Please note that in the full-length version of this picture, Rob is totally playing with winter apparel and a cell phone. It’s very Sundance-y. No, really.
By now, we’ve covered how much work even the most fun Sundance Film Festival can be for those working it but, by and large, it might just be the hardest for the scades of publicists that hit Park City armed to to the teeth with clipboards, press kits, and whatever it is that’s replaced Red Bull. Need to set up an interview with an emerging filmmaker in a Starbucks? Publicist. Need a ticket to a public screening for a film you just have to review right now please, please, please? Publicist. Need, you know, like a clipboard or something? Publicist. But as glamorous as that might all sound – wait, who are we kidding? It’s not. And most publicists, get this, don’t even have the time to check out movies while at Sundance. I know, I know, it’s a lot to handle.
So what then of those true film geek pubs? Dreamers, those kids, dreamers like Rob Scheer, publicist for a big-time NYC-based PR and marketing firm, who has dreamed of the snows of Sundance since he was a but a wee lad. And he’s finally made it to the festival – to hand me a clipboard and listen to me beg for a ticket to Keep the Lights On? No! To answer ten questions about the festival!
How many times have you been to Sundance?
This is my first time at the dance.
What Sundance films are you most anticipating this year?
A toss-up between Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild and Antonio Campos’s Simon Killer.
What is your favorite Sundance film you have ever seen?
Jesus, this is tough. American Psycho, Forty Shades of Blue, and Capturing the Friedmans are all up there, but put a gun to my head, and I’d have to go with You Can Count On Me.
What are you most looking forward to at Sundance 2012?
Getting to work with talented filmmakers in a setting/environment I’ve read/heard about and envied for over a decade.
What tips have people given you for your first Sundance?
(1) Hydrate constantly, (2) Don’t expect to actually get to see any movies
What piece of cold weather apparel will you be clinging to the most?
Any earmuffs I see laying around, since I forgot to bring mine.
What venue are you most excited about seeing in person?
Having read coverage of Sundance since I was a very nerdy middle-schooler, and having heard about innumerable legendary screenings at the Eccles, that’s the one I’m most primed to check out.
What else will you be doing in Park City when you’re not at Sundance?
…not …at Sundance…? I’m pretty sure that will be limited to eating/sleeping.
What other festivals do you enjoy going to?
Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, BAMCinemaFest, Philadelphia Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival. SXSW and Cannes are still on my festival bucket list.
Why do you think Sundance is important?
For many reasons, but chiefly, I think it’s great that there’s a place to launch exciting/ambitious/challenging works in an ideal environment of people open to embracing and appreciating them (frequently resulting in distribution deals). There are innumerable “difficult” but brilliant films that distributors would have likely taken a pass on had they not seen that there was indeed an audience for them.