Sundance Extras: Meeting the Cast and Crew
Seeing movies at Sundance is fun - the excitement, full crowds and premieres are great - but what makes the moviegoing experience even more special at the festival is seeing the people involved in the film for the Q and A. After almost every movie, the director, cast and some crew would mount the stage to answer any queries that the audience had about their film. Besides the fact that the audience inevitably asked the same questions, “so what exactly inspired you to make this movie?” To which the only answer is “the story just really spoke to me…bla, bla” there was also an element of seeing the spirit of the film through the creators that made the experience special.
When the director comes on stage the general character of the movie is instantly explained. For example, the writer, director of The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, was as crazy, eclectic, and inspired as the movie itself. In the movie janitors stumble upon and try modified cookies, that subsequently make them give birth anally to florescent blue fish. The plot is very unique but not mindless and self-indulgent like independent movies of its kind can be. It was fresh and exciting, a surprising breathe of fresh air, like David Russo himself.
The director of Adam, as sensitive love story involving a schoolteacher and her neighbor who had Aspergers, was grounded, sensitive and eloquent. He explained the great care with which he broached the topic of an autistic love story, and his vision was clearly expressed in the memorable movie.
Jay DiPietro, writer and director of Peter and Vandy also reflected the essence of his movie in his stage presence. Peter and Vandy covers the course of one couple’s relationship, in vignettes that are out of order. It was clear that this young, urban man had experienced the many dimensions of a relationship between a man and a woman. He was insightful, explaining why he chose to show the couple’s first date more than an hour into the movie. “ I figured once you get to know the couple then you can see that everything is there from the very beginning.”
Seeing the cast after you have spent and hour, plus watching them pour their hearts out is infinitely exciting. Even though I came to understand that the vision of the movie usually has little to do with the actors, it is really unique to see the actors in the flesh and watch them when they are not in character. In some cases you could tell how friendly the cast had become throughout the shoot, or how much they respected the director.
The best was when the actors took the podium and got to reveal their real personality. For instance, when someone in the audience asked Peter and Vandy star Jason Ritter what his background was he said “a little bit of brick, a little wood, and a big screen.” The audience was silent until he pointed behind him showing a wall that was half brick, half wood and of course the screen on which we had watched the movie was present. I fell in love with him in that moment! And I got to meet him after…it is so much more than just going to the movies!