|News from the Office of Film + Music
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE AND CALL TO ACTION: WASHINGTON STATE'S FILM INCENTIVE BILL SB 5539 RENEWAL
From Washington Filmworks Executive Director, Amy Lillard:
The special 30-day session called by Governor Gregoire to pass a final budget began yesterday. SB 5539 was voted out of the Senate Rules Committee today, and we expect a full Senate vote as early as tomorrow. It is vitally important that you contact your Senator today to ask him or her to renew Washington's Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. If you've already written, WRITE AGAIN. For a full list of state Senators, visit the following link: http://www.leg.wa.gov
Ask your state Senator if they plan to vote for the bill when it comes up for consideration on the full Senate floor. If they respond to your letter, please let us know by forwarding a copy to Info@WashingtonFilmworks.org
For more information and for talking points for your state Senator, visit www.WashingtonFilmworks.orgwww.WashingtonFilmworks.org and click on the "Road to Renewal" at the top of the homepage.
- Amy Lillard, Executive Director, Washington Filmworks
MAYOR MIKE MCGINN UPDATES ON SEATTLE NIGHTLIFE INITIATIVE
Seattle Nightlife Initiative
Mayor Mike McGinn has announced the latest accomplishments for the City's Nightlife Initiative:
1) A pre-payment option for those who park their cars in metered parking before going out at night;
2) an update on the Nightlife Initiative's Code Compliance Team;
3) taxi zones in nightlife areas;
4) a new Amplified Sound Rule for the city.
Starting April 21, people will see new blue and yellow informational stickers on the pay stations in the Pike-Pine and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The stickers explain that after 10 p.m. two hours of parking for the following morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. can be purchased to give drivers more time to get home safely and retrieve their vehicles the next day. The stickers will eventually be applied to all pay stations. The Amplified Sound Rule will benefit music venues and nightclubs, as well as local residents, clearly defining the previously ambiguous policies and regulations on noise. These new initiatives will create a more comprehensive city stance on nightlife and increase citizen safety while bolstering Seattle businesses. For more information on the new initiatives, visit the links above.
GET READY FOR A MUSIC AND FILM-FILLED MAY ON "ARTZONE WITH NANCY GUPPY"
From centuries-old instruments to degenerate art, get your update on the local arts scene on Art Zone with Nancy Guppy. Here are a few of this month's highlights: On May 6, see Degenerate Art Ensemble's new exhibit at the Frye Art Museum and hear music played on 300-year-old instruments by the American String Project. On May 13, ArtZone profiles R&B artist JusMoni and showcases original art from the Union Gospel Mission gallery. On May 21, watch the kick-off of the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival. This action-packed special premieres at 10 PM, Saturday, May 21. Otherwise, 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
NORTHWEST AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM YOUTH CURATORS PROGRAM CREATES PSA ANNOUNCEMENT
Youth Curators is a community outreach program of the Northwest African American Museum. Each year high school students are recruited to participate in a themed project that coincides with an exhibit or other program at the museum. The 2011 Youth Curators project was developed to enhance the exhibition Checking Our Pulse, a collaborative exhibit with Swedish Medical Center to acknowledge NW African American health providers and highlight five important medical issues in the Black community. Understanding the risks and that one can make positive choices to affect good heart health, the Youth Curators would create a call-to-action aimed at their peers in the form of a PSA. The PSA, The Heart of the Matter, is exhibited in the Museum gallery. As an extended outreach the PSA has been made available to various media outlets identified by the Youth Curators. 911 Seattle Media Arts and Seattle Channel partnered with the program, lending their expertise and resources with film production and PR. Check out the link above to learn more and watch the PSA.
