I'm quite happy to announce that the rest of the SAGIndie group finally came around and realized what a valuable asset I am to the team and sent me off to represent our organization at this past weekend's Palm Springs International Festival of Shorts. I didn't want to go alone, so my fake-date/chauffeur was the eternally useful Marcus Grewe. Armed with a full tank of gas, some SAGIndie digests and two road trip mix cds, we set off for a weekend of cinematic stimulation...and schmoozing. And free alcohol (which, as it turns out, we didn't get any of. Harumph!)
Maybe it was the Biz Markie on the stereo to keep our minds off the distance or the fact that there wasn't any of this fabled "traffic" on the 10, but we made it there in record time, despite having left an hour late. The lovely folks at the PS Film Fest set us up at The Wyndham, which was above and beyond what I was expecting, having been raised on Econo-Lodges. Seriously, this hotel was so nice we would have felt out of place, had we not been so good looking. We unpacked and took some pictures and then headed over to the "mall" (as pictured below, all 12 stores of it) to get our badges. Once we had our ultra-important badges and welcome bag, we made our way to our first party of the fest, where we ran into a teacher from our alma mater, Columbia College Chicago (whose unofficial mascot is the wedding videographer), a man named Ben-Hur Uribe, there to support his own short film. We stayed there until it was time to attend our first program of shorts, Crimes and Misdemeanors.
After emerging from said program and all dressed up with nothing to do, we wandered through a town that apparently turns into a pumpkin after midnight, until we were drawn, moth-like, to the buzzing fluorescent lights of a casino, where we finished out the night, breaking even.
The next day I actually had to work, but not until 1 pm, so we took advantage of the pool. Or rather, Marcus took advantage of the pool. I'm...not the, uh, strongest swimmer. Actually, I hesitate to say swimmer, because I rarely get in past my knees and when I do...I end up like this. So I spent a good half an hour alternately hyperventilating and clinging desperately to the side of the pool. It was a pretty positive experience. For those of you who may have seen me, I'd like to make it clear that I wasn't crying because of the taunts from the children swimming circles around me, I just got chlorine in my eyes and that stings.
Tonight SAGIndie is hosting FIND's Sundance workshop, and I need to get downstairs, so this will be continued tomorrow...