Monday, January 23, 2012

Sundance 2012 Opening Weekend {Utah Photography}

*Fair Warning* This post is going to be a trifle that you've been warned...

Let's get going!

This is my second year being involved with the Sundance Film Festival. Last year I was a floater which means I did a bit of everything and never the same job twice. This year I am the One and Only and very first EVER outside Park City Photographer! I am in charge of covering everything regarding Sundance that occurs outside of Park City...yes there is a lot of driving and yes it is totally awesome!

Here I am in full regalia, well my official gloves are in my pocket, even including my Festival Insider button which sadly I found I had to take off thirty minutes into my first shoot because I can't stop and answer questions if there is action that I have to be covering...sad face!

My first festival day was Friday the 20th at the Broadway Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City.

For my job I have a shot list for every venue and special thanks to all the volunteers, staff, AND festival goers who were kind (and patient) enough to not only mug for the camera but help me create and "re-create" all the shots I needed.

The couple above was awesome! I talk to myself when I shoot and I got the exterior sign shot and then decided that it was boring and I needed movement. They were eating but overheard me, said that they would walk in for me, jumped up and proceeded to do so. People are fantastic! I was happy to see that they made it into their film okay a little later. Yay for waitlist!

I'm supposed to get shots of volunteers having fun doing their jobs (easiest shots ever 'cause they are all having a blast) and all exterior and interior signage. These volunteers were giggling over this sign and when I saw it I had to laugh too. If you can't read it, it says...

The following film contains strobe light effects.
Those who may be affected should take
appropriate action.

We weren't sure what "appropriate action" might be but thinking up outlandish scenarios was fun.

Here we have the valiantly hard working box office volunteers. There is so much more going on behind the scenes than you realize. Everyone works so hard. A few of their duties (I'm sure there are more that I do not know anything about) include taking care of the waitlist ticket sales, post ticket counting and scanning (every. single. ticket.) and entering everything into the system. It makes me tired just thinking of it.

I'm always yelling (well not YELLING), "Wait, go slower, I need that shot". This kind volunteer was very deliberately taking this ticket so I could get the shot and special thanks to patient festival goer for going along. Loves to you both!

Number one in the waitlist line, huzzah!

Broadway crew introducing the very first Sundance screening of this theatre...AND...

Broadway Crew!!

They are awesome and nice and so much fun!

Next it was off to the Beehive Tea Room which, for the duration of the festival, has been re-named the Beehive Festival Café. It is open to the public and has live music every night.

p.s. for locals, note that the tea room is open later than usual during the festival. The live bands start at 7:30 p.m.

Friday's band was The Hot Club of Zion and they were fantastic. I am totally in love with their music and I must have a CD.

They play Gypsy Jazz and I found them on facebook.!/pages/The-Hot-Club-Of-Zion/158421557548825?sk=wall

Getting artistic with the Sundance banners on Broadway.

And now for my Saturday adventures, the highlight of which was not getting into an accident. I decided to cover the Sundance Resort because it's a two-and-a-half-hour drive for me. It started out torrential rain and I figured I was okay as long as it stayed rain but WOW, the mayhem that I saw on my journey, including two hydroplaning cars in my immediate vicinity. Seriously? Slow down people! I got within five miles of the resort when the rain turned to furious snow in the blink of an eye. I thought I've only got five miles and I drove home from Park City in crazy snow on Wednsday, I can do this. I got to the turn off where the signs were flashing that four wheel drive or chains were required of which I had neither. "But I only have three miles" I said as emergency vehicle after emergency vehicle rushed past me. Thirty more feet on a narrow, twisty, windy road another emergency vehicle rushing by, memories surfacing of my botched attempt to traverse Trappers Loop a few nights before and I was out of there. Drove to Salt Lake and the venues that awaited me. Scary, scary, scary!

To The Library!

The Library Theatre is a new venue this year and it it gorgeous, what a setting!

Here we have the historic first ever Library Theatre team!

Just like the Broadway team they are super nice, fun, and extremely helpful!

They also know how to play. :)

Here are some of my very very most favorite people. Pictures of signs are a lot more interesting when people are looking at said signs. I saw some people looking and I bolted over but missed the shot. I must have been talking to myself again because these nice festivalgoers (passholders too) said they would look at the sign, jumped in, and even added the intent pointing all on their own.
People are so nice!

See, getting your ticket taken is fun!

We take not disturbing the audiences very seriously! All the happy group shots? Artistically faked. Joyful celebration in silence if you will. ;)

Last stop of the day the Rose Wagner Theatre, another beautiful venue. By now the rain had turned to snow and even though I wanted to visit another venue that night I was a little shell-shocked from my morning drive.

Loved this volunteers speech to the crowd! Wish you could have heard it, especially you Moms out there. Basically she is letting everyone know that they are about to start seating and once you are seated you can't leave or you risk losing your seat because the volunteers will fill Every. Single. Place. So...if you need to go potty, do it now!!! Those weren't her words but that was the jist. I giggled in my head, it was awesome!

Sidenote-the film they were waiting for was Queen of Versailles which has already been picked up for distribution.

Quiet moment watching the rain which has now turned to snow before the ticket holder seating chaos begins.

Ticket holders are in the foreground, waitlist in the background. See the girl looking directly at me and smiling? Thanks cutie! See how she is placed artistically at a power third point? Wish I could say I did that on purpose...sigh...I'll take it! :)

Here is the theatre partway through seating. It ended up completely packed but I think all the waitlist got in. And for my theatre friends, I stood dead center stage and it was awesome.

Happy Festival from the Rose Wagner Theatre team!

There is still a week left. Come out and play! Catch a film, visit the Festival Cafe and New Frontier venues, or head to Park City where more adventures await!

More to come..... :)


  1. Your photos look terrific! I'm so glad you're having such a fun time. It's such a neat opportunity and one that you are totally suited for. I'm glad it's going so well! Keep me posted on your other Sundance adventures!!!