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Up at the top of Park City's Main Street, Sundance's younger, funkier cousin stakes its annual claim alongside the larger festival. The Slamdance Film Festival happened right alongside Sundance, and for an insider look at what it's like to bring your film there-- and how hard you have to work to promote it-- we've got Halley Feiffer and Ryan Spahn to bring us dispatches about their film, He's Way More Famous Than You, which premiered last Sunday at Slamdance.
In the film Feiffer plays a version of herself, a fame-seeking aspiring actress who will do anything-- including kidnapping the Karate Kid-- to hit it big. She co-wrote the film with Ryan, and it's directed by Michael Urie, who you might know from Ugly Betty. For more on He's Way More Famous Than You, click here, and to see their first festival dispatch, click here.
In today's final installment, Halley and her co-star Ryan Spahn share what they learned at the festival, from inappropriate flirting to getting free lattes to Harvey Weinstein showing up at their party. He's Way More Famous Than You was picked up for distribution by Gravitas Ventures, and will be on VOD April 8 and in theaters in May. Congratulations to the team, and thanks for sharing your Sundance experience with us!.
THINGS WE LEARNED AT SLAMDANCE:
1. You can actually survive on two hours of sleep a night for a week and the only consequences will be that you will lose perspective on everything, like beating the line for free veggie burgers on Main Street in Park City will suddenly seem AS IMPORTANT as selling your film.
2. Your Facebook friends will start to "Like" your posts with less and less frequency because you are being such a dickhead and posting so many humblebrag-y photos / videos / smidgens and scraps of press your film has gotten, that when you finally break the news that your movie got distribution, you will wonder if anyone still cares. Which it turns out they do, so you feel awesome again, so you continue to post everything you can think of like 47 times a day. And then everyone hates you again.
3. You will spend so much time with the people with whom you made your film and you will come to know even more intimate details about them than you already did and also the fact that you are doing all of this in Utah will make you begin to feel like you are in a polygamous marriage and you can actually see how that shit could actually work kinda well.
4. Since you are not actually in a polygamous marriage with your collaborators, you will find yourself flirting with the most inappropriate of people, like the Park City free shuttle drivers ("They're sooooo nice! And they seem to really *love* shuttling me around!") and your female producing partner who is not a lesbian and neither are you but hey you guys know each other really well and she's just sleeping on the couch in the other room, it's suuuuper convenient.
5. RedBull at 1 am suddenly doesn't seem dangerous or self-destructive at all when you are surrounded every night by people who are drunker than you think you ever got in your life, and you are a Recovering Alcoholic.
6. You will get into such a comfortable groove with your new, finely honed "layering" strategy -- bulky sweaters and coats and hats / gloves / scarves atop the sluttiest, sparkliest, most skintight-attire you own -- that when you return home you will wake up and automatically lunge for your cleavage-bearing gold unitard and real-bunny-fur hat before realizing that Wait, you are just going to Starbucks, and also, you are in Los Angeles and it's 70 degrees outside.
7. You will become so accustomed to free things that when you arrive home and the barista asks for $4.24 in exchange for making you a latte you will give him a dirty look and roll your eyes and half expect him to say, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry -- did you guys just sell your film? At Slamdance?! Holy shit, by bad, lattes are on the house. ForEVER."
8. In real life you don't need to constantly wear credentials around your neck, and if you do make your own that say "We Just Sold Our Film At Slamdance," people think you're an asshole, which you definitely definitely are.
9. In real life you cannot flip open a little book to find out what events are scheduled for that day that involve you being in the same room as Forest Whitaker, you have to make that shit happen yourself :-/
10. You will be coasting so high off the excitement and energy of the Festival that when you finally arrive home and begin to get back in the swing of a quotidian life in which you are not treated like Paris Hilton for even like five minutes a day, you will suddenly realize, "Oh shit, I have to make another film like, now, so I can do this whole thing again."
1. The high altitude causes one to get drunk faster, so it's a cheaper tab when at the bars.
2. Getting a publicist makes your self esteem go up like a thousand percent. Note to self, marry one of those.
3. You never sleep on a redeye flight so stop fooling yourself that you can plan stuff the day after a redeye as you are worthless to the world.
4. Condoms taped with heart stickers to a flyer gets people to attend screenings. People like latex-protected screenings.
5. If you hold your chin up when taking a picture, even though it makes you feel like you're presenting yourself like the hero you believe you are, it just makes you look like an idiot.
6. Halley Feiffer is prettier than most people so don't take pictures with her.
7. I love Luna Bars. I don't care if they are slowly morphing me into a young woman.
8. James Franco is allowed to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants to.
9. If you have a premiere party for He's Way More Famous Than You, there's a good chance Harvey Weinstein will show up.
10. Nothing looks sexier than seeing your producer daily sporting a staple gun, a stack of posters, & a big-ole smile.