Thursday, December 22, 2005

2005 the Year in Celebrity

As 2005 comes to a close, we see a lot of reflections on the past year. With my scurrying around to get Christmas shopping done, and visiting with friends and family, I have not been to the movies in weeks. I still have a handful of films to see before I can make a "best of" list for 2005, so I thought I would reflect on the film folks I have met in 2005.

I attend the Tribeca Film Festival and Newport Flim Festival. This was the 4th year for both, and I have refined my techniques of attendance. At Tribeca I am an attendee, it is my vacation. I plant myself at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca for a week, makes it easy to walk to the films and activities. This year I had the pleasure of running into Snoop Dogg, Danny Green, Dylan McDermott, Sydney Lumet,Frank Pierson, Tim Robbins, Seymour Cassel and Bill Plympton. I also got a kick out of overhearing a bunch of LA film folk discuss the filming of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (they dropped a half-million dollar lens in the chocolate river!).

I volunteer at the Newport Film Festival. Working for the transportation folks, I was assigned to drive Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer the weekend of the festival. I also took Guest on a tour of Newport one afternoon, to see the sights and pick up a few souvenirs for his family. We talked boats, kids, fishing, history ... no film talk. Interesting man. I also met Michael McKean, Annette O'Toole and Nick Nolte, all were charming and friendly. Working at the transportation desk I get to meet a lot of the film people that attend with their films. Aside from the big Hollywood guns I met, my favorite was Jeff Mandel, one of the producers of the film Murderball. He was polite, friendly and happy to be there. He had a million questions, and when he asked me if he was my biggest pain that day, I told him , no, he was around number 4. For the rest of the week, when he would call me he would identify himself as #4 ...loved him!!! I also met the cast of Mad Hot Ballroom at a Gala for the film festival, took a turn on the dance floor with Rodney Lopez, which was a thrill!

So that was 2005 in celebrity for me. I find film people very interesting, and this year they did not disappoint. We'll see what 2006 holds!

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