Volunteer Screenings

I had to wake up early this morning to go to training at the Prospector Theater for the Theatre Box Office Associates. I learned a lot, but the whole ticket process is still kind of confusing to me. At Cannes and Telluride, we just waited in lines and if you got in, you got in. I’m not used to this going to get a ticket an hour before, and then coming back for the film. Seems like more of a waste of time. I guess it will take some getting used to. After the training was over, I went to the Festival HQ and spent about 2 hours reading about the films, looking at the timetables, and making a potential schedule for myself that I’m sure will all get ruined when I don’t get into some screenings. Because I’m in Salt Lake City, I usually only work at night and the theaters only show films at night, so it’s going to be difficult catching some films. I’m hoping to go back to Park City on Monday and Tuesday for my day’s off. I headed over to Main Street to get some lunch and walk around. I wanted to rest up before the screenings tonight, so I just visited Liz at work, picked up some dinner, and sat around until I needed to leave. The special volunteer screenings tonight are The Crash Reel and Toy’s House. I’m especially excited about Toy’s House, as it was filmed in Cleveland and it stars Allison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally. After waiting in a short line with other volunteers, we were admitted into the Prospector Theater for The Crash Reel. The director, Lucy Walker, the producer, and the editor introduced the film. They just finished it this week, so they seemed nervous. We were also going to be the first audience to watch the film, ever. This documentary focused on the serious injuries and lack of insurance for action sports stars. In particular, Kevin Pearce, a professional snowboarder favored for the Vancouver Olympics suffered a massive head injury when training in Park City on December 31, 2009. The film focused on his recovery, his relationship with Shaun White (not a good one), his family, and friends. The death of his friend, freestyle skier, Sarah Burke was also highlighted. Sundance’s description: “The jaw-dropping story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport, snowboarding; one explosive issue, traumatic brain injury. An epic rivalry between Kevin and Shaun White culminates in a life-changing crash and a comeback story with a difference.” Kevin Pearce was seeing the film with his family for the first time with us. He introduced himself to the audience and we were able to have a Q&A prior to the film. It was an emotional documentary, informative, and well made. I was ecstatic to be in the presence of a female director. The film is an HBO documentary and was premiering at Sundance as part of the Documentary Premieres category.


After the film ended, we loaded out of the theater and entered into a new line for Toy’s House. The director Jordan Vogt-Roberts introduced his film as well. He also told us that we were the first audience. Sundance’s summary: “Three unhappy teenage boys flee to the wilderness, where they build a makeshift house and live off the land as masters of their own destiny. Or at least that’s the plan.” The film had me laughing from the very beginning. Nick Offerman was hilarious, as usual, but Moises Arias stole the show as the creepy and interesting boy that two best friends find tagging along. Nick Offerman plays the dad of the main character, Joe Toy, played by Nick Robinson. Alison Brie plays his older sister who goes to college “not far away from home.” She goes to school in Granville and the film takes place in Cleveland. Denison? I think so. Nick Offerman plays his usual angry self, but by the end of the film, he actually is in an emotional role and is doing a great job with it. Joe’s best friend Patrick hates his parents as well, Megan Mullally playing his mother, because they simply care too much about him. Megan’s character was hilarious. Everyone remembers when their parents speak the obvious to them and how much it drove us crazy, or offered vegetable soup to bring to a sleepover. Her character was every single one of those moments all at once. When Joe and Patrick run away with Biaggio, they learn that living alone in the woods is harder than they thought physically and mentally. I thought the film was a well-done independent comedy. I’m sure Clevelanders will enjoy the references as well. Once the show ended, I came back to the apartment to get ready for bed. I needed to catch a 7:30am bus to Salt Lake City for my first day on the job as a Theatre Box Office Associate at the SLC Library.



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