I arrived at Newark airport on the Super Shuttle, and a complete stranger introduced himself. He's the agent responsible for selling "Wordplay" and has seen the movie many times. He also sold "Mad Hot Ballroom," "Spellbound" and "Supersize Me" so we are in good hands. Will got there shortly after and the agent recognized him, too. Will got his shoes shined, and the man reached in his bag to get something and there was a sudoku book of Will's. Will introduced himself and signed the guy's copy.
The flight was full of people going to Sundance. They all had that media look, or were reading Variety or Premiere. The woman next to us looked like a glamorous blonde movie star, but was an agent going to the festival and staying in a condo rented by her company. She was in the window seat and had an ingenious way of agilely climbing over us when she needed to use the ladies' room (often, as she apologized to us. We didn't mind. It was fun to watch her unusual technique). The man across the aisle had the same Bose noise-cancelling headphones I did; he asked if I had a cable so 2 people could watch his DVD, but it didn't seem to be in my case. The headphones did do a good job of cancelling the airplane noise, and I was happy to have the iPod.
At the airport, we met Dean, Trip and Brian. Stella called telling us her luggage was lost and could we pick it up at the airline's office. Trip went there, but they said it had already been sent on its way. We then had some hassles at the van desk, where they couldn't initially find our reservations. Trip and Brian got straightened out and managed to get the last 2 seats on a departing van, but we ended up waiting almost an hour and a half to leave. Someone said 3000 people had taken these vans in the last few hours. I didn't see any celebs, but someone saw John Waters and Tyler saw Steve Carell. We FINALLY got our van, and after several stops reached the Puzzle Palace. We were too annoyed with the huge delay to tip, and the driver muttered "Cheapskates!" under his breath.
Stepping inside the Palace (pictures available later) we were greeted by the rest of the group and took a quick tour of the place. It is 2500 sq. ft. and has seemingly endless stairways, levels and rooms. At the entrance is a half bath, closet, dining area with banquette seats, fully equipped kitchen and washing machines. Up one flight is the master bedroom and bath. Down one level is a living room with high windows and ceiling, looking out on the mountains. Down a flight is the "boys room" with a bunk bed, twin and trundle, with its own bath. A little crowded, but nicely furnished. Down another flight is the "girls room" with two queen beds and another bathroom. Out the door is an enclosed jacuzzi; it seems a little chilly but we may try it eventually (otherwise, that grooming will go to waste). Really quite nice.
Lost with Stella's luggage were her recipes, so she was only able to make a few things. I made do with fruit. We sat in the dining area and typed on our laptops and made plans for the upcoming trip. Everyone was tired so that was it for the night. I unpacked my multiple sweaters and tops (what was I THINKING). The bed was fine but the excitement made it hard to sleep. I got about 4.5 hours.
Today we had a photo shoot at 10, so the Palace was up and running early. Stella made French toast (which I didn't have since I don't like eggs), and I had fruit and cereal. Our kitchen is well-equipped. We bundled up and went out into not that cold weather. The weather really hasn't been bad - KNOCK ON WOOD. The shuttle stop is around the corner from our condo complex, and we entered the bus to find Merl and Marie! Merl told us that NPLer and Stamford competitor Mark Maximov was a Sundance volunteer. Small world. "Downtown" Park City was only minutes away. We were there early, so some people went to pick up "will call" tickets at the box office. I had a ticket for a movie this afternoon, but we have another photo shoot at that time, so I needed to sell it; a man on line bought it from me. People are talkative and friendly everywhere you go.
The photo shoot was quick. http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/FrameSet.aspx?s=EventImagesSearchState%7c1%7c0%7c28%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c1%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c56636374%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0&p=&tag=1 [UPDATE: link is not working. Just click and then search on "Wordplay"]. I temporarily lost my gloves (and one earring - which was later found), but found them under a chair. By then, everyone had left (it turns out they went to HP headquarters) so I went by myself back to the box office to see if any tickets were available for today but no luck. There were 2 movies at 11:30 that sounded good, but the guy at the shuttle stop said I was already too late to try at 11. So I headed back to Deer Valley, seeing Mark Maximov at the bus stop. He will be at our premiere tomorrow.
Will was doing his NPR segment by phone (words with S-D, which we had all tried out previously), so I tiptoed in after a daunting walk uphill. The altitude is definitely noticeable. The publicists discussed Will's busy schedule. The rest of us are only minor players, but he is in great demand. Since Stella was planning to make lunch and we had another photo shoot at 3:45 I decided to stay home for a while and... blog!
So the rest of today is: photo shoot (I had so many sweaters I've already changed outfits), and Wordplay party at 6. Tomorrow's the premiere! We hope our non-ticket holder friends can get in, and we ourselves would like to go again on Sunday. Meanwhile, I hope to see a bunch of other movies while I'm here. I don't think I've conveyed the excitement of being here. Baby!