Superior Narcotic Opportunities

PARK CITY RECAP: PART 3

FRIDAY
We had another nice leisurely morning, and then went to the galleria mall to steal their wi-fi connection. Then we grabbed perhaps the worst lunch we’ve ever paid too much for, a cow-themed deli/ice cream parlor called…COWS. The omnipresence of cows did not make the cold, hard pizza taste better. DZ ate turkey chili for the second day in a row and remained unimpressed.

After that, we went back to the condo to relax.

Later, we decided to check out the Cantina Brew Pub above the Wasatch. Despite the presence of Galaga, it wasn’t that great. Meep couldn’t even PLAY Gallaga because it was wedged behind the pool table, which was in active use. Instead, we took loads of pictures of each other and then went back to the condo.
I suppose we were all ready for a good night’s rest, anyway.

SATURDAY
This was the latest Meep and I had gotten to sleep in. We rose around 11 and hung out for a while. Back to the Future was on TV! The boys all left; DZ and BenDur to check email, and Kamikaze to start his day of watching Troma movies.

Meep and I got ready and met DZ and BenDur back at the galleria mall. We hit the last few “lounges” we hadn’t been to, in a last ditch effort to accumulate as much free stuff as possible. Meep attempted to find the red Sundance shirt she’d seen at the beginning of the week, but they appeared to be all sold out.

The 4 of us got sushi at Kampai, a place that DZ and BenDur had been to before we got there. The food was, of course, a bit more expensive that sushi should be, but it was DAMNED tasty.

Next, we met Kamikaze at Rum Bunnies Beach Bar, where the Troma festivities were happening all day. We got there in time for the last film, Horror Business, a feature documentary about the difficulties of being an independent, extremely micro-budget horror filmmaker. It featured the guy from American Movie, finally coming back to directing after a 6 year absence, and the makers of a movie called Zombie Honeymoon that DZ knows. It was a pretty amusing documentary, but most of it had to do with how WACKY some of these guys are. One guy was just an ANGRY person, and actually yells at a drive-thru employee at one point. Another guy is a horror animator, and he is interviewed sitting in a high-backed black chair, in front of a fireplace, shrouded in darkness. I love this guy and must seek out his cartoons, one of which is called Son of God vs. Son of Godzilla. Who knew a goth could have a sense of humor (besides me, of course).

After the last movie, they set up for the panel discussion which was called “Filmmaking in the age of the $15,000,000 independent movie”. It was actually quite an informative panel. Everyone was really honest and Lloyd used his “moderating” duties to make lewd jokes about oral sex the entire time. I love that guy. One of the guys on the panel is involved in making a number of upcoming video game movies including…PAC MAN. Not kidding. He said he had no idea how it was going to be shot.

After the panel, we met Matt Foster, the programmer for Dragon*Con (which played Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day last year). He was very nice and told us that we should have been at Dragon*Con because the theatre was standing room only. We said we’d wanted to go but didn’t have enough money. Maybe next time.

We also gave a screener to a guy from the Willamette Weekly who had spoken during the panel. Not sure if anything will come of it, but it doesn’t hurt.

We grabbed a quick dinner at Doolans’, a sports bar across the street, and then returned to Rum Bunnies for the long-awaited Troma Party.

At Lloyd’s book signing, he’d given us “invitations” to the party, so there was a small hope that the $10 cover charge would be waved. No deal. The invitations were as meaningless as Kiel telling us they’d show “Snow Day” at a secret screening. Oh well. I guess I don’t mind giving $10 to Troma.

While we were waiting outside for the doors to open, we met an actor and another filmmaker and chatted with them briefly. The actor gave us his reel and his business card (something I’d seen for the first time in Park City: an actor’s business card is like a mini headshot resume without the resume).

Finally, the doors opened, and we went in and commandeered a booth. Kamikaze, BenDur and Meep took advantage of $2 Stellas (again with the Stella), and I drank increasingly large glasses of wine for $4. See, the bartenders weren’t the usual staff of Rum Bunnies, but Troma volunteers. So they did NOT care how much wine they gave me. This led to me getting retardedly hammered. But more on that later.

DZ began to draw cartoon portraits of all of us on napkins as comic book characters. It began with him drawing Meep as Joey Lauren Adams (because she had been doing an EERILY accurate impression of the squeaky actress for the past few days). Then he drew a picture of Kamikaze that made him look like Preacher. So that led to him drawing me as Little Orphan Annie and BenDur as Doc Ock. Faye was drawn again as Jean Grey and me again as Michelangelo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. The filmmaker we’d met outside saw this happening and wanted one of his own, so DZ drew him as Aquaman. For some reason, neither Meep nor I can remember who DZ drew himself as. Regardless, Meep has the napkins at home and will scan them at a later date. Meanwhile, the actor we’d met outside began talking to me, and, Meep observed, getting a little bit lecherous. Gross.

