts, I did not. The two tickets we do receive I will dutifully give to my producers, Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston, without whom I could not have made this movie.
As for myself – I’ll be waitlisting it.
So follow along, here at the Rooftop Films blog, as I set out to see my own film at Sundance! It’s the most meager of goals, but one I feel mostly comfortable surmounting. If I’m lucky, I’ll see some other movies as well, and extricate from each day a story or two worth retelling. Please do stay tuned…