Vincenzo Natali's Sundance Diary: January 21, 2010

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
Sundance is now upon us, which means it is time for Splice director Vincenzo Natali to check in with the second entry in his record of the festival experience.

Making a film is always a long and arduous process. In the case of Splice it is a journey that has taken me over a decade to complete. For the moment, it seems that the ultimate destination is our premiere screening here at the Sundance Film Festival, midnight tomorrow. We had the good fortune to screen once already in the extraordinary Sitges Fantastic Film Festival in Spain. But the North American premiere is really where the film will be evaluated by my peers, the industry and the world press.

At this stage I feel immune to whatever that response will be. I've been carrying this beast for too long. And now to finally birth it here in the pristine snow of Park City feels like a tremendous relief. No doubt it will be a messy affair. So, I'm expecting pain, anxiety, perhaps a few scars and stretch marks. But when something like this has been kicking inside you for this long, you just want the little bastard OUT.

Thankfully I'm buffered by a great support group, the mid-wives (is this metaphor getting worn out yet?).  Producer Steve Hoban, co-writers Antionette Terry-Bryant and Doug Taylor, visual effects supervisor Bob Munroe, exec producers, Susan Montford and Don Murphy and actors, Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody are arriving today. No doubt, they will do everything in their power to see that Splice is received here in the best possible way.

In spite of what Cahiers du Cinema might say, filmmaking is a totally collaborative medium. And the director, while ultimately responsible for the end product, is just a part of a much, much larger organism. Especially so in the case of Splice, which has evolved over an extended period of time with many hands contributing to the finished film.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that it's the dialectic effect of multiple minds that shapes movies into such a rich and unique medium. For the director it sweetens the pot when things go well and dulls the pain when you get kicked in the nuts.

But for the moment it's just me. So, I sit here in my Park City Condo.  Outside the snow falls gently over quieted streets. A calming moment before the anticipated blizzard of cell phones and agents, buyers and sellers, and the rest of the madness begins.  I can feel the existential dread creeping up on me. The snow white vista a good backdrop for such musings. Probably early pioneers ate each other in these mountains in Donner Party-esque desperation. I guess I should be ready for a the 21st Century version of this kind of cannibalism. Pop will eat itself after all.

Until tomorrow...
V

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