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News from the Office of Film + Music 11/17/2010


OFFICE NEWS

SAVE THE DATE: HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR IS COMING SOON!
Happy Hour
Join us Wednesday, December 8, for the special Holiday edition of our monthly Film, Music and Digital Media Happy Hour! We are merging our November and December sessions into one festive networking extravaganza, complete with some special holiday-themed goodies in addition to our typical fare. The event will be held at Spitfire in Belltown (located at 2219 4th Avenue in between Blanchard and Bell) from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. We hope to see there!

INTERN WITH THE OFFICE OF FILM + MUSIC
Office of Film + Music

The Office of Film + Music is seeking an Intern for Winter 2011. Film + Music Interns primarily serve a marketing/communications role, becoming a member of the Film + Music team, and provide administrative support for the Office. The internship requires a six-month commitment and 40 hours of work per week. Prior background in film or music is not required, but candidates should have strong communication, writing and organizational/research skills. A small monthly stipend is provided. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 3 by 5:00 pm. For more information about the position, visit the above link or contact the current interns at filmandmusicoffice@seattle.gov

TALK ART AND COMMERCE WITH JAMES KEBLAS TOMORROW AT CITY BUSINESS CASUAL
Office of Economic Development

The Seattle Office of Economic Development hosts a monthly happy hour called City Business Casual. These monthly, informal gatherings provide the Seattle business community with regular, direct access to business-focused city officials, including influential city leaders and key department heads and representatives. The next City Business Casual will take place on Thursday, November 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Polar Bar in downtown Seattle. Special guests will be Seattle City Librarian Susan Hildreth, James Keblas, Director of the Office of Film + Music and Interim Director of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and Marco Lowe, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. No RSVP is required. See you there!

INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES

SHORELINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE ANNOUCES NEW DEGREE IN DIGITAL FILMMAKING
Shoreline Community College
Shoreline Community College (SCC) has just been approved to retool their Digital Filmmaking Technology certificate program into an Applied Associate of Arts degree. Compatible with other baccalaureate programs in the state, SCC's new degree in Digital Filmmaking features a unique hybrid curriculum, giving film students the option to earn general education and transfer credits while completing a professional-technical degree. "We wanted students to leave not only loving film and video but also having a good, strong academic background," program designer and instructor Ruth Gregory said of the new digital filmmaking degree. "We know that there are students who have been cheering [this] process on from the sidelines and we are excited to officially be able to share the degree with them." Information about the AA in Digital Filmmaking is already available on the SCC website, but the school is also hosting a kickoff information event Tuesday, November 16. For more information, follow the link.

AMAZON EMBARKS ON NEW FILM DEVELOPMENT VENTURE
LA Times
The world's largest online retailer is going Hollywood with the launch of Amazon Studios, a new website that lets users upload scripts, storyboards and sample films to be evaluated for production by a panel of film executives and experts. Work judged to be the most promising will then be taken to Warner Bros, with whom the Seattle-based company has signed a first-look deal in hopes of getting features made under the banner of Amazon Studios. Filmmaking aspirants who submit scripts and/or films to the site give Amazon implicit consent to option their work for 18 months; their submissions will also be opened up for review by other site users, who can comment, rate and even revise materials without permission from the original creator. "It's much easier now to make movies, but it's still as hard as ever to break into Hollywood," says Amazon Studios director Roy Price in an LA Times article. "We think we can play an interesting role in changing that." Accordingly, Amazon will reward contributors $200,000 if their submission is ultimately made into a studio-released film. The expert film judges enlisted for the Amazon Studios panel will also award monthly and yearly prizes to top-rated content to the tune of $2.7 million dollars. For more information about the new site or to read the full article, check out the link.

JESSE HARRIS OF NFFTY RESPONDS TO AMAZON STUDIOS
NFFTY
You know that announcement from Amazon about their new Amazon Studios department, which aims to help upcoming filmmakers? Sounds amazing, right? Filmmaker and Executive Director of NFFTY, Jesse Harris, points out some serious flaws in the plan in the article above. He discusses the Studio's "test movie" policies, which ask filmmakers to submit nearly completed films for free. Harris illuminates Amazon's rules about ownership and rights of the submitted films. He talks about other ways Amazon could realistically be helping struggling filmmakers, from supporting existing film festivals to creating initiatives similar to Project Greenlight. The article elucidates several key points for filmmakers to keep in mind, and it is highly recommended that you read it before submitting your hard work to Amazon's new program. The full article is available at the link above.