THE 8TH ANNUAL LANGSTON HUGHES AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LOCAL AND NATIONAL FILMMAKING TALENT
This year will mark the 8th annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle. The festival, taking place from April 30 - May 8, features films from this year's Sundance Film Festival, spotlights dozens of feature-length and short films by independent filmmakers, and showcases several world premiers. The festival also offers the rare opportunity to chat face-to-face with filmmakers, industry professionals and Seattle leadership. Alrick Brown's Kinyarwanda opens the LHAAFF at the Quincy Jones Theater and will give a different perspective on the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Former Seattleite Rafael Flores' 23rd and Union is a film about the Central District, where the film was produced and will screen during the festival. Another local filmmaker, Jennifer Maas, will present Wheedle's Groove, an incredible music documentary on Seattle's soul scene of the late 1960s. The closing-night special, Butterfly Rising, a road movie about two lost souls, was written and directed by Tanya Wright, an actor on HBO's True Blood. Festival passes and tickets are now on pre-sale and the full schedule with show times, locations and film synopses is posted online. Check out the website above to see the entire film lineup and get all the festival details.
SIFF ANNOUNCES "PACINO: ONE NIGHT ONLY" AT THE PARAMOUNT THEATRE
Seattle Theatre Group (STG) and the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) present "Pacino: One Night Only", a rare glimpse into the life, work, and creative process of one of the greatest actors of our time. It will be an intimate evening with one of cinema's most riveting stars. The audience will step into the world of Al Pacino as he shares his passion for acting and directing up close and personal. Hear backstage tales from a lifetime in the world of theatre and film, see never-seen-before film clips, and witness live performance monologues. Pacino will also reveal the inner-workings of his most personal projects in this one-night-only event, ending with an audience Q&A. The event will take place Saturday, June 11 at the Paramount Theatre. Follow the above hyperlink for more details on this exciting affair.
NFFTY OPENING NIGHT GALA IS THIS THURSDAY
Join hundreds of local and international filmmakers as NFFTY 2011 kicks off this Thursday. NFFTY features original films by young filmmakers from all over the country and around the world, yet some of the most creative and talented moviemaking youth reside in our own backyard. The Seattle Office of Film + Music congratulates local youth filmmakers whose works have been accepted into this year's National Film Festival for Talented Youth. The festival runs through May 1.
The Art Institute of Seattle students Megan Shinner, Raul Anaya and Schick Soto had their work accepted in to NFFTY 2011. Ballard High School, NFFTY founder Jesse Harris' alma mater, boasts a bunch of involved youth filmmakers: Jamie Bennett, Louis Weissman, Maddy Yaple, Blair Scott, Amelia Elizalde, Emily Deering, Chloe Warner-Moyer, Elise Neroutsos, Dana Baumgartner, Mia Montagna, Sheridan Koehler, Dana Baumgartner, Emma Hutchison, Sydney Jarol, Dylan Miller, Ryan Zemke, Karli Lafferty, Kaila Lafferty, Kirsten Zeller, Rikke Heinecke, Elizabeth O'Laughlin, Tony Meyer, Ryan Zemke, Levi Friedman, Lily Bennett, Ivy Vance and Elise Neroutsos! Griffin Stoddard is representing for Garfield High School this year at NFFTY. Mercer Island High School's Sten Olson and Lindsey Luckevich are proud to premiere their work at the festival. Seattle Academy's Hadley Hillel, Erin Larson and Maddy Berkman are also in the mix. The Center School's Zoe Brozman's submission was also accepted into the festival. Cleveland High School's Tanya Byrd, Latrice Byrd, Melissa Donahue and Jennifer Gumiran will be walking the NFFTY red carpet tomorrow. Seattle's Reel Grrls Julia Constantine, Mariana Urban, Diana Federighi and Julia Levy will be making the non-profit proud at the festival. Around the town Seattleites Jesse, Dylan, and Miles Stipek, Bunee Tomlinson and Elle Viane Sonnet also have films in NFFTY 2011. Congratulations to the future movers and shakers of Seattle filmmaking!