Eventually, the two of them wandered off, and a bohemian looking woman came over. Turns out she was the writer and director of a short film called Confederate Zombie Massacre, which had played at many a festival with Snow Day. She said they’d been tracking our progress because our films were similar in theme (and therefore audience reaction), so she knew that if an audience liked Snow Day, they’d probably like her movie too (and vice versa). She was really cool, and invited us to their condo the next night for a spaghetti dinner and 3D movie-a-thon. I wish we’d met them earlier in the week.

DZ and BenDur began to tire and decided to walk home, leaving me, Meep and Kamikaze to our own drunken devices. Well, me and Kamikaze were drunk, anyway. Meep managed to stay pretty sober and cognizant.

At some point, a local Utah band called “The Street” played. They hearkened back to the age of hair metal anthems, and we were really enjoying it at the time. We all got free CDs so I’ve yet to check and see if they still sound good without having imbibed a bottle of wine. They played several original songs and then broke into the covers (which were crowd pleasing, but not as impressive). Lloyd showed up and danced around a bit. There was also a dancing Toxie.

At one point (and I say this because most of the night is a blur after DZ and BenDur left), we were approached by a reviewer from Slug Magazine, who remembered us from then panel discussion. (DZ had asked a question and introduced all of us and our film to the room). He was pretty drunk too and we had a fun (I think) conversation for a long time. Meep gave him our card and told him to email us and we’d send him a DVD. I’m thinking we should probably try to follow up with him though. He was still drinking heavily when we left the party.

I’m not sure what time we left, but by the time we did, I was having a great deal of difficulty walking on my own volition. We decided to walk home through the fresh fallen snow (it had been snowing really hard all day), and this would have been a fantastic idea if I hadn’t been so wobbly. Part of the trouble was that Meep kept making me laugh. And it was that hard laughter that makes it difficult to move even if you have all your faculties in tact. And I definitely didn’t. I remember little from the walk home apart from Meep holding me up and trying to motivate me by talking me through it like we were hobbits trying to get back to the Shire. At one point, she told me we were in Mordor. I believe there are pictures on her camera of me in Mordor.

After we passed through Mordor, we stopped at the Prancing Pony…I mean 7-11…for some nachos. I panicked, proclaiming that I was far too drunk to go inside. Instead, I banished myself to the corner behind the garbage can, and waited for Meep and Kamikaze to return with sweet cheesy chippy salvation. Luckily, 7-11 was a stone’s throw from the condo, so I didn’t have far to stumble after that.

Once home, I stuffed my face with nachos, loudly stomped around the condo waking up poor DZ, drank water till uncomfortably bloated, and then passed out in bed. Troma really does know how to party.

SUNDAY
I woke the next morning AMAZINGLY lacking in physical consequences for the night before. I was marginally under performing, but there was no headache and only a few moments of nausea later in the day. I don’t know why the hangover fairy has been so good to me lately, but I’m going to do whatever I can not to piss her off again.

Kamikaze was the first to get ready, so he took one for the team and went to the theatre to get in line for our first movie of the day: The Decent. This is the movie that we managed to buy ONE ticket in advance for. BenDur joined him later, and then, later still, DZ, Meep and I managed to venture out. We were able to purchase one more ticket for the movie from a random person who was selling, but since we were first in the wait list line, and the last day of the festival is apparently the least crowded, we were all able to get in no problem.

The Decent kicks ass. By the director of Dog Soldiers, it is about a group of “extreme” women who go on a spelunking expedition in the Appalachians. And yes, they do encounter some monsters eventually, but the character development between these girls is so understated and effective, and the caves they navigate are SO treacherous looking, that you are terrified long before they encounter anything unnatural. All I could think during the first hour was “People actually go spelunking for FUN?!”

I would like to see this movie again in the theatre with an audience that has actually been to a movie. This was seriously the most irritating audience at a horror film I have ever encountered. They talked at normal volume throughout the movie asking things like “Oh wow, are those BONES?!” and “Look at all that blood!”

We went back to the condo for lunch after the movie. While we were waiting in line for The Decent, Kamikaze managed to score 2 tickets to the last movie of the festival, a horror movie called Salvage. Meep was going to go, since she’d only been able to see two movies during the festival, but she wasn’t in the mood when the time came, so I went in her stead.

Salvage was OK. It wasn’t terrible. I’ve certainly seen worse no-budget horror films. But it did have one of those irritating “twist” endings that people are so fond of sticking in their horror movies these days. Jesus. When can a psycho killer go back to JUST being a psycho killer and nothing more?

Kamikaze and I met the gang back to the condo and then we headed up the block to the Confederate Zombie Massacre condo.

The room was full of like-minded indie filmmakers and artists. We went around the room introducing ourselves and then spent the rest of the night shooting the shit, helping them finish their food, and watching stuff on one guy’s 3D movie projector.

I think we’ll definitely keep in touch with these guys. They were really easy-going and friendly. Hooray for Tromadance bringing people together!

Unfortunately, we had to call it an early night, as we were all pretty bushed and we had a plane to catch.

The next day, we bid a fond farewell to our condo and Park City. Goodbye, Park City. It’s been fun. We’ll hopefully see you again some day when we’ve earned some credentials.

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