Monday, January 30, 2012

Sundance 2012 Recap. Yes, I did have fun. Thank you for asking. {Utah Photography}

Fair Warning: This post will probably end up long and's just that kind of a mood today.

Whenever people hear that I was at Sundance their first question is always "Did you have fun?" I always hesitate for a second because usually they want to know about the parties and celebrities and to be honest I'm not into any of that. Also, this year I didn't have time to play. Oh, I meant to, but I worked 44 hours at the festival on top of my "real" life and the few days I set aside to "play" the weather hit and I may be a big baby but I am NOT a fan of putting my life at risk driving in the snow if I don't have to.

As far as celebrities, I like to meet and talk to the directors and production teams of the various films because that is where my heart lies and my idea of fun is honestly to work myself into the ground doing the best possible job that I can do. Plus, I love adventures and crazy things that happen to add to my treasury of memories and stories. Did I have fun?

{new years resolution to not swear anymore, not even for creative emphasis}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 brought on a mad dash between two different venues. I was to cover the VIP Reception at New Frontier art gallery from 6-8 only to find out when I got there that the reception was from 8-10. I took photographs of the exhibits by themselves, ran over to the Tower Theatre to cover it, then back to New Frontier. It was a zoo and so crazy fun. I was very much entertained by the goings on.

It's probably the photographer in me that is always fascinated by pictures made out of pictures.

This was a really cool Bear exhibit that I wished my Mom was there to see. She would have loved it. Ahhhh the days of going with my Mom to art exhibits...but that's another story.

I was supposed to get shots of people interacting with the exhibits, the difficulty lying in the fact that the place was crazy packed and very dimly lit except for the bright screens of the exhibits. I prevailed!!!...and probably wacked 3/4ths of the people there with my tripod. Really sorry everyone.

I'm at an art exhibit so of course I'm going to get into one of my "artistic" moods. Here's playing with 3D glasses in front of the 3D screen. Another photographer who was there was watching me and asked if that worked. I told him I was just playing and he told me it was a good idea...made me feel good. I love the shot below. It took me quite awhile to get just what I wanted but I love when I see a picture in my head and then am able to make it happen.

Another of my "artistic" photos. I was up in the VIP lounge and fascinated by the world within a world up there and thought the reflections illustrated that it was fun.

I've never been to the Tower Theatre before but I have to go again soon, the atmosphere is delightful. I love venues with a quaint, quirky, hole-in-the-way feel. I mean that in an absolutely good way.

Most of the volunteers in the Salt Lake venues are the same year after year. They know each other, know what they are doing and have a blast doing it. You guys were awesome, thank you for all of your help!

See? Having a blast! I needed shots of wait-list ticket sales but was afraid I would miss it so they were helping out by staging the shot but then they started's my favorite.

This lovely lady was the first there for the next showing, the previous film hadn't even let out yet. Die hard festival fan!

The Tower is the only venue I've been too where you aren't inside or in a tent. It was COLD but everyone was so happy and nice. It was a joy just to be around so many positive people. We talked, and laughed, and had a blast!

My brother Ben has been in NYC for the past six months doing an internship at Entertainment Weekly. He actually got back the day after I took this. Most of his writing appeared in EW's online site but here is an article of his. It was in the issue that was all over the Sundance Film Festival because EW is a Sundance sponsor. I had to take a picture. People were probably thinking I was crazy but I'm used to that so it's all good.

I have been interested in getting into film, film photography, and DP work for a long time. I've worked on a few independent films and loved every minute of it but kind of shut the door on that dream because I just couldn't see how it would work with my life being the way it is right now, family etc. But because of some opportunities that have come my way through Sundance it looks very possible that the door to that dream is being re-opened for me. I don't want to get too excited but to be honest I really am.

