Sunday, January 21, 2007

In honor of Sundance

Okay, I wasn’t there DURING Sundance. I was there in October.


Here’s a travelogue you thought you’d never see – me in Utah. Along with my partner David, and a third writer, Mr. Scribe, I am writing a spec screenplay. Mr. Scribe has a condo in Park City, Utah and graciously suggested it would be a great place to sequester ourselves and really get some work done. So for four days I was in the land of the Osmonds and Gary Gilmore.

A stewardess was once fired for saying over the PA to passengers “Welcome to Salt Lake City. Please turn your clocks back one hundred years”. Landed in Salt Lake, did just that, then headed up the mountains to Park City, one of America’s premiere posh ski towns. I have never been to any ski towns because I do not ski. I know for many people skiing is an absolute passion but it’s cold, requires a lot of bulky equipment, is costly, and let’s face it: no one ever broke a leg sitting in a movie theatre.

That said, the panoramas were positively breathtaking. I can just see a Park City man coming home from a hard day, stepping out onto his balcony, gazing at the magnificent vista and saying to his wives “Hey, Trixie, Jane, Gloria, you gotta get out here and see this!”

There’s no snow yet so there are no tourists. Mr. Scribe’s condo is part of a gorgeous lodge. You walk down the deserted hallways, past the cavernous vacant dining room, through the expansive empty lobby and realize…

You’re living THE SHINING.

All that’s missing is the maze. But the quiet was most welcomed and allowed us to get a lot of work done on the script. Thought you’d enjoy a preview. Here’s one of many scenes we wrote.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

I think we have a good chance of selling this one.

Took a tour of nearby Deer Valley. Mr. S. pointed out the chair lift pole that an expert skier crashed into splitting open his skull. He also showed us the spot on the road where trucks spin off if there’s a little ice on the ground. Later I learned that skiers on certain runs must carry beacons so if they’re buried in an avalanche they can be found.

Charles Gibson of GOOD MORNING AMERICA owns a huge house on one of the hills. Circular and all in glass and chrome, it looks the Cat in the Hat’s hat. Jeffrey Katzenberg also owns an impressive chalet. So I guess when he’s not in Hawaii taking my lounge chair he’s up here.

Elayne Boosler says this about Utah: “My favorite store here is maternity gowns for Mother of the Bride”.

Many girls in Park City look like pioneer women.

REDRUM. I don’t know why I just wrote that.

David and I walked down Main Street in Park City (picture Knotts Berry Farm for rich people) and got a number of stares. I’m sure we were the first two Jews of the season. Kinda like the first robin of spring. Soon more Jews would follow and it would be ski season.


Favorite Main Store establishment: Bad Ass Coffee.

Moose sighting. No, wait, that’s just Merlin Olsen.

During the winter, reservations at most restaurants and emergency rooms are recommended.

Park City is the home of the Sundance Film Festival every January. So for two weeks any rustic or quaint charm is completely obliterated as Hollywood agents, deal makers, opportunists, sharks, managers, hucksters, lawyers, carnies, boot lickers, snake oil salesmen, and ACCESS HOLLYWOOD invade the area as if it were their personal Baghdad. But if you’re a skier that’s the time to come because no one is on the slopes. Which begs the question: why not hold the film festival in summer when it’s warm and there’s no skiing anyway?


During Sundance every theatre screens cutting edge independent films. The other 50 weeks they show DODGEBALL.

Not a lot of Sonny Bono records played on the local radio station here.

There are almost as many SUV’s here as in the parking lot of the Encino Gelson’s.

Events I unfortunately will be missing: “Howl-a-Ween Dog Parade” down Main Street featuring a whole pack of costumed canines. And the “Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair”. I’m upset about missing that one because who writes better poetry than Gabby Hayes and Chill Wills? Plus they’re going to have a colt starting clinic.

I can’t afford a place here but my agent has one. Hmmmmm?

It stays dark every morning till eight make Jack a dull boy.
The ski lifts carry nobody make Jack a dull boy.
Most restaurants are closed and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.


Anonymous said...

Try visiting the Ahwannee Hotel in Yosemite Valley sometime. The interior sets for Kubrick's version of "The Shining" were based exactly on it, so the rooms are all duplicates, right down to the color and decor, of the ones in the film. You can not see that elevator door open without expecting a flood of blood to pour out. It's gorgeous and creepy.

Frankly, I prefer the TV movie remake with Steven webber, which is much closer to King's great book, and shot at the actual hotel that inspired the one in the book. Plus, there's no Shelley Duval.

And don't look down too badly on skiing. Without it, Sonny Bono might still be in congress.

Cap'n Bob said...

Redrum = Murder spelled backwards.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the morons, er, I mean the Mormons, don't generally go to Park City. The place is pretty much Gentiles Only - and make that Rich Gentiles Only. (Even the Jews are considered Gentiles there) So you could breathe easy - you guys were among your own kind.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of all illiterate idiots, thanks Cap'n Bob, we'd never have rememebred that without you.

So Redford = Dorfder?

Oh, and ROSEBUD is a sled., not DUBESOR.

Anonymous said...

Even though I do not particularly like Utah, your observations (though funny) were very mean spirited and bigoted. I caught the reference to polygamy, and the snide remark about women looking like pioneers would be like me saying "for some reason, the majority of the people I see here running Hollywood seem to have big noses". Aren't you above 3rd grade prejudices, or are you just miss-informed?

Anonymous said...

ckhutch, what is wrong with you? For this entry to have been insulting for it's content, it would have to had been funny. Now, I would have understood if you had been offended by the use of so many clich├ęs.

Anonymous said...

The word "ignorant" comes to mind.