In Fear writer-director Jeremy Lovering shares his final thoughts on Sundance 2013 and bids a fond farewell to Utah…
Day and Evening 4
I wake feeling good. This time I look in the mirror and all is calm. Everyone else is happy and they are heading off, leaving Sundance.
Allen is carrying the adoration of Downton Abbey fans with him to LA, Alice is going on the press tour for Beautiful Creatures, the producers and financiers are heading back to London or Paris.
I go up the mountain for breakfast. It’s beautiful. I’ve got some music on my computer that was being shared by a random guest at the hotel that I downloaded earlier. I’m guessing he / she is a snowboarder judging by his / her taste. It’s the kind of track that is amazing when you’re going at speed down the mountain but I know when I’m sitting on a bus in London’s grey winter it won’t feel quite the same.
But I like the fact that a stranger has given me a glimpse into who they are. I like that for this moment they have given me something without knowing it is making me happy.
It resonates with what I feel about the audience last night. I will always remember the look in their eyes.
I grab a lift back down the mountain with a random man. He tells me he is in Sundance trying to regenerate interest in his screenplay. He says he had Ridley Scott interested and now he has the Coen brothers interested. He says it like I should unquestioningly believe him, like why wouldn’t I believe him and suddenly unlike the anonymous and generous snowboarder I feel like he is trying to take something, not give something.
I can’t really explain that, but that’s what it felt like and it makes me sad.
Sundance is full of dreams and hope – there’s so much going on that I haven’t mentioned – the lunches and talks and panels and screenings and all that is part of the fabric that is exciting and positive – amazing people from graduating filmmakers to veteran directors, indie actors to mainstream stars, wide-eyed short film producers to the impresarios of Hollywood – but somehow here they all fit in, they all seem equally part of the Sundance experience that makes you happy to be making films.
But of course there is another side. And of course you can’t make any assumptions.
My last screening is in a bigger venue and maybe the encounter with that man has made me cautious.
Then it quickly dispels. The first gasp, the first nervous laugh and I relax.
The response is if anything even better than the night before. It feels great. Really great. And I feel really lucky. Again.
Maybe I’ve witnessed all the necessary parts of making movies laid out in stark detail – the ideas and creative force of the other directors, writers and actors, the brilliance and kindness of the Sundance programmers – John Nein, Trevor Groth, John Cooper, the seamless organization of Chelsea Rowe and all her team, the support and friendship of the financiers – Studio Canal and Filmfour, the brilliance and cleverness of the best producers – Nira Park and Matthew Justice, the bravado, fun and efficiency of publicists…
…But most importantly I’ve experienced the sheer joy of having reached an audience, seeing the thrill in their eyes and hearing the word ‘awesome’.
It’s like I’ve shared a piece of music in the ether and somewhere there is someone listening to it.
Oh, and I have also been up the mountain and received the blessing from the Sundance Kid.