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News from the Office of Film + Music 7/20/2011


Sorayya is a born and raised product of Seattle's eastside, Kirkland. After receiving her Father's 35 mm, 1970s Nikon at the ripe old age of fifteen, she had no idea the countless hours she would spend locked away in a dark room. Her love affair with photography morphed into a zealous relationship with filmmaking, and while double-majoring in Urban Planning and Environmental Studies at the University of Washington, she managed to dupe professors into permitting her to produce documentaries in place of posters and reports. This ruse led her to a stint at an environmental education camp on Bainbridge Island, IslandWood, where she teamed up with the media department to create a couple of promotional flicks, and later a short documentary centered on urban teens. This week she wrapped filming on an independent, low-budget romantic-comedy aptly named 100% Off: A Recession-Era Romance, a project that consumed her for nearly 20 hours a day for 36 days straight. Aside from regaining her sanity and transcending her sleep-deprived stupor, she enjoys listening to Scandinavian musicians and rocking out to local artists at concerts, running marathons, and drinking her famous apple-cider-vinegar concoction. She is ecstatic to be the newest member at the Office of Film + Music.

Seattle Office of Film + Music
The Office of Film + Music monthly Happy Hour offers an environment for people from the industries of film, music and digital media to socialize, network and build a unified community. This month's Happy Hour is July 27 from 5:00 - 7:00 at Spitfire in Belltown. We'll be taking a hiatus in August and will return in September with an improved Happy Hour experience! Get ready for a new format involving guest speakers, a focused theme for each month, more involved integration of our three industries, and a brand new look to boot. We aim to continue making Happy Hour an event that everyone looks forward to each month. See you next week, Seattle!


Creative Cities
Creative Cities International, a New York-based innovative urban development company, released its Vitality Index rankings for the top U.S. cities. Seattle stands strong at number 3, preceded by New York and Chicago and followed by San Francisco and Boston. The variables are based on factors ranging from economic development to what city-dwellers deem exciting in their hometown. The creative, cultural and economic strengths a city flaunts are key aspects in the assessment, as well as the more nebulous variable that considers the "energy" of a place. The index hopes to encourage policy-makers to focus on choices that enrich the lives of residents.

Located in Capitol Hill, Cairo is a music venue, record label, silkscreening studio and retail store. You can also catch film screenings, dance performances and experimental theater pieces on occasion. Since 2008 Cairo has also hosted the EXPO festival, which showcases new and culturally relevant art. This year they are looking to expand EXPO into an all-day local art and music showcase called Cairo Day Party. Cairo Day Party is still looking for community partners to help sponsor event. Contact to inquire about becoming a community partner.

Seattle Channel is looking for a Public Affairs Producer/Host for three different programs. The first, "City Inside/Out," is a weekly taped show that cover important local issues. "Ask the Mayor" is a monthly live call-in show with Mayor Mike McGinn. Lastly, "City Inside/Out: Council Edition" is a monthly program featuring Seattle City Councilmembers. Applicants must be able to commit to a one-year contract, which is subject to renewal. A strong understanding of regional politics, experience moderating live discussions, ability to field produce feature segments, and 5 years or more of television reporting and producing experience is desired.

Do you remember your first time at Bumbershoot? Do you have an exciting or funny memory of meeting a Bumbershoot artist? The annual music and arts festival is seeking the best anecdotes culled from Bumbershoot fans and will post the best of the best on the BumberDiaries website. To give you an idea of a great story, BumberDiaries currently has some first-hand accounts from Visqueen frontwoman Rachel Flotard, Fly Moon Royalty's Adra Boo, KEXP's John Richards, Kris Orlowski, and The Lonely Forest's Tony Ruland. If you do submit a Bumbershoot story, you could also be chosen to win a pair of platinum passes for the festival.


Kickstarter is an online "crowd-funding" resource that helps musicians, filmmakers and producers of artistic projects reach out to friends and fans for financial support. Kickstarter allows artists the opportunity to give back to funders with special rewards, such as an exclusive album pre-release, a producer credit in a film, or even getting to meet the artist in person. Seattle is a hotbed for film and music projects, and you can be a pivotal part of the production process by backing a project and spreading the word. Current Seattle-based Kickstarter projects are listed below ordered by time remaining. Click on the Kickstarter buttons to check out these local projects and discover even more happening around Seattle.

Hendrix Documentary - 7/27 (6 Days Left)
Music Education For All - 7/28 (7 Days Left)
"Darkest Hour"- 7/28 (7 Days Left)
To Paint the Sky's Next EP - 7/30 (9 Days Left)
Marcus D "Melancholy Hopeful" - 7/31 (10 Days Left)
"Single In Seattle" - 8/1 (11 Days Left)
"Dad and I" - 8/1 (12 Days Left)
Southside Album "Science Diction" - 8/2 (12 Days Left)
"Glacial Balance" - 8/2 (13 Days Left)
The Tempers "Vol. 2 EP" - 8/3 (13 Days Left)

TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 7/13 - 7/19
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).