"NOISE FOR THE NEEDY 2011 TO BENEFIT REAL CHANGE
Noise for the Needy
From June 7-12 you can support Real Change with one simple act: going to see a concert. This year's Noise for the Needy (NFTN) music festival is spotlighting the newspaper aimed at empowering homeless individuals. Since 2004, NFTN has helped raise more than $100,000 for local non-profit organizations. Past beneficiaries include Teen Feed, New Beginnings, Urban Rest Stop, and Parent Trust of Washington. A variety of venues all over the city will host 21 shows over six days. Highlights include a dance party at Belltown's Underground Events Center with Soft Metals, Ononos, and eight other bands, as well as an all-ages show at the Vera Project with Ramona Falls and Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band. For those wanting a more interactive experience, The Crescent Lounge will host Karaoke for the Needy on June 8 and donate a portion of the bar sales to NFTN. Tickets for all NFTN shows will go on sale the week of May 2. Interested in helping out? Visit the NFTN volunteer page for more information on how to get involved.
SIFF ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SENIOR DEVELOPMENT SALES ASSOCIATE POSITION
The Seattle International Film Festival is seeking a Senior Development Sales Associate to be responsible for securing new and retaining established corporate sponsorships. The Senior Development Sales Associate will work closely with SIFF's development team and report to the Director of Development. Candidates must have demonstrated success in sponsorship sales, development and/or fundraising roles. In addition, this individual must be a self-initiator with a strong work ethic, and possess the ability to take initiative, show good judgment, and manage projects from beginning to end. Please see the website above for more details and application instructions.
ATTEND UW'S AUDIO PRODUCTION AND SCREENWRITING PROGRAM OPEN HOUSE
On May 19, the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education program will be hosting open house-style course previews for two upcoming film related classes. The two certificate programs are Audio Production with an emphasis on film and music production and Screenwriting for writers of all levels. The UW Certificate in Audio Production preview will feature instructors Scot Charles (National Emmy Award winner) and Glenn Lorbecki (Grammy nominee) sharing their expertise in audio production with film and music through a combination of lecture and hands-on learning. During this experiential class you will listen to and evaluate audio tracks with two of the best local experts in the business. The UW Certificate in Screenwriting will be led by the instructor Kim Cunningham and will engage aspiring screenwriters with an evening of insightful lectures, interactive exercises and writing workshops typical of the program starting this fall. Come prepared with questions and bring your note-taking and writing tools. The class previews will go Thursday, May 19, from 5:45-7:45 PM at the University of Washington campus. Follow the links above for more pertinent details.
CAMERON CROWE ANNOUNCES NEW PEARL JAM DOCUMENTARY
Cameron Crowe is a revered name in both the film and music community. Before he was writing and directing blockbuster films, he was writing about music for Rolling Stone. His love and understanding of incredible music is illustrated by the original scoring and soundtracks of his movies. Crowe recently directed the music video for Pearl Jam's "The Fixer" and has been somewhat covertly working on a Pearl Jam documentary since 2009. Crowe told Rolling Stone that the upcoming documentary titled Pearl Jam Twenty will hit theaters in September 2011. The Seattle band has given Crowe 18-20 hours of rare footage to combine with new material shot in 2009 and 2010. The documentary will integrate archive footage from the band's 20 year history and will be a conglomeration of live performances, interviews and candid behind the scenes peeks. The film's debut falls on the Seattle super band's 20th anniversary and will be accompanied by both a soundtrack and book chronicling PJ's legacy. Hit the link for further education on the upcoming Pearl Jam documentary.
RAWSTOCK MEDIA AND SIFF PRESENT "EVERY DAY IS A JOURNEY"
Every Day is a Journey is a synergistic narrative film series with no predetermined arc, told in six chapters, written and directed by six distinct Seattle-area filmmakers, premiering for the first time ever in its entirety on Wednesday, May 18 at SIFF cinema. Conceived by Seattle's RAWSTOCK Mafia (Justin Freet, William Russell, Dylan Noebels and Jason Reid), the composite film tells the story of small time grifters and yoga enthusiasts, quickly accelerating into an operatic crime drama involving numerous kidnappings and unexpected pathos. The RAWSTOCK roster of directors includes Christian Palmer, director of William Never Married and producer of the Sundance hit The Oregonian, and Jason Reid, director of the Webby Award-winning documentary Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team and Man Zou: Beijing to Shanghai. Visit the links above to learn more about the Every Day is a Journey film series and the upcoming screening, as well as Seattle's RAWSTOCK Media.
