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News from the Office of Film + Music 5/25/2011


Hard Rock Cafe
The Seattle Tour of Music
Seattle City of Music
In partnership with the Seattle Office of Film + Music and the Seattle Music Commission, the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle will serve as the City of Music's Rock Ambassador. Now visitors can pick up a brochure at the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle's Rock Shop that introduces some of the city's top live music venues. Additionally, visitors can book The Seattle Tour of Music at the cafe. Hosted by White Moustache Urban Adventure Company, the two-hour tour takes guests through the streets of Seattle to see where legends created the music that made our city famous. Featured musicians include Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Heart, Pearl Jam, Ray Charles, and more. At the end of the tour, guests will return to the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle and view memorabilia specific to the Seattle music scene. "We love that people who come to the Hard Rock Caf will learn about Seattle's history of music before going to see history in the making at our live-music venues," said Mayor Mike McGinn. The City of Music Initiative was conceived in October 2008, its purpose being to honor Seattle's rich music history, to celebrate its ongoing importance to the city's economy and culture, and to further enhance Seattle's renowned music culture. The initiative is led by the 21-member Seattle Music Commission and strives to grow Seattle as a city of musicians, live music, and music business by creating action that enhances the climate for the music industry. Click the links above to learn more about the Hard Rock Cafe, The Seattle Tour of Music, and the City of Music Initiative.

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. There are two compelling reasons not to miss tonight's event. First, come welcome the return of Office of Film + Music director James Keblas! James recently returned to the office from a paternity leave and is ecstatic to rejoin the happy hour fold. Second, SIFF will be doing an exclusive ticket giveaway for Happy Hour attendees! Don't miss your chance at snagging free tickets to the biggest film festival in the country!See you there Seattle!


Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra Blog
Student participants in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) Jazz Scholars Program will cap off a school year full of musical exploration with a joint performance featuring Denny International Middle School and Sealth High School students. The concert will take place Friday, May 27 at 7 PM in the auditorium at Sealth High School. The SRJO scholars (who come from a low-income background) were selected by Denny International Middle School band director Marcus Pimpleton to receive jazz technique and instrumental music lessons. Six professional music instructors, all of whom perform extensively in the Seattle area, work with the students individually and in groups to develop "best practices" for music training. TheSRJO Jazz Scholars Program is supported by grants from The Clowes Fund and the City of Seattle Office of Cultural Affairs Youth Arts Program. Click the link above for more information about SRJO and the Jazz Scholars Program.

Seattle Composers Alliance
The worlds of music and film are set to collide spectacularly at the Seattle Composer Alliance's mixer next weekend. On Sunday, June 5, filmmakers and composers are invited to mix and mingle at Solo Bar at 3:00 PM. Have a film and need some musical accompaniment to make the project complete? Composed a piece that would sound even better set to visuals? Filmmakers who attend the mixer will receive an SCA thumb drive with music and bios of attending composers. The SCA represents composers from a variety of styles and backgrounds, including orchestral, jazz, world music, Latin, pop, rock, and much more. Members hail from around the country and the world even, with experience in independent films, major studio releases, games and television shows. This mixer is also made possible by collaborations with SIFF, Washington Filmworks and the Seattle Office of Film + Music. Click the link above for more information about SCA and how to register for the event.

Seattle Channel
Do you have strong managerial experience in the media field? Do you love engaging with the Seattle community? Are you able to remain non-partisan in a highly political environment? Consider joining the Emmy Award-winning staff at Seattle Channel. The city-run television station is looking for a general manager to run the operations at Seattle Channel and at Duties include strong leadership of staff, following policy objectives established by the Mayor and City Council, managing a $2.8 million annual budget, community outreach, overseeing a broad range of Seattle Channel programming (public affairs, neighborhoods, and arts), promoting civic engagement through technology, and much more. To read more about the responsibilities and qualifications for the position of General Manager at Seattle Channel, click the link above. Best of luck to all potential candidates!

Frenetic Productions
If the thought of living into your eighties is frightening, let Mel Anthony convince you otherwise. The 86-year-old subject of the film Smoke, Sand and Rubber is addicted to one thing: racing fast cars. Local filmmaker Greg Brotherton (Render Me Dead) documents Anthony as he joins a vintage racing club and gets behind the wheel of a midget race car for the first time in 54 years, with his son Dennis turning the wrenches. The film also features great archival footage of car racing in the 1940's and 1950's, plus commentary from both Mel and Dennis Anthony. The free world premiere screening will take place on Tuesday, May 31 at 7 PM at the Shoreline Community College Theater. Mel, Dennis, and Brotherton will be on hand for a Q&A afterward. Smoke, Sand and Rubber will screen with two other documentaries about racing in the Pacific Northwest. Click the link above to read more about the film and to watch a trailer.

