Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Sundance Film Festival Diaries
Arrival According to Matt

by Matt & Kris

Nerves. Didn't feel myself for most of the day. Upon arriving at the Salt Lake City Airport, the first thing I did was accidentally (although it felt good after I did it) punch Kris square in the face. It even took me a few minutes riding in the van to Park City to realize there were big, beautiful mountains here. None of those in New York City.

Trying to shake that New Year's Eve/Prom Night Syndrome, when you feel a debilitating pressure to accomplish a hell a lot of things in a very short period of time and it absolutely crushes you.

Ate dinner at a place on Main Street (that's where the locals said we could find all the action) called "The Claimjumper". Kris, Paul (MAN ABOUT TOWN's Cinematographer) and I all misread its sign as "The Clamjumper" and were trying to figure out why clams weren't on the menu. What the hell would a "clamjumper" be? (Actually, I have some provocative ideas on this, but this is a family website). Then ended up at a little bar called "Cozy", which wasn't cozy at all. We left declaring defeat and calling it an early night. Park City on a Wednesday night is deader than Tricky Dick Nixon. But we were saved. A guy who saw me slip on the ice a little told me that Roger Ebert had fallen down in the very same spot last year and broke his ass. It turned out he was a Sundance volunteer (they're all over here), and he directed us to a party where Kris talked us in, despite our lacking the proper credentials.

Inside, Trevor Groth ("the man" at Sundance's L.A. office) recognized me from the movie and introduced himself. He's the guy that broke the good news about us being accepted here and has said nice things about the film and recommended it to some other festivals, so I wanted to thank him. He introduced me to lots of others (including Lisa Viola, another Sundance principal, who'd seen the film and said she had a hard time looking at me without laughing- either a very good or very bad thing) who, remarkably, were all down-to-Earth and cool.

I'm glad Paul Newman put this whole thing together. He sure is a fine actor.

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