The Tribeca Rooftop

May 8th, 2003

I thought, ‘I can’t believe it’s Friday already.’ Then I realized that it’s not Friday. Better yet, I took Friday off. So I’m cleaning up my apartment, swilling Red Stripe, and filling you in on day two of the Tribeca Film Festival.

I skipped the morning run (I’m granting myself one morning off a week these days), hopped the 1/9 to Chambers and walked through the gray and drizzly morning to an 8:30 a.m. (!!!) panel discussion at the Tribeca Rooftop, a skylit penthouse on Hudson just below Canal. The space was peopled by thirtysomething screenwriter-wannabe types (I do not, mind you, exempt myself in this description) in their best Thursday business/casual and matching designer glasses. It was catered, in that there was fruit, yogurt, coffee and such, so I nonchalantly stuffed a fistfull of granola bars and a few bottled water into my Kenneth Cole messenger bag and moved took a seat.

The panel, while not revelatory, was a pleasure, and was inspiring. It featured screenwiters Kimberly Peirce (‘Boys Don’t Cry’), Steven Gaghan (‘Traffic’), Susannah Grant (‘Erin Brokavich’) and Ron Nyswaner (‘Philadelphia’) discussing the nature of writing for film based on fact. And so it rapidly became of series of monologues on truth, responsibility, symbol, and character. All of which was fine, but not terrifically new. What was new, and inspiring, was the evidence, the reminder, that these highly successful (and presumably fairly wealthy) folks before me are, for the most part, just like me. The key? Keep writing, keep at it.

The really fun parts?

Steven Gaghan relating Sydney Pollack’s advice on a project that had languished in pre-production for three years: ‘Don’t worry about it, kid. I’ve found that any project that means anything takes nine years to get made. Nine years. You’re only a third of the way there.”

Tina Brown sneaking out just prior to the panel’s completion, and moderator Stephen Schiff (‘Lolita’) meakly waving to her as she walked off.

Stepping onto the elevator as Matt Dillion stepped off.

As I rode the subway back to work in Times Square, I had to smile. There’s so much left to do with my life! And it’s only 10 a.m.!

I resolved to re-record and release the JFK/LAX EP by Thanksgiving, and tackle the “Mister Rogers & Me” doc in earnest. Neither of should come as much of a surprise to you, dear reader. But pepper in a coupla’ biathlons, triathlons, half-marathons, and the NYC marathon — not to mention a full time job at the MTV — and I should be pretty busy.

And I couldn’t be more psyched.

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