I’m finally coming down off the buzz of opening weekend in Park City. After a day spent settling in and getting the lay of the land, I awoke Saturday with tremendous anxiety about our premiere, but reassured to have so many people around to share the experience with me.
The Sundance Institute hosted a brunch at their resort that morning for all the directors. It was a beautiful ride through the mountains, past frozen lakes and ice fisherman, and the event freed my mind of worry (if temporarily) and provided an opportunity to meet the other filmmakers, programmers, and the man who started it all, Robert Redford.
Afterwards, we hightailed it back to our lodge to dress quickly for our 3 p.m. premiere at the Yarrow Theatre. There was a red carpet setup for the cast and crew in the greenroom on the second floor with a photographer from Getty Images. The photo of me in the press line (see below) is a better articulation of my mental state than any words I could conjure here. Not sure I like it, but it’s a document of stress, that’s for sure.
In the end, I’m so glad I sat through the film with an audience. They were responsive and engaged and the film looked and sounded great. It was an incredible screening! During the Q&A that followed, I shared the stage with the cast and my co-writer, Amy Belk. Within an hour, our first review was up in Variety, which you can read here.
Three of our Executive Producers from Baltimore – Jack Dwyer, Nancy Dwyer, and restaurateur Tony Foreman – threw a party for us at the High West Distillery that evening featuring an open bar, a special menu, champagne and oysters, and live sets throughout the evening by Kim Taylor, Ned Oldham, and Jack Carneal. People in Park City are still buzzing about it today. Honestly, I’ve never been happier after a premiere. It was an unbelievable night.
Sunday was all interviews (which I like) and photo sessions (which I hate). I think it’s hard for directors to release control and feel any comfort in front of the camera. But it’s a good problem to have. Our second screening at the Temple Theatre, a beautiful modern synagogue, was fantastic and the Q&A to follow even better than the night before. Admittedly, it was all elevated by the Raven’s win.
This morning, we were included in a very enthusiastic mid-fest roundup in Time Out: Chicago. I promised my team I wouldn’t read the reviews but I can’t help it, especially when they’re good.