Whether your film is in the can or merely a notion, it pays to know how to fund a production and find distribution. SIFF and Women in Film Seattle will host a free two-part forum to help filmmakers and others do just that! Titled "Finding Your Audience: Alternative Media Distribution and Crowd Sourcing for Cash" focuses on how to take advantage of diverse and alternative opportunities available to bring your vision to life. Learn how to find your audience, raise funds, and seek independent distributors from creative professionals currently doing it-and doing it right! The panelists include Sue Corcoran and Susan LaSalle (Ira Finkelstein's Christmas), Scilla Andreen (CEO & co-founder of, Kellie Ann Benz (publisher of The Shorts Report), Ward Serrill (Heart of the Game), and more! The forum will take place at the SIFF Film Center on Monday, May 30 at 1:00 PM. For more information about the event and SIFF, click the link above.

48 Hour Film Project Seattle
Do you have what it takes to shoot and edit an awesome short film in two days? The 48 Hour Film Project might just be the big opportunity you've been looking for. Since 2001 filmmakers in 80 cities on five different continents have been exercising their creativity to craft exciting and clever films in-you guessed it-48 hours or less. Participants are supplied with a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre (all chosen at random) that need to be included in their movie. After the allotted two days, all completed films will show at a local theater. For Seattleites, the early bird registration deadline is Monday, May 30. 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.

In conjunction with the Public Broadcasting's American Archive Project, KEXP is on a mission to preserve and account for its unique programming broadcast through KEXP and KCMU over the last 40 years. The station is asking all former volunteers, producers, DJs, staff, and listeners from the past and present to contribute any recordings of old KEXP and KCMU shows or in-studio performances. The more information about the recording, the better (date, show, DJ host, band performing, etc.). Specifically, past shows and live in-studio performances are the highest priority on the list. If you think you have some hidden treasures for KEXP's audio archiving project, contact Tilly Rodina at Check out the link above to learn more about the Public Broadcasting's American Archive Project and KEXP.

Slick Watts
To celebrate the release of the group's new conceptual album titled Cinemetropolis, local hip-hop duo Blue Scholars will premiere a short film for the first single off the ablum, "Slick Watts". Based on the former Sonics player turned Franklin High School basketball coatch, Watts himself stars in the video alongside MC Geologic and DJ/Producer Sabzi. The short also contains shout-outs to several distinct Seattle neighborhoods and fond references to Seattle's former basketball team. Fittingly, the short was directed by Jason Reid and the crew responsible for the award-winning documentary Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team, which retold the rich history of Seattle's basketball culture and the heartache of the Sonics' relocation to Oklahoma City in 2008. Visit the Blue Scholars' official website or the Sonicsgate official page to watch the short film for "Slick Watts." To read more about the Blue Scholars and Cinemetropolis, click the link above.

Loaded Pictures
The Telly Awards honor the best local, regional and cable television commercials and programs. They also pay tribute to great video and film productions created for the web. Local production company recently won a People's Choice Telly Award for the micro documentary Piano Pat. Directed by Matthew Clark, the short film follows legendary Montana lounge singer Pat Sponheim, who has been performing at the same venue in Great Falls since 1963. At 80 years old, Sponheim still plays four nights a week with no signs of slowing down. Her perseverance has garnered her cult status across the country. "Pat is a fascinating woman," said Clark about his experience filming Sponheim. "I've been wanting to tell her story, somehow, for years. Finally it presented itself in a way that we could easily do it and do it well." To watch Piano Pat in its entirety, click the link above.

Beyond Naked Kickstarter
Since the mid-90's, naked cyclists have been crashing Seattle's Solstice Parade in Fremont. The nude tradition has surprisingly stuck despite critics and naysayers. Filmmaker Dan McComb mines this quirky niche of Seattle culture in his first feature-lenght documentary, Beyond Naked. Throughout the film, McComb follows three bikers who are novices to the naked bike ride and the trepidations, challenges and transformative moments experienced by them along the way. The film also includes in-depth conversations with critics, fans and organizers of the naked ride, exploring our deep-rooted fear and fascination with nudity. "Deliberately breaking social conventions is scary, but liberating," says McComb, who is also an award-wining photojournalist. "Recognizing that much of what we do is a choice rather than an obligation can awaken us to our unexplored potential." Funds raised through the Kickstarter campaign will go toward renting cameras and stabilizers, purchasing hard drives, outfitting bikes for filming, feeding the crew, buying paint, sound gear, a radio-controlled helicopter, and hiring a broker to negotiate distribution. Keep an eye out for the Beyond Naked crew at the Solstice Parade on June 18 as they film the naked biker ride as it happens. 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 5/18 - 5/24
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. Cave Singers - "No Witch"
  5. Decemberists - "The King is Dead"
  6. Fleet Foxes - "Fleet Foxes"
  7. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
  8. Decemberists - "Live at Bull Moose"
  9. Cave Singers - "Welcome Joy"
  10. My Goodness - "My Goodness"

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:

"Safety Not Guaranteed"
The feature film Safety Not Guaranteed has entered its final week of filming. Directed by Colin Trevorrow (Gary: Under Crisis, Reality Show) and produced by Stephanie Langhoff (Perfect Stranger, The Do-Deca-Pentathalon), the story follows two magazine employees as they head out on an assignment to interview the writer of a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. Filming wraps this Friday after four weeks in Washington State. The production filmed extensively in Seattle, the Washington Coast, and the Puget Sound region.

"I cannot imagine a more perfect place to have made Safety Not Guaranteed than Seattle," says Langhoff. "I first spoke with our wonderful local producer Lacey Leavitt [The Off Hours, Blood On The Tracks] about three months ago and in that time she put together a crew of people whose experience, enthusiasm, creativity and professionalism have allowed us to make an ambitious film on a limited budget. We shot 24 locations in 32 days and each one was exactly what we needed, if not better than what we needed. I would come back to shoot here in a heartbeat."

Safety Not Guaranteed stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, and Kristen Bell. The production hired over 50 Washington State cast and crew, and was incentivized by the Washington Filmworks Film Incentive Program.

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.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Nora Ephron's decent but ultimately run-of-the-mill rom com is the most iconic Seattle movie since It Happened at The World's Fair. Tom Hanks is Sam Baldwin, a Chicago architect deep in mourning over the recent death of his wife. He and his eight year old son Jonah (Ross Malinger) seek a fresh start in Seattle, where they take up residency in a houseboat on Lake Union just south of the Aurora Bridge. Eighteen months later, it's Christmas Eve and Jonah calls a nationally syndicated advice show to say his dad needs a new wife. Their emotional story comes over the car radio of Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) a journalist engaged to allergy-ridden sad sack Walter (poor Bill Pullman). She's starting to realize he doesn't generate the butterflies you'd want from your betrothed, and her romance-starved brain becomes fixated on Sam's tale. One night while she and her best friend (Rosie O'Donnell) watch An Affair To Remember (Leo McCarey's 1957 weeper starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr), Annie gets hopped up on melodrama and writes Sam to propose they meet on Valentine's Day at the top of the Empire State Building, just like in the film. Jonah intercepts the letter and conspires to make it happen. Forty minutes in to all this we finally get our first real look at Seattle. Sam and his pal Jay (Rob Reiner) walk down First Avenue chatting about Sam's need to get out and meet women. They turn the corner on to Pine, where we get a nice shot of the water behind the Public Market sign as they pause by The Inn at The Market to check if Sam's rear end is hot or not. They lunch at historic Pike Place Market restaurant Lowell's while Jay fills him in on what's new in dating since the Carter administration. Meanwhile, Annie does some pre-Internet stalking via LexisNexis and then gets on a plane to Sea-Tac. Sam and Jonah are conveniently at Gate N7 upon her arrival. Sam's eyes lock on to her and the music lets us know there's magic in the air. Annie keeps Sam and Jonah under surveillance from her car on Westlake Avenue, driving across the Fremont Bridge as they go under it in a small motorboat. They travel to Alki (she was able to follow them through the Locks in a car?) where Annie lurks across the street while father and son frolic on the beach. Several misunderstandings and cross-country flights later, everyone ends up happily ever after in New York City. Ephron's screenplay relies too much on telling-not-showing the idea of "We want love to be like it is in the movies, but that's not possible in real life...OR IS IT?!?" But the Oscar nominated script does have its moments of truth, and Hanks and Ryan capably carry the film. Even if Sleepless in Seattle doesn't sweep everyone off their feet, we can all be grateful for the goodwill it continues to bring us and for keeping airport gift shops well stocked with sleepwear.
--Jen Koogler


