They like me, they really like me! ;)

01_19_2013 MainStreet17As most of you know {and for those who don’t I shall now tell you}, I have been involved with the Sundance Film Festival for the past three years.  Last year I got my dream job as a full time Park City photographer.  It was a fantastic adventure, a lot of good hard work, and tons of fun.  After the festival your supervisors evaluate your performance and this affects your status for the next year.  I recently received an email stating that I had a positive evaluation and for the first time they included an excerpt.

“This sentiment was echoed by your supervisors who provide feedback and they had nothing but great things to say about you.  Here are some highlights:

 Mandie was such a joy to have in the office.  She has a beautiful personality and was always fun to be around.  She was such a hard worker and consistently provided quality images.  Our editors said she was very helpful with pre-editing.  We loved having…”

Needless to say this made my day.  I absolutely loved the people I got to work with.  The creative services department is like my own personal Mecca and I’m so glad that they appreciated me.  Of course I kinda want to read the whole thing but alas…hopefully there wasn’t a “but” coming up.  😉

Sundance 2013 Wrap Up – Top 13

I have been wracking my brain about how I would wrap up my Sundance 2013 experience and I finally thought of just posting my favorite ten images from the festival and adding a little explanation to go along with them.  Of course I got stuck narrowing it past 13 then I thought well, 13 is my favorite number, it’s Sundance two-thousand 13 and voilà, 13 it is, problem solved.  So here we go starting with 13.

01_19_2013 Inequality20

Number 13 January 19, 2013 Inequality for All Q&A.  Listening to the Q&A made me want to see this film!  The gentleman holding the mic is noted economic police expert Robert Reich and standing image right of him is director Jacob Kornbluth.  This film did win an award and I have hopes of seeing it.  Perhaps it is the world economic situation right now that makes this so poignant for me.

01_22_2013 SAwards008 Number 12 January 22, 2013 The Shorts Program Awards and Party.  This was held at the Jupiter Bowl which is a bowling alley.  They covered about four lanes with the stage and it was such a fun event.  I was all worried about where to stand and how not to get in anyone’s way but it was so fun and low-key.  I ended up sitting right in front of the stage on the floor out of sight of the instant feed cameras and cranking my ISO up so I could go handheld.  Major ab work out but oh so fun!

01_25_2013 Marc42Number 11 January 25, 2013.  This was my crazy day where I wrapped four theatres, two venues, three events, the festival insider pro volunteers and the transportation hub then stayed up all night editing (except 4-5:30 am when I tried to nap) and got my images in on time to my editor at 9:30 am the next morning. Boo-yah!  Awesome, awesome day.  Loved it!  Anyway, on my shot list was volunteers having fun doing their jobs and the volunteers at the MARC theatre were hysterically fun!

01_25_2013 Misc06Number 10 January 25, 2013.  Another image from the awesome day.  I forgot to add ambiance shots to that list.  We were always to be on the lookout for ambiance shots and I count this as one though I guess the real story is that these are darling friends of mine who came to visit and walked up and down Main Street with me for an hour or so.  I was so grateful to all of my wonderful friends who took the time to message/text/call/facebook me while I was at the festival.  It was a brilliant experience but I did have some lonely and tired moments and it made a world of difference to be sent a kind thought.  Thank you friends!!

01_25_2013 Trans06Number 9 January 25, 2013.  Yet another from that day!  I needed images of the transportation system.  People using the ap, looking at the map, talking to the transportation liaisons, and having fun riding the shuttles.  These ladies were only too happy to oblige and I had so much fun talking to them as we shared a shuttle for awhile.  I may never see them again in this life but they brightened my day and we laughed together.  That’s one of my favorite things about Sundance.

01_17_2013 DayOne35Number 8 January 17, 2013 Day One Party at Legacy Lodge.  I believe this was my second official event and it was a blast.  Crazy, crazy packed.  This event is where I ended up ducking through the service doors and getting lost in the kitchens and having to have the awesome workers back there help me get out.  I was trying to get from one area to another and that was the only way I could think of, it made me laugh.

01_23_2013 VolParty81Number 7 January 23, 2013 Volunteer/Staff party at Music Café.  Every year they have a volunteer appreciation day and put on a party to say thank you to the volunteers and staff.  I believe this year there were 1830 Volunteers, then add the staff.  I know (from Film Church) that Kenneth Cole had 2500 jackets made.  The party was fun and my favorite part of this image is that you can see one of our Drivers, Dooley, front and center (he has the red creds around his neck and my logo is half on him).  He is the nicest guy!

