|News from the Office of Film + Music
LEGISLATIVE ALERT: ACTION NEEDED FOR RENEWAL OF WASHINGTON STATE'S FILM INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Message from Washington Filmworks Executive Director, Amy Lillard:
The fight to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program continues in Olympia. As expected, moving the bill is becoming increasingly more difficult as the Legislature is trying to balance the budget in light of a $5.3 billion shortfall. After being passed through the Senate Ways and Means Committee, SB 5539 (the bill to renew the state's film incentive program) was referred to the Rules Committee. We expect the bill to be voted out of that committee shortly and then be up for a full vote on the Senate floor as early as this week. Our lobbyist and the Legislative Committee want to make sure that we have enough votes to get the bill passed by the Senate. It is crucial that every film industry worker write his/her Senators urging them to support the bill. Your elected officials need to hear directly from you!
Your letters should tell your personal story and convey how this program has impacted you and your family. If you voted for these elected officials, remind them that this was because they reflected your values and you hope that they will continue to do so with the renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. To find your Senator, please click here. Follow the link above for letter-writing tips and information about the Program that you can cite in any correspondence.
NANCY GUPPY TOURS EMP'S NEW NIRVANA EXHIBIT IN THIS WEEK'S ALL-NEW "ARTZONE"
This Friday's episode of ArtZone with Nancy Guppy "takes punk to the masses," and then some with an exclusive preview of EMP's hugely-anticipated Nirvana exhibition, which debuts April 16. Also featured in this week's episode: A look at Seattle scribe John Longenbaum's new play about the infamous Lusty Lady; an in-studio excerpt of the Intiman Theatre's "All My Sons"; an Interview with local nature photog Paul Bannick and his new Burke Museum Exhibit, "The Owl and the Woodpecker"; and a calendar mention of Northwest Film Forum's "Summer Filmmaking Camps for Kids and Teens." Nancy will also present Vincent Kitch, the new director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, with a "Welcome to Seattle" gift basket. ArtZone airs every Friday on Seattle Channel (Channel 21) at 8:00 pm, and is also streaming and podcasting. For more information, visit the above link.
INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES
SEATTLE ARTISTS RALLY FOR JAPAN RELIEF
Seattle Japan Relief
In the devastating wake of last month's natural disasters in Japan, Seattle's creative community continues to reach out a helping hand. Here's a round-up of upcoming local fundraising efforts and benefit events: Capitol Hill hotspot Chop Suey will host a "Pray for Japan" music event this Sunday, April 10; Raise funds for Tsunami relief and celebrate the one-year anniversary of Dumb Eyes/Unicorn's monthly kaleidoscopic freak-out "Penetration" next Thursday, April 14; also on April 14 is the launch of "Help Japan with Art" at Boom Noodle Capitol Hill, a silent auction featuring 18 local artists and photographers who will donate 100% of sales proceeds to the Red Cross; local bands Pretty Enemy, UnHailoed, Elbow Coulee, Windowdogs and more will also come together May 13 at Seattle's Club Motor for a Rock Relief Benefit Concert and lunch/dinner auction, where fans can bid on a meal to share with their favorite local artist. Additionally, Seattle vocalist Barbara Ireland is offering an exclusive free download of "Keep Breathing, Japan," a beautiful ballad she wrote and recorded in response to the recent disasters, in exchange for donations to Japan relief. Follow the link above for even more information on how you can help, courtesy of newly-launched donations portal, SeattleJapanRelief.org.
