Wednesday January 24th – This American Life

Posted January 28, 2007 in
This American Life is a radio show starring Ira Glass that deals with, well, this American life. This American Life is not a news show persay but tells unique stories from every day life. The reason this show is loved by so many and works so well is because it has ressurected a time-worn tradition, the tradition of storytelling. Ira Glass sits in front of people, interviews them and has them tell their own stories. In-between stories, Ira Glass interjects observations and digressions that make these stories intimate, immediate and insightful.

Lance and I saundered into a panel discussion with Ira Glass, Chris Wilcha and Adam Beckman titled How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love TV: This American Life Reloaded. The panel discussion talked about pros and cons of turning a beloved radio show and turning its personal intimacies and interactions into a TV show. Chris Wilcha, the director of Showtimes adaptations of Glass' show, talked about how he envisioned keeping the central points of the how intact while making them visual. Adam Beckman, the cinematographer, spoke about the visual aspects of the show and how they wanted not to be another reality TV or news show ala the Daily Show and the problems and struggles created with that theory and finally, Ira Glass talked about actually doing the show and showed clips and outtakes from the first season that illustrated the ups and downs of televised version of This American Life.

The question and answer session at the end of the panel rounded out any thoughts or misconception about how the televised This American Life would come off. Of course, the radio show will still be around and even dare hard radio fans, in the end, realized that this show, just like its radio parent, would still have all the charm and passion as its predecessor.

After this, we met up with Ruth "rants" Rodgers and headed to the turning Leaf wine bar. Inside almost every lounge (that is the glorifed name for the free booze bars at Sundance) there is a person from HP or some other camera company with a digital camera waiting for you to approach them to take pictures. So we modeled for pictures and lots of them. Not only in the turning leaf lounge but also at every other god forsaken tent of booze.

After this we went to the Slamdance HQ and participated in another one of their AWESOME cocktail hours. What made this cocktail hour awesome was I met the Red Bucket Film group who screened their short The Back of Her Head and ended up doing three things with them 1) getting really drunk and bowling with them at the bowling alley near my house 2) taking them to a party at my friend's house where we talked really loud and drank some more 3) trying to take them to free coffee art but instead taking them to the airport so they could catch their flight. Those guys were really rad and really New York. Lance and I will miss them at our house.

After about four hours of sleep, Lance and I are now awake and getting ready to go snowboarding with Burton's learn to ride program I have never snowboarded before and I am a little nervous.

Over and out,

Erik Lopez and Lance Saunders