We've been in Park City four days and while the novelty is starting to wear off and we are getting used to how things are done, it's still a lot of fun.
The first weekend is always the most crowded, the most difficult time to get into movies, and the most likely time to face rude celebrity gawkers shoving their way through crowds on Main Street in an effort to catch a glimpse of Lil' Wayne or Ewan McGregor or Denise Richards. Now that it's Monday, things have settled down a bit and its much easier just to hang out and watch films.
One thing I've been consistently surprised by is that the people who are here to see films or to show their own films are remarkably friendly. Over breakfast yesterday I struck up a conversation with one of the founders of Slamdance; this morning at the screening of Old Partner I got to know one of the programmers of the Thessalonika Film Festival; I've chatted with critics from L.A. Times and Variety; I've had intriguing discussions with several filmmakers, including the director of the hilarious Black Dynamite and the very engaging No Impact Man. There's something about the atmosphere of this festival — maybe it has to do with the fact that everyone is wearing snow gear and no one stands out as they would in L.A., or maybe because almost everyone rides the shuttles, or just because of the common bond of the love of film — but, apart from a few of the celebrity stalkers, almost everyone is extremely friendly and personable.
Here's what a some of the other sundancers had to say about their first few days: