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My TIFF Survival Kit

8 September 2010 One Comment

Or, ‘How I’m going to survive eleven days of walking around Downtown Toronto and waiting in Endless Lines’.

I don’t consider myself a TIFF expert by any means. This is only my fifth year attending the ‘fest and there are lots of people who have been more often than me, and who have seen far more movies than me. However, as I have decided to dedicate these 11 days entirely to the enjoyment of the festival I thought I’d make sure that I actually did enjoy it instead of being a cry baby about all the walking, standing, waiting, etc.

While others might find TIFF to be a Glamorous, High-End, Fashionable, World Renowned Event, I think there are far more of us who spend too many hours waiting in too many lines, racing from one screening to the next, and who do it for the love of film, instead of the ‘Prestige’. I’m blogging about my experience as one of these dedicated movie-goers, and it can be rough for us. We have no Special Lounges, no Chauffeured Cadillacs, no rooftop cocktail parties to unwind at. We just have ourselves and our tickets.

As TIFF starts tomorrow I thought it would be great to put together a sort of Survival Kit, of what I’ll be bringing into the City with me every day, to make my life as comfortable as it possibly could be, so here it is;

1) Fold-up Stool.
Maybe the brightest idea I had. After waiting 2+ hours in line at FanExpo, and another 2+ hours in line simply to pick up and exchange my tickets for TIFF, I realized that I am entirely to wimpy to stand for so long. Especially when it’ll be at least an hour for each of the 24 movies I’m seeing. So I got myself a little tripod camp stool for $8 from Canadian Tire. I’m sure it will be worth every penny. Plus it’s like, two pounds, so it won’t be a chore to lug around. I’m so smart.

2) Big-Ass Headphones.
These are my regular headphones, but they’re brilliant for TIFF, because if you combine them with #8 you basically get Insta-Nap-Ablity pretty much anywhere (especially on the GO Train in & out of the City each morning/night). Plus, giant headphones are generally regarded as Stranger Repellent, which is great.

3) Paper Copy of the Schedule.
While I’ll have my own schedule on both my iPhone & iPad, I still like to have a paper copy with me of the full schedule. If something gets last-minute canceled or rescheduled it’s much easier to look up alternate movies at certain showtimes in this, than it is online due to it being displayed in a grid. If you don’t have one, get one, now.

4) Starbucks Tumbler
Does this even need explaining? To bring coffee from home in the morning, to refill throughout the day, and it’s liquid-tight, and small enough to toss into my bag, to not have to worry about Movie Theatre Staff (or the lovely TIFF Volunteers) giving me a no-drink-or-food policy lecture.

5) Snacks from Home
When I’ll be spending 8-10 (or 24+) hours in the city, it’s just smart to bring *some food* with you, unless you want to spend a fortune eating out everyday (even Vendor Hot Dogs can add up). I’m hoping that bringing snacks for myself between movies will leave me with only having to buy 1 meal a day in town. *Crosses Fingers*

6) iPad
As I’ll be (trying to) Blog from the festival every single day, this is an absolute essential for me. I specifically remember thinking when I first bought it back in July how awesome it would be to have during TIFF. Not only can I write up my posts, but it also has some of my favorite games on it, to keep me sane in the endless line ups. Plus, the battery life on this thing is insane, so I’ll probably use it (provided I can snag some free wifi) more often than my iPhone. Speaking of which;

7) iPhone 4
At long last, I have the internet with me at all times. This will be my Twitter-Machine for the duration of the festival. On those rare occasions when I can’t find some free wifi for my iPad, I have MyWi installed, and can tether the two. It will also likley serve as my main camera, but I’m still bringing my digital camera. You’ll see why further down. Oh, also it’s a phone, right, so if I need to call anyone.. like, in a TIFF Related Emergency, that too! LOL

8) Big, Dark Shades
I’m not looking to fool the Paparazzi here, these are entirely for napping purposes. If an eyemask were socially accepted, I’d wear that instead. Since I’ll be commuting most of the days into the City, I’ll be trying to catch up on sleep whenever possible. Like I said earlier, #2 + #8 = Insta-Nap, Anywhere.

9) Gala Tix & Party Pass
These are the tickets & passes to the TIFF Opening Night Gala and Party at Liberty Grand, that I won. Very, very important that I do not forget them.

10) My Regular Tickets
All 23 of them. Actually, a few more since I picked up a few for Ahli, my BTBFF (Best TIFF Best Friend, Forever!). If I loose any of these, I will die.

11) Charge Cable
To go along with my backup battery pack. Or, in a pinch, find an outlet some place.

12) Archaic Writing Tools
In the event that I need to, I don’t know, what, write something down? *shrug* Better safe than sorry. ;)

13) Backup Battery Pack
Uses 4 AAA’s to provide juice to my precious iPhone or iPad should they die. This is to be used in Emergencies Only, as it sort of sucks, and I don’t have rechargeable AAA’s, and holy crap, batteries are expensive.

14) Backup Digital Camera
While I certainly prefer the 5Mp HD Camera on my iPhone 4, I have to bring this one too, what it lacks in MegaPixels, it makes up for in low-light and Optical Zoom, which is simply a requirement for Q & A in-Theatre photos.

And finally, a bag to put it all in (nothing wrong with a little self-promotion, right?):

Well, I hope you enjoyed my rundown of my TIFF Survival Kit. Anything you can figure I’ve forgotten? suggestions welcome!