ATTEND NEXT WEEK'S SEATTLE AREA FILMMAKERS AND SEATTLE COMPOSERS ALLIANCE NETWORKING EVENT
SAF + SCA
Seattle Area Filmmakers (SAF) and Seattle Composers Alliance (SCA) are hosting another networking event for filmmakers and composers to mix it up. It's a great opportunity for creative professionals to meet and collaborate on projects, share wisdom and make future contacts. Founded in January of 2009, SAF is community of filmmakers who want to team up, who want to network, who want to meet new people and who want to change the future of Seattle film. SCA is a non-profit professional organization made up of working composers, students, and others interested in professional music composition. The event will be held downstairs at Balmar in Ballard on Wednesday April 13 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. Utilize the link above for more info on the event and RSVP today
SAVE THE DATE AND GET YOUR TICKETS: THE INAUGURAL "HISTORY IS_____" AWARDS GALA IS MAY 7
In celebration of the first-ever History Is____ community filmmaking challenge, MOHAI is teaming up with SIFF to present a special Awards Gala, Saturday, May 7 from 6:00-11:00 pm. The event will showcase the winning entries into History Is____, which invited local filmmakers to fill in the blank, telling MOHAI what history really means to them--and which has also tallied an impressive 42 submissions since closing last Friday. In addition to these screenings, the Gala will also feature a sneak preview of SIFF's 2011 Northwest Connections program as well as an after party with some of the Pacific Northwest's most acclaimed filmmakers. Follow the above link for ticketing information and more.
FREE FIRST THURSDAYS AT EMP|SFM
As part of EMP|SFM's monthly "Free First Thursdays" program, the museum will offer free admission and live music tomorrow night, April 7, from 5:00-8:00 pm. This month's event features a performance from Seattle singer-songwriter Mads Jacobsen, a "classically-trained [artist] who [invokes] the likes of Bob Dylan and Nick Drake," EMP|SFM explains. Also taking to the First Thursdays stage is brother/sister acoustic duo Le Wrens, who "craft Ryan Adams and Ray LaMontagne-inspired folk gems." To boot, EMP|SFM's First Thursday events include free guitar tutorials for all ages and levels (guitars provided), and free admission into Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition. For more information, follow the link.
UWTV'S "BACKSTORY" SERIES LAUNCHES NEW STREAMING PORTAL AND MICRO-FILMMAKING COMPETITION
Courtesy of UWTV's revamped online portal for newly-launched series, Backstory: The Filmmakers' Vision, you can now watch past episodes of the program in the cloud. The series, which normally airs Saturdays at 9:00 pm, takes a "behind the lens" look at the independent works of University of Washington-affiliated filmmakers, cast and crew. Show host and UW Drama Professor Andrew Tsao mediates interviews with featured filmmakers before screening their films and shorts uncut and uninterrupted. Produced in partnership with SIFF, Backstory has already profiled works from local artists Nick Terry and Jessica Weight (Senior Prom); Steve Edmiston (A Relative Thing); Rustin Thompson (The Ends of the Earth) and also Lynn Shelton, who appeared on the show to discuss her first effort, We Go Way Back. Next up is Sandi Cioffi's award-winning documentary, Sweet Crude, which tackles the tumultuous politics of crude oil trade in Nigeria's Niger Delta. UWTV is also giving away SIFF screening vouchers and a pass to SIFF 2011's Shortsfest as part of the "Tell Us Your Backstory" competition, which invites local filmmakers to create a one-minute film about a person, place or thing that makes an impact in their lives. The submission deadline is May 5. Follow the above link for the full scoop.
INTERNSHIP OPENING AT ARTIST TRUST
The final installment of TheFilmSchool's Spring 2011 3-Week-Intensive Speaker Series is this Saturday, April 2, featuring special guest and Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig. Following a screening of some of his work, Feig will sit down with moderator Warren Etheridge to discuss his experiences in TV land, which include turns at directing acclaimed favorites like The Office, 30 Rock, Arrested Development and Mad Men. Hosted by Cornish College in the Notion Building from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, this event is free and open to the public-but seating is extremely limited, so be sure to arrive early. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect to TheFilmSchool's Facebook event page via the link above.
