Hello from the breathtaking mountaintops of Telluride, Colorado! I am currently participating in the Telluride Film Festival Production Apprentice program until September and wanted to share the experience here on the blog. I couldn’t be more excited to cap off my film festival work (first Sundance, then SXSW) by working a position that is both paid and provides housing. Those two factors made it more of a challenge to travel for volunteer work in the past, so I’m very grateful for this opportunity. Yesterday was my first official day which means there isn’t that much to report/reflect on. I’ll just give a little background information on the festival itself and how I found out about this 6 week program.
Telluride is a very unique festival in that attendees don’t find out the programming lineup of films until the day of the four-day event. You’ve got to have a real love of cinema to trek up to this mountain town during Labor Day weekend completely in the dark about what you’ll be seeing. So it seems I’ll fit in perfectly. The festival has a reputation for hosting many of the Academy Award Best Picture winners. Last year, they screened THE ARTIST and the year before, THE KING’S SPEECH. The secret program also helps keep the paparazzi at bay. From what I’ve been able to gather, Telluride appears to be a true escape from the craziness of hustling your films to distributors and stress of winning awards. It’s just about a group of thousands enjoying good films in an intimate location.
I found out about the PA program (also called “The Dog” program) through a fellow associate while volunteering at Sundance. She’d been a Dog before and had nothing but good things to say about her time in Telluride. The work was described right from the initial interview process as “manual menial labor”. I am completely serious. There are 11 Dogs (4 girls and 7 guys) that will be working alongside festival staff to build almost all of the theater venues and event facilities before the event. I was eager for the challenge though, especially after working in a cubicle for the past four months. I’m relying a lot on my previous Habitat for Humanity experience from college, which I mentioned in my application. Although it’s only my second day, I’m still going to recommend this program to you all. In addition for working the preproduction aspect, we will also be assigned to the operation teams during the festival. I’ll hopefully have more to say next week, so stay tuned!