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News from the Office of Film + Music 5/4/2011


Washington Filmworks
The Special Legislative Session continues in Olympia. The legislative situation remains fluid as elected officials continue to search for ways to balance the budget. Despite a hope that SB 5539 would be considered for a vote this week, it now appears more likely that the vote will happen next week.

SB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, is one of several revenue bills being held for consideration as the budget conversation continues and we hope to have more updates early next week.

Please stay tuned to our website, for more information on this vital piece of legislation.

- Amy Lillard, Executive Director, Washington Filmworks

Seattle Channel
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.


The 8th annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival kicked off this past weekend and will run through Sunday, May 8. The films screened so far have done well, with last night's showing of local film 23rd and Union selling out (an additional screening has been added for tonight, May 4 at 9 PM). You can catch all the films at Central Cinema with the exception of the closing day schedule, which will screen at Garfield High Schools' Quincy Jones Theater. Make sure to see some of the great films at LHAAFF this week while you can. Highlights include the Seattle soul documentary Wheedle's Groove, a brunch event with filmmakers at the Northwest African American Museum, and the closing night film Butterfly Rising (directed by True Blood actress Tanya Wright). Filmmakers will be in attendance at most screenings. Check out the full schedule here.

HONK! Fest West
HONK! Fest West unites Seattle noise lovers for a free three-day festival showcasing the best marching bands, drum corps, samba lines, brass bands, and ruckus-makers of all sorts. Now in its fourth year running, HONK! Fest West boasts an impressive lineup of Seattle talent as well as groups from Olympia, Eugene, New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago and British Columbia. Some, like Orkestar Zirkonium and Nu Klezmer Army, will be familiar to those who love a good Eastern European line dance. Sports fans will delight at hearing the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline, the Garfield High School Bulldog Drumline, and the Seattle Sounders FC Soundwave Band. The festivities kick off on Sunday, May 8 at the High Dive in Fremont with Orkestar Zirkonium and San Francisco band Brass Menazeri, which is famous for its Balkan Romani sound. Honkfest will continue Friday, May 13 through Sunday, May 15 and will take over Georgetown, Gasworks Park and Seattle Center. Click the link to see the full schedule of events.

Washington Filmworks Events
Washington Filmworks, in partnership with IFP/Seattle, Northwest Film Forum, Northwest Screenwriters Guild, Seattle Film Institute, Seattle International Film Festival, The Seattle Office of Film + Music, Women in Film-Seattle and the Warren Report are pleased to present "Pulling Focus: A Clear Picture of Today's Film Industry." Pulling Focus is a series of four panel discussions about the business of film designed to speak to the diversity of audience members, from screenwriters to actors, from directors to producers and on to musicians. Thursday's event will focus on the role of a film's producer and the importance of professional producing. The panel will feature special guest speaker Deborah Moore, former executive vice president of New Line Cinema Productions, sharing insights from her 25 years of experience as a studio executive and producer. The event will be moderated by Warren Etheredge from The Warren Report. This is a unique opportunity for local area arts organizations, talent, filmmakers and all those interested in the business of film to get together, share experiences and learn how to help the Northwest continue to thrive as a filmmaking hub. The panel will be held at the Sorrento Hotel in downtown Seattle on Thursday, May 5. Doors will open at 6:30pm with the discussion to begin at 7pm. Click on the link above for more information on the "Pulling Focus" panel discussion series.

PBS Nature
Bears of the Last Frontier is a locally-made series debuting on PBS Nature that closely examines three types of bears found in Alaska: the Grizzlies (or brown bears), black bears, and polar bears. Bellingham-based conservation ecologist and renowned bear expert Chris Morgan hosts the three hour-long segments, in which he travels across Alaska via motorcycle on a year-long immersion into the bear world. The documentary series was filmed and produced by cinematographer Joe Pontecorvo and edited by Billy McMillin, who edited the award-winning film Iraq in Fragments and the Seattle-based comedy The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle. Sound editing and design was done by Scot Charles and Len Delorey of Studio Blue. Charles also teaches audio production at the University of Washington. The series will premiere on Sunday, May 8 at 8 PM. Click the link above to watch a trailer for Bears of the Last Frontier.

Synergia Northwest
Synergia Northwest blends classical, contemporary, professional and student musicians into one concert, unifying cultures, ages and musical genres, raising funds to provide extended learning, enrichment and performance opportunities to Northwest area students who would not have the necessary financial resources. The 2nd annual Synergia Northwest benefit is being scheduled for spring of 2011 and will feature the Synergia Northwest Orchestra conducted by internationally recognized Dr. Nikolas Caoile, Director of Orchestras at Central Washington University alongside some of the Pacific Northwest's most high profile recording artists. The Synergia Northwest Orchestra is comprised of some of the area's finest professional classical musicians with selected players from Washington State All-State groups and regional youth and public school orchestras. Synergia Northwest was featured on the KING-5 evening news this week. Emmy-winning reporter John Sharify went to Inglemoor High School to get a glimpse of the impact of music education programs in young people's lives. Hit up the link above to learn more about Synergia Northwest.

It may only be spring (even if the weather refuses to acknowledge the change in season), but Bumbershoot is already reaching out to fans anticipating the fall music and arts extraveganza taking place over Labor Day Weekend. The festival unveiled a campaign to reveal once artist a day in May, culminating in the announcement of the entire Bumbershoot lineup on June 1. Thus far, Wiz Khalifa, Hall and Oates, Minus the Bear and Little Dragon have been confirmed to play the festival. Follow the Bumbershoot blog or Facebook page to get your daily dose of Bumbershoot artist news.

Global Vue
The Young Professionals International Network (YPIN) is a local non-profit organization and an affiliate of the World Affairs Council. YPIN and the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival are co-hosting a preview party and benefit event next week at The Triple Door. Join a panel of SIFF programmers for a sneak peek at ten must-see foreign films screening at this year's festival. The panel will present a variety of film trailers from upcoming films and provide their own insights and opinions on a variety of 2011 SIFF movies. Live Senegalese music from renowned Seattle-based drummer Thione Diop will follow the panel and assure a very special evening for film and music lovers alike. The event will take place at the Triple Door's Musicquarium Lounge on Thursday, May 12. Click on the link above for more info on the preview party and SIFF benefit.

48 Hour Film Project Seattle
The 7th annual 48 Hour Film Project is just under two months away from launching in Seattle. Leading up to the start of the contest will be a series of bi-weekly all-ages networking and filmmaking "boot camp" events at Roy Street Coffee. The first gathering is next Tuesday, May 10 at 7 PM. This is a great opportunity if you have a film team and need to flesh out cast and crew or are a solo filmmaker or actor looking to get involved. 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. Discounted early bird registration is still available (use the link above); please email with any questions about the networking event or the 48 Hour Film Project.

The Museum of History and Industry and the Seattle International Film Festival are hosting the first annual "History Is ____" awards gala at MOHAI on Saturday, May 7, 2011. The awards gala will announce the winners of the History Is ____ Film Competition and also feature a special sneak preview of SIFF's 2011 Northwest Connections films. Emceed by Seattle's own Robert Horton, the winning films will be announced in five categories including Best Youth Filmmaker, Best Emerging Filmmaker, Best in Open Category, MOHAI History Award and Best in Show. Entries were judged by MOHAI and representatives from the History Is ____ Film Competition steering committee organizations including SIFF, 911 Media Arts, Northwest Film Forum, Seattle's Office of Film + Music, Washington Filmworks, and KCTS 9. Between the five awards presentations, film trailers from the SIFF 2011 Northwest Connections program will be showcased. The local filmmaking guests will be at the after party to discuss their new films and several SIFF programmers will be on hand to give their tips on the not-to-be-missed films in the festival. After the ceremony, attendees will enjoy beverages and hors d'oeuvres accompanied by the music of DJ Dorsia. Follow the link above to learn more about the History Is ____ Film Competition and the awards gala this Saturday.

