|News from the Office of Film + Music
INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES
KOMO NEWS CHALLENGES LAW MAKERS WITH SUCCESS OF FILM INCENTIVES
Four feature films are finishing up production in Seattle this summer. KOMO News reports that these might be the last big movie projects our city sees if lawmakers do not renew the state film incentive. Efforts to renew the incentive died in the state legislature earlier this year. KOMO's Elisa Jaffe talked to members of the creative team behind the film Fat Kid Rules the World, which just wrapped filming around Seattle last week. They agreed that the film incentive brought this project to Seattle, and that the lack of an incentive program will push future work over to Portland or Vancouver, B.C. Washington Filmworks, the state's nonprofit film office, will lobby again to renew the incentive during the 2012 legislative session. "This program gave out $14 million, actually got $54 million in direct spending in this state," said Amy Lillard, executive director of Washington Filmworks. "So the return on the investment is very clear."
SIFF REVIVES THE UPTOWN THEATER
The Seattle Times
SIFF announced this week that it will take over the Uptown Theater's lease for the next five years. The organization will move operations of SIFF Cinema (currently occupying a leased space at McCaw Hall) to the saved theater and rename it SIFF Cinema at the Uptown. Deborah Person, managing director of SIFF, described the decision as a move to keep up with the type of programming SIFF wants to entertain. "We have more interest than we have capacity right now for use of SIFF Cinema," said Person. "A lot of individual filmmakers or groups want to show films and we can't currently accommodate all the people who are interested."
BUMBERSHOOT MUSIC LOUNGE OFFERS FESTIVAL GOERS EVEN MORE MUSIC
The Bumbershoot Festival takes music to a whole other playing field with the Bumbershoot Festival Music Lounge. Only a number of select attendees will be lucky enough to hear music from artists like Shabazz Palaces, Phantogram, Toro y Moi, Mad Rad and many more. KEXP hosts this exclusive event which has provided guests with no less than some of the most unforgettable to grace the labor-day-weekend festival. Space is limited, so if you already own a Bumbershoot ticket, sign up for the show of your choice on KEXP's website.
NFFTY RECEIVES GRANT FROM HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION
On August 4th, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that it awarded a record $1.5 million in grants to passionate film-related organizations and charities. One such recipient was NFFTY/The Talented Youth for our Youth Filmmaking Excellence project that brings film-bound Seattle middle and high schoolers together to learn about editing, cinematography, writing and production design, and ultimately creating films. Other fortunate recipients included the Sundance Institute, the Film Foundation, and numerous universities.
WARNER BROS PICKS UP MOVIE RIGHTS FOR LOCALLY-MADE COMIC
Nonplayer, a comic written and illustrated by former video game concept artist Nate Simpson, will soon be getting a motion picture makeover. Warner Bros recently bought the rights to Simpson's work, with acclaimed producers David Heyman (best known for the Harry Potter films) and Roy Lee (The Ring, The Departed) on board. Nonplayer is about a young woman named Dana Stevens who escapes the humdrum of everyday life by immersing herself in a digital fantasy world called Jarvath, where she morphs into a fearless warrior.
SOUTH LAKE UNION BLOCK PARTY IS THIS FRIDAY
South Lake Union Block Party
The 7th annual South Lake Union Block Party takes place this Friday with the promise of free admission, Cinema on the Lawn, and mouth-watering food and drink from local eateries like 13 Coins, Lunchbox Laboratory, and some of the city's most popular food trucks. An outdoor screening of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World starts at dusk. An estimated 7,500 people are expected to attend the neighborhood celebration, and all proceeds will go to YouthCare and FareStart.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: BALL OF WAX 26
Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly
Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly is seeking submission for its 26th volume, which will be a tribute to the American folk music. Interested contributors are should submit new versions of folk songs featured on any volume of the Anthology of American Folk Music, which includes artists such as Henry Thomas, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and the Memphis Jug Band. Although folk music is the focus, musicians of all backgrounds are encouraged to experiment and contribute. Ball of Wax was created in 2005 by Seattle artist Levi Fuller and focuses on showcasing a diverse set of artists from the Pacific Northwest and across the United States.
