Where the cameras aren't: Sundance for the other half

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 27 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

Woodrow quotes Francis Ford Coppola's hope that one day a "little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart." With the Internet, "this is that day," he says.

Even with monetary concerns addressed, Phillips has been uneasy at the festival.

When his film premiered in Park City, "the whole rhythm of the movie felt off." A second screening in Salt Lake helped ease that tension, despite a number of walkouts.

For Phillips, the Sundance experience has also been redemptive.

His first film, the story of his trek from Washington to Los Angeles was so personal "there was no way for my ego to wiggle out of any criticism." After releasing the film at a few small festivals, Phillips battled depression and found himself homeless for a short time.

"Finishing this film is me bouncing back," he says, driving to another interview.

Filming "Bass Ackwards" took him from Seattle to New York City over the course of a year. At times he worked without a script and sometimes asking girls at bars if they would be willing to act in a scene.

"When people watch this, I want them to love themselves," he says. "That's so cheesy. It's so stupid, but it seems to be such a fundamental problem for people. The fact that saying that is cheesy proves there's a problem."

Now Phillips is engaged, his wedding planned for late May — barring the completion of his next film.

"Maybe we'll be back here next year," he says.

Maybe then he'll have to dodge the cameras at the bottom of Main Street.

e-mail: afalk@desnews.com

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