01_28_2013 BofF053Number 6 January 28, 2013 Best of Fest Screening at Rose Wagner in Salt Lake City.  This was my last festival gig and when I went home and took my credentials off for the last time it was a sad sad moment (I so loved my credentials).  This night was extra special because my best friend Josh Allen, who was the one who got me involved with Sundance in the first place ,just happened to be there.  I got to see him first and last days of Sundance 2013, perfection!

01_17_2013 Artist_Table14Number 5 January 17, 2013  An Artist at the Table event at New Frontier.  My first official Sundance 2013 event and at New Frontier where all the art exhibits are, what could be nicer?  This event was a kind of kick-off event for the festival and I was told that it is their biggest fundraiser of the entire year.  There were lots of importants there and festival director John Cooper did a kick-off toast.  I like the colors in this image.  I was joining in and being “artistic”.  Fun, fun, fun!

01_17_2013 Artist_Table30Number 4 January 17, 2013 Another image from the Artist at the Table event at New Frontier.  Our shot list asked us to capture each exhibit and I was struggling with this one because it was very dark and it’s a film projected on a dome.  You go in, lay down on the comfy’s and watch the film above and around you.  I needed to capture not just the film but the people watching the film.  I’m smashed against the entrance with my tripod (so dark) trying to stay out of the way and to find something to focus on {it was all black at first with what looked like shooting stars}.  A nice lady came up and started talking to me and I kind of told her what I was doing and how I was struggling to focus and she said that there would be a really neat part coming up with seals and that it would be a lot brighter.  Sure enough, I got a bunch of images that I really loved and this was one of my favorites.  A little later she asked if I got what I needed and I thanked her profusely for her help.  It was only at a later event that I realized I had been speaking with the artist.  Sundance is awesome!

01_20_2013 Signage63Number 3 January 20, 2013  This was my epic day of capturing every single sign on main street for the Sundance marketing/signage department.  My official with me was so nice and patient and let me do “pretty” shots as well as basic.  I figure if I’m going to take pics of signs I still want them to look artistic.  This is the Music Café venue which is, of course, one of my favorites.  I was able to photograph three different performers there during the festival.  See the red and black cubes in front of the stage?  Those are chairs and they’re squishy.  Big squishy cubey chairs.  Still fascinated by those.

01_22_2013 Ambiance01Number 2 January 22, 2013  I am SUCH a sucker for street performers.  They add so much flavor and color to well…anything.  I love that there were many at Sundance.  I also really love the lighting in this one.  Perfect afternoon/early evening light, my favorite.  Image left you see Michael, an Insider Pro volunteer so I got Insider Pro AND ambience! 😉

01_19_2013 MainStreet20aaaaaaaaand Number 1 January 19, 2013 Opening Weekend Main Street night ambiance.  So many things to make me love this image.  Opening weekend Main Street is crazy nuts and so much fun.  I’m up on the balcony by (I believe) Wah So so I can get a shot of the people and the cars and the lights.  I’m on tripod and dragging my shutter to blur the lights of the cars to try to convey the feeling of excitement and energy and motion that was going on at the time.  It was also a fun night because I ran into my brother Ben, who was there for press (Deseret News).  I got my pay-it-forward gloves from a kind stranger (have I mentioned I love Sundance) and it was actually my 17 year wedding anniversary.  Ironically we spent our honeymoon in Park City and stayed at the very place where I was given Sundance Lodging.

Well, that’s my Sundance Film Festival 2013 wrap up.  It was an amazing experience.  I made new friends, had incredible adventures and worked really really hard (my favorite part).  Here’s looking at next year!!

Sundance 2013: Shoot, Edit, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.

I have been dragging my feet a bit writing this post just because there is SO much to say and I’m not really sure how much of it people want to hear.  However it’s time to take the plunge so here goes.  First of all yes, I have seen celebrities at least one of which I recognized all by myself and didn’t have to be told who they were…moving on.  For Sundance 2013 I am working for the Creative Services Department of the Sundance Institute as a full-time Park City photographer.  So what that means is that I have a daily schedule of events that I cover, average of 3 or so a day and then I have an extensive shot list that I need to capture between events as well as, of course, being on the look out for anything interesting.  Our shot list includes pretty much everything you can think of.  Images of venues, signage, people having fun, volunteer/staff doing their jobs, etc. etc.  When I have breaks between events I rush back to edit and turn in my images as fast as I can and then head back out.  I haven’t yet seen any films as it’s really hard to find a three-hour block of time free but I am hoping to go see Austenland on Thursday.  The other film I wanted to see is Twenty Feet from Stardom but I’ve missed it.  Fortunately the director was at a shindig I photographed and he announced that the film has been picked up so I will hopefully see it in the future.  For the sake of a storyline I think I will just go through the festival as I’ve experienced it.