BUNGIE MARKS 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH DOCUMENTARY FILM
O Brave New World is a nearly hour-long documentary about the Seattle-based company Bungie, which is famous for creating the Halo franchise for Microsoft's Xbox. The behind-the-scenes film celebrates the 20th anniversary of the game studio and takes viewers on a journey through the roots of the company, the creation of the wildly successful Halo games, and concludes at present-day with hints at Bungie's new project with Activision.
THE RECORDING ACADEMY SEEKS GRAMMY U REPRESENTATIVES
GRAMMY U is looking for a college representative to work in the Pacific Northwest Chapter office and assist in a variety of tasks. The program is intended to give students the opportunity to meet industry professionals and gain a better understanding of careers in the recording business. Duties include campus visits and presentations, educational programs, membership recruitment and retention, marketing/PR, and administrative office support. Applicants must currently be enrolled in college, display an interest in music, possess strong leadership and verbal abilities, be computer literate, and have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
HOLLOW EARTH RADIO HOSTS LOW POWER FM COMMUNITY RADIO WORKSHOP
Hollow Earth Radio
Kicking around the idea of starting your very own radio station? The local Community Radio Act has recently been approved and can open doors to many possibilties. Jeff Rousset from Seattle's Prometheus Radio Project invites you out to a free workshop this Wednesday, August 10 at Hollow Earth Radio headquarters. The gathering will provide information on how to petition the FCC for low power community radio stations here in Seattle. On top of hearing from an expert, you'll likely also meet locals with an identical passion!
HIGHLINE MUSIC4LIFE RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM HIGHLINE SCHOOLS FOUNDATION
Music4Life, a music education project started by Rotary clubs in the greater Seattle area, expanded to the Highline community in May. The objective of the community-wide program is to provide musical instruments and supplies to the school district's low-income students. Highline Music4Life has received support from a variety of community organizations, and the Highline Schools Foundation is the newest addition to that group. "We are so impressed with the work that Highline Music4Life is doing to help get instruments into our schools," said the Ashley Fosberg, the Foundation's Executive Director. Highline Music4Life aims to raise the number of fifth and sixth graders in the school district participating in music programs from 24 to 40 percent.
LOCAL BAND SCORES DEAL WITH MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Just one month after performing on the Showbox at the Market stage for the first time, Hot Bodies in Motion will be heard on an even bigger platform. Lionsgate Entertainment has commissioned Hot Bodies in Motion to create and record an original song for their soon-to-be released film Abduction, which stars Taylor Lautner, Alfred Molina, Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs, and Sigourney Weaver. The four-man band was sent into a recording studio for three days and emerged touting an original cinematic piece that will be used in the movie. Catch Abduction in theaters soon and see Motion meet motion picture.
KEXP SEEKING SOFTWARE ENGINEER
If you are a music lover and software geek, this position is perfect for you. KEXP is looking for someone to fill the software engineer shoes at the station. Any tech-savvy individuals who are literate website builders and maintainers should apply. Help keep our beloved KEXP a vibrant, thriving radio station-on both the air and the internet!
HELP "KICKSTART" SEATTLE FILM AND MUSIC PROJECTS
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.
Israel as seen through a different lens - 8/10 (2 Hours Left)
Phase 3 of 100% OFF: A Recession-Era Romance - 8/12 (48 Hours Left)
A Window - An Experimental Feature Film - 8/15 (5 Days Left)
Roman Holiday's 2011 Fall Tour- 8/15 (5 Days Left)
Sea of Tears - Jessica Ketola's debut album - 8/17 (6 Days Left)
"Highlander: Dark Reckoning" - 8/16 (6 Days Left)
Make In Cahoots Full Length Album A Reality! - 8/17 (7 Days Left)
The Truth Cabin: A gonzo journalism meditation on a NFL Star - 8/21 (10 Days Left)
REMEMBER JIMI - a film about the fans of Jimi Hendrix - 8/26 (15 Days Left)
All On A Winter's Day: Short Film and Music Video for Tomten - 8/26 (15 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).
