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photos by Dakota Fine

words by Jeff Jetton

BYT was in Park City, Utah last week for the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. We brought back a whole lot of pretty pictures… of famous people! Walking the snowy streets like the regular folk, we bumped into Oscar nominated actors, massive rock legends, and indie film directors.


Stars: they’re just like us. Wait, I don’t wear Ugg Boots. No self-respecting man wears UGG Boots. Except Slash. Slash wears UGG Boots.


If you asked a 13-year old me if I thought I’d ever catch Slash, one of metal’s greatest guitar Gods, wearing UGG Boots, I’m sure I would have just laughed, shook my head and walked on my merry way, probably humming along as I listened to Anthrax tapes on my yellow, waterproof Sony Walkman. I just got to thinking though: we’re all grown up now… do we really care if Slash wears UGG boots? Is this how the BYT Sundance coverage should begin, focused on the footwear of one of the world’s most recognizable music icons? Let’s give him a free pass. For the love of God, he’s SLASH!


Lest ye forget, Slash pretty much owned 1988 – 1991, which is, probably not coincidentally, around the same time that the unisex sheepskin boots first gained popularity.  Again, we shouldn’t dwell on the terror of Slash’s UGG boots. Slash was in town to promote his new horror movie production company, Slasher Films.

Slash is teaming up with Scout Productions to make some really scary films. ‘Edgy contemporary horror films with a nod to the thrillers of the 70’s and 80’s.’ Ok, we can’t resist, in addition to wearing UGG boots, Slash is also doing interviews with US Weekly.  Definitely worth the read to find out 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Slash.

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Cut from the Slash press conference to the Gifting Suite down the hall. If you’re not rich and/or famous, you might not know that when you ARE rich and/or famous, companies will fight tooth and nail for the right to bring you into a room full of their products and give you as much stuff as you can carry out, in the hopes that you will be photographed wearing or using their wares.  Is that Paul Mitchell looking like a hobo? Why yes, Virginia (and DC/MD) it is Paul Mitchell looking like a hobo.


The peculiar part of gifting suites is that celebrities who make a (metric) shit ton of money will happily act like the women who fight to the death when Filene’s Basement has it’s yearly Running of the Brides sale, just to get a bunch of free crap that they probably wouldn’t have bought in the first place. Maybe it’s the high altitude, we don’t know. It just strikes one as odd that Paul Mitchell, of all people, would cover up his HAIR with a Patron Tequila skullcap.


By the way, after doing a little internet sleuthing, we figured out that this isn’t actually Paul Mitchell. Paul Mitchell is dead. This guys is John Paul DeJoria, CEO of Paul Mitchell. And he actually WAS homeless. Sorry for the hobo joke, John Paul, you can have all the free goodies you want.

Maybe it’s flattering, being draped in corporate swag and having papparazzi swoon over your every move. Especially if you’re a B-lister like Mike Manning from the cast of MTV’s Real World D.C. Look at it this way, your 15 minutes of reality television fame are ticking away, some P.R. gal from Polo by Ralph Lauren wants to shower you with puffy vests and cream-colored sweaters, and then line you up in front of a bunch of press to get your picture taken? What’s not to love?


Well, what’s not to love is Terrance Howard kicking a pile of Rockport Shoe boxes when they don’t have his size? Didn’t Rockport know that Terrence is an 11 1/2 U.S. or 11 UK? Surely somebody could have had the decency to contact Terrance’s handlers and get his size before publicly embarassing him by leaving him empty handed at a gifting suite. We would have knocked over a display table as well.


Not that any of that actually happened, Terrance Howard, star of Ironman, was a delightful chap who made out like a bandit in the Rockport Shoe department. He probably had to pay the extra $25 on United Airlines to bring an extra bag of swag home to his family.


Tangible, take home gifts aren’t the only things you can get at the gifting lounges. It’s not Sundance without a spray-on tan from SunFX. From Australia, the same country that brought you UGG Boots.


This guy was on the Sopranos, we think. Unconfirmed sources told us this. Either way, he LOOKS like he was on the Sopranos. Although tempted to wait in line to interview a Sopranos actor while waiting in line to get a spray on tan, we had better things to do…


…like hanging with our new Norwegian friends at their gifting suite, Moods of Norway.



Here are some ideas we’ve been toying with ever since witnessing Sundance’s unbounded excess firsthand:

The Humane Society and ASCPA team up with Bob Barker and Purina to present: HelloPuppy, A Gifting Suite for Pet Adoption:

Stars such as Jay-Z or Anne Hathaway wouldn’t normally be caught dead wearing the kind of swag they’re picking up at Sundance. That’s the catch, though. You make a big deal out of the process of getting the stuff for free, take their picture, and suddenly they can’t get enough of it. It’s the same with dogs. We doubt any of the stars at Sundance could be bothered to take home an animal that wasn’t pure-bred, or at least one they paid four thousand dollars for from some ridiculous Kennel Club in Massachussettes or something like that.

Now’s the chance to trick them, though. You bring them to HelloPuppy, dress a bunch of rescued mutts in Paul Frank crap, and take their picture as you let them pick out an animal that was, a mere 24-hours ago, in a shelter. They’d go nuts for it.


Or how about this idea:

The Salvation Army and The Good Will team up with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to present: Den of Thieves, A THRIFTING Lounge.

Wherein stars bring an outfit that they no longer wear to donate for a celebrity auction, and in exchange they get to choose a bunch of select thrift store stuff curated from the Salvation Army and Good Will warehouses. It’s got recycling, charity and fashion all baked right in. The fans are willing to pay top dollar for a pair of Terrance Howard’s recently worn, size 11.5 Rockports, why shouldn’t something good come out of them? And Lord knows Slash has a pair of dirty, old moccsins that he hasn’t worn in forever. I’m sure they’d command a ridiculous price at charity auction.

Alas, readers, you didn’t come to this website to hear about our crazy ideas for next year’s award shows and festival circuit, you came expecting pictures of celebrities. Here you go:

Possibly famous (in a ‘we’re not sure who this is, but we think they are reality television stars’ kind of way):



Kinda famous (in a ‘this really is a Pussycat Doll but we’re not sure which one’ kinda way):


(she’s the one on the left in red, we swear… )


and oh yeah, Carmen Elektra was performing with them too…

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Pretty famous (in an indie-movie actor kinda way):


Famous, yet hated (?), (in an E! entertainment television kind of way)…


And then there’s the very, very famous (in a ‘hosting the Oscars AND up for Best Actor’ kind of way)…

And finally, there’s the mildly famous (in a ‘recognizable to women who watch Real and/or Desparate Housewives’ kind of way)


Are you happy now? Stay tuned for more Sundance coverage tomorrow.  In the meantime, checkout last year’s stuff: