Sunday, February 27, 2011

Senior Bucket List: Pic with Blue

16. Go into one of the Sorority houses
17. Kiss a girl who smokes
18. Get a picture with Big Blue

Not much to say about this one. After senior night we went down on the court to watch the net cutting (props to Fafner for getting his share) and Big Blue was nicely standing in a corner taking pictures.

Interested note, if you look at where blue's eye-holes are, he's only got a couple of inches on me.

This was my last home game in the Spectrum as an undergrad and potentially ever. It was a very bittersweet moment for me. I remember before the game started looking around at the crowd cheering the Scottsman thinking "this is it for me, I'm finished here." While I didn't expect to get emotional I did, especially after the half when Idaho took their first free throw and the whole front row got "Wild"ed up. Nice one guys!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Sundance Post

I've been putting this off for a long time. The festival ended weeks ago and in theory I was hoping to write capsule reviews of each film I saw but the very idea proved to be just, too, daunting. So, time slipped away and here we are, a month later and a few bucks short. So, in lieu of a review-bonanza I thought I'd just post some of the pictures.

BTW, if you are interested in some reviews I wrote for The Satesman, go here.

A Huntsville sunrise. I was only able to attend the festival on the weekends which meant making the most of my days. Typically I was in the car heading to Park City at 6:45 a.m. and back in my car heading home to Huntsville at about 1 in the morning. I may have been dog tired, but that didn't change the fact that the sun coming up over the Wasatch Back is absolutely stunning.

Robert Redford at the opening day press conference in the Egyptian Theater. While I was in line I chatted with two nice reporters from Australia and a man from BBC.

Director Drake Dremus speaking about his film "Like Crazy," the first movie I saw and also this year's winner of the Grand Jury prize. Just over his shoulder are stars Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Terminator Salvation) and Felicity Jones (British and crazy hot).

The cast of "My Idiot Brother" (including Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel) at a Q&A following a screening of their film. This was also the last movie I saw and one of my favorites.

Director Gavin Wiesen discusses his film "Homework" starring Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, August Rush) and Emma Roberts (It's Kind of a Funny Story). This was a hard one for me to get into, but after loving It's Kind of a Funny Story I was interested in seeing what else Roberts had to offer. IKOAFS excelled, but Homework wasn't bad although it was strange to buy 'lil Freddie as her love interest.

Festival Director John Cooper at the closing day event "Film Church." Immediately after this panel I got in my car and headed away from Sundance for the last time. In all it was a surreal, amazing, and eye-opening experience. For two weeks I had my run off the town and even though I was just a punk student reporter, I was treated equally alongside seasoned veterans from USA Today, The New York Times, The Salt Lake Tribune and everything in between.

I have loved movies for so long and Sundance is the closest I have ever come to Hollywood. I've been to Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame but I mean REAL Hollywood. Here were people talking about Harvey Weinstein being a cup of crazy with the kind of jovial nonchalance that you would use to refer to an old roommate. Here were people who barely noticed when James Franco was out in the theater lobby. I remember walking down Main Street and seeing a group of 4 high school age girls squealing and pointing saying "Is that Colin Farrell?"

It wasn't, I had just seen him an hour before. I had just turned down the opportunity to sit in on a round table with Morgan Spurlock. Seeing those girls go ga-ga over someone who "might have been" a celebrity reminded me that I had been waist deep in celebrity for 2 weeks and already it had stopped fazing me.

I also realized that I don't need that life. I would be so content to get a solid job at a city paper and just live out my days in relative anonymity. Of course I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to work for EW, interview starlets and industry movers and shakers, but in the end I'd probably be better off just starting a family and getting a job that pays the bills and allows me to be with the people I love.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fringe Festival 2011

Dream Team Productions' frontmen Tyler Barlow and Benjamin Wood confirmed Monday that work has begun on the second installment of their Fringe Film Festival series. While the details were vague, Executive Producer Benjamin Wood let slip a few hints at what this year's entrance will bring us.

"Our current project is NOT a sequel to Great Expectations. Tyler and I looked over our options and decided that it was best to go in a new direction."

What direction might that be? It is assumed that this year's project, tentatively referred to as "Fringe 2" will bring DTP's signature melancholy-romantic-dramedy style, especially given this year's Festival theme of "Twitterpated." Director Tyler Barlow is reported to be looking for a male and female lead but as yet, there is no word on whether Barlow and Wood will reunite with their stars David and Meredith Ingram, who were married after filming wrapped on Great Expectations.