FILMMAKERS: REGISTER FOR 7TH ANNUAL 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT
The 48 Hour Film Project
The 48 Hour Film Project challenges film teams to create a movie in only two days, stretching their creative muscles to the limit with run and gun filmmaking. The seventh annual 48 Hour Film Project is the largest film competition in Seattle with over 700 people competing in dozens of teams every year. Teams are given a character, line of dialogue, props, a genre and 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and score an original 4-7 minute film. Films that beat the clock and get their submissions in on time are eligible for official judging and prizes from local vendors. In the past, Modern Digital, The Seattle Film Institute, Bad Animals and Adobe have contributed prizes to the competition. The Best in City winner goes on to compete for Best 48 Hour Film of 2011 at Filmapalooza in Miami in the early spring of 2012. Twelve of the best films of the year go on to screen at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Seattle submissions will be screened at the Harvard Exit Theater on June 28th and 30th, 2011. Early bird registration begins Tuesday, April 19th (use the link above); please email email@example.com with any questions.
HGTV'S "PROPERTY VIRGINS" COMING TO SEATTLE
Home and Garden Television (HGTV) is visiting Seattle for the next season of Property Virgins, a show about folks purchasing homes for their very first time. Real estate guru and host Sandra Rinomato gives the newbies lots of coaching, a number of targeted tours, and a chance to find their dream home. These first-timers get their feet wet and learn to balance their dream home aspirations to fit the reality of the market and their budgets. The Property Virgins production team will be in the Seattle area between May and Aug 2011 and is searching for prospective first-time home buyers to be featured on the show. Interested "virgins" who want to audition can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Click the link at the top to see a promotional video for the show or to learn more about the series.
NFFTY'S 2011 PROMOTIONAL SHORTS FEATURE YOUTH FILMMAKERS AND THE CITY OF SEATTLE
NFFTY founder and film prodigy Jesse Harris has posted two locally filmed promotional videos for NFFTY 2011 sponsors Volvo and Bing that will air before festival screenings. The Volvo
ad/short film captures a young screenwriter as he cruises down the road to creative innovation with the help of his shiny new Volvo S60. His trip down the imagination highway quite literally takes to the Seattle streets with awesome car chase sequences through SODO and Pioneer Square, not to mention some beautiful footage of the Seattle skyline. The Bing video features local youth filmmakers Ben Kadie, Megan Shinner and Sam Kelly and humorously portrays the joys and follies of shooting film projects with friends. The young filmmakers talk about their experiences with NFFTY, getting into film at an early age and what about the medium drives them most. See if you can pick out the scenes shot in downtown Seattle, at Pike Place Market and Gasworks Park. Click on the link above to watch the films or learn more about the NFFTY 2011 festival.
"THE STRANGER" PROFILES SOUND MASTER KEARNEY BARTON AND EFFORTS TO PRESERVE HIS LEGENDARY AUDIO ARCHIVE
In a recent feature, The Stranger takes a look at the life and legacy of trailblazing recording engineer, Kearney Barton, and the local efforts to preserve his massive and remarkable audio collection. A major architect of the Pacific Northwest sound since 1958, Barton has arguably recorded more music than anyone else in our entire region, and is widely regarded as one of the West Coast's most eminent studio wizards. Sadly, Barton's deteriorating health has forced him into retirement, prompting a group of local music advocates to take action: Representatives from Light in the Attic Records, the University of Washington and others have been working with Barton's family to sift through the sound master's unbelievable recording troves, hoping to eventually digitize thousands of his analog reels and eventually release some of this material on CD/LP/Digital. UW is already preserving over 1,500 reels, but is still looking to find a safe place - ideally a local Seattle museum - to house the remainder of Barton's collection; the University is searching for funding to pay for months of professional digitizing, as well. Barton's illustrious recording console is also being auctioned on eBay to help cover his heathcare costs. Follow the link above to learn more about all the efforts to help this NW legend.
SUB POP'S SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM OFFERS $13K IN ACADEMIC AWARDS
Sub Pop is now accepting applications for its 2011 Scholarship Program, which confers a grand total of $13,000 in college funding via three separate awards- one for $6,000, one for $4,000 and one for $3,000. The iconic Seattle record label is seeking three local (Washington or Oregon state residents) high school seniors who are actively involved in the creative arts--particularly music--and who are also on the road to full-time enrollment at an accredited university/college. Eligible applicants should submit a one-page essay that candidly divulges on their participation in the local arts and music community; how they became interested in artistic outlets; how the award would help them progress in their chosen field of study and/or some of their favorite musical artists. Scholarship hopefuls are strongly encouraged to include digital links or hard copies of their artwork along with these essays-but since Sub Pop will not return any application materials, it's best not to submit your masterpieces in their original glory. The application deadline for Sub Pop's 2011 Scholarship awards is May 15. Follow the link above for more information.