SSG MUSIC SEEKS NEWS EDITOR AND MARKETING REPRESENTATIVE
Are you the person friends always turn to for the latest trends in music? Do you have a knack for networking with businesses? If so, you could be the perfect candidate for a couple of positions available at SSG Music. The local music website is hiring a News Editor and Marketing Representative to work on a part-time basis. Both positions are paid. The News Editor must be available during the day for at least four hours. Duties include writing posts, assigning articles, editing, and managing social media. The marketing representative is in charge of securing advertisements for SSG Music. The position consists of drafting advertising agreements, contacting prospective advertisers, and maintaining positive relationships with businesses. The marketing representative will receive 15% direct commission from all ad sales. Click the link above to read more about the positions on SSG Music's hiring page and to fill out an online application.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: THE 2011 STIFF FAKE MOVIE TRAILER CHALLENGE
STIFF Film Challenge
Heads up Seattle, the 2011 STIFF Film Challenge is coming up! This year's exciting and original challenge is a fake movie trailer contest. The STIFF Fake Trailer Challenge is a collaborative film project where filmmaking teams compete to put together the best fake movie trailer over a 10 day period. The goal is to promote cooperation among filmmakers and bring together the local filmmaking community and produce completely unique and potentially hilarious trailers for non-existent films. Audience members will be voting on their top 3 favorite trailers. Pandering is acceptable, as is stuffing the audience full of friends and family. The top film will receive a STIFFY that will be presented at the awards ceremony. Past prizes for winning the challenge have included gear rentals and post-production services at Victory Studios and Glazers Camera, as well software packages from Entertainment Partners, posters autographed by Moby and a bunch of other goodies. It kicks off on Friday, April 29th and ends on May 9th. Team captains should send their team rosters to email@example.com. Check out the blue link for more information on this year's STIFF challenge.
KRIS ORLOWSKI WITH THE PASSENGER STRING QUARTET AND FRIENDS' NEW VIDEO AT THE FREMONT ABBEY
"Your Move" On Vimeo
The Fremont Abbey is a brilliant place for musical collaboration, as can be seen in a recent video capturing of a recording session with Kris Orlowski, The Passenger String Quartet and a few talented friends singing backup. The Abbey is a non-profit arts space that features a cornucopia of music and film related community events and gatherings such as "Tuning the Air". In the video, you can check out the Abbey's digs and acoustics as local bard Kris Orlowski goes unplugged with some help from The Passenger String Quartet, Tony Kevin Jr., Allen Stone, Noah Gunderson and Matt Gervais singing "Your Move". Scope the link above to watch and find out more about Kris Orlowski and his upcoming shows.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: VIDEOGRAPHER NEEDED FOR CLASSICAL CONCERT SERIES
Gossamer Collective is seeking a filmmaker or videographer with which to collaborate on an upcoming multimedia performance presented by the classical concert series, Simple Measures. Two short, silent films (one 6 minute minimalistic piece and one 19 minutes abstract piece) will be projected behind the musicians during four live performances. Although their exact content is flexible, the films must enhance the music and align with the concept of the show. The musical selections are A Hudson Cycle by Nico Muhly, and Vox Balaenae by George Crumb. The deadline for applicants to submit previous works for review is May 4 and finalized work must be submitted by May 27. Artist compensation for time and effort will be $400. Please email Victoria Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and for more information on the concert series.
"FINDING GOD IN CHINA" GETS INTERNATIONAL PREMIER IN TORONTO, CANADA
The 2010 documentary from Seattle production company Atlas Productions, Finding God in China, will be featured in the ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada on Wednesday, June 22. Produced and directed in collaboration between Seattle artist Emmy Walker and New York filmmaker Scott Riehs, both in their early twenties, Finding God In China is a personal account of an American-born descendant of one of the first native Chinese Christian evangelists in Southern China. The Phoenix Examiner writes, "Finding God in China is quite an astounding achievement in exploration cinema. Walker and Riehs take the audience on an educational expedition through religion and culture without using preachy practices. The movie's historical or generational value is perhaps most significant of all. Seeing some of China's most senior citizens describe their unique experiences is fascinating." Click on the link above to learn more about Atlas Productions' Finding God in China.
