Another very interesting panel I attend was the new filmmaker panel co-sponsored by Variety and the Illinois Film Office. Eight first-time Sundance directors were there- three were women I am happy to say. All had films in the festival- the two with the biggest names were The Greatest starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, written and directed by Shana Feste and Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer with Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Some common comments from the panelists.
- The importance of Film school- everyone went to some film school either as a graduate or undergrad.
- Be prepared, then really be prepared.
- You will have a moment when all hell breaks loose. Don't worry about it.
- There are hundreds of compromises to make. be ready to make them.
- Scariest thing I have ever done.
When I saw the panel, only 500 Days had distribution- it has a $7 million budget. Low by Hollywood standards, but not low by typical Indie Film standards. I think that says a lot about the festival.
Two more Sundance posts on the way from me- One about the Soderbergh panel, the other just on views about the festival and the state of independent film.