LOCALLY-MADE FEATURE "HEART BREAKS OPEN" SCREENS AT LONDON AND L.A. FILM FESTIVALS
Heart Breaks Open
After making its world debut Monday at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Seattle-shot feature Heart Breaks Open will premiere domestically May 2 at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The film, which follows the thought-provoking plight of a model queer activist whose world implodes upon discovering that he is HIV positive, was originally written as a four page outline before being transformed into a feature-length project via the power of filmmaking collaboration. According to the Heart Breaks Open official website, the production filmed in a number of Seattle locations, with local cast and crew using cinema verité techniques and improvisational acting to create an "undeniable meditative realism." Follow the above link to learn more about Heart Breaks Open or to watch the film's trailer.
HELP "KICKSTART" AN SEATTLE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT ABOUT COMMUNITY
Kickstarter:"You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You
Bus No. 8 is a Seattle based documentary production company dedicated to the exploration of the meaning of community. Founders and filmmakers Robert Lawson and Richard Jackman pool their diverse experiences and disciplines -- from activism and architecture, theater and music -- to form a unique approach to documenting communities around the world. Their latest project You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You tells the story of the "free state" of Christiania, a 36-year-old anarchist squatter community occupying an abandoned military base in the heart of Denmark's capital, Copenhagen. The project has been in the works since 2006 and Bus No. 8 has shot over 25 hours of footage on site at Christiania. While they have received grants and endorsements from the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, King County 4Culture and Northwest Film Forum last July, the documentary team is now seeking support to complete post-production on the project-namely to continue work with a professional sound designer/mixer, a colorist and local composer Myra Moreta, who is creating an original score for the film. Follow the link above to learn more about the project, or to make a Kickstarter donation. For information on more Seattle film and music Kickstarter projects, click the buttons at the top of the newsletter.
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 3/30 - 4/5
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).
- Pearl Jam - "Vs./Vitalogy" (Deluxe)
- Soundgarden - "Live On I-5"
- The Lonely Forest - "Arrows"
- Cave Singers - "No Witch"
- Pearl Jam - "Vs."
- Pearl Jam - "Vitalogy"
- Macklemore/Ryan Lewis "Vs." Redux
- Telekinesis "12 Desperate Straight Lines"
- Damien Jurado - "St Bartlett"
- Jimi Hendrix - "West Coast Seattle Boy"
FILM PRODUCTION OF THE WEEK
This column highlights the amazing artistic efforts of our local filmmaking community and the broad positive economic impact it has on our region. This week we profile:
"SIFF's Fly Filmmaking Challenge"
This week three teams completed short films for Seattle International Film Festival's "Fly Filmmaking Challenge." Executive produced by Carl Spence and Deborah Person of SIFF, and produced by Dustin Kaspar in partnership with Washington Filmworks' Executive Director Amy Lillard and Paul Nevius, the SIFF Fly Filmmaking Challenge captures the essence of independent filmmaking by condensing the process into a fast-paced production schedule with precise limits on cast and crew size, budget, and time. This year's Fly Film Teams are led by SJ Chiro, Matthew Clark and Timothy Watkins, chosen from among Washington's deep pool of veteran filmmakers.
"Fly Filmmaking provides the local community an opportunity to showcase the emerging talent of these diverse filmmakers and their outstanding crews," says Carl Spence, Artistic Director for SIFF. "It is truly a celebration of the talent and resources that are so valuable to sustaining our cinematic cultural identity."
