Our official day 2 (Tim’s insistent it’s only day 1 but that was here) begins with a bit of a false start as our first meeting fails to show up AT THEIR OWN STAND. Is this a Cannes first? Someone not turning up at the place they’ve actually paid to allocate as their space? It’s still early, about 9.30am, so that’s some justification but THAT’S THE TIME THEY SUGGESTED, so like, come on. I try to make some use of the time by talking to a nearby stand that specialises in the family genre, but it’s only mildly useful.
Still, it doesn’t deter our optimism for the rest of the day and we immediately launch into our packed schedule for the remaining of the jour. We have a few meetings between UK pavilion and Plage Royale for most of our appointments, which isn’t too bad. The pavilions are lined up side by side next to the main Palais, divided by nationality. The Plage has separate cafe areas you can frequent along the beach stretch, and that’s pretty neat. The movers & shakers can bag themselves a table and just plonk themselves there while everyone comes to them to pitch them their wares. Our meetings are low-average in terms of their potential but pick up a bit later with some significant interest in our latest projects, which gives us some boost.
It’s quite sunny today and even though I’ve got factor 50 sunscreen I start to feel the heat. I suspect that the sunscreen I have is actually moisturiser but later realise that I’m just dehydrated. Luckily, it’s 5pm, the start of happy hour. I hastily squaff some water at the ARRI tent. Happy hours or social hours at the pavilions can be a mixed bag but can be quite productive/energising before dinner. ARRI are showing off their latest steadicam/gimbal thing (showcased here via Twitter) but we soon head to the Swedish pavilion for a bit more craic. And so it proves (just like last year), Sweden is where it’s happening; good beer, good cocktails and good company bumping into friends old and new.
We then head off for a pizza. Controversy: the waiter tells me that my pizza doesn’t come with cheese. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS? But I figure, OK, go for it, and sure enough, it’s delicious SANS FROMAGE, who knew (expert analysis: anchovies and capers had a lot to do with it). We saunter back towards the Croisette and check in on the party that California Pictures are hosting. We get a pep talk from a low-budget UK producer who’s made 6 films to-date. A few of the Bournemouth posse are there, too, and it’s good to catch up with Steve McCarten, Debbie Tarrier and Hannah Bang Bendz. The evening gets quite boozy but still quite manageable as me and Tim are wise enough to call it a day and head back to the flat to prep for the day of meetings ahead.
Having a flat so close to the Croisette is a god-send, something that would have been mere fantasy in my earlier visits to Cannes, but something that’s actually quite affordable if you plan/book ahead enough. Whatever: we’re quite pissed and sun-kissed so no need for a night cap, straight to bed, ready to rock and roll for day 3.