Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More Home Page This Department
Link to the Office of Film + Music Home Page Link to Office of Film + Music Home Page Link to Office of Film + Music About Us Page Link to Office of Film + Music Contact Us Page
Kate Becker, Director Stephen H. Johnson, Director, Office of Economic Development

Film Home
Film Permits
Film Manual
Film FAQ
Film Resources
Film History
Economic Impact Study
Mayor's Film Award

Music Home
City of Music Website
Music History & Map
Economic Impact Study

Seattle's Content Technology Initiative

Happy Hour Events
News from the Office of Film + Music 5/18/2011


Seattel Music Commission
As part of its commitment to community engagement and outreach, the Seattle Music Commission (SMC) is sharing this a recap of their regular monthly meeting. The Commission continues the ongoing work of its three subcommittees: Policy + Planning, Youth + Community and Branding + Communication. The Policy + Planning Committee is focusing its energies on developing a partnership with the Port of Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport to facilitate a uniquely "Seattle" musical experience for visitors and natives alike. The Youth + Community Committee is exploring ways to support and expand upon existing youth and community career development programs and events throughout the city, including possibilities for music industry career fairs and internship programs. The Branding + Communications Committee continues their work to develop an innovative and inclusive community-driven web resource focused on telling the story of Seattle's rich musical history across genres. The Commission would love to hear from you regarding these or any of the projects listed in its workplan, which is available at the above link. You can contact the Commission via their email address:

Washington Filmworks
A message from Washington Filmworks Executive Director, Amy Lillard:

We continue to lobby in Olympia in support of SSB 5539; the legislation to renew Washington's Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. We want to share with the film community a letter written to State Senators by Washington Filmworks' Board Chair Becky Bogard. We anticipate the bill will come before the Senate for a full vote in the near future. We will keep you informed as things progress in Olympia.

Seattle Channel
The Artzone crew is producing a half-hour special on the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival. Nancy will be at McCaw Hall on Thursday, May 19 to capture the glamour, glitz and glory that is SIFF opening night. She will walk the red carpet; chat with local filmmakers; show film clips from the festival; hob nob with VIPS; check out the goody bags; and, of course, admire the Northwest fashionistas! The SIFF spotlighting special will air on Saturday, May 21 at 10:00 PM on Seattle Channel 21 and on Sunday, May 22 at 11:00 PM on KCTS Channel 9, with numerous repeats on both channels, and always online: Nancy's next appearance on KING 5's "New Day Northwest" will be Wednesday, May 25. One event she'll be promoting is Manooghi Hi's record release party happening Friday, June 3 at The Crocodile. 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.

Seattle Office of Film + Music
Seattle has been a growing hub for film, music and digital media over the past several years, and it is vital for these three communities to interact for our city to continue to thrive. The monthly Happy Hour offers just such an environment for people from these industries to socialize, network and build a unified community. This month's Happy Hour is May 25 from 5:00 - 7:00 at Spitfire in Belltown. See you there Seattle!


The Seattle Times
If you haven't already finalized your top films to see at SIFF, make sure to save room for the 11 features and six documentaries with connections to the Northwest. Moira McDonald of The Seattle Times shines the spotlight on these 17 films that each have roots in our own backyard. Many of the local offerings have homegrown directors and writers (The Off Hours, Treatment, Marrow, Do You See Color When You Close Your Eyes?) or were filmed in Seattle or surrounding areas (The Catechism Cataclysm, Late Autumn, Norman, Old Goats, Without, Surrogate Valentine). Some even feature Seattle-based actors (John Carpenter's The Ward stars local actress Susanna Burney). The documentaries address such varied topics as former Hole drummer and Marysville native Patty Schemel (Hit So Hard), Christian card sharks who fleece casinos, but have trouble grappling with the moral consequences (Holly Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians), and the ever-controversial topic of physician-assisted suicide (How to Die in Oregon). Check out the article above for a brief synopsis of each Northwest-centric film playing at SIFF.

Capitol Hill Block Party
Now in its fifteenth year, the CHBP remains dedicated to independent music, culture, thought, and progressive politics. With 5 stages and over 70 bands and DJs, the Capitol Hill Block Party takes place right in the middle of Seattle's most exciting neighborhood. CHBP is a city festival through and through, surrounded by the unique advantages of a true urban setting (restaurants, clubs, shopping, bars, tattoo parlors and several places to get a haircut!). The Block Party, owned and operated by Seattleites, focuses on the best independent national and local acts, bringing in artists often ignored or considered "too small" or "too new" for other festivals. The Block Party also introduces local pro-music politicians to music fans, registers voters, and activates young people to become civically engaged. It's a true community event, involving everyone from street kids to the Mayor, and raising money for local music and neighborhood projects. CHBP takes place July 22-24 in Seattle's Pike-Pine neighborhood. A limited number of discounted 3-day passes will go on sale this Friday, May 20. Check the link above for more details.

Seattle Central Community College
In an effort to learn the economic, job, and community value of their educational programs during the administrative budget process, Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) is reaching out to alumni, employers, partners, and friends in the film community for information on the Film and Video Program. Feedback and information gathered by this Friday morning will help the college make an informed decision about the future of the program. For information on how you can be involved, contact Sal Tonacchio with the Video Communications department.

Film Industry Night on Facebook
Directors, writers, actors, composers and film lovers alike are welcome to attend the first-ever Film Industry Night happening at Neumos on Wedneday, June 1. The inimitable Warren Etheredge will be your host for the evening, which organizers say "promises to be a night of cross-cultural delight, booze, and plenty of schmooze." Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with local filmmakers like Megan Griffiths (The Off Hours, which can be seen at SIFF 2011), Dan McComb (of the forthcoming Beyond Naked), Jagger Gravning (of the imminent Wallflower), Adam Sekular (Empty Hollow Echo) and many more! The event will also feature musical performances by Grammy-winning artist Pete Stewart along with local artists Whitney Mong, James Coates, and The Unfortunates. Click the link above for more details about Film Industry Night and to RSVP for the event.

48 Hour Film Project Seattle
There are only 6 weeks until the starting gun fires for the 7th annual Seattle 48 Hour Film Project. The folks behind the Film Project are hosting a series of bi-weekly networking and "boot camp" events at Roy Street Coffee, the next one being held on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00 PM. The boot camp will allow prospective filmmakers the chance to screen a few examples of previous award winning 48 Hour films and discuss strategy and rules clarifications. 2009 and 2010 award winners, Team Awesome will be on hand to discuss the strategy and execution that has made them multi-year award winners. If you have a team and need to flesh out cast and crew or are a filmmaker or actor looking for a team, please join in on this all-ages event to bolster your filmmaking skills and connections for the 48 Hour Film Project. You can still register your team for the early bird price of until May 30, sign up now and pass the saving along to your cast and crew in the form of more filmmaking fuel (food). For more details on the 48 Hour Film Project commencing on June 24 or to register your film team, follow the link at the top.

Rock Out ALS
May is ALS (better know as Lou Gehrig's Disease) Awareness Month and in observance, Seattle non-profit Rock Out ALS is producing two rock shows in Seattle: Rock Out ALS "Unplugged" and "Punk-Rock" Out ALS on May 28. The all-ages "Unplugged" acoustic style rock show featuring 13 rare sets from some of Seattle's rock scene favorites. "Punk-Rock" Out ALS is a 21+ show and happens at El Corazon and will feature some of the best of Seattle's Street Punk: The Greengoes, The Kamikazi's, The Real Blue Ribbon Boys, Spiderface and Seattle hardcore punk legends The Bloodclots. American Music has donated a Tim Armstrong (of Rancid) Signature "Hellcat" Fender Acoustic Guitar for the Punk show and a Fender Stratocaster to be signed by all the artists performing at the Unplugged show and will be raffled near the end of the night. Proceeds from both shows will go to the ALS TDI (Therapeutic Development Institute). More information on Rock Out ALS and the May concert series can be found at the link above.

Seattle Film Institute
The Seattle Film Institute offers professional certificates and graduate degrees in all aspects of filmmaking. All SFI programs feature a hands-on education and practical experience that provide the groundwork for professional careers. Students receive a real world education from a faculty anchored by film industry professionals. Every SFI student can also participate in their nationally recognized internship program. Join SFI for a free informational meeting about their Professional Certificate and Graduate Degree programs on Saturday, May 21, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. SFI's ten month professional certificate programs include: Filmmaking (AA/BA Options, 3-D Animation, Motion Graphics, Producing, Sound Design and Recording Arts and Film Scoring. They offer graduate degree programs in a Master of Arts in Producing for Film and a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking. This is not only a chance to get your burning questions answered; it's also a great opportunity to see the school, meet key faculty members and other prospective students, and also to get the scoop on scholarships and financial aid. For more information visit the hyperlink above.

Velocity Art & Design
The Sasquatch! Music Festival doesn't get underway for another nine days (yes, we're counting), but artists are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the festival a little early with a poster, print and toy release party at Velocity Art & Design. On Thursday, May 19 from 5-8 PM, enjoy music and refreshments while browsing limited edition Sasquatch!-themed prints designed by Don Clark of Invisible Creatures. Clark also designed a pair of handsome toys for Sasquatch! Music Festival's anniversary: Salvatore the Sasquatch and his trusty sidekick, George. Click the link above for details about the event and to see more pictures of Salvatore and George in action.

MOHAI on YouTube
After viewing more than 40 entries, the winners of MOHAI's first annual "History Is ______" film competition have been announced. There were five categories for which the contest's steering committee-which included individuals from SIFF, 911 Media Arts, Northwest Film Forum, The Office of Film + Music, Washington Filmworks, and KCTS 9-judged the entries. The Best in Show award went to Drew Christie for his bitingly funny animated film History is Us. Christie managed to creatively fit the history of the human existence into a four minute-long short. The award for Best in Open Category went to Amy Enser and Steven R. Barron's film History is Tradition, which features an impressive array of Barron's extended family members telling their personal histories. The other winners include Aaron Jones for his film History is Unwritten (Best Emerging Artist), Tony Elevanthingal and Ashwathi Raj for their film History is Our Story (Best Youth Artists), and Christa Carnell for her film History is Sung (MOHAI History Award). Honorable mentions went to Erik Alskog for his film History is Invention and to Eric Shofhauser and Nav Tombros for their film History is a Moment. To check out the winning films, click the link above.

Although it is held all the way across the country, Seattle schools have been a strong presence at the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition for many years now. Garfield High School has won the competition four times and defended the 2009 and 2010 winner's title this year. Roosevelt High School previously won the competition in 2002, 2007 and 2008 and placed second at the 16th annual competition held last weekend.Mountlake Terrace High School took home the third place prize, the second time their jazz band has finished in the top three. What is it about Seattle that produces such fecund musical talent? Without a doubt it is made possible by dedication of teachers, students, parents and communities that value and support music education in our local schools. Congratulations to all the PNW schools that represented Seattle. Click the links above to learn more about "Jazz at Lincoln Center's 16th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival" and watch videos of Seattle schools' performances.

MIFFF 2011
The 2011 Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival is seeking features, documentaries, short films and animation for their 3rd annual festival. MIFFF has officially opened the submission season for the 2011 Festival. MIFFF produces the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival, the premier Pacific Northwest weekend long event devoted towards independent and international genre film making. The event was created to offer exposure to films that traditionally are overlooked by the festival circuit from genres including action, animation, fantasy, horror, and science fiction. The "early bird" submission deadline is for entries is May 23 and the regular submission deadline is June 27 so get to shooting, editing and submitting. MIFFF takes place on September 16-18, 2011 at SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall. For additional information, or to submit your short or feature-length production for consideration, you may visit the MIFFF website at the link above.

Bumbershoot on Facebook
Each day at noon, Bumbershoot has been announcing one artist a day via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. This will continue throughout May until the full schedule is announced on June 1. Earlier this week, the music and arts festival revealed renowned legends of quirk-rock The Presidents of the United States of America. The band has been confirmed for this year's lineup, joining the ranks of Seattle acts Minus the Bear and The Lonely Forest. You can watch the classic music video for "Peaches" from the hometown heroes here, and check the link above to see all the acts playing the festival revealed thus far.

Wild Mind Film Camp
The Northwest Film Forum Board Vice President and documentary filmmaker Peter J. Vogt is teaming up with documentary superstar Doug Pray and Oscar Award winning cinematographer Shana Hagan for an innovative 9 day course in documentary filmmaking. The Wild Mind Film Camp runs from July 8-17 in the lush and verdant Methow Valley of Washington State. Renowned director Peter J. Vogt created the jazz documentary Icons Among Us, Doug Pray has immense documentary experience as the filmmaker behind Hype!, Art & Copy, Surfwise and Scratch and Shana Hagan has lent her cinematography expertise on documentary films such as This Film is Not Yet Rated, After Innocence and many more. Check out the Wild Mind Film Camp website at the link above and sign up for an unforgettable summer session of documentary filmmaking workshops with some of the best in the business.

NW Film Forum Calendar
Established Seattle jazz singer and harpist Barbara Ireland's first career was as an award-winning film director, with films that have often been compared to David Lynch and Federico Fellini. On Wednesday, June 1, Ireland is releasing a DVD collection of her strangest and most mesmerizing short films and the Northwest Film Forum is hosting the release party. Cast members in Ireland's films include Michael J. Anderson from Twin Peaks, Paula the Swedish Housewife, Sky Cries Mary and old-school Seattle punk rockers. Ireland says she also has 'secret plans' to make this an event you won't want to miss. Click on the link above for more details on Barbara Ireland's film and music careers and the DVD release party at the Northwest Film Forum.

Greg Vandy of KEXP's The Roadhouse radio show produced a short documentary film on old time folk musician Frank Fairfield. Working with director Austin Wilson, the co-founder and creative director of the Seattle based video based production company More Dust Than Digital, the team divulges into the life and mind of a young musician with of a love of 78RPM records and "eternal" music. Their film has been accepted by South By Southwest, Indie Grits Film Fest Festival, Memphis International Film Festival, LA Film + Music Festival and will screen at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 29 and 30. The short documentary will be screened as part of the festival with the movie Surrogate Valentine. You can watch the official trailer here. Click the link above to learn more about the film, Frank Fairfield and the SIFF 2011 screening.

SWASS Kickstarter
If you can remember the all encompassing acronym/adjective "SWASS" and even incorporated it into your everyday speech at one time in your life, then you are a true OG of Seattle hip-hop history. SWASS was the platinum album from Sir Mix a-Lot released in 1988 on Seattle's NastyMix Records. SWASS is also is a brand new documentary film on Seattle's hip-hop scene both past and present. The film is an in-depth look at the struggling hip-hop community in the Seattle area told through interviews by the hip-hop artists themselves. The doc features interviews and clips of live performances from Sir Mix a-Lot, Blue Scholars, Macklemore, Vitamin D, Jake One, Massive Monkees, Larry Mizell, The Emerald Street Boys, Grynch, D-Black, Bean One, Silver Shadow D, One B Lo, DJ B-Mellow, Lace Cadence, DJ Scene, BYC, B-Boy Orb, Alpha P, Thee Satisfaction, Mad Rad, Charles Mudede, Champagne Champagne, Hella Dope, Big World Breaks, Dyme Def, Grey Skul, Kevin Gardner, Yirim Seck, King Khazm, Gaberiel Teodros, Amos Miller, Obese Productions, Sam Chesneau, Soul Gorilla, DJ Marc Sense, Canary Sing and many more Seattle hip-hop staples. The documentary addresses the music scene as well as the outside factors that affect it, such as demographics and the economy of the city. What is the Seattle sound, where has it been, where is it going? More than anything this film is a reflection of the community, a means to prompt discussion, and our way of giving back. Click the "Seattle Kickstarter" buttons for information on how you can support this and other local Kickstarter projects.

TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 5/11 - 5/17
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).

  1. Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"
  2. Head and the Heart - "Head and the Heart"
  3. Brandi Carlile - "Live at Benaroya Hall"
  4. Lonely Forest - "Arrows"
  5. My Goodness - "My Goodness"
  6. Cave Singers - "No Witch"
  7. Pearl Jam - "Vs./Vitalogy"
  8. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
  9. Shabazz Palaces - "Palaces of Light"
  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:

Abundant Productions "Stop Requested"
Abundant Productions
Abundant Productions is a local production company that produces features, TV and Web series, shorts, commercials, and industrials, including this month's "Stop Requested." The metaphysical suspense thriller follows a troubled woman named Jess, who is haunted by her past and sensitivity to the spiritual realm that she attempts to silence with prescription drugs.

"This film is a testament to true indie collaboration," says director Ben Andrews. Head writer Ben James continues, "We intend to change the way indie films are made in Seattle."

The production is hiring over 25 local cast and crew, and is filming in numerous Seattle and regional locations.

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.

Harry in Your Pocket (1973)
Like Cinderella Liberty and McQ, Harry in Your Pocket captures that early seventies Seattle vibe. As a matter of fact, Harry shares some locations with those other films and the trio forms a nice time capsule of Seattle back before it became the high-tech, happening place it is today. James Coburn stars as a master pickpocket named Harry who has the annoying habit of referring to himself in third person. His longtime partner in crime is an elderly fellow named Casey played by Walter Pidgeon (who practically steals the show). When we first meet these two they are at the Sea-Tac Airport hanging around one of the gates. Harry has an elegant room in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (it was just called The Olympic Hotel back in '73) with a great view of Elliott Bay and downtown Seattle. Harry and Casey soon make the acquaintance of two younger pickpocket wanna-be's named Ray (Michael Sarrazin) and Sandy (Trish Van Devere). We are introduced to Ray and Sandy at Union Station, which is looking pretty sharp even though it was on the verge of being shut down. Harry and Casey take Ray and Sandy under their wing and begin an intensive pickpocket training session in Seattle. The gang practices their trade around Belltown, Downtown, Occidental Park and Pioneer Square. There's lots of vintage Seattle in the background during this portion of the film and Wesley Uhlman (former Seattle mayor) even has a cameo as a potential mark. And what Seattle crime spree would be complete without a ride on the monorail to the Seattle Center? Eventually the thieves start to feel the heat and leave town. First they take a ferry up to Victoria and the gang ends up in Salt Lake City for the film's finale. Harry in Your Pocket is a quirky seventies film with lots of strengths (like Walter Pidgeon and all the great Seattle footage) and some significant weaknesses (wooden acting and an overbearing Lalo Schifrin score). It's clear that the film's director (Bruce Geller, perhaps best known for creating the Mission: Impossible TV series) was inspired by European films like Pickpocket but he's no Bresson. For years Harry in Your Pocket was a hard film to track down but a DVD was recently released as part of MGM's Limited Edition Collection. --Spenser Hoyt


The Junction
The West Seattle Summer Fest has booked some great musical acts in recent years. Two years ago, local rock stalwarts Mudhoney took the stage, while last year's headliner Hells Belles attracted a record number of attendees to the annual summer event. This year, the West Seattle Summer Fest announced that legendary punk band The Fastbacks will reunite for the 29th annual festival. It will mark the first time in 10 years that members Kurt Bloch, Lulu Gargiulo, Kim Warnick and Mike Musburger have shared a stage. Warnick, bassist and lead vocalist of The Fastbacks, recently told The Junction, "I still cherish those songs so much so that I am willing to re-learn them all." Musburger, one several drummers that has played with the band over they years, also chimed in and said, "I never thought I'd get the chance to play these songs again with Kurt, Lulu, AND Kim. They have about 15 other drummers they could've asked to be part of this reunion. It will be an absolute joy and honor to be on stage with The Fastbacks at the West Seattle Summer Fest." The free and family-friendly festival takes place July 8-10, with more musical guests to be announced along the way.

Yes, How to Die in Oregon is the name of a documentary playing at SIFF this year. But it could very well refer to arthouse cinemas in the aforementioned state too, as a recent article in IFC noted. As large movie theater chains like AMC and Regal move toward being almost completely digital by 2012, the effect trickles down to smaller mom and pop theaters as well. The outcome is that fewer 35 mm prints will be made because the majority of projectors at big theaters are digital, leaving independent operations that can't afford a digital projection system (which can cost nearly $60,000) in the lurch. In Portland, a locally-made film called Cold Weather wasn't able to screen at an independent theater because it was shot entirely on digital with no print in existence. Additionally, the city recently saw the grand opening of Living Room Theaters, a six-screen joint that touts itself as the first all-digital cinema in the U.S. But all is not lost for diehard cinephiles. The article points out that successful independent theaters have built a solid community of filmgoers and offer quirky and comfortable amenities like beer and high-end snacks, in addition to creative and eclectic programming. To read more about the debate over digital, click the link above.

Eyes In Magazine
What if the ideal life you've always dreamed of already happened? This is the story that unfolds in director Chad Ruin's film A Perfect Life. Shot entirely in Tacoma with local cast and crew, the film will have its world premiere at the Park City Film Music Festival before having its Northwest premiere at Seattle's True Independent Film Festival (STIFF) in June. A Perfect Life follows down-and-out drunk Brian as he recounts the wonderful life he once had: a wife, two beautiful daughters, and a career as an architect. As Brian tells his tale to anyone who will listen (waitresses, street musicians, fellow transients), it becomes clear that a horrible occurrence turned his life upside down forever. It's a thematically dark yet beautifully shot film that does not sugarcoat the protagonist's pain. Ruin, who also wrote the script for A Perfect Life, is well-known for his edgy photography and has exhibited works alongside artists like Marilyn Manson and HR Giger. He makes his directorial debut with A Perfect Life, which stars Joe Rosati and Ashley Cozine. Check out the link above to learn more about the film and Ruin.

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

Newsletter submission guidelines