City Arts Magazine
The month of May is swiftly coming to an end, and if you haven't check out this month's issue of City Arts Magazine then you're missing out on choice words about two local artists doing Seattle proud. Currently gracing the cover of the magazine is Shabazz Palaces, Seattle's critically acclaimed and enigmatic hip-hop group. In CityArts' lead story Ishmael Butler, the mind and voice behind Shabazz Palace's innovative grooves, talks about his previous musical endeavors (the Grammy-winning trio Digable Planets), creative motivations, growing up in Seattle, and the existential challenges of being an artist. Writer Jonathan Zwickel goes beyond Butler's own words and speaks with past collaborators, friends, and even an old high school basketball coach to piece together the history of the man behind Shabazz Palaces and to fathom how music has garnered so much local and international buzz. Also in the May issue of CityArts is an interview with local filmmaker Megan Griffiths, whose film The Off Hours is having its Seattle debut at SIFF. Griffiths discusses the time and effort that went into making The Off Hours, the film community in Seattle, and why she can't wait for her film to finally come home. Click the link above to read both articles in their entirety.

The Seattle Times
For many, the Sasquatch! Music Festival ranks among the must-see events to check out over Memorial Day Weekend. This year marks a historic turn for the locally-bred music festival for a couple reasons. For one, it's the first year that the festival has expanded to four days. Additionally, Sasquatch! is celebrating it's 10-year anniversary this year. That's big news for an event that's grown from a one-day festival to a nationally recognized and lauded festival attracting top-notch talent from around the world. Written by local author Charles R. Cross (founder of The Rocket and author of the Kurt Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven), the article profiles the festival and its founder Adam Zacks, who grew up in Olympia. It chronicles Zacks' career from college concert promoter to running the Roseland Theater in Portland. From there he took a job working for House of Blues in Seattle, where he organized the first Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2002. He now works for STG Presents and continues to put on Sasquatch!, growing the festival more and more each year. Nabbing awesome headlining bands is one thing, but it's the smaller acts at Sasquatch! that often thrive most at the festival. Says Zacks himself, "[Sasquatch! has] been a catalyst for music discovery, that has helped to foster this notion that it's cool to go see 15 bands you've never heard of before. By the end of the weekend, you have a new favorite band." Click the link above to read the full article.

Planet Money
Can a man be compared to a Snuggie? If you are musician and professional nerd Jonathan Coulton, the answer is yes. On the most recent Planet Money podcast, NPR Music's Frannie Kelly and Jacob Ganz profiled the computer programmer-turned-singer/songwriter, known for his idiosyncratic songs about white-collar zombies and lovesick programmers. Although Coulton is not signed to a record label, he still manages to rake in about $500,000 annually from his music. How does he do it? Coulton tours extensively, licenses his music, and sells songs and other merchandise from his comically simple website. The big question: Is Coulton's success the product of a perfect storm, or is he a new model of how to make a living as a musician? Kelly and Ganz seem convinced of the former, saying, "It's good for [Coulton], and it's not that good for everybody else. He's kind of like a Snuggie. He's a blanket with sleeves. We didn't know we wanted it, and then all of a sudden we did. And we were willing to pay a dollar and send it to all our friends." Click the link above to listen to the podcast and decide for yourself whether Coulton is a trailblazing internet pioneer or merely a Snuggie-type fluke.

Seattle Weekly
This year's Sasquatch! Music Festival sold out in a week. For those of us who weren't fortunate enough to snag a ticket, NPR and KEXP will be streaming a selection of performances live over Memorial Day Weekend. Both media outlets have vast experience broadcasting live performances, but KEXP executive director Tom Mara admits this will be a considerably huge undertaking. "This is the most ambitious live broadcast project we've taken on," said Mara to Seattle Weekly. Starting Friday, you can visit NPR's Live from Sasquatch page, use NPR Music's iPhone app, or visit the live music archive at KEXP's website to listen to sets by mainstage performers like Death Cab for Cutie, Foo Fighers, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and many more.

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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