Filmindependent.org just sent out this helpful blog with some great advice for anyone heading up to Sundance or Slamdance for the first time this year!
Below are my two, well actually five cents of my own advice for Sundance, and any other film festival:
Try to do a CLEANSE before and after Sundance. Let's be honest, most of us in the film industry turn into functioning alcoholics while we are at film festivals. It is the social interactions and fellow camaraderie, and at Sundance the cold. Also, do not expect to get farm-to-table healthy food while in Park City. If your schedule is as busy as mine, then you will most likely only find time to eat at the catered events, which are very tasty, but not the most healthy. Your LIVER and BODY will thank you!
Don't forget to bring enough BUSINESS CARDS. You might think that announcing you ran out will make you sound in demand, but the truth is that it most likely will come across as unprepared or that you do not want the other person to contact you. Neither one is good! Your IMAGE will thank you!
Wear COMFORTABLE SHOES! If you insist on wearing heals at the events, bring them with you. Your FEET and SHOES will thank you!
Don't even dream of getting enough SLEEP while you are at Sundance. I made one of my best contacts last year standing in line to an agency party at 1am in the morning. So sleep up before you head up there. Your SANITY will thank you!
Last, but most importantly, remember the most fruitful and longest lasting contacts you make while networking at festivals, are with people you share a PERSONAL CONNECTION with, not just a project. So find something other than the project you are pitching or selling to talk about. Trust me, not only will your conversation last longer. But when you follow up with that person and you can mention something unique (ideally in the subject line) the two of you shared in your conversation, the person will actually open your email and not place on the bottom of the pile of TO-DOs. Furthermore, it will give your connection longevity. All of us have managed to create a livelihood from our passion, do you really think we want to work with people we do not connect with or like?! I'm sure the same goes for you. Your BUSINESS and YOU will thank you!
Hope to see you in the snow!