I am so done with this thing.
I have been at the Sundance Film Festival some 72 hours. It feels like a lifetime. For some reason, it got real old real fast. I am bone tired, a bit bummed, and completely callous to star sightings. I’m glad I came, I’m glad I saw, and I’m glad we’re going home.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I’m psyched MTV sent me here. I know I’m lucky to be able to call this my job. I’m pretty sure I’ve learned some things about life, about the movie business, and about myself. You’ll have to give me a minute on figuring it all out though…
6:03 AM – It’s still dark outside. I can’t sleep. My head is killing me. I sit up in bed and roll my neck. It cracks. Might have been that eighth beer at the “Rock School” premiere party. The one with the best kid’s cover band ever. And the Alice Cooper cameo. And the open bar.
8:22 AM – Still not sleeping. Might as well get up.
9:39 AM – Amy Sedaris’ “Strangers With Candy” began nine minutes ago. People are walking out.
12:41 PM – Mmmmm, Quiznos.
1:36 PM – I spot this really striking, leggy brunette with perfect white teeth. I ask Corey who she is. “Brooke Burns, Bruce Willis’ girlfriend.” Oh.
2:13 PM – Corey interviews Neve Cambell. She hasn’t seen the film she’s promoting yet. My straw poll suggests that 50% of the actors here haven’t seen the films they’re promoting. How weird is that? Her skin is milky white, though, and smooth as silk. She has nice teeth too. And seems awfully nice.
2:29 PM – Corey interviews more WB kids at Rene’s. I see my buddy Ben McKenzie and a bunch of young, fabulous Hollywood starlettes. I’m sitting next to the kid from “Billy Elliott.”
2:42 PM – I stop into the Sundance merch shop. I call my brother to ask what size tshirt he wants. “Are you crushin’ on Keanu or what?” he asks.
3:01 PM – We drive around Park City getting broll (and c-roll, and d-roll). I’m in the back seat reclining, reading the press packet for “Chumscrubber.” This is my favorite part of the day so far.
3:46 PM – I am an arm’s length away from Amy Sedaris and Steven Colbert and frankly, I could give a shit. It’s not that I didn’t find their film, “Strangers With Candy,” kinda’ funny. It was. Even though the screening was a 9:30 in the morning. No, I dug the film well enough. And I think Amy’s kinda’ cute, and Steven’s pretty fuckin’ funny. But sweet Jesus on a popsickle stick, just like that, I’m over it. All of it.
Back it up a frame, here’s the scene. We’re in the Leaf Lounge, so named for its Turning Leaf wine sponsorship. It’s basically a bunch of pipe and drape (as they say) with some pretty cool polka-dotted chairs and a dude walking around serving wine. Frankly, with it’s power supply, free water, wine and wifi, it’s an oasis of calm in a sea of chaos. So much is going on every streetcorner of this town, it’s become difficult to keep track. Or care.
5:27 PM – The Levis Ranch, a wood-pannelled, Graceland-era home perched high above Park City, is abuzz with cool kids straight out of central casting. There’s hipster hair and faux fur everywhere. One dude is walking around in a leather pancho and turquoise turtleneck. He has a handlebar mustache. My lack of hip is immediately and remarkably apparent. It’s like high school all over again. We’ve come here to shoot an interview with Vanessa Carlton, but wouldn’t mind some Levis, Ray Ban, or XBox swag.
6:02 PM – Vanessa Carlton performs. She’s actually pretty good. Smart lyrics. She badmouths MTV within twenty minutes of our interview. Ah, to be the 900 pound gorilla. In addition to my overwhelming desire to leave, I am struck with an overwhelming desire to be in my bedroom with my guitar. Soon.
6:17 PM – The now-waning moon rises over the mountains. Staggering.
6:42 PM – Jason and I go to the Mexican place up the hill while Corey files a story on Marcos Siega and Alyssa catches a cat nap. Jason is Corey’s high school buddy from Iowa. He’s in a terrific band called The Nadas. We have lots to talk about: we’re both from Iowa (he still lives there, but is on tour 125+ days of the year), we’re both in bands, and we’re both, well, guys. And he’s a good guy. We have a good time, despite the lackluster wait staff. He invites me on tour with his band. They have a bus! I’m so in.
8:22 PM – We go to dinner at Kampai on Main Street. Just inside the front door, a woman from the Levis rach says, “Hey, you’re with MTV, right? Did you have a good time at the house?” She’s nice, so we totally lie.
8:23 PM – Town is clearly quietting down. We get a table almost immediately. The sushi’s terrific.
11:02 PM – We go to the IFC party at the Leaf Lounge. There are four people there. We leave.
11:03 PM – We walk into the Premiere Magazine party. The DJ spins Kool & The Gang’s “Celebrate.” Finely tuned into the demographic of the room, Jason asks me, “Is this the reject’s party?” He grabs a Cuervo and ginger ale (um, yuck!), and takes a seat at the funny money poker table. I stand over him a second, then decide it’s time to leave. I walk home alone.
11:54 PM – In my final evening here at the Sundance Film Festival, there is one thing of which I have not tired: blue moonlight on snow. Beautiful.
And so it is, we leave in the morning. We’ve gathered tons of interviews. We have a plan for next year. But the really funny thing is, I’m not sure I wanna’ be here next year. I feel more lost here than ever. I feel more out of place here than ever. I transitioned my career towards the movies ‘cuz being a musician in the music journalism racket is so heartbreaking. Somehow, though, the movie industry is worse. You’ll have to give me a minute on figuring it all out though. For now, I think I’m going to go outside and look at the moon.