This will be my first GoPro Sundance Film Festival. I’m going to be walking around with a GoPro Hero 3 Black mounted on my chest with an elastic rig, and…well, maybe I can capture some decent color-and-atmosphere footage or an interesting odd conversation here and there. Or maybe it’ll be boring as crap and I won’t post anything and just discard the idea after a couple of days. I can turn the record function on and off with the GoPro app on my iPhone so we’ll see. I have three regular batteries, a wall charger and a large back-up battery attached to the camera itself. I haven’t bought the “arm” that allows you to shoot yourself as you’re walking around but that would be ridiculous. The chest-mount camera isn’t immediately noticable and I might get away with an interesting shot or two. I’m not going to covertly record friends or talent or whatever…please. Just some random encounters, moments of stillness…whatever.
Each and every year Sundance is almost nothing but a blast — a pulsing spiritual high in terms of the films, conversations, events, parties, press conferences and the generally up-with-everyone-and-everything Park City vibe. This is my 20th anniversary of attending …no, wait, the 21st. But I’d be a lying Polyanna if I said that various irritations don’t pop through all the same. Goes with the territory.
Young guys who run around in shorts and sneakers without socks, for example. Or those absolutely awful people who work at 350 Main, the most unfriendly restaurant in town. Gangs of party people who trudge up and down Main Street. (I generally despise groups of people in any situation…”are you afraid to walk alone or with a friend? Do you need the feeling or power and protection that comes from being part of a small mob?”) The coldest, draftiest hotel lobby in the world inside the Yarrow. Townies. People who laugh too long and loudly in screenings (“All right, it’s funny, I agree…but take it easy”). The 20-something party gah-gahs who hang out in packs in front of Tatou and Harry O’s each and every night. Groups of 20-something women who shriek and squeal in bars and cafes. And those amazingly vacant facial expression on ski enthusiasts — the ultimate nowhere people of the Wasatch. Whenever I see skiiers clump onto a shuttle bus I mutter to myself, “The coolest festival in the country is happening right now and you guys are here to ski?”