"Dave and Meredith are phenomenal actors and close friends," said Director Tyler Barlow. "We welcome the thought of working with them again but as yet no roles have been cast and the script is still taking shape."

Festival insiders have been hush hush about who we can expect to make a repeat performance. Many of last year's top prizewinners -- including "Blinked" writer/director Pete Smithsuth -- have since relocated to overseas markets. Wood said he is excited about the changes made to this year's festival and looks forward to using Fringe 2 to try new things.

"We learned a lot last year," Wood said. "We put together a great film and took home one of the audience awards but there's always improvements that can be made. This year's festival, with the films screening at the Logan Arts Cinema and with one more year of experience behind us, all I can say is you're going to be blown away."

(above image: The cast and crew of "Great Expectations" at the film's premiere. Great Expectations won 2nd Place Audience Choice at the 2010 Fringe Film Festival.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Midnight Ramblings: The Villain

Sympathy is such an easy thing to come by. Especially in today's high-speed, full disclosure world of social networking, all it takes is for someone to put as much as a frowny-face emoticon as their facebook status to receive an outpouring of well-wishers and pats on the back.

Remind yourself, at times, of the examples that your own life, and the lives of your closest friends, has shown you. The difference between victim and villain is seldom decided by right and wrong, but more by the hand that writes the history books. Too often have I watched as the labels are reversed (on the surface, mind you) by an expertly placed plea for pity.

Yet while the ignorant masses may swarm around you, eager to show their alms for your affection, there is one constant truth that the effected parties will always know. One of them, beneath all the convenient tears, is a monster.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Song: 2 Shots

I could never declare one song as my "favorite," but it seems like there's one song that I repeatedly turn to on Grooveshark after a long day at the office.

Matt Dusk, "Two shots of happy, One shot of sad"

For those of you who don't know Dusk, he's a card-carrying member of the neo-jazz singer club (a la Michael Buble) only he hasn't quite cashed in on the bubble gum fame that Buble is currently enjoying which gives Dusk, in my opinion, a slightly more real sound. In a nutshell, I believe him more.

I first came across this song in 2004. It was the theme song for a reality show called "The Casino" which, in my opinion, was tragically underrated and short-lived. This was back in the glory days of Reality Television when ideas were still new and the mirror we hold up to society hadn't shatterd. This was the prime days of Survivor, Fear Factor, The Mole etc.

Over the years, it's become my go-to song for melancholy. And more and more frequently, I seem to need it at the end of the day.

Check it out, and feel free to disregard the video. I actually watched it for the first time while writing this post and in typical Vegas Lounge Singer style it has it's fair share of scantily-clad women.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bucket List: Ultimate

13. Get into the police blotter
14. Become an ULTIMATE Aggie
15. Go through the tunnels

It occurred to me the other day that I have about 10 weeks of school left and about 20 items left on my bucket list. As such, I decided that I needed to start doing at least one item per weekend – many items are weather exclusive and will have to wait till spring.

So, it's 2:00 a.m. Saturday night and I'm driving home and I realize that I failed to complete an item when all of a sudden I come to the intersection of 10th north and 8th east. For those of you unfamiliar with the Logan area, that intersection is guarded by a 10 foot tall statue of a bull with the letters "Meet the Challenge" inscribed on it's podium.

I got to thinking. The reason that so many people get caught becoming an Ultimate Aggie is because they attempt it in large groups, at too early hours, during times when it would be expected. Here I was, alone and thus able to complete the task in a matter of moments, 2 in the morning when there was little activity, game night so there were plenty of other cars in the parking lot to not arise suspicion and it was February so the authorities wouldn't be patrolling the area as heavily – after all, who would be dumb enough to sit naked astride a giant metal statue of a bull in the middle of winter? Me, I am that stupid.

So I did. I undressed in the car down to nothing but my p-coat. Made my way to the base of the beast, shed my loins, clambered up there, got comfortable, and enjoyed the feeling of pure freedom of sitting naked atop a giant bull under the stars. It wasn't even cold until I got down and made my way back to my car a natural. By then I thought I had lost my toes for good and it took about a half hour before my feet thawed.

No pictures though, I'll have to go back and get documentation.