PARK CITY — Sundance deals were bigger this year; and so were the crowds.
As multi-million dollar acquisitions heated up over the fest’s first weekend, Park City’s Main Street — clogged top to bottom with SUVs, parka-clad celebs, hangers-on, gawkers and swag seekers — has never looked more chaotic.
Local police were stricter , arresting wayward partygoers and enforcing tougher crowd control outside party venues like Harry O’s, where artists including Crystal Method, Snoop Dogg and Ludacris gave performances over the fest’s 10-day run.
Industryites exchanged info about hot pics at any number of SRO soirees, including those hosted by CAA, Cinetic Media, Discovery, ICM, New Line, Newmarket, Sundance Channel, Tartan Films and the William Morris Agency.
At the Discovery reception, veteran helmer Werner Herzog — making his Sundance debut — told Variety that he hoped his World Competition docu “Grizzly Man” would do as well as “Crumb” did at the fest in 1995.
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“If we have at least 40% of the audience left at the end of the film, like ‘Crumb’ did, I will be happy,” he said.
When not working, the press and talent gathered bag loads of freebies at some dozen swag locations, including hubs sponsored by Volkswagen, Fred Segal, Motorola and Levi’s. At a luxury gift lounge hosted by GettyImages and Gibson Guitars Rita Wilson made off with a fur jacket and a snowboard, while Glenn Close put in an order her Gibson. Celebs also signed VW and GM car hoods headed for charity auctions.