Cornish College of the Arts
Musicians actively performing in the Seattle community but looking to hone their skills can now apply for the Artist Diploma in Early Music at Cornish College of the Arts. Designed for musicians already performing at a high level, both instrumentalists and vocalists are encouraged to apply to the program. The program can be completed in one year and only 12 artists will be enrolled at a time. Students will get intensive private instruction, one-on-one coaching, ensemble performance experience, and the opportunity to work with the talented faculty at Cornish. Click the link above for admission requirements and other information about the Artist Diploma in Early Music program.

2011 Northwest Emmy Awards
The Northwest Chapter of the Academy of Television of Arts and Sciences has announced their nominations for the 48th annual Emmy Awards last month. Included in the nominations are three films from local filmmakers that premiered on KCTS 9's Reel NW series. Man Zou: Beijing to Shanghai,an independently produced feature-length documentary by local filmmakers from RAWSTOCK Media, Jason Reid and Ian Connors, has been nominated for 2 awards for directing and editing. Paddle to Seattle: Journey Through the Inside Passage (J.J. Kelley, Josh Thomas, Ben Gottfried) and Sweet Crude (Sandy Cioffi) have been nominated in the Topical Documentary category. Paddle to Seattle highlights the epic journey of two friends who build their own kayaks and paddle alone for 97 days in the wilderness from Alaska to Seattle. Sweet Crude is the story of Nigeria's Niger Delta and the human and environmental consequences of 50 years of oil extraction. The winners will be announced on June 11. Best of luck to all Seattle filmmakers nominated for awards. Click on the link above to view the full list of Northwest Emmy Award nominations.

911 Media Arts Center
Seattle's 911 Media Arts Center has announced their upcoming class schedule with two exciting courses spanning over the spring and early summer. "Beginning Final Cut Pro" will delve into the basics of film editing with Final Cut Pro 6. By the end of the class, students will have a basic understanding of non-linear editing and be able to set up a basic computer editing station, capture video and audio onto a computer, efficiently organize captured media, insert and arrange audio and video clips to create a show, add titles, create simple motion effects, and output a piece to tape or video file. The course focus will be on editing vocabulary and software competency. The class will take place every Wednesday from May 11 until June 1 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. The next class in the series will be "Intermediate Final Cut Pro," building on skills acquired in the first class. The intermediate course will incorporate both narrative and documentary footage and will take an in-depth look at how to improve edits in the timeline, work with graphics and b-roll, and color correct footage. This class runs from June 21 until July 12 and will take place at 6:30 to 9:30 PM. See the link above for more details on the 911 Media Arts Center film classes.

Seattle Film Institute
The Seattle Film Institute (SFI) introduced two graduate degree programs earlier this year: a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and a Master of Arts in Producing. Now qualified professionals can receive financial aid to complete these programs. SFI is offering a $10,000 scholarship for the MFA in Filmmaking and a $5,000 scholarship to complete the MA in Producing. There is no need to fill out a separate scholarship application when applying to the programs. Simply identify the qualifying film organization you belong to in your admissions essay and specify how attending the MFA or MA program will help in your career development. Contact SFI at for a list of approved organizations eligible for the scholarships. Visit the link above for a full description of the MFA in Filmmaking and the MA in Producing.

Atlas Productions
Have you always wanted to contribute your creative vision to a large-scale film event? The 28th annual Olympia Film Festival, presented by the Olympia Film Society, takes place November 11-19 and is in need of a Festival Director and a Festival Programmer for the upcoming event. Both positions are part-time, paid positions on a temporary basis and will require commitment from May through December. The Festival Director is in charge of overseeing all aspects of the Olympia Film Festival. Responsibilities include preparing the festival budget, recruiting and supervising volunteers, conducting fundraising, publicizing on behalf of the festival, and performing other duties as required. The Festival Programmer oversees all programming operations for the festival, including booking films, recruiting programming volunteers, promoting the festival, and other tasks as needed. The application deadline is Monday, May 9. Click the link above to read detailed job descriptions and to apply for the positions.

The Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum will offer free admission and live music tomorrow, May 5, from 5:00-8:00 PM as part of its monthly "Free First Thursdays" program. This month's event features performances by Sound Off! 2011 battle of the bands competitors Ambulance and Land of Pines in celebration of the release of Live From Sound Off! Volume Four. High-definition videos from the Sound Off! 2011 concerts will be playing throughout the museum. Also, the new Live From Sound Off! compilation album with twelve tracks from local bands who entered the battle will be available for purchase. 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 towering over the text.

