Event Review: METHODFEST 2004 Film Festival Opening Party

(April 2, 2004: Burbank CA)   If by chance you were still recovering from April Fools Day and didn't make it to the first day of Methodfest (aka the 6th annual Method Fest independent film festival), you may be wondering: what was the opening celebration like? 

In a word: musicalifragilisticnetworkalldelicious!  Okay, so I butchered a beloved 60's film phrase, but you get my drift, right?
If not, I'll try English.  First, there was the incredible turnout and friendly atmosphere.  Then there was the delectable food, from local establishments like Daily Grill, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Burbank Bar and Grille (apparently Burbank is the grill capital of California), Arnie Morton's, Tony Roma's, and Chevy's (no, the comic actor hasn't turned chef, it's the place with the marvelous Mex menu).  Fest guests feasted on salads, steak-wiches, ribs, quesadillas, creamy pasta, and the largest pizza I've ever seen (a new discovery in the solar system of sizes; we've all seen small, medium, large, and extra large, but this should be called the "ORSON WELLES").  Two open bars further enhanced the festive mood, and a pair of bands filled the Media Mall with sonic delights as partiers danced and grokked to the rock.  Filmmakers, film lovers, actors, actresses, and press mingled and munched amid much merriment -- including firedancers!  Flamewranglers are a popular feature of "Methodfetes"; I even recall one at the very first M'fest bash, back in the (dot com) day. 
Of course, what would a film fest be without a plethora of postcards promoting screenings.  My fave flyer was for "I AM STAMOS", about an average-looking schlubby actor who one day finds he looks exactly like hunk JOHN STAMOS when he's on camera! Sounds like a must-see (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0398116/). 

And yes, Hollywood stars did drive "over the hill" to attend -- it is a festival dedicated to the acting craft, after all.  I spotted veteran thesp JOHN SAVAGE talking to some young attendees, probably explaining that "Deer Hunter" is not about a letter to Hunter S. Thompson.  I also had a long chat with rising star DARCY DONAVAN, the Nashville-bred beauty who co-stars with Will Ferrell and an A-list assortment of actors in the upcoming Dreamworks film "ANCHORMAN" (due out July 9).  Darcy oozed charm, smarts and looks, so I'm betting you'll be seeing her in more roles, or a Rolls, very soon (www.darcydonavan.com).
Overall, festival director Don Franken, actor/partyhost Steve Huntsman, and all their co-workers did a super job. Special thanks to Don, Steve and Ron Gilbert of Rogue Arts for their assistance.  The festival runs through April 9 at the AMC Media City Center (and a few other venues) in Beautiful Downtown Burbank.  Check out their website (http://www.methodfest.com) for the event schedule -- which is chock full of films, panels, workshops, parties, awards, even indie music nights! This is one fest that truly has something for everyone.
Dr. Don Rose
Entertainment and Technology Writer
Publisher & Editor In Chief, The Rose Review
Reporter, Radio Parallax, KDVS FM
Freelance Writer, LA Splash Magazine
[email protected]

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