Jan 27, 2012
07:47 AMA Walk In The Park
LIFE IN PARK CITY
Sundance Report: Traffic Jam
When I say traffic jam, I’m not talking about the cars on the road during the first few days of Sundance. I’m talking about how when you’re on the press list for the Sundance Film Festival, suddenly, you get 100 emails a day (literally), from not only the Sundance office itself reporting on the official business of press conferences and awards, but from an outpouring of public relations agents representing everything from the films, to the event sponsors, to the non-event sponsor guerilla gift lounges and other off-shoot events that attach themselves to the Festival, to the “official cookie of Slamdance ” to some guy who goes by “Healing Drummer.”
It’s always a shock when during the first week of January my inbox gets jam packed with emails from recipients I don’t recognize. And it gets busier and busier every day until the Film Festival ends. I have to say, it’s overwhelming, but I feel that I need to read them all to stay in the loop on the happenings, and because admittedly, many include invitations to events I might want to go to, like the lovely press cocktail reception where I’ve met some charming filmmakers, or the lounge fitting Sorel boots, or the spa offering mini-facials. So I’ve learned to sort through them. It just amazes me how many companies are involved with the film industry (or want to be) and how many p.r. people there are in the world! It gives me faith that Americans must indeed be gainfully employed … there certainly is an army of them working in the entertainment business. And they are certainly entertaining me.
Did you know that Gene Simmons from KISS was suddenly speaking at a free luncheon at Canyons resort this week? And that Iron Chef Judge Donatella Arpaia was cooking a gourmet meal at Chefdance, a five-night dining/live music extravaganza set up on Main Street? And one that actually really tempted me – there was an after-party for a film and actor Bradley Cooper (be still, my heart) was going to be there and I actually could have met him, but … the party STARTED at 11:30 p.m. Uh, yeah, right. Unfortunately, that kind of fun does NOT quite fit into my working-mother-of-two/wife lifestyle. DAMN. Then there was the press release on the appearance of porn star Traci Lords, described as “an actress/songstress who “straddles” the film world and music arena.” COME ON! Then there are the food and liquor companies who have gotten into the act. Stella Artois is the official beer of the Festival of course, but I’ve gotten emails from the peeps at Ultimat Vodka, Patron Tequila, Monster Energy Beverages and more. AriZona Beverages partnered with “Fatty Crew” for the “first-ever meal delivery service at Sundance, offering to-go boxes of comfort food and drinks for late-night snacking and early morning recovery.” Isabella’s Cookies was the “official cookie” of Slamdance, which I actually really love, because it’s a little homegrown company started in Redondo Beach, CA, making cookies with no preservatives or artificial ingredients. The cookies are baked and shipped out to be eaten immediately before their 14-day expiration date. 28 flavors include choices such as “Fluffy” (sweet banana cookies with creamy peanut butter chips and messy marshmallows), the “Muffy” (a cookie that tastes like a blueberry muffin, with dried blueberries, milk chocolate-covered blueberries and white chocolate chips), the Pom Pom (with dark chocolate chunks, roasted pistachios, and crunchy pomegranate seeds) and more. THOSE press releases were worth reading! And there’s an email from a company called Out of Print that reproduces classic novel covers onto T-shirts and coasters. And the horror film producer whose website is called “bloodydisgusting.com.”
The few emails I continue to get even after the Festival ends are from Alligator Records, The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the mysterious Healing Drummer. I finally checked him out. His name is Toby Christensen, whom, according to his website, “employs a unique combination of ancient drumming and “Sound Attunement Therapy” which helps reconfigure your bio-energetic structure promoting healing and restoring energy.” And he lives in Park City! After the beat of Sundance dies down and my email box is empty once again, I’m definitely going to look him up.