DWELL MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS THE WORK OF LOCAL FILMMAKER CRAIG BROOKS
Craig Brooks, director of creative firm Kontent Partners, filmed a documentary series on the construction of Seattleite Lou Maxon's home, which was designed by renowned local architect Tom Kundig (part owner of Olson Kundig Architects). Dwell will host the series on its website, giving domicile-obsessed readers an inside look at the process of planning and building a new home from scratch. Maxon, the director of a non-traditional ad agency, saw the project as an opportunity to capture the building process for his family and to give Olson Kundig Architects a unique recorded narrative for future clients to peruse. You can view the trailer for the documentary series here. Make sure to check the Dwell blog for weekly updates, or follow the Maxon House on Facebook.
SPRING CLASSIC 2011 TO RAISE MONEY FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC PROGRAMS
Spring Classic Vol. 1
Spring Classic Vol. 2
If you watched Macklemore's rousing performance at the Mariners' opening day game, you may recall seeing members of Garfield High School's drumline proudly backing the local rapper. School music programs need funding now more than ever, and the Spring Classic 2011 performances seek to benefit the drumline programs at Garfield High School, Washington Middle School, and Madrona K-8. On Saturday, April 30, you can catch Spring Classic Vol. 1 at the Crocodile with Big World Breaks featuring Black Stax, Xperience, Hi-Life Sound System, and DJ Miguel Rockwell. Spring Classic Vol. 2 will be held at the Vera Project with Big World Breaks featuring Massive Monkees, JusMoni, Turtle T, Vicious Puppies, Bulldog Horns, and the Garfield High School Drumline. Both performances will be hosted by Jerm of Helladope. Credit goes to One Family Inc., Reign City and The Town Entertainment for putting together the shows. Click the links above for times and ticket prices for both events.
NEW LOCALLY PRODUCED VIRGIN ISLANDS "NO DOCTOR" MUSIC VIDEO
Consequence of Sound Blog
Seattle band, the Virgin Islands' video for "No Doctor" debuted on the Consequence of Sound blog today. Band leader Mike Jaworski was featured in City Arts "Culture Makers 50: The People Behind the Scenes of the Music and Arts we Love" earlier this year, not only for his musical accomplishments but also for founding the Seattle label Mt. Fuji Records. The "No Doctor" music video was directed and shot by The Maldives drummer Ryan McMackin and edited by Andy Seaver with special help from local video production company, World Famous. Virgin Islands new record "Ernie Chambers v. God" is being released by The Control Group on May 10 and there will be a special record release show May 13th at the Columbia City Theater with The Fucking Eagles, Hounds of the Wild Hunt and Sugar Sugar Sugar. The band will kick off their West Coast tour after the release so be sure to look for them playing a live in-studio at KEXP and at Sonic Boom Records on May 14. To watch the music video and learn more about the band, check out the links above.
THE RECORDING ACADEMY PRESENTS THE 12TH ANNUAL PNW STUDIO SUMMIT AT EMP
Grammy 365 Blog
The Recording Academy PNW Chapter, in conjunction with the Producers & Engineers Wing, presents the 12th Annual PNW Studio Summit. The keynote discussion will take place Saturday, May 7th at the Experience Music Project featuring an interview with GRAMMY and TEC award winning producer and engineer Ed Cherney and Record Plan President Rose Mann Cherney. Join PNW producer's Pete Droge (Kim Virant), Matt Bayles (Mastadon), Jack Endino (Nirvana), John Goodmanson (Nada Surf) and moderator Steve Mack as they discuss their careers in the PNW. Ed Cherny is known for his work with a wide array of artists, among them Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna, Eric Clapton, Jann Arden, Jackson Browne, Keb' Mo, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, to name just a few. A founding member of the Music Producers Guild of America, Cherney has also served as Governor of the L.A. Chapter of the Recording Academy, and was honored with the Mix Foundation TEC Award as Engineer of the Year. Some recent projects include Buddy Guy's Grammy-winning Blues Singer, recording and mixing the Rolling Stones acclaimed HBO Special and live box set 4 Flicks, and the Grammy-nominated soundtrack and score for the hit film A Mighty Wind. More information on the event can be found at the link above.