  1. Shabazz Palaces - "Black Up"
  2. Eddie Vedder - "Ukelele Songs"
  3. Head and the Heart - "Head and the Heart"
  4. Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"
  5. Star Anna - "Alone In This Together"
  6. Death Cab for Cutie - "Codes and Keys"
  7. Grand Hallway - "Winter Creature"
  8. Blue Scholars - "Cinemetropolis"
  9. Macklemore/Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
  10. Star Anna - "The Only Thing That Matters"

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:

"Fat Kid Rules the World"
Fat Kid Rules the World on Facebook

Based on the bestselling young adult novel by K.L. Going, Fat Kid Rules the World is slated to film through early August at various locations around Seattle. The film, marking the directorial debut of actor Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo, Scream, SLC PUNK!), follows the troubled teenager Troy Billings (Jacob Wysocki). Overweight and lonely, Troy attempts to end his life but is saved by Marcus Macrae (Matt O'Leary), a charismatic punk rock musician with troubles of his own. The two form an unexpected and symbiotic relationship that changes both of their lives.

"We made the choice to film Fat Kid in Seattle because of its substantial production incentives and an exceptional film crew with a track record for making outstanding independent films," says Directory Matthew Lillard. "We could have shot in other states but eventually we chose to spend our money in Washington and we couldn't be happier. We're making a fantastic little movie because of the craftsmen in this city. We'll be back, if the city will have us and the State incentive is recovered."

"When we first met Jacob Wysocki on the short film version of Fat Kid, which we shot up here in Seattle last fall, we knew instantly that he could embody the character of Troy like no one else," said Whitewater Films' Rick Rosenthal. "Playing the role of Marcus, Matt O'Leary displays an intensity and a natural grace that puts him right up there with the best actors of his generation. And Billy Campbell, as Mr. Billings, brings a range of experience that well reflects the complex character he plays in the film. In short, it's just an amazing cast."

Fat Kid Rules the World is working with numerous local vendors, has hired more than 40 local crew members, and has cast 30 actors from the local talent pool.

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.

Prefontaine (1997)

Jared Leto (post-My So-Called Life, pre-30 Seconds to Mars rockstardom) dons a 70s mustache, sideburns, and a blond mop of hair to play legendary runner Steve Prefontaine in this serviceable biopic. Hoop Dreams director Steve James begins the film documentary-style with talking head interviews from the actors as the real-life people they are playing, already hinting at the tragedy that befalls the gifted runner (Prefontaine died in a car accident at the age of 24). During his childhood in Coos Bay, Oregon, Prefontaine is discouraged from most every other sport. He takes up track, and although he doesn't have the ideal runner's physique he stubbornly runs his way to stardom in high school. He ends up at the University of Oregon under the tutelage of Bill Dellinger (Ed O'Neill) and famous coach/future Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman (R. Lee Ermey, who we first see making a shoe sole with a waffle iron). There he really hits his stride (so to speak), breaking records, building up notoriety, and blazing a trail straight to the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Underneath Prefontaine's boasts and brags lies a profound fear of failure; he won't even let a kid finish in front of him because "I have to win." Leto does fine with Prefontaine's bravado, but the moments where he's supposed to be vulnerable fall a bit flat. The blame lies mostly with the script, as the dialogue does more telling than showing and often feels forced. On the plus side, O'Neill and Ermey do well as good coach/bad coach, and Ermey is always effective when shouting taunts and orders. As far as Northwest locations are concerned, Tacoma's University of Puget Sound stars as late 60s/early 70s University of Oregon. When Prefontaine and his fellow Olympians finally get to Germany, Husky Stadium stands in for the Olympiastadion. Parts of the film were shot in Olympia according to the Internet Movie Database (I lived there when they were filming it and if memory serves a friend's car was enrolled as an extra), but I couldn't find a single shot that I recognized from our state capitol. Thought it's in disguise as "The Paddock," the most obvious Seattle landmark is erstwhile Fremont watering hole Buckaroo Tavern, where fans gather to watch Prefontaine run his Olympic race. When Prefontaine returns home after his disappointing run in Munich he tells his girlfriend, "They might even name a street after me: Fourth Street." I was surprised to learn Seattle's Prefontaine Place wasn't named after him, but I imagine the Prefontaine Drive in Coos Bay is. --Jen Koogler


Seattle may stereotypically be defined by Birkenstocks and grunge rock, but the past decade has seen a changing backdrop in at least the world of music. With artists sprouting from Seattle like Sir Mix-A-Lot, Blue Scholars, and Macklemore, hip-hop has made a monumental impact on the local music scene. However, what exactly defines Seattle hip-hop? How will our local hip-hop artists fare in a place that indisputably holds the roots of grunge? Larry Mizzell, Jonathan Moore, and The Seattle Times' Andrew Matson assembled on KUOW's "Weekday" to discuss a city that has made room for an uncharacteristic genre.

Gearing up for this weekend's Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP), SPIN has hand picked 6 Northwest bands playing the three-day festival that music-lovers should keep their eyes and ears on. Of the 70 plus bands playing the CHBP, the majority call Seattle their home. Some favorites pointed out by SPIN include the garage-influenced duo My Goodness, electronic wunderkinds Beat Connection, and the rollicking acoustic trio Ravenna Woods.

Seattle Office of Film + Music Staff
James Keblas, Director
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator
Rachel White, Music + Nightlife Program Coordinator
Tiffany Wan, Intern
Sorayya Aminian, Intern

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