During the interterm, some of our students had the unique opportunity to visit the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. For about a week, they were able to experience this prestigious festival, and get a taste of what industry life is like.
Kendall Goldberg (BFA/Film Production ’17) wrote a bullet pointed journal of her time there, and was kind enough to share it with us. Let’s take a look at what she did!
Thursday, January 22
- After we landed, our first stop on the way to our condos was Whole Foods. As I was going down the aisle, I ran right into my absolute favorite director, Joe Swanberg. He knew who I was! What a fantastic way to start this experience!
- Opening Night Party – This social gathering was a really fun way to start off Sundance. It was cool to recognize faces from the films I love, and to be able to go up and talk to whoever I wanted. The most memorable part of this night was dancing with Travis, Sorrel, and Ciara…they really know their moves.
Ciara rocks out with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig at
The Skeleton Twins
Friday, January 23
- THR Talks Panel: “Financing through the Power of Fans” – This was a very helpful panel to attend, considering I am planning on crowd funding the film I’m currently working on. The panel discussed how important it is to build a fan base for your movie from the get-go, so that you have people who care about what you’re doing and want to be a part of the process from the beginning. People like to watch you grow and say that they knew about you “way back when.”
- THR Talks Panel: “Jump-Starting Your Film Career” – This was probably my favorite panel. It had some great speakers (The Fine Bros, writer-director Leslye Headland, Gloria Sanchez Productions’ Jessica Elbaum, Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos, and The Black List’s Franklin Leonard). They spoke about building a fan base, keeping that fan base, and how to use New Media to expound upon dreams and ideas.
- The End of The Tour – This film had Jason Segel give a fantastic performance. I enjoyed the film, as well as the Q&A that followed. It was nice to hear what the actors had to say about learning how to become the people they were representing in the film (David Foster Wallace and David Lynch). David Lynch was actually in the audience that night, so we had the chance to hear his thoughts about the movie, which was very memorable.
Saturday, January 24
- Girlhood – This film was beautiful. A great story, shot spectacularly, and wayyyyy better than Boyhood (even though the plots are not similar at all).
- PRINCESS – This film was hard to watch due to its dark subject matter. but it was still a beautifully done film. The Q&A helped put the story into perspective and you could not help but feel for the people who have to deal with these horrific occurrences in their daily life. The cast and crew came all the way from Israel.
Sunday, January 25
- SundanceTV Talks Panel – This panel was very enjoyable and I found myself laughing aloud several times. The panelists (Brit Marling, Jason Momoa, Julianne Nicholson, Michael McKean, and Ed Carroll) talked about today’s buzz worthy TV shows and the Television vs. the Film industry. Very informative panel.
- Chapman Alum Party - I worked this event so I wasn’t able to talk to as many people as I would have liked, but it was still a successful party and the food was delicious!
- Unexpected – This movie was one of my favorite films I saw while at Sundance. It was directed by Kris Swanberg, the wife of my favorite director. Now, she is one of my favorite directors. The film had so much heart. It was hilarious, yet sentimental. It was also shot in Chicago and I knew where everything was! I enjoyed this film immensely. Kyle sat next to me and cried!
- Unexpected After Party – This party was freaking amazing. I hung out with my favorite actor, Jake Johnson. That’s really all that needs to be said.
Monday, January 26
- Brooklyn – What an amazingly, funny, beautiful film. Can’t even describe how much I loved this one. Everyone needs to see it when it comes out.
- Digging For Fire – So good! Once again, favorite director, Joe Swanberg, and favorite actor, Jake Johnson. It was such a passion project and I loved it to infinity and beyond. I talked to Jake later that night at his after party and I could see passion oozing out of him from his heart being so wrapped up in that project. It made me really happy. It encouraged me to push forward with my passion project.
Tuesday, January 27
- Results– This film was funny. It was a great piece on relationships and friendships. It was a unique take on the rom-com. It was produced by some friends of mine, so it was nice to be there to support them.
- Finder’s Keepers – Wow! This was absolutely hilarious. Everyone needs to see this crazy, outrageous documentary. I can’t give anything away, but it has to do with a severed foot and a grill.
- 71 – One of the most intense films I have ever seen. So unbelievable. I want to see it again and again when it comes out.
Overall, this was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity to be a part of. Maybe I’ll be back there soon with a film of my own!
Some quick thoughts and tips:
- If you go to Sundance, go with the mindset that anything can and will happen. Look forward to hanging out with people and having fun; don’t go just to “network.” Mark and Jay Duplass said it best: “If you’re trying to hang out with your friends and have a good time at Sundance, you’re networking; if you’re trying to network, you’re being a douchebag.”
- You can literally run into anyone, and that’s a cool thought. I had the opportunity to hang out with my favorite director. Everyone is in such a good mood and people are always friendly and willing to talk to you.
Thanks for so much for sharing your journal with us, Kendall!