NEW ORCHESTRA IN TOWN
Crosscut
Seattle, the City of Music, has a wide variety of genres represented in its scene. But one area that has previously received little attention is Modern Classical music. No longer! The Seattle Modern Orchestra (SMO) debuted last weekend, playing its first of three concerts this year. Rather than a fixed ensemble, the SMO is a sort of curatorial project organized by musicians who are passionate about exposing audiences to the marvelous range of composers over the last century. Their mission is "to provide Seattle audiences with live performances of the best in contemporary chamber and orchestral music, music seldom if ever performed in Seattle until now." The focus, though, seems naturally to gravitate toward chamber-size works, not only for practical reasons of economy but because so many representative pieces of modern music rethink the template of the traditional orchestra. To learn more about the new orchestra, follow the link.

LOCAL FILM CLOSES LA'S ZERO FESTIVAL
Northwest Film Forum

Seattle director Daniel L. White's $600 film The Middle of the Middle will be opening in New York next week as well as closing the 3rd Annual Zero Film Festival in Los Angeles in December. The film was chosen from over 1000 submissions for the festival and is one of ten features and nearly 150 short films from around the world playing at Zero. Regarding the Seattle independent film scene and his film's festival inclusion, White states, "I've been so impressed with the film community in the Seattle area. I think it is easily one of the most supportive, vibrant and creative filmmaking scenes in the country. I've met some of the most incredibly talented and visionary filmmakers, but they've all got this wonderful humility and love of art to them. Seattle filmmakers and festivals like Zero are just what the film industry needs because there's a real focus on creativity rather than just rehashing the same old thing. I think we're a perfect fit with the Zero Film Festival and I'm proud to be a part of both." Congratulations to Danny and his film!

BEST SHORTS COMPETITION IS CALLING FOR ENTRIES
Best Shorts Competition

The Best Shorts Competition, a new film festival that seeks to recognize the work of short filmmakers all around the world, is now open for entries. Unique in its approach, the competition awards winners through positive industry exposure, namely press releases and social media coverage aimed at raising the profile the short filmmaking community. In order to be eligible for entry in the festival, films must be 57 minutes or less in length but can be submitted in virtually any format; narrative film, documentaries, television pilots, public service announcements, experimental pieces, commercials, music videos, trailers, mobile or pocket media, webisodes and more are all welcome. The submission deadline for the competition is December 17. For more information about Best Shorts or to enter, follow the link.

RUSTY WILLOUGHBY: BEST 2010 ALBUM?
Magnet Magazine

Magnet Magazine is asking music fans around the world to vote in their "What Album Are You Most Looking Forward To Next Week?" poll. Voters have 21 options, from Norah Jones to Stereolab. But of more interest is Seattleite Rusty Willoughby's Cobirds Unite, which was released this week on Rachel Flotard's Local 638 Records label, is currently in a close first place. The album features Rusty and Rachel Flotard of Visqueen as well as Barrett Martin, Johnny Sangster, Barabara Hunter and Margrethe Bjorklund. To vote in the poll, click the link.

CALL FOR ARTISTS: VER(A)RT GALLERY
The Vera Project

The Ver(a)rt Gallery (housed in the central part of the Vera Project in Seattle Center) is currently holding a Call to Artists to select participants for group and solo shows during 2011.Vera is dedicated to exhibiting work from new, local and/or underrepresented artists. Emerging artists and curators of all ages are encouraged to apply, so as to generate a cohesive body of work or themed group exhibition. Examples of a body of work that is in progress, along with a written proposal, will be considered as well. The deadline is December 1. Please direct any questions to verart@theveraproject.org.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES ANNOUNCES DOCUMENTARY FILM GRANT OPPORTUNITY
National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities' Bridging Cultures Through Film: International Topics program supports projects that examine international and transnational themes in the humanities through documentary films. The program seeks to support film projects designed to spark Americans' engagement with the broader world by exploring one or more countries and cultures outside the United States. Proposed documentaries must be analytical and deeply grounded in humanities scholarship. The program encourages the exploration of innovative nonfiction storytelling that presents multiple points of view in creative formats. The proposed film must range in length from a stand-alone broadcast hour to a feature-length documentary. For more information, follow the link above.

