Sundance Film Festival

What Bruce Willis should expect when he's expecting to go to Sundance

To: bruce.willis@brucewillis.com
From: matt.singer@sundancechannel.com
Re: Sundance Preparedness List

Dear Bruce-

Your people asked my people to ask me to write up a list of things to remember before you head to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. They know you’ve been to Sundance before — back in 2008, you walked the red carpet in support of Barry Levinson’s WHAT JUST HAPPENED — but they’re apparently a little worried you might be a little “What just happened?” about the whole experience and need a Park City refresher. You may decide you want to fire your people for that. That’s between you and them. I just do as I’m told. Don’t blame this on me and then drive a car into a helicopter into my living room, or run barefoot with a machine gun through my kitchen. Thanks.

Your film, LAY THE FAVORITE by Stephen Frears, premieres at Sundance on Saturday, January 21st at 9:45pm, which means you’ve got just over a week before you head up to Park City. Not a lot of time to get ready. Here are some helpful hints from a veteran Sundancer.

1. Dress Appropriately.

Contrary to what you might have heard from less reliable sources than myself, Park City is not located in a park. It’s about an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, Utah, way up in the mountains. It’s usually relatively pleasant during the day, but at night it can get really cold — we’re talking single digits cold. So bring your winter coat. Thermal undergarments are a big plus, especially if you’ve got some outdoor red carpets to attend. You’ll need something for your head too; most fashion and hair conscious celebrities cruising the Park City nightlife prefer ear muffs so as to not disturb their beautiful hair. That shouldn’t be a problem for you for obvious reasons.

2. Bring plenty of vitamins and hand sanitizer.

As Steven Soderbergh’s CONTAGION taught us, superbugs do not discriminate between movie stars and regular joes. Germs kill, even if you’re rich and beautiful and you named your daughter Apple for some reason. You probably won’t be in town long — your people tell me you’ve got to be back in Los Angeles for a thing with the guy with the face, whatever that means — but even one night at Sundance is enough time to catch the Park City Plague. Remember the germaphobe’s code: Keep your friends close — but not too close, because who knows when they last washed their hands — and your Purell closer.

3. Don’t burn the candle at both ends.

One other smart way to ward off the festival flu is to just say no to all the late night parties and shenanigans. Sure, they’re fun. Sure, they’re a great way to find cheap booze and cheaper sex. But you’re Bruce Willis! When do you ever pay for anything anyway? The reality of those parties is rarely as exciting as you imagine them to be. You’ll have to wait outside in the bitter cold (okay, not you) then once you get inside it’s outrageously hot, and it’s so crowded you can’t move, and then the free booze runs out, and then someone tries to steal your press pass. It’s just a bad scene. Plus the morning after your big Sundance premiere you’ve got another screening at 8:30am. Look to your own filmography for advice here, Bruce. You want to be the LAST MAN STANDING. Don’t be NOBODY’S FOOL. So stay away from the MOONLIGHTING.

4. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go.

Just because Park City looks quaint, don’t forget: there are thousands of visitors in town, they’re all headed the exact same place, and none of them have any idea how to get there. In other words? Traffic nightmare. Bruce, if you’ve got a screening or a press event across town, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there. Be especially careful around dinner time, when the streets get the most congested as locals who’ve come up to gawk at celebrities (like you, for example) head home for the night. Just because you’re John McClane, and you once ejected yourself out of helicopter right as it was about to explode, don’t try to be the hero. Pad your schedule with lots of travel time. Unless you’re gonna travel by ejector seat again.

5. No matter what: don’t drink the “special martini.”

Bruce, I speak from experience on this one. If you’re at one of the branded lounges or bars around Park City, and you hear someone order the “special martini,” turn around and walk out. You don’t want any part of that. Unless you really do want to die hard.

That’s it Bruce! Have a great time in Park City. Don’t worry, you’ll do great. I’m looking forward to seeing LAY THE FAVORITE. Can’t wait for the next DIE HARD, either, although A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD isn’t as cool a title as my pick: A DIE HARD DAY’S NIGHT.

Best wishes on a successful Sundance,

Matt Singer