"The time and resource restraints for the filmmakers augment the creativity, ingenuity and technical skills required to complete the challenge, and each team met the challenge with impressive films," continues Amy Lillard, who has worked with the Fly Films since 2003. "The partnership between SIFF and Washington Filmworks really represents the perfect dynamic. The result is a really exciting partnership and an entertaining program for audiences."
Each filmmaker assembled their own crew and actors. Numerous sponsors supported the project with donated or reduced materials and services. In addition to the three shorts, a documentary crew made up of youth filmmakers under the mentorship of Reel Grrls accompanied the productions, creating a behind-the-scenes documentary to provide context to the Fly Films process. Fly Films and the behind-the-scenes documentary will premier at SIFF 2011.
SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show our Seattle's most filmable locations.
Get Carter (2000)
Remaking 1971's excellent Michael Caine film Get Carter seems to be an irresistible filmmaking urge. They did a pretty good job with a solid blaxploitation version called Hit Man that starred Bernie Casey and the great Pam Grier but that didn't stop Hollywood from attempting to spruce it up as a 21st century Sylvester Stallone vehicle. Stallone stars as Jack Carter, a Las Vegas mob enforcer who travels to Seattle for his brother's funeral. It doesn't take him long to call "shenanigans" and embark on a quest to avenge his brother's death. The cast is full of interesting actors like Miranda Richardson, Mickey Rourke, Alan Cumming, and even Michael Caine himself. The film isn't completely awful but it does feature an annoying flashy editing style, a new "improved" ending and a muddled plot. But Get Carter's biggest crime is regularly presenting parts of Vancouver as being part of Seattle--sometimes within the same car chase! The filmmakers insert lots of Seattle skyline shots and ensures all the cars have Washington plates. There are even some small touches like a Sonics (R.I.P.) bumper sticker on Sly's vintage Mustang. Still, if you've spent much time in Vancouver and/or Seattle it is blatant what was shot where. Most obvious to me was the hotel Carter stays at (unmistakably located on Vancouver's Hornby Street), Stallone walks past some familiar Vancouver establishments like the Elbow Room and he meets up with Rachel Leigh Cook at The Ovaltine Café. The city seen out of Cumming's office window is unequivocally Vancouver and not Seattle. The most disorientating moments are the film's car chases. Not only are they edited in the modern ADD/MTV style they also jump around to various locations with a complete disregard for geographic realities. One chase features a Christmas tree lot that supposedly exists right in the middle of downtown Seattle near 2nd Avenue, a Wilcox milk truck, the Alaska Way Viaduct, Harbor Island, and Vancouver's Granville Street Bridge. Another chase is even more confusing. I think it starts in Vancouver's Chinatown, continues in Seattle's International District, then suddenly the cars are barreling down 6th Avenue in Belltown with the Space Needle in the background, they cut over I-5 on the Yesler Way Bridge, zip around under the Viaduct (look quickly for the Kingdome which had been demolished by the time Get Carter hit the cinemas), and then they are under the Granville Street Bridge again. By far the coolest part of this chase and, perhaps, the film's highlight is when the bad guy's car somehow becomes airborne and ends up wedged sideways in the stairway by Pioneer Square's Triangle Pub. Get Carter is not the first time Sylvester Stallone played a hit man in Seattle. Bonus points for the reader who can name that other film where Sly played an Assassin (hint hint) in the Jet City.
NEWLY RELEASED "WHEEDLE'S GROOVE" DVD MAKES ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S "MUST LIST"
The new Wheedle's Groove DVD has landed the #4 spot in Entertainment Weekly's list of the "Top 10 things to check out this week." With narration by the incomparable Sir Mix-A-Lot, interviews with the stars of Seattle Soul, and commentary from local music icons like Quincy Jones, Kenny G, Soundgarden, Death Cab for Cutie and Mudhoney, the film shines a powerful light on a vibrant and prolific musical movement that "grooved" Seattle decades before the grunge wave that put us on the map. The new DVD-now available via iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and a host of national retailers- also includes deleted scenes, concert footage, a What's a Wheedle featurette and more. Get your hands on the film today and catch Wheedle's Groove at this year's Sasquatch Music Festival.
