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The Cricket
Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Cars try to make their way up Main Street in Park City, Friday, January 20, 2012.
The Sundance dream lives on in different ways

The Cricket has long believed the Sundance Film Festival's influence over the movie world extends far beyond the Hollywood power players and the striving filmmakers who debut their works in Park City every January.

No, the power and magic of Sundance is how it fuels dreams in ways that nobody could predict. Today's surf around the Internet finds three examples of that:

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• In Washington, D.C., on Sunday, filmmaker John Hibey attracted dozens of his neighbors to put on roller skates to be extras in a short film, "Friendship Test."

Hibey told the Washington Post he was inspired to make short films after seeing the format succeed at Sundance – citing the award-winning "Fishing Without Nets" as an example of a film that did a lot in a small amount of time.

• For Kirsten Spalding, a 20-year-old lifeguard in suburban Pittsburgh, her filmmaking dreams began at age 13 – when, as a student at Park City High School, she attended her first Sundance screening.

As reported in the North Hills Patch (a community news website), Spalding got to live those dreams this summer, when she worked on the set of "The Lifeguard," an indie romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell and Martin Starr, filming in the Pittsburgh area.

Spalding worked odd jobs on the set, from fetching coffee to helping maintain quiet on the set. She even got her 11-year-old sister a day job as an extra.

• In Whitman, Mass., birthplace of the chocolate chip cookie, 14-year-old Vinny Poirier spent his summer playing the title role in the indie horror movie "Michael Archangel" – a post-apocalyptic zombie movie that its producers hope to enter into the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

(This prompts the Cricket to issue his perennial reminder to budding film producers not to talk to reporters about their dreams of getting into Sundance – in case they have to eat those words later.)

"It was quite amazing," Poirier told The (Brockton) Enterprise. "The first movie I ever auditioned for and I got the lead."

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