TELEKINESIS COVERS BELLE & SEBASTIAN ON A.V. CLUB
In special episode of The A.V. Club's "Undercover 2011" cover song series, Seattle rockers Telekinesis take on Belle & Sebastian's "Like Dylan in the Movies" and give it a crunchier, fuzz-filled reworking. The A.V. Undercover 2011 series, sponsored by Starbucks, invites bands to pick a track from a cache of preselected, ever-so-coverable tunes, with song crafters ranging from the likes of The Clash to Chumbawamba. Telekinesis is the first band in the series with a lead-singing percussionist and Michael Benjamin Lerner imbues the song with vigor and verve in his original performance. Follow the link above to see the video for yourself.
LOCAL FILMMAKERS: APPLY FOR IFP'S INDEPENDENT FILM WEEK
IFP is currently accepting applications for filmmakers, producers, and screenwriters for its 33rd annual forum, being held for the first time this year at Lincoln Center in New York City, September 18-22, 2011. They are currently seeking entries for the following sections: "No Borders" (for U.S. and international producers with partial financing on new narrative projects seeking additional partners), "Emerging Narrative" (for U.S. writers and writer/directors seeking producers and agents to develop, produce, represent and finance their scripts), and "Spotlight on Documentaries" (for U.S. filmmakers with projects in production or post-production seeking financing partners, broadcast/distribution opportunities, and festival invitations). Hit up the link up top to learn more about Independent Film Week and this special opportunity.
HELP "KICKSTART" A TRADITIONALLY ANIMATED FILM
Bad Penguin Kickstarter Page
Seattle-based animator and British Academy Award-winner Tony White has created over 200 TV commercials, directed several short films, was responsible for The Pink Panther Strikes Again movie titles and has written three successful books on animation. White is also the founder and president of the Animaticus Foundation a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, teaching and evolving the art form of traditional hand-drawn animation in this digital world. The foundation hosts the annual 2D OR NOT 2D Animation Festival in Seattle. White and the foundation are currently working their first feature length project entitled Bad Penguin. The plot revolves around a blind jazz musician named Cooper, who befriends an angry, armed-to-the-teeth penguin with violent feelings towards Christmas. Think Disney meets Quentin Tarintino, with vivid hand drawn animation and a ruthlessly cute penguin. Keep updated on the project's status on their Facebook. Click the "Seattle Kickstarter" buttons to support this and other local Kickstarter projects.
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 4/20 - 4/26
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).
- Head and the Heart - "Head and the Heart"
- Macklemore/Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
- Cave Singers - "No Witch"
- Duff McKagan's Loaded - "The Taking"
- Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers - "Starlight Motel"
- My Goodness - "My Goodness"
- Soundgarden - "Live On I-5"
- Caspar Babypants - "This is Fun!"
- Moondoggies - "Tidelands"
- Telekinesis - "12 Desperate Straight Lines"
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:
National Film Festival for Talented Youth "NFFTY 2011 Commercials"
NFFTY founder and film director Jesse Harris shot two Seattle-infused promotional videos for NFFTY 2011 sponsors Volvo and Bing. The Volvo advertisement meets 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, Alki Beach, Queen Anne, Post Alley and under the viaduct, featuring beautiful footage of the Seattle skyline. The Bing video was shot in downtown Seattle, at Pike Place Market, and Gasworks Park, and 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 the most.
"Filming in Seattle is incredible," says NFFTY founder Jesse Harris. "The City goes above and beyond to get you the biggest production value no matter your budget. Unlike other cities I've filmed in Seattle truly appreciates each and every project that shoots here. It was so fun to be able to highlight talented local filmmakers, work with a fantastic all local crew and showcase the beautiful locations of Seattle in the NFFTY commercials. I'm thrilled to screen them to 10,000 film fans this weekend at NFFTY."