GET YOUR COPY OF "SEATTLE 100" SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR
Elliott Bay Book Company

The Elliott Bay Book Company is welcoming Chase Jarvis, celebrated local photographer and author of Seattle 100: Portrait of a City for a book signing event. Since its release last month, Jarvis' book has been making waves throughout the city for its vivid portrayal of 100 individuals who are driving and enhancing local culture. Get your copy of Jarvis' "portrait" of our city and some of its most influential artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and more this Thursday, November 18 at 7:00 pm. For more information, including directions to Elliot Bay Book Company, follow the link.

SEATTLE FILMMAKER MAKES ADORABLE WINDOWS AD
Gizmodo

Seattle filmmaker Keith Rivers just completed his first big production: an animated commercial for Windows 7 and Avatar. Not bad for a big break, not bad at all! The adorable ad, which can be found here, received rave reviews at the link above and was viewed 25,000 times in just 24 hours on YouTube. Rivers tells the story of two computers, a Mac and a PC, on a plane ride together, watching Avatar. It's well worth a watch or two. Congrats, Keith!

FUND YOUR FILM: A KICKSTARTER SUCCESS STORY
Deadline

We're big fans of Kickstarter. The site, which allows filmmakers and musicians to earn money from investing fans and followers, has had enormous success. One such success story is the film Blue Like Jazz, starring Marshall Allman (The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, "True Blood"). The film was in danger of not being made, until their Kickstarter page helped them raise $346,000 in 30 days from 4,495 donors. The film is now in production. We encourage you to set up Kickstarters for your own projects, and be sure to put key words "Seattle" and "Film" or "Music" as meta tags so they are listed under our Kickstarter button (found in the left column). For more information about how Kickstarter helped save Blue Like Jazz, follow the link.

"WHEEDLE'S GROOVE" TV PREMIER THIS WEEK
Seattle Times

Don't miss Wheedle's Groove, a local documentary about Seattle's forgotten funk/soul scene circa the 1970s, which premieres on KCTS 9 this Thursday, November 18. During the film's festival circuit run, The Seattle Times gave it four stars, commenting that Wheedle's Groove "captures the soul of Seattle." Now public television audiences have the chance to view the documentary in all its glory when it airs at 10:00 pm. The film is part of the first season of "Reel NW," the 12-part film series launched by KCTS to champion the work of the local independent filmmaking community and to bring the best features, documentaries and shorts to Seattle airwaves. For more information about Wheedle's Groove or the "Reel NW" project, be sure to check out the link.

"FORCED ENTRY" WINS 2010 IFP SPOTLIGHT AWARD
IFP Seattle

Joe Jacobs' Forced Entry is the winner of the IFP/Seattle 2010 Spotlight Award. "I'm extremely grateful that the grant is available for filmmakers looking to kick start their career. One of the hardest parts of becoming a filmmaker is believing in yourself. Thanks to IFP's support, a lot of that doubt has been replaced with confidence and resources to complete my project, and that's one of the most awesome gifts any individual can receive," says Jacobs. The award is an in-kind grant of film production goods and services, sponsored by local and national vendors. For more info, visit the link above.

LOCAL RECORD STORE FEATURED IN CITY'S "ONLY IN SEATTLE" PROJECT
Only in Seattle

Ballard's own Bop Street Records is taking part in the City's newly-launched "Only in Seattle" marketing campaign, a celebration of the many locally-owned, "hidden gem" retail shops and restaurants Seattle has to offer. The City of Seattle's Office of Economic Development (OED) worked in conjunction with local business owners and neighborhood leaders to develop the campaign, hoping to inspire Seattleites to discover and explore our city's diverse and colorful retail community. Boasting a collection of half a million vintage records, Bop Street has the kind of "quirky," "irresistible character" that "Only in Seattle does a great job capturing" says Beth Williamson Miller, Executive Director of the Ballard Board of Commerce. Adds Seattle Deputy Mayor, Darryl Smith, "I hope this campaign will encourage Seattleites to seek out these exciting and unique businesses in their own neighborhoods and others." Congrats to Bop Street, and keep up the great work "Only in Seattle"!