It's interesting that sometimes when things in one area of your life are going really well things hit you in other areas. Maybe equalizing karma, a test to see how badly you want things, or a chance for you to really appreciate the good through contrast. Perhaps a test of faith. Anyway, Wednesday January 25th was a hard day. I had to say good-bye to a difficult situation that has been going on for over three years. It sounds like a good thing I know, but it's heart-breaking to finally give up on something that you once believed in so strongly. My grandmother also had a heart-attack but she is home now from the hospital and doing well.

That night I was able to go to Peery's Egyptian theatre which is my very most favoritest theatre in the whole world. The volunteers were so nice and patient with me, I was bouncing up and down I was so happy to be there. I used to go to the Egyptian theatre when I was a child before they remodeled it. I remember loving all the Egyptian decor especially the twinkling stars on the "sky" and being so fascinated that it would be day outside after seeing a matinee inside under the stars.

Peery's Egyptian Theatre is Sundance's second largest theatre after the Eccles in Park City, a fact which I was not aware of until that night. It holds eight hundred people. The lines were long but everyone made it in.

Stampede! {Tremors reference}

I am so in love with this theatre!

AND they have an organist. He's spectacular and he plays a mean showtune!

Thanks Egyptian Theatre Volunteers you made a hard day wonderful!

Saturday the 28th marked my third attempt to make it to the actual Sundance resort. Third time proved to be a charm, it is beautiful up there. I'm so grateful to have gone to all of these places I've never been before.

I have so much fun taking atmosphere shots. The ski slopes are just a hop, skip, and a jump from the screening room.

Isn't this a beautiful location?

People were so fun and great about me taking their picture!

This is a Q&A session held after a special private screening event. The film was about dyslexia and listening to the audience response I was sad to have missed it. It brought many audience members to tears as they told about their own experiences with dyslexia and thanked the director for making the film. Stories to change the's what film is about.

The wonderful volunteers of the Sundance resort. I couldn't do my job without them and special thanks for making sure I knew what was going on and for showing me the best shots!

I liked how her upturned face echoed the faces of the women in the two signs around her.

This audience member and her friend were the absolute cutest. I loved being around people who were so positive and excited to be there.

Lol, for once I'm not making someone take a picture of me and my friends/family. This shot makes me smile, especially hearing them say "One more, one more" and one of the guys saying "that's what email is for". Hahaha, story of my life.

Sundance projection room and projectionist and check it out...

Old School!! This is the actual film on 35mm about to be threaded into the projector. Fantastic!

Patiently waiting in line and...


Last but not least I headed to the airport where for the very first time Sundance has an info booth, two actually. When I got there I found that there was no one there. Apparently it was too late in the festival. I stood there perplexed and these two travelers started talking to me and then volunteered to be in the shot. So fun guy on the left is wearing my credentials and jacket and talking to his friend (also a fun guy). How nice was that? My whole festival experience was person after person doing kind deeds. I love seeing such proof that people in general are wonderful and good and kind. These two are from Florida and Iowa and ironically were headed up to Powder Mountain, my neck of the woods. Thank you kind friends!

I spent the rest of the day editing and uploading and yesterday in bed recovering. I'm totally exhausted and burnt out but in a very good way. It's been an amazing ten days full of adventures, opportunities, possibilities, heartache, laughter, tears, and hope. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Did I have fun?

I most certainly did!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mandie I'm sorry I haven't commented on this or the previous post sooner. I've read them each in like 5 sittings or more, I swear, due to my sweet little babies. So I've had lots of different comments I would think along the way. But I'm so happy for you that you got to be a part of this. It sounds amazing and intense and I can just see all these random strangers coming up to help be in shots for you. (I giggle at the thought of the airport men wearing your jacket and credentials running away to try and sneak in and pretend their name is Mandie if anyone stops to ask them. :) ) I'm glad you made it safe and stopped on the scary road. What if you had gotten in an accident those last 3 miles. UGH! I loved your shots and the feel of Sundance that you capture. How I'd love to come along one day and be your photo slave and just be part of it. You're great. :) Miss you!