IFC GOES CRAZY COUNTRY WITH NEW BRENT AMAKER AND THE RODEO MUSIC VIDEO
ook out Seattle this is not your average beard inundated "urban folk" music video. Seattle director Shawn Telford goes all out with "Man in Charge" a genre and mind twisting, dark country tune from Seattle cult band Brent Amaker and the Rodeo. In a flurry of cowboy hats, mustache combs, roller derby girls and Elvis getting lewd under a shower of confetti and strobe lights, this blissfully obscure video would be "eye-of-the-duck" candy to David Lynch himself. Expect the unexpected, even Seattle rapper Tilson from The Saturday Knights laying down rhymes over the spaced-out cowboy beat. Reckon you can check it out at the link up yonder pilgrim.
DEATH CAB AND FLEET FOXES BOTH GRACE SPIN'S LIST OF "SPRING ALBUMS THAT MATTER MOST"
So the saga of record-release anticipation continues: Already amongst some of 2011's most buzzed- about new albums, the upcoming offerings from local rockers Death Cab for Cutie (DCFC) and Fleet Foxes have now made SPIN's list of the "Spring Albums That Matter Most." Of Death Cab's Codes and Keys, which drops May 31, SPIN raves: "The literate and lasting small-time heroes can be said to have led the charge for the scale that indie-rock has achieved in recent years [....]but more important than that is a body of work that has built on itself and expanded its reach. [DCFC's] Ben Gibbard has intriguingly name-checked Brian Eno's meditative, all-over-the-place 1975 classic Another Green World." The title track from the Fleet Foxes' sophomore effort, Helplessness Blues (out May 3) receives similar high praise: "[....As] with many other so-called "freak folk" bands, there's nothing very freaky about [Fleet Foxes]. Instead, it's all guileless folk songs best sung in the sun, with a golden gleam to them that owes in part to sweet vocal harmonizing. [Helplessness Blues] follows suit, sounding like a mash of southern California in the '70s and Simon & Garfunkel in their prime. Longtime indie studio ace Phil Ek recorded and co-produced with members of the band, who seem like they'll probably be around for a good while to come." Read SPIN's whole feature via the link above.
KEXP'S LIVE IN-STUDIO WITH MACKLEMORE AND RYAN LEWIS IS AN NPR "FAVORITE"
NPR Music has just added Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' lastest live in-studio at KEXP into its "Favorite Sessions" web compilation. Hailing the performance as "gleeful and energetic," NPR cites KEXP host Kevin Cole's glowing blog-commentary on the late-February recording session: "Macklemore's amazing passion and energy was barely contained in our small performance space. His joy is palpable: Now two years sober, Macklemore sounds stronger and sharper than ever, not to mention committed to getting his music out there, even if that means giving it away as free downloads on his website." Check out the link above to relive all of the Macklemore magic.
NW MUSIC ARCHIVES BLOG UNCOVERS RARE TRACKS FROM SEATTLE'S EUPHONIOUS PAST
Northwest Music Archives
Blast to the past with Northwest Music Archives, a local blog that continually combs the rockin' annals of our region's history to chronicle "old discoveries, recent finds and enduring mysteries." Covering a wide array of little-known local music stories and events, the archives track as far back as the 1800s. With featured blog-lines like "Seattle's Bango Gal: 1800s," "Seattle Harmony Kings: 1920s," "Ivan Haglund, the Seafood-selling songster: 1946," "Beatles in Seattle" and "The Dawn of Grunge Rock," the blog has unearthed some real historical gems that reveal even more about our City of Music's colorful legacy. The site's latest offering is a piece on fabled Seattle jazz joint, the Old Rocking Chair Club, which played host to the likes of Ray Charles. Follow the link to read this new post and more.
Seattle Office of Film + Music Staff
James Keblas, Director
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator
Rachel White, Music + Nightlife Program Coordinator
Erica Nwuso, Intern
Jonathan Hughes, Intern
Newsletter submission guidelines