Anomie Belle Kickstarter Page
Those who have heard the atmospherically beautiful work of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Anomie Belle should be ecstatic to know her second album, titled The Crush, will drop this summer. Her first album, 2008's Sleeping Patterns, launched her on a West Coast tour with Swedish electro-pop band Little Dragon and ambient act Manuok. She also toured with post-rock innovators The Album Leaf and UK trip-hop legend Tricky throughout 2009. Anomie Belle's next project is producing a video for the song "Inky Drips," the first song off the new record, and she needs some help from you. The video will be directed by local filmmaker Bogdan Darev, who has already created an impressive body of short films and has done video work for clients like the City of Seattle. This will be his first time directing a music video. The money raised through Anomie Belle's Kickstarter campaign will go toward film equipment and other costs associated with the music video. Visit the link above to support what promises to be a dreamy and poetic vision. Click the "Seattle Kickstarter" buttons to support this and other local Kickstarter projects.

TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 4/27 - 5/3
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).

  1. Head and the Heart - "Head and the Heart"
  2. Cave Singers - "No Witch"
  3. My Goodness - "My Goodness"
  4. Soundgarden - "Live On I-5"
  5. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
  6. Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers - "Starlight Motel"
  7. Bill Frisell - "Sign of Life"
  8. Fleet Foxes - "Fleet Foxes"
  9. Telekinesis - "12 Desperate Straight Lines"
  10. Thao and Mirah - "Thao and Mirah"

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:

Free Road Films
Free Road Films is a Seattle-based production company founded by the long-time local filmmaking team of Kyle Carver and Dana Thompson-Carver. With extensive filming history across the globe and in our own backyard, Free Road specializes in commercials, documentaries, brand films and videos for the web. Their client list includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Swedish Hospital, Microsoft, and Starbucks. Recently, the company filmed a commercial for the web payment company PayPal.

"We have been all over the city for three days and have had a great time with the crew, working with the local businesses, and collaborating with PBJS," says Dana. "With a quick turnaround from a script change everyone rallied together to fit our schedule in. We've been filming in neighborhoods and parks with a very kind reception, and the most unbelievably hard working crew with great attitudes. It's a real community here, and a joy to work with everyone from the PA's to the clients. Kyle and I say 'Thank you!' to the Seattle film community."

The production hired over 30 cast and crew, and filmed in numerous Seattle neighborhoods and parks this week.

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.

Life or Something Like It (2002)
The clich-ridden Life or Something Like It begins with Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie) lying on an operating table, fighting for life while in the middle of an adolescent flashback: the shame of wearing glasses, her family's cruel taunts of "Pudge," the sadness of watching a boy she likes walk right past her. Cut to the present day and her morning jog past Queen Anne's premier prom/wedding/postcard photo spot Kerry Park. Lanie now has a seemingly perfect life, from her Stepford Wife hairdo to her career as a successful TV journalist. She's even engaged to a Seattle Mariner, and there are some nice scenes inside Safeco Field as she and The Moose cheer him on. Lanie works at KQMO (a cleverly transformed KOMO 4), where we learn she's up for a national reporting job, the next step in her carefully constructed life plan. To prepare for the big time, her boss pairs her with a rugged but professional cameraman named Pete (Edward Burns). Pete has shaggy hair and wears flannel, so naturally she hates his unrefined ways. If you've seen more than one romantic comedy you can likely recite along with their first exchange: "You're disgusting!" "You're uptight!" You get the idea. One day the bickering twosome interview homeless psychic Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub, who does more quality acting in his first scene than Jolie does in the entire film). He predicts it will hail, the Seahawks will win, and Lanie will die next Thursday. Of course the first two seemingly improbable events occur, sending Lanie in to a life examining rebellion. In her professional life it means leading a group of striking Metro drivers at Ryerson Base in a motivational version of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." Personally, it involves blasting Social Distortion (while wearing the band's T-shirt) and eating Oreos. It also, you guessed it, drives her right into Pete's arms. The new couple spend the majority of the remaining run time hanging out at the Fun Forest and walking around Alki while Lanie frets about whether or not she's about to die. Will she pull through to get the man and her dream job? I'm sure you'll know the answers long before the credits roll. Life or Something Like It feels like a failed TV pilot, and the clunky dialogue made me increasingly annoyed as the plot wore on. But Seattle looks lovely in it, and I'll give the filmmakers credit for featuring more of the city (and less of Vancouver) than other recent major studio productions have. The only thing that made the experience remotely worthwhile was the presence of awesome KOMO weatherman/local treasure Steve Pool.
--Jen Koogler


