Tag Archives: Sundance 2013

QUEUE IT UP: Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake” Episode 1 Now Free On iTunes


“A detective investigates the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant daughter of a local drug lord.” Starring Elisabeth Moss, Cohen Holloway and Holly Hunter.

Looks like we can all catch a sneak peek of Jane Campion’s new mini-series before the official March 18th broadcast premiere on Sundance Channel. Watch the first hour of the six-episode mini-series on iTunes now. The show was featured at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in a one-day only, six-hour screening that I unfortunately could not make. The trailer caught my eye and I’m intrigued by film directors crossing over to television like David Fincher (“House of Cards” on Netflix) and now Campion.
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5 Lessons I Learned From Sundance 2013


Who loves ya, Park City?

Drumroll please….

5) Kill ’em with the opening and leave ’em wanting more with the ending.
From the paralyzing first minutes of FRUITVALE that began with actual archival footage of Oscar Grant being shot on the BART subway station to the heartbreaking revelation of the true name of a migrant worker found dead on the Arizona-Mexico border in WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?, I was reminded again the importance of where you choose to start and stop your story. Load us with too much information in title cards and character introductions and we may get bored. Manipulate a neat fairytale ending and risk losing our trust when the lights go up. But if you take real risks with your narrative and hit the right point, especially in the opening and ending, oh man, watch out.

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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Jane Campion

“A message I’ve been telling myself: the cinema is very conservative, and unless you have a story that satisfies you, that is within the unchallenging zone, but you love it, you can’t do it as cinema. Otherwise, you go do it for television, which is more daring now.”

– Jane Campion, Director (TOP OF THE LAKE, Premieres Program)

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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Robert Rodriguez

“I have all the creative freedom of someone making a home movie, but I get to do it on a larger scale. It’s the best.”

– Robert Rodriguez, Director (EL MARIACHI, From the Collection Screening)

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How to Enjoy Sundance 2013 From Home


I still can’t believe the biggest film kid meetup of the year is almost half over. Things are still very much happening during Sundance’s B Week (the 10 days are often referred to as A Week and B Week by attendees who aren’t staying the whole festival). If you’re an indie film lover like me, but couldn’t make it up to Park City this year, have no fear. The festival has done a great job of providing event content of all sorts available anywhere with an internet signal. Enjoy!

Option 1: Livestreams
At Sundance, no indie film lover is left out. At almost every film screening, panel and music performance I’ve attended, I’ve always seen a staff member behind a camera recording the experience. One of my favorites was definitely EL MARIACHI From The Collection Screening Q&A with director Robert Rodriguez.

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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Lynn Shelton

“I don’t know any filmmaker who embrace the term mumblecore. By grouping us all together, it’s kind of unfair, like grouping all films that cost $8 million and have a written script and 35 mm film are all the same. At the same time, the usefulness, I recognize – it brought attention to small films that no one would have paid attention to.”

– Lynn Shelton, Director (TOUCHY FEELY, U.S. Dramatic Competition)


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Unchained at Sundance 2013: Week 1 Tweet-Cap


Pretty much everyday, I have to pinch myself. A year ago when I was blogging on my iPod Touch in a hotel lobby about my first trip to Utah to volunteer at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, I never imagined I’d be back in Park City for a second round of this amazing cinematic summer (winter?) camp. This time I’m working as paid staff so my schedule is a little more scaled towards work than play. I still want to share this experience with all those that can’t be here. Excuse the post full of tweets, but I know I won’t be able to tackle full reviews and reflections during this chaos. Hopefully for those not following me or the blog on Twitter, I can at least provide the highlights of my time here so far.

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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Andrew Dosunmu

“As a filmmaker I believe cinema is a visual language, so I try to find subject matter that I believe visually can captivate the audience.”

– Andrew Dosunmu, Director (MOTHER OF GEORGE, U.S. Dramatic Competition)


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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Park Chan-Wook

“I don’t feel enjoyment watching films that evoke passivity. If you need that kind of comfort, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t go to a spa.”

– Park Chan-Wook, Director (STOKER, Premieres Program)

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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Ryan Coogler

“We were fortunate enough on this project to have some outstanding talent. Everybody brought an anger about the situation and the frustration about the situation, not just what happened with Oscar, but the fact that these things continue to happen in society and that was into a positive energy on the film.”

– Ryan Coogler, Director (FRUITVALE, U.S. Dramatic Competition)


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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Sarah Polley

“I thing you have to keep your distance from mainstream Hollywood in order to be a normal human being. I mean, I work there, and I like being there, but I love having an anonymous life. I think there’s definitely such a thing as being too famous.”

– Sarah Polley, Director (STORIES WE TELL, Spotlight Program)


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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Richard Linklater

“Whatever story you want to tell, tell it at the right size.”

– Richard Linklater, Director (BEFORE MIDNIGHT, Premieres Program)


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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Jeff Nichols

“My approach to sound design, and this something I had to develop on the fly during “Shotgun Stories,” is that everything has to come from a place of reality…”

– Jeff Nichols, Director (MUD, Spotlight Program)

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Sundance 2013 Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Shane Carruth


**It’s that time again, folks! In order to celebrate the indie filmmakers (and their projects) that will be gathering in Park City, Utah starting this Thursday, the Filmmaker QOTDs will be Sundance 2013-themed for the next two weeks. This year’s Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17th-27th.**

“I wish that there was a way to kind of objectively show that yes, it can be done for the money and here’s how much work it is. Because if i would have known that equation, I would have found more money. It was way too much work because I was so cheap with the money.”


– Shane Carruth, Director (UPSTREAM COLOR, U.S. Dramatic Competition)


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Sundance Alum Offers Advice For Filmmakers Making Festival Debuts


As a former volunteer, I was completely overwhelmed by the grand scope of the festival, but I can’t even fathom what it must be like as a participating newbie filmmaker. Luckily, filmmaker Michael Mohan (SAVE THE DATE), offers up 6 tips for your first big trip up to Park City. He’s had three film play there, so I think his advice is pretty sound. Most of it could actually apply to any festival experience.

One point that seemed very poignant:

2C. Maybe you’ll need to re-edit your film

The producers out there will hate me for mentioning this. But after seeing my film six times with different crowds, I learned full well that a better version of my film existed if I could take out two minutes. There’s no shame in tinkering with your film post-Sundance. You’re a better filmmaker if you know your film can be better and subsequently make your film better.

Check out Michael’s full checklist HERE.

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Let’s Call It A Weekend! (Hot Topics Round-up)

Sundance Film Festival begins announcing 2013 program

The 2013 Sundance films are here! A huge congrats to all the filmmakers who made the cut.

Vote For FOCUS FORWARD Semifinalists In Socially Conscious Film Competition


The US Presidential election may have come, but everyday indies are running their own campaigns for personal projects. Three of my film friends are Audience Favorites semifinalists in the same short documentary contest. Check out their films and many others HERE. Voting ends December 20th.

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Have Your Script Read Live At Sundance 2013 in “Table Read My Screenplay” Contest

Table Read My Screenplay Contest

“The Grand Prize Winner will be flown to Park City, Utah during the 2013 SUNDANCE Film Festival to have their screenplay read by professional actors. PLUS, Alvaro Rodriguez will narrate your screenplay then join you for lunch where you can ask for notes. Hotel and Airfare Expenses paid during the festival! If your ultimate goal is to sell your script, it’s important to have access to producers. Networking at the SUNDANCE Film Festival could help you with that access and lead you to a lifetime spent writing screenplays! And who wouldn’t love to tell people “I work in the movies”? Winning this contest could be your chance!”

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