MISSION SKARSGARD: Fan Encounter at Sundance Film Festival
Loyal reader, Dee (Nothinbutjoy), was one of the lucky Truebies that scored a spot at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City, UT. Alexander Skarsgard attended for the screening of his indie film, The East. Follow Dee and her team as they successfully navigate the fest…on a very special mission. Note: There was much swooning involved, but who could really blame them?
As soon as we heard the news from Mel and Liz of True-Blood.net that Alexander Skarsgard would indeed be at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah to promote his film project, The East, Mission Skarsgard was in play.
Our mission, that we created and most definitely chose to accept, was simple: See Alexander Skarsgard in person.
The team: Day One: Madeline (Maddi), Morgan and me, Diana (Dee)- Team ASkars
Day Two: Team ASkars and Sammi
Background: We have lived in Utah for 13 years. Several years ago we ventured to Park City, UT to check out the Sundance Film Festival. It was a very meh experience. It was crowded, FREEZING and we didn’t see a single movie or celebrity. We were greenhorns. This year wasn’t any different, except for one factor. We were on a mission.
Saturday 19 Jan 2013
Scouting day. Get the lay of the land. See how the natives operate. Plan our strategy. It was an exhausting day. Even though I had begun to research the festival as soon as we committed to the mission, I was not really prepared for the chaos that is the Sundance Film Festival. We spent the day on overcrowded shuttles, waiting in line for food and bathrooms and generally wandering Main Street. The day was a blast! We saw Dermot Mulroney, the top of Katherine Heigl’s head and Rob Corddry. We also met FANTASTIC Festival volunteers, got great tips for navigating the festival and learned one essential piece of information; you cannot get anywhere quickly during the festival. After an exhausting day, we headed home, plan in place for Day 2.
Sunday 20 Jan 2013
By Hook or By Crook: Not really, the festival is very well organized. It’s also very closely monitored. If you don’t have credentials for an area that requires credentials, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!! If you do not have a ticket for a showing that requires a ticket, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!! If they say, “Be here at 3:00pm” and you show up at 3:01pm, you are sent to the back of the line. No questions asked.
Because we were still rather worn out by our adventures of the day before, we dropped all plans of venturing back down to Main Street and decided to focus solely on The Mission. Per the festival’s schedule, The East was to be shown multiple times at multiple locations throughout the festival. I decided we would focus on the 3:30 showing at the Eccles Theater. We didn’t have tickets and because tickets are sold in the fall, our only options were to A) Just hang around the theater and see ASkars coming and going or B) Try our luck with the “Wait List”. We went with option B) with the plan to fall back on A) if we had no luck.
The Wait List’s protocol is as follows: Show up 2 hours before showtime. Be assigned a number noting your place in line. Go away for 1 hour 30 mins and come back no later than 30 minutes before showtime. Ticketholders are allowed into the theater and IF they have seats available, Wait Listers can be admitted. It’s very much like flying stand-by.
We got to the unofficial Wait List Line more than 2 hours prior to showtime. We were then moved to the “official” Wait List Line in the “Black Room” and received numbers 42-45. Then, though it was tempting for some of the team members to head down to Main Street for the hour and a half wait, I kept the team focused on The Mission and we went out to our car to wait, read nap.
We headed back to the theater half an hour early to ensure that we were not late and to take a much needed bathroom break. I was horrified to see that the line to the “Royal Portapotties” was MUCH longer than it had been earlier in the day. With only 20 minutes to spare and no restrooms in the theater, I was a little tense.
We made it back to line with minutes to spare. After a 15 plus, minute wait, one of the volunteers came through and stated that they definitely had 25 tickets, “maybe more.” After another quick wait, the same volunteer came back and started counting and we were included in the count!!! Things started to move quickly, we paid our money and WE WERE IN!!!
The theater was packed and we were just trying to find four seats, never mind four seats together when Maddi stops dead and says, “There he is!” As team leader, I was focused on seating, to make sure we wouldn’t be booted out, but Maddi broke rank stating, “Sorry, Mom! I gotta get over there!” Where my kid goes, I go, so grabbing the other team members we made our way over to where Alexander FREAKIN’ Skarsgard was standing along the side wall of the theater. There weren’t too many people….okay women…trying to get pictures with him, but there were enough to block the aisle, so there was much bumping. I made my way to his left side then noticed that he had been maneuvered into a corner. I said to him, “Oh my gosh! You’ve been backed into a corner! Are you okay?” He looked down at me, smiled, and said, “Yes, I’m okay.”
The movie was about to start. He was about to move and I said to him, “I’m so sorry, but may we get a picture with you.” He said “Yes” then he brought his left arm around me as I pulled Maddi and Sammi into the picture and Morgan took the picture. The lady next to Morgan offered to let Morgan into the picture, but unfortunately, that picture came out blurry.
We had to let him go then, so we hustled to our seats and watched the movie, which was really good. Later we were told it has been picked up and I highly recommend you see it when it hits theaters. When the movie concluded, the writer, director and cast were presented on stage. It was incredible! And it prolonged out time with Alexander FREAKIN Skarsgard a definite BONUS!!!
Then it was over, but two days later, Team ASkars is still giddy and riding high with its MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! Not only did we see him in person, we got pictures, he talked to me AND put his arm around me!!
On the way out of the theater, we were stopped as Matthew Goode (Watchmen) entered the theater, so there was still fun to be had.
All in all, it was a FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE! Team ASkars cannot thank Mel and Liz enough for the tip that he would actually be at the festival.
THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!THANK YOU!!
Photos: Courtesy of Diana Ussery