BRAD PERFORMS ON "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE"
Brad

Seattle band Brad will be performing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Tuesday, December 7. The performance comes on the heels of the band's successful new album Best Friends? as well as their recent appearance on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Brad is composed of vocalist/pianist Shawn Smith, guitarist Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, drummer Regan Hagar of Satchel and bassists Mike Berg and Keith Lowe. You can also catch Brad at two hometown shows on December 5 and 6 at The High Dive.

SEATTLE NEW HUB FOR FILM SCORING
Variety

Seattle musicians and composers are benefiting from mandates for non-union film scores for Hollywood films. As the costs for LA-based studio musicians and composers grow, filmmakers are often opting to hire talents from outside Hollywood's borders. The Variety article above asserts that the most popular places to find film scoring musicians outside of LA are Seattle, Prague and Bratislava, Slovakia. Good news for our city's finest composers! Read the full article at the link above.

VOTE FOR THE "GRASSROOTS" CREATE YOUR OWN INFOMERCIAL CONTEST
Grassroots

Time is running out for your chance to vote on your favorite infomercial in the Grassroots "Create Your Own Infomercial Contest." Filmmakers from far and wide have submitted their fake infomercials to the contest, which Grassroots director Stephen Gyllenhaal started as a way to encourage aspiring filmmakers. The cast and crew of Grassroots will pick the finalists from among the top vote-getters, and Gyllenhaal will pick the winning video personally. The winning infomercial will be featured in the movie Grassroots, which finished shooting in the Seattle area over the summer. You can vote once per day until the contest ends on Sunday, November 21. Check the link for more information.

TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 11/10 - 11/16
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).

  1. Various Artists "Live at KEXP, Vol. 6"
  2. Moondoggies "Tidelands"
  3. Head and the Heart "Self Titled"
  4. Macklemore/Ryan Lewis "Vs."
  5. Young Evils "Enchanted Chapel"
  6. Caspar Babypants "This Is Fun!"
  7. Soundgarden "Telephantasm"
  8. Jimi Hendrix "BBC Sessions"
  9. Earth "Bureaucratic Desire"
  10. Elliott Smith "Elliott Smith"

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:

"The Divine Marigolds"
The Divine Marigolds

"The Divine Marigolds" shot its pilot episode, The Homecoming, at the Villa Heidelberg Bed and Breakfast in West Seattle last weekend. An off-kilter comedy about a large Irish family living in Seattle, the Marigolds find all the adult children moving back home, resulting in hilarious yet deeply affecting moments as they all learn to live under the same roof again. The show features some of Seattle's most notable indie film actors in strong ensemble-driven roles, including Paul Eenhorn as Pops Marigold and Lorraine Montez as Ruby Marigold. The weekend filming continues the production's successful Kickstarter and grassroots media campaigns.

Producer Ben Andrews says, "We want to produce something clever, funny and warm that reflects Seattle. The show is a testament to what independent production companies can do with a great story, talent, community support and a whole lot of perseverance."

SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
Scarecrow
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 our Seattle's most filmable locations.

