"Sex? More sex? Can we hear more sex stories?"
So went the first question, once moderator Allen Bain turned this morning's "Sex, Drugs, and Indie Films" panel over to the audience. Intended, as Bain put it, as "a brief anthropological study of [the behavoirs of] people who work in film," the most comprehensively covered theme seemed to be "how to behave at a party if you want someone to read your script."
Brad Simpson, president of Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Films, and Jeff Dowd, sales rep and reputed inspiration for The Dude of The Big Lebowski, dominated the conversation, which also included Bain and Killer Films' Jocelyn Hayes. Dowd tackled the "drugs" portion of the discussion, telling one Sundance anecdote involving Waldo Salt, a stolen police car and four giant bags of marijuana, inspiring a contagion of knowing giggles. Meanwhile, Simpson's answer to the question, "What's it like to walk into a bar with Leonardo DiCaprio?" inspired my favorite quote of the session:
"Actors carry around their own ambience … certainly, if you go to a bar with Leonardo … let's just say that I'm not used to women coming up to you in a bar and immediately hitting on you … I'm used to three weeks of constant conversation and then she says, 'Oh, my god - I'm suddenly finding myself strangely attracted to Brad Simpson'..."
I laughed out loud at that, and then thought to myself, "Oh my god - I'm suddenly finding myself strangely attracted to Brad Simpson!"
But that was about as gossip-sexy as it got. All in all, the group painted a pretty bleak picture of the social life of an indie film exec. "The whole thing with sex and power can be a very slippery slope," warned Dowd, and Bain summed it up like this: "We don't go to festivals to party - we go to work." 1,000 miniature violins were then played by all in attendance.