In high school, filmmaking is always extremely limited, everyone is working on school first, no one has money, and you have to work with what you have. My friend Brendan and I have been making films together for about five years, always using whatever location we are in. This Halloween Special is a horror-ish film made in a single day. It experiments with noir and shadow elements, using the solipsistic idea that your worst enemy is the one who knows you the best; yourself. All of the dialogue is improvised and there was no storyboard. The mouth effect is entirely practical and is physically attached to my face. We filmed with a Canon 60D and a single 55-250mm lens. Lighting was the most important element we considered and there is only ever a single light source, meant to symbolize the focus of the, in this case the disturbed, memories of my character. It's all pretty silly, but this is what a few 17 year olds are up to in Bellingham.
Written by Cody Dandliker
I did Welcome to Hell as a sort of exercise to see how stripped down a production can get. This horror short was planned as a two day shoot crewed by only two people. My point being to demonstrate how story is more important than fancy “Hollywood standard” gadgets and big crews. Making this video more in line with the early John Waters guerilla sense of, “Let’s write something, grab a camera, and go.” It is my belief that this sentiment is more prevalent now than ever with the growing popularity of Vlogs and Podcasts. So, I just figured since nothing I have seen in the local film community has spoken to me, I might as well use the tools I have and throwing something into the artistic chasm I would want to see, and that other people will have reaction to. Because whether people love or hate what I do; both emotions are equivocal in relation to passive carelessness. Welcome to Hell is a story about a woman named Trish who feels isolated and mistreated by everyone around her. She would give anything to have somebody around who accepts her for who she is. Who isn’t always trying to control her. Unfortunately for her, the only person who seems to be able to understand her feelings is Sonya.
Written by James Mahoney
Frustrated Blogger ThuNiCo1 has had enough. Little gnomes are sneaking into his room at night and stealing his stuff! So what choice does he have, but to start a weekly blog on YouTube reaching out to the community to deal with the situation? He doesn't stop to think that the gnomes will eventually steal his webcam and start a blog of their own, and so begins the hilarity!!!!!
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Written by Caleb Young
My twin brother, Joshua Young, is a pretty prolific writer: poems, plays, scripts, books, essay (and quite good at these things). But poetry and small press don't pay well, and yet he wants to market his work and get it out there. So we made a deal: He would write for me (scripts, revisions, etc), and I would shoot his book trailers with my team. And I think he gets the better deal because our team is Chris Koser (DoP), Avielle Heath (Prod Design), Alex Stowe (Producer, AD), Cameron Currier (Camera), among the rest of our Hand Crank Crew.
There are a few rules. He has to give us the creative, the shoot can't be longer than two hours, and the edit can't take longer than four (we can also use found footage, if it fits the project).
His most recent book is a Play in Verse called THE HOLY GHOST PEOPLE. There is a lot going on in the book, so we had to come up with creative that we could tell the story, and that we could produced inside boundaries we have set. My brother wanted to do it in one shot and that was the plan, but on the day things changed - like they always do.
They obstacles were:
It stopped raining and there wasn't budget for a rain machine.
It was hard to hide the curtain that would be the final shot of our reveal.
And our time limit.
In the end, the shoot was three hours long. But we got some great looking stuff, thanks to Avielle - who constructed a working theatre curtain that could close in the middle of the woods - Chris Koser, who makes everything look great. And our talent, Kirk A Hayes, Ross Robinette, and Mike Olsen, who braved the weather and mud just for the fun of the shoot.
Here's what we created for no budget, 3 hour shoot and 4 hours of editing.
WATCH THE TRAILER
Tin Can Odyssey began to take shape after I heard an NPR segment where space psychologists worried that astronauts might become listless or depressed, on a mission flown from Earth to Mars that took months. They spoke of the claustrophobia of being in a small vessel with nothing to do and with hazards everywhere. This could be fun I thought, and I became obsessed with the idea. So first I built the interior of a space ship…and it looked good, which spurred me on . Next I hooked in some of Bellingham’s finest actors to my utter astonishment . And then I wrote a zany script for a web series, which was different than other space shows. The actors didn't run away. I could hardly believe it was happening! While we’re not finished shooting at the time of this writing, we've had an absolute blast and cannot wait to show you all what we've created. For now, look for Tin Can Odyssey’s Facebook page for info and updates.
Knapp Bros.Studios is teaming up with Hand Crank Films to shoot a music video for up-and-coming Seattle artist, Gallowbird who has just released his new album “The Driftless Adrift”, which is available on Itunes for download. The video deals with the pains of growing up, as well as the dark side and impact of religion on youth. The production is taking place in downtown Sedro Wooley as well as Bellingham locations. Release date is slotted for early March.
Stay tuned for production photos.