The promotional ads will run before all NFFTY film screenings. The shorts were produced, directed and co-written by NFFTY staff Jesse Harris, Lindsey Johnson and Tara Zumpano with the help of a few dedicated Ballard High School interns, employed an entirely Seattle based cast and crew and filmed over three days in various Seattle locations.
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 Seattle's most filmable locations.
In the later half of the 1980s I didn't live in Seattle but I would regularly come to the city for Bumbershoot and nearly always parked in a pay lot near the intersection of Denny and Dexter. Remember the old strip club called Razzmatazz? That's the parking lot I'm talking about. In the late Sidney Lumet's film Power there is an establishing shot for a portion of the film which takes place in Seattle that is nearly the same view I fondly remember and this vista takes me back to more innocent days spent at a reasonably priced outdoor music festival. With the words "Seattle Washington" superimposed on the bottom of the image, the camera pans right starting with the Pink Elephant Car Wash and moves to the north showing the 24 hour pancake restaurant across Aurora Avenue that is now a Shell gas station. Next we see the mighty Space Needle gazing down at the Seattle Center and the shot ends on the former location of the KIXI radio station (now the home of KEXP). But what of the rest of the film? In many ways Power can be seen as a companion piece to the director's earlier masterpiece Network. Both films deal with the use of television and other forms of media in order to manipulate the masses. While both movies are inevitably dated considering the rapid growth of technology over the past twenty years, Network still holds up quite well but Power is all but forgotten by most everyone except for hardcore Richard Gere fans. Gere stars (with a moustache) as a big-time political consultant named Pete St. John with several different clients. He coaches them, oversees their appearances, edits their speeches, and does his best to predict and control public opinion. Ultimately, Pete makes the shocking (and obvious) discovery that politicians are corrupt! Lumet's directing is solid (as usual) and the cast is jammed packed with both veterans and rising stars. Alongside Gere, Power also features Gene Hackman, Julie Christie, Kate Capshaw, Denzel Washington, E.G. Marshall, Fritz Weaver
J.T. Walsh and Matt Salinger. Pete spends some time in Seattle with Governor Andrea Stannard (Michael Learned). Aside from the aforementioned nostalgic Seattle shot, other Jet City scenes include a boat race through the Montlake Cut and Governor Stannard's competition (played by Beatrice Straight) shoots a commercial in front of the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Other than those few incidents there isn't a lot of Seattle in Power but there is a short bit filmed on location at Kirk's Rock (aka Vasquez Rocks). I just mention this because I am an old school Star Trek nerd.
DIRECTOR LYNN SHELTON TALKS TO INDIEWIRE ABOUT HER FIRST FEATURE FILM
Independent film news source indieWIRE spoke to Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton (known for directing the award-winning film Humpday and MTV's web series $5 Dollar Cover: Seattle), who recounted the experience of making her first feature, We Go Way Back. The film is currently enjoying a re-release at New York City's reRUN Gastropub Theater. We Go Way Back centers on the 23-year-old Kate, a struggling actress who is haunted quite literally by the past: her 13-year-old self materializes and is not impressed with what present-day Kate has to show for herself. Shelton discusses the stylistic choices involved with making the film, as well as the type of narrative she was trying to present. She highlights her favorite scene in the film, a poignant yet dark moment where Kate sits drinking in her bathtub and tries to extermiante her teenage self by drowning a series of letters written by 13-year-old Kate to all the future "Kates-yet-to-be." We Go Way Back went on to win the Grand Jury Prize and Vision Award for Cinematography at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival. The rest, as they say, is history. Check out the link above to read the entire conversation with Shelton.
BRANDI CARLILE TALKS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE PLAYING WITH SEATTLE SYMPHONY
Seattle musicians are constantly collaborating and adding new paradigms to their musical formats, but it is rare for an artist to take a complete leap of faith into a new genre and setting in the way that Brandi Carlile did for her newest album. On May 3, Brandi Carlile Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony will hit records stores and those not fortunate enough to attend the concert will be able to hear the epic collaboration. The songs were written by Carlile and arranged by Paul Buckmaster and the album features a few incredible covers and the live recorded performance. To learn more about the upcoming album and hear Brandie's take on the experience, check out the link to her interview with No Depression's Kim Ruehl at the link above.