01_15_2013 Sundance30I arrived in Park City on Tuesday Jan. 15th and checked in.  I was trying to shoot check-in while I actually checked in and that didn’t go over too well as I didn’t yet have my credentials.  So I grabbed the credential, shot as I went, and then finished checking in.  It was a challenge to manage all my gear and all the stuff they were handing me but I prevailed AND got the shots.

CredsThese are my credentials and I love them so!  I can get into pretty much anything I want, it’s fun!  As you walk around the festival people look at you and then you notice their eyes migrating down.  No, they aren’t being pigs, they want to see who you are.  It makes me giggle in my head every time.

Wednesday the 16th found me on a tour of Park City with the other photographers and our drivers.  Yes, that’s right, I have a driver.  Though to be honest I mostly get myself to where I need to go by either using the shuttles or walking.  You miss the whole festival ambiance {in my humble opinion} if you get driven everywhere.  I love festival ambiance.  Here’s a cell phone pic of the Creative Services champagne toast to kick off the festival.

toastWe had an opening night Volunteer/Staff party at the Legacy Lodge.  Sundance knows how to treat you here.  It was crazy packed and yes I minorly panicked with my claustrophobia but all in all it was a lovely night.

volpartyMy best friend Josh {who is the one who got me involved with Sundance in the first place} and I got to redeem our photo booth experience from two years ago.  I love us!

volparty201_17_2013 Artist_Table76My first official event was the An Artist at the Table Reception.  It is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Sundance.  Here you see festival director John Cooper kicking off the festival with a champagne toast.

01_17_2013 DayOne33After that was the Day One Party, again at the Legacy Lodge for all the importants.  Another mad crush which led me to traversing {and getting lost in} the back stairwells and kitchens and who knows where else.  The kind staff helped me get out.

One of my events on the 18th was the The Gatekeepers Q&A at the Temple theatre.  I only got to see the last few minutes of the film but it looked very intense and the Q&A made me want to see it.  I understand that Direcor Dror Moreh has been nominated for an Oscar.  He’s very nice in person.

01_18_2013 GatekeepersQA25On the 19th I was able to photograph the Q&A for Inequality for All and once again the questions made me want to see this very much.  Many members in the audience said that they were moved to tears.  Here’s the official Sundance blurb.

“In this timely and entertaining documentary, noted economic policy expert Robert Reich distills the topic of widening income inequality and addresses the question of what effects this increasing gap has on our economy and our democracy.

In this image Robert Reich is holding the microphone and director Jacob Kornbluth is on the right.

01_19_2013 Inequality20I also took time Saturday night to wander up and down main street enjoying the insanity and taking atmosphere shots.  I had a blast!  People are nuts and I got to be nuts right along.  Drag queens, people filming, people jumping in front of people filming, jay walking every second, celebrity chasers, running into my brother who’s up here working for Deseret News and a really really really nice gentleman who saw that my hands where freezing and gave me the nicest ever pair of convertible fingerless gloves.  Whoever you are I’d love you to know that there is nothing in the entire world that I wanted/needed more at that moment than those gloves and I am determined to pay your kindness forward.

01_19_2013 MainStreet20On the 20th I photographed the Patron Circle reception.  Morgan Neville, the director of Twenty Feet from Stardom {which I really, really want to see}  announced that it has been picked up.  Yay!

01_20_2013 PCircle57This brings us to yesterday {the 21st, and thank heavens we’re getting close to being caught up}.  This was my busiest day so far with four events.  My last one was the Q&A for Narco Cultura, a documentary by director Shaul Schwarz about the rising influence of Mexican drug cartels in popular culture on both sides of the border.  The Q&A made me want to see this one too, I really like documentaries.

01_21_2013 NCultura10So that brings me to today, the 22nd and of course I’ve glossed over a lot but hopefully this all gives you a glimpse of what I’ve been up to.  I’ve met some amazing, talented, and interesting people and had many an adventure.  Today I got to hang out in the Music Cafe and then tonight I’m shooting the Shorts Program Awards and Party presented by YouTube but more on that later.  For now, it’s a bite to eat and some more mad editing.  Happy Festival!