- Jesse Sykes - "Marble Son"
- Head and the Heart - "Head and the Heart"
- Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"
- Shabazz Palaces - "Black Up"
- Eddie Vedder - "Ukelele Songs"
- Star Anna - "Alone In This Together"
- Death Cab for Cutie - "Codes and Keys"
- Blue Scholars - "Cinemetropolis"
- Eddie Vedder - "Into the Wind"
- Macklemore/Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
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:
Hayley Young Photography's "AgesandAges Music Video"
Hayley Young Photography
Local photographer Hayley Young, who is also the photo editor of Seattle Magazine, was tapped to shoot a music video for Portland-based band AgesandAges. Young has captured many bands on film for clients including Barsuk Records and Fuzed Music. The video will be a series of takes presented in a single-take form of the band walking through a choreographed group of extras from both the 619 Western Building and Seattle's Flash Mob community set in front of the historic rise of artist studios.
"Human beings working collectively have always been a large source of inspiration for my work, both in still photography and my recent exploration into motion," said Young. "Seattle's creative community is ripe with artistic and collaborative energy, and the support offered from Seattle's Film and Music office has been incredibly appreciated."
Young's studio is among many that will be lost if and when the 619 Western Buildingis torn down along with the Alaskan Way Viaduct. About 70 local crew and talent were cast for the video.
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.
Rock Star (2001)
Rock Star's premise was inspired by Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, who left the band in 1992 and was replaced by a singer from a Judas Priest cover band. This take on the fawning-to-fame story begins with die-hard metal fan Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg), singer for a tribute band (not cover band, he claims vehemently) for his beloved metal band Steel Dragon. Jennifer Aniston plays Emily, the band's manager and Chris' devoted girlfriend. All seems to be going well until Rob (Timothy Olyphant) kicks Chris out because everyone else wants to start playing original songs. Not long afterwards, Steel Dragon's Kirk Cuddy (Dominic West, sporting a stellar hair metal wig) calls with the opportunity of a lifetime. Chris is rebranded as "Izzy" and he and Emily dive right into the rock & roll lifestyle. Wahlberg certainly looks the part, spending most of the film clad in leather pants and jacket (no shirt!), with long unkempt hair and several applications of mascara. Despite his previous music career, Wahlberg doesn't do his own singing but the metal veterans that make up the backing bands provide an authentically raunchy sound. The cast, especially Timothy Spall as band wrangler Mats, do their best with a script that leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, Aniston gets most of the best lines and delivers them with charming sarcasm. But when will we get to Seattle? After a year or so of cocaine and orgies, Emily decides she's going to come here to start a business (we're not told what), and she and Chris amicably make plans to meet when the tour comes her way. But when Steel Dragon arrives Emily finds Chris so out of it that he doesn't even realize he's in Seattle (maybe because the scene was actually shot in L.A.) and she dumps him on the spot. Several months and introspective conversations later, Chris decides to quit to find his voice and hands the mic off mid-concert to a protégé in the crowd (the rest of the band seems to have no problem with this whatsoever). Our first glimpse of Seattle is around Eastlake on a typical gray day. He walks to Emily's coffee shop (smart move, Em!). The café itself is in L.A. but to be fair, the scene does have a Seattle feel by having him standing in the rain while gazing at her through the window. The best view of town comes when Chris reunites with Rob in Victor Steinbrueck Park by Pike Place Market. Emily quickly crosses the bricks at 1st and Pike when she spies a poster for Chris' show, then ends up at the club (yet another L.A. location) where they tearfully embrace. Maybe it was a scheduling problem, but to not take advantage our wealth of excellent coffee shops and music venues seems like a completely wasted opportunity. Director Stephen Herek must have seen something he liked here; he soon returned to Seattle to shoot Life or Something Like It.
THE NEW YORK TIMES EXAMINES HOW KICKSTARTER IS CHANGING THE WAY ART IS BEING FUNDED
The New York Times
The online artist fund-raising site Kickstarter, which has raised over $75 million for 10,626 "creative projects," is undoubtedly altering the degree to which uncountable ideas grow to be a reality. The simple desire to hold a concert in New Orleans, but held back by a fear of losing money, set the fund raising platform in motion. Chief Executive Perry Chen was dubious in the initial stages because he lacked experience with arts organizations, fund-raising, or technology. Nevertheless, this influential web-based money-maker has proven to be a goldmine for artists around the world. Online "crowd funding" (as the concept has recently been coined) is a leading example of the democratization of technology today. Where will the internet, artists, and money take us next?
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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