IMPFEST 2011 CELEBRATES THE ART OF IMPROVISED MUSIC
Improvised Music Project
Fans of jazz and experimental music are sure to flock toward the IMPfest 2011, which kicks off on Saturday, April 30. Performances will take place at locations around Seattle, including Arabica Lounge, Chapel Performance Space, The Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, and Solstice Café. Organized by the Improvised Music Project, a collective of musicians and music enthusiasts, IMPfest is celebrating its third year showcasing experimental and jazz-influenced musicians, mostly of a local variety. Notable performers include University of Washington professor and renowned trumpeter Cuong Vu, saxophonist Tim Berne, and an assortment of UW-based ensembles (UW Modern Band, UW Improv Lab, and UW Big Band). The festival runs through May 7 and admission for all performances is donation-based. Vu was recently mentioned by a New York Times article about the jazz scene in Seattle. For a full list of performers and venues participating in IMPfest, check out the link above.
"IRA FINKELSTEN'S CHRISTMAS" SHOWS IMPACT OF FILMING LOCALLY
The Wenatchee Business Journal
A young Jewish boy obsessed with Christmas? If you think that this comedic irony would make a great movie, local director Sue Corcoran has already beat you to the punch. Ira Finkelstein's Christmas filmed mostly in Leavenworth and brought some much-welcomed income during a lull in tourism. In addition to the direct impact of filming in Washington, The Wenatchee Business Journal (WBJ) article went on to point out the indirect effects of movie making in (or about) Washington. For example, the Twilight films were set in the scenic city of Forks, WA but filmed largely in Vancouver, Canada. Since the release of the popular movies, Forks has seen a consistent spike in visitors and economic growth. Similarly, Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce director Nancy Smith hopes that the future release of Ira Finkelstein's Christmas will solidify the city's standing as "Christmastown, U.S.A." Said Smith, "I mean, you just can't buy advertising like that." The WBJ article also cited Washington Filmworks' push to increase the tax incentive cap for filming in our state. It emphasizes that between 2006 and 2009, the 30% tax rebates given to filmmakers has generated $36 million in state income, not to mention the hundreds of local jobs created by film productions. The current legislation sponsored by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) would help Washington stay competitive against neighbors like Oregon and Vancouver. Click the link above to read the WBJ's excellent coverage of filmmaking in Washington.
WORLD FAMOUS INC. HAS AN ASSIGNMENT FOR YOU
When local film/video production company World Famous started the Assignments in 2005, it was a way for staff members to flex their creative muscles outside of looming deadlines and client projects (which have included the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival and Alaska Airlines, among others). Now, World Famous is putting the call out to all artist, filmmakers and interested individuals to take on the Assignment challenge. A diverse list of 67 topics run the gamut from "Depict a void" to "A car commercial" to "If you had a super power..." Submitted videos will be viewed by the World Famous staff and posted on the company's website on a monthly basis. To give you an idea of what you can do with an Assignment prompt, check out the video for #16: A love story. It features music from local electronic band Viper Creek Club. For a full list of assignments and to watch examples, visit the World Famous website.
FLEET FOXES' ROBIN PECKNOLD ON THE COVER OF SPIN MAGAZINE
Sub Pop Records
Seattle music aficionados may do a double-take in the magazine aisle this month when they catch Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold on the cover of SPIN Magazine's May 2011 issue. The well-respected music rag heralds the band's newest album, Helplessness Blues, as the most beautiful album of 2011. The record is receiving early positive praise ahead of its May 3 release date from many news outlets, including British newspaper The Guardian and prominent music blog Stereogum. Those interested can also listen to Helplessness Blues in its entirety over at NPR Music as part of NPR Music's First Listen series.
Seattle Office of Film + Music Staff
James Keblas, Director
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator
Rachel White, Music + Nightlife Program Coordinator
Jonathan Hughes, Intern
Tiffany Wan, Intern
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