Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sundance Film Festival

Every year my friend Duc Pham makes his way to Utah to work as a volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival. For the past 3-4 years I have picked him up when he gets in, (whether it be by hitchhiking, bus, or plane) taken him back to my place for the night and then helped him get to Park City the next day for the start of the festival. Usually his visit includes me trying to cook him some fancy new food he's never tried before and then listening as he updates me on all the crazy adventures he's had around the world over the past year. I don't know why but that used to be where the visit ended. This year however he was gracious enough to let me join him for some of his time at Sundance. I got to meet a bunch of other volunteers, bum around main street, stay at a posh Park City rental house, eat gourmet hors d'oeuvres at various press rooms, pick up free loot and swag, attend awards parties, see famous people like Quinten Tarantino, hitchhike rides from foreigners, and best of all I got to go to 5 screenings. They were all fantastic movies, documentaries, shorts... etc. I had so much fun hanging out with Duc too and I can't believe I've lived here for so long and never gone up to the festival. Now that I know how everything works I don't think I'll ever miss it again if I'm in town.
The only really bad part of the whole thing was the drive home. It dumped so much snow the morning we were leaving. The plan was to go down to Salt Lake, catch a movie at the Broadway, grab a bite to eat and have Duc and his roommate to the airport in plenty of time to catch the plane. It ended up being a 5 hour drive strait to the airport. The freeway got closed, snowplows were sliding off the roads, we had to camp out at Wild Oats for an hour or so before driving through the canyon at about 5 miles an hour. I got them home safe though so bravo to me and my fantastic car. (I appreciate that car more every time it snows.)
Also a note on the picture. Duc and I discovered a new great way to take those self portrait arm length shots you have to take when there's only two of you and you both want to be in the picture. This is how we took this shot and I think you should all try it. I held my arm out at arms length with the camera while Duc looked at the screen and positioned it so it would be a perfect shot. Then I kept my arm still while he came around to get in the shot. Presto! We're both in the shot with a great background even. You can compare this stellar photo to some poor attempts I've had in the past. This little one in DC was the 6th and best try. Can't you see the improvement?

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