For more info about Gallowbird visit their website or check them out on Facebook
After a warm night at the end of summer, with Autumn biting on the heels of August, and a group of cannibals in the woods (don’t ask…), an idea tapped me on the shoulder, and when I turned around, it punched me in the face. I never got an apology, but I decided to hear what it had to say anyway. I would spend the next day at work writing visual ideas as they came to me, like banshees in the night, until I could escape their seething clutches, or at least break their wrists and tell them “No (more) Soliciting.” Then I would go home and experiment with a script for a short film, written in a stream-of-consciousness method, without editing it (which was like telling a feline not to scratch off its fleas), and without stopping to think about the flow or the meaning of different scenes (which was much easier than telling a feline not to scratch off its fleas). And in a few days, I would round up my best door-to-door skills, put on my girl scout demeanor and begin asking my acting friends to join me in a spiraling descent of confusion and illusion. To my bewilderment and gratitude, they agreed. We began filming The Examination just a few nerve-splitting days later.
With the help of a very faithful crew, some pizza (my beloved), and a small score of local antique shops, the 11½ minute short film was shot in just over two sleep-speckled weeks. With several different camera operators, grips and even a couple gremlins, crew members were in and out, helping when they could. Each crew member did fantastic work, for no compensation, and for that, they can have my head on a plate. Or at least my whelming gratitude, 6 feet deep. Throughout filming and to proceed for a month after, I was to tame the fire breathing Chimaera of sound, and lull the flesh-hungry Cerberus of editing, before one or the other turned into a gray hair on my head. Luckily, they’re both sleeping, and calmly snoring in my closet, presently.
The Examination’s sound was recorded entirely in post-production, save for one scene. This meant “easy” filming, but tedious post production. Somewhere around one hundred audio tracks have been in use on the film. But lo, the method caught the feeling that I wanted, which was having each character feel like they’re trapped within their own head. Shortly when sound and editing was completed, with the flurried leaves of October ready to devour a tired September, I submitted The Examination as an entry to Bellingham’s local horror film festival: Bleedingham.
While I’m not necessarily fond of speaking about meanings or themes behind my stories, for fear of manifesting an interpretation that viewers wouldn’t acquire on their own, I will say that, with The Examination, as well as with most of the ideas for projects that like to gnarl their way into my brain, I didn’t want to follow most conventional film themes. This short doesn’t follow a beginning/middle/end structure, it doesn’t have a protagonist or antagonist. I meant it to be a sort of experience. An observation on human idiosyncrasies.
If you would like to stay updated on how to find The Examination, please tenderly love and follow it on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/TheExamination2013
Electric Shadow Films is excited to announce that after nearly a year of intensive writing, filming, and editing, Pete Owens & the Trek of Destiny will have it’s world premiere on June 25th, 2013 at 9:00 pm at the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, WA.
The film follows the exploits of college juniors Pete Owens and Eric Stennington as they traverse the globe in search of the mystical artifact the Idol of Prosperity. But along the way they must avoid the clutches of the sinister antiques dealer Victor St. Helens, who is in hot pursuit of the sacred object as well.
The film was filmed entirely within the Pacific Northwest and used locations like the Columbia River Gorge and the peaks of Mount Baker to bring to life the exotic world of adventuring as portrayed in the film. We hope that along with being entertaining, this film shows just how varied our region is when it comes to stunning locales in our own backyard.
So come out on June 25th at 9pm at the Pickford Film Center. Dress in your best adventuring garb and be ready for a heavy doses of fun, action, and peril in Pete Owens & the Trek of Destiny!
By: Nick Nielsen
On May 4th and 5th the Hand Crank Films (HCF) crew and All Mod Cons was found throughout downtown Bellingham filming a music video for the band "The West". This love story begins like many others, with a boy and a girl and ends in an epic dance number. The vision for this music video came from director Jordan Albertsen from All Mods Cons out of LA.
Dancers from Bellingham to Seattle came out to make magic happen. On Sunday May 5th over 70 dancers, a marching band, a collection of antique cars and the HCF crew showed up bright and early to get ready for an epic flash mob scene. With hand made confetti blowing through the air, a drag queen with disco balls and a cowboy in his long underwear,the stage was set.
Family Planning and Other Funny Stories was born out of a conversation that I had with my oldest daughter… she told me that I should “date…date EVERYONE.” I thought of all the ways this request could be taken way too far and go completely sideways. A few weekends later I had completed several good drafts of the screenplay and thought the story was funny enough to be a TV pilot. A little over a year later we shot Family Planning and Other Funny Stories. We just completed filming the pilot over the Easter weekend.
As Family Planning goes to editing, our next step will be to plan what festivals we’ll be entering. We do hope to sell this pilot to a network. If we don’t manage to pull that off, we’ll make an amazingly, hilarious web series. Either way, it’s going to be a fun ride!
We’ll be building our web page and Facebook page shortly! For further info. and updates please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org By Sue Mattson
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