Singles (1992)
Twelve years ago, I was doubled over with a coughing fit on a couch in a hostel in Bristol, England. A French gentleman stopped to see if I was ok. We then chatted as well we could with his heavily accented English and my phlegm-filled non-existent French. "Where do you live?" he asked. "Seattle," I said. He paused, then nodded and said, "Ah, ah, yes, grunge. Singles, yes?" I smiled and nodded back, imagining people back home rolling their eyes. Writer/director Cameron Crowe began filming just as the grunge scene was emerging. By the time his film arrived in theaters, the flannel floodgates had burst and many wrote it off as an attempt to cash in on the popularity. It's funny because the music isn't the focal point of the film. Sure, you have performances by Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, an excellent cameo by Tad, and Matt Dillon does play a barista/artist/floral delivery man in a band with the members of Pearl Jam. But most of the movie is just sweet, interwoven tales of twenty-somethings looking for/falling out of/pining for love that could take place anywhere--it just happens to be inside a time capsule of early 90's Seattle. We see the red FOOD GIANT (now the blue WALLINGFORD) sign through the windows of a brown and tan Metro bus, sip coffee at the OK Hotel, flip through pages of The Rocket, shop inside the bright blue interior of a Pay 'N Save and ride the rickety orange roller coaster that was flush up against the sidewalk at Seattle Center before it was leveled by the EMP. Singles isn't merely a cinematic grunge ambassador. It's also how we can remember what it looked like amongst the hype. -Jen Koogler

MEDIA DIGEST

THE VERA PROJECT FEATURED IN DLIST MAGAZINE
DList Magazine

Venerable all-ages music venue and community center, The Vera Project, was featured in DList Magazine's "Giving Issue" this week. The article highlights Vera's commitment to fostering confidence and creative talent in a safe and collaborative environment, providing resources for burgeoning musicians, artists, dancers, office administrators and more. Gushes the article, "It's such a breath of fresh air to see what The Vera Project has evolved into over these first 10 years. Lives have been changed, love has been spread, friends, music, art and probably even careers have been made because someone out there saw just how important it was for that kid down the street to have a place to play his guitar and a place for his girlfriend to listen." Read the full article at the link above.

HAVE A LISTEN TO A NEW SONG FROM TELEKINESIS
SPIN Magazine

SPIN Magazine has a free download of "Car Crash," the latest track from Telekinesis and a preview of the Seattle power pop songsters' sophomore album, 12 Desperate Straight Lines. Packed with "same sugary punch of the band's debut," SPIN comments that this new song also "juxtaposes singer-songwriter Michael Lerner's buoyant hooks with contemplative lyrics." Telekinesis' new album drops early next year with a tour scheduled to follow. To preview the track and read more, follow the link.

IS GOOGLE BUYING RHAPSODY?
Hypebot

Rumors are flying about the potential purchase of Rhapsody by Google. Reveals Hypebot.com, "Google is (or at least thinking about) buying Rhapsody. To bolster his case, one source added that Google had put out strong feelers to a number of key digital music executives for its announced Google Music initiatives and now they've stopped calling. I've heard that from others, too. Of course, it could mean that Google's found different executives to hire; or it could be that Rhapsody does come already staffed with some pretty smart executives." Stay tuned for more information about this potentially major purchase.

THE CROCODILE HAILED AS ONE OF THE TEN BEST ROCK VENUES OF ALL TIME
Gibson Guitar

Sure, Belltown's Crocodile Caf holds a place near and dear to the hearts of many Seattleites. But now Gibson Guitar is singing The Croc's praises, recognizing the music club of local legend as one of the ten greatest rock venues of all time. Catapulted into worldwide rock relevance by the grunge explosion of the early 90's, The Crocodile made Gibson's impressive shortlist for establishing itself as "the prime stomping ground for the burgeoning Seattle music scene," a legacy which still endures today. In the venue's relatively short history (it's only been around 16 years), The Crocodile has played host to some big name acts like R.E.M., Sonic Youth, The Beastie Boys and even Yoko Ono, not to mention some little homegrown bands you might've heard of--Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Death Cab for Cutie and Nirvana. You know, just to name a few. For more details or to read the entire list of venues, check out the link.

NEW SONGS FROM THE HEAD AND THE HEART
Fuel Friends Blog

Fuel Friends Blog has posted downloads for five new songs from buzzworthy indie crooners, The Head and the Heart. The new tracks are the product of an impromptu house show hosted by the blog's Colorado-based curator, Heather Browne, who practically gushes over the band in the post: "The Head and the Heart may well be my favorite new band in quite some time [....] whatever these kids have hit on, it is magic, and it only seems to be getting better with the new songs they're writing."

Seattle Office of Film + Music Staff
James Keblas, Director
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator
Rachel White, Music + Nightlife Program Coordinator
Laura Brewer, Intern
Erica Nwosu, Intern

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