First of all, everything you imagine about a film festival like Cannes is wrong, wrong, wrong. You don't rub elbows with stars; you don't go to fabulous parties. You wake up, you see three or four movies, you write -- a lot -- and try to come to grips with the fact that for every movie you're seeing there are four, five, six more that you're missing. You try to not think about it, because you'd go mad -- but you do think about it, and you do go a little mad.
The thing you also need to know about Cannes is that it's essentially a big, shiny façade -- the reality of it is nothing like you see in the media. Cannes is a festival, but it's also a market -- a place where films are bought, sold and crafted. I remember my first year here, two years ago, seeing posters for 16 Blocks and thinking "Bruce Willis? Mos Def? Why haven't I heard about this film?" Then, sitting down with a coffee and reading the trades, I realized that the reason I hadn't heard of 16 Blocks before that morning was because before that morning it didn't exist -- the deal had been signed that night, foreign financing and markets brought on board and ensuring the film would happen.