SSG Music
It's understandable that someone like Mike Watt, former bassist of legendary punk band Minutemen, would have a bevy of celebrity musician friends. But his performance at the Triple Door on April 27 was an unprecedented throwback to Seattle's grunge years when Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam), Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters and Nirvana), and Pat Smear (also of Foo Fighters and Nirvana) joined Watt onstage for a 10 minute-long jam session. The stunt was a huge surprise for everyone, but it's not the first time Watt has worked with some of these grunge superstars. Back in the mid-nineties, he recruited Vedder and Grohl to be his touring band after the release of his first solo album, Ball-Hog or Tugboat? Scope the link to the video above to see Watt rock out with Grohl on drums, Smear on guitar, and Vedder on vocals and guitar.

Journal Media Group
Creativity often thrives under constrictions, and SIFF's Fly Filmmaking Challenge has proven this time and time again. The premise is simple: SIFF provides selected filmmakers with a set of guidelines and the funds to make a short film, which premieres at SIFF and hopefully goes on to other festivals. Starting out in 1997 as a challenge to visiting filmmakers, SIFF began inviting local directors in 2003 to flex their artistic muscles in the Fly Filmmaking Challenge. The festival asked local film organizations to nominate potential filmmakers to pose the filmmaking challenge to. Journal Media Group spoke with this year's Fly Filmmaking Challenge participants: S.J. Chiro, Matthew Clark, and Timothy Watkins. The three were required to make a 10-minute film shot on 2,000 feet of 35mm film (which comes out to 45 minutes of film). They had one week to write the script incorporating a main character drawn randomly from a hat, with three days to film and five days to edit. Additionally, the directors were required to film two of the three days in a Burien sound studio with a maximum of 12 crew members on set. Click the link above to read about how each filmmaker fared during the challenge, and stay tuned for the full SIFF schedule announcement on May 5!

NPR Music
Those who have followed the Seattle music scene for a while know David Bazan for his work in Pedro the Lion, and for his close association with other local musicians like Damien Jurado and Ben Gibbard. Since going solo in 2006, Bazan has released one full-length album, 2009's Curse Your Branches. It was well-received and chronicled the artist's struggle with religion and sobriety. Two year later, Bazan is back with a new record titled Strange Negotiations, which will be released May 24 on Barsuk Records. It's the first time he has recorded with other musicians since his Pedro the Lion days. NPR Music's All Songs Considered blog has a nice writeup about Bazan and spotlights "Wolves at the Door," the first track off of Strange Negotiations. Click the link above to listen!

Queen Anne View
The National Film Festival for Talented Youth launched a speed filmmaking challenge on the opening night of the festival last week. Film teams comprised of students from local high schools were asked to create a three-minute film from scratch in only 48 hours. Competing for more than $3,500 in prizes to bolster high school film programs, the teams were outfitted with HD, waterproof, action sports cameras and the prompt of "show us your jam." Films were required to incorporate a musical instrument, a scene of artistic inspiration and a line of dialogue, "behind the performer." The victory and the spoils went to The Center School film team's entry Jam the Jam. The high school was awarded $2,500 for their film program, which is under the direction of Ms. Erin Katz. Senior Riley Moffitt, who was the film's primary writer, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to The Prodigy Camp, a screenwriting program for promising teen filmmakers. Congratulations to The Center School's film team for their big win and to NFFTY for an amazing 2011 festival!

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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