Happy holidays from your friends at Washington Filmworks. May your days be merry and bright. As we approach the New Year, we pause to look back on all the fantastic achievements our statewide film industry has made in 2013. Cheers to you, Washington!
Washington Filmworks will be closed for the remainder of the holiday season. We return in 2014 on Thursday, January 2. We look forward to working for you in the coming year and helping to bring even more production to our amazing state. Whatever you celebrate, have wonderful holidays with the ones that you love!
Movies and holiday TV episodes are often a huge part of our modern traditions. Sometimes that means curling up with a sweet classic, or laughing out loud with a more colorful vision of the season, as seen thru a child’s eyes. Other times nothing says “Happy Holidays” like non-stop action and giant explosions. “Yippee-ki-yay” as they say. In this spirit, the Washington Filmworks staff wanted to share some of our holiday movie and TV memories, both working on set, and the favorites we watch again and again.
Amy Lillard, Executive Director – Being the mother of a six year old, I know all animated holiday films. I’m a fan of last year’s Rise of the Guardians and can attest to the fact that Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer really holds up. But I have to admit that I’m eagerly looking forward to my son Dax’s foray into live-action holiday fare!
Cris Walters, Administrative Assistant – I was working at Universal Pictures when Ron Howard directed Jim Carrey in How The Grinch Stole Christmas. I enjoyed seeing the Whos from Whoville gather around the craft services tables, fully dressed in crazy costumes and makeup outside the sound stages. It brought a bit of Christmas to the lot and it wasn’t even winter. The sets and costumes were great, and Jim Carrey earned my respect for maintaining high levels of professionalism while suffering under a hot and heavy costume throughout a very long film shoot. My favorites are White Christmas, Elf, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Ken Hagen, Accounting Assistant – Ken is our in house movie memorizer. His mental archive of film and television references is incredibly impressive and simultaneously terrifying. Of course his list of holiday favorites came complete with memorable quotes.
- Die Hard “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”
- Bad Santa “Goodnight, Santa. Goodnight, Mrs. Santa’s sister.”
- A Christmas Story “Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense.”
Julie Daman, Director of Finance & Operations – All the TV shows I worked on shot holiday episodes. These famously shoot in October making the season come a little early every year. But one of my favorites was a short film called Santa’s Last Christmas that my friends and I made in middle school. In it a fading movie star (think anything played by Joan Crawford) murders Santa because his Christmas television specials consistently had higher ratings than hers. A feisty, talent agent turned private eye, along with helpful elves, solves the murder mystery and saves Christmas. The best line was Santa’s dying words: “Don’t Ho Ho Hurt Me!”
Jessie Wilson, Programs & Communications Coordinator – Once I played a character named Christmas Johnson. She was always applying Aqua Net and I’m sure I sacrificed many brain cells shooting that spoof. Eventually Christmas was drowned in her bathtub and the actor who killed her got super into the scene, so it was chilling to shoot. His last line was “Christmas is over!” My holiday must-see is Scrooged with Bill Murray, and the Seinfeld episode The Strike has inspired many Festivus parties with friends, although the traditional “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength” always get out of hand.
Krys Karns, Production Services Coordinator – A funny memory is working as an assistant costumer on a Christmas horror movie called Jack Frost about a genetically mutated, murderous snowman. (The one with Shannon Elizabeth, not the one with Michael Keaton.) I was in charge of “scarf continuity” in all the scenes that featured the killer snowman, and we would patch holes in his costume with shaving cream. As for some of my favorites to watch, I like the comedies and classics like National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, and White Christmas.
One way to make a story marketable, and memorable, is to set it during the holidays; something to consider as you map out your next project. Case in point is the 2012 holiday film Switchmas, directed by local filmmaker Sue Corcoran and shot in festive Leavenworth, which doubles for the fictional Christmastown, Washington. If you haven’t seen Switchmas, it’s available online on Hulu as part of Hulu for the Holidays. And whether you’ll spend the end of this year making movies, or watching them, Washington Filmworks wishes you and yours a very happy holiday season!
Washington Filmworks extends our congratulations to two local talents in the world of filmmaking and photography who were recently honored by Indian Country Today Media Network for their forward thinking, innovation, and sense of social justice.
Filmmaker Tracy Rector heads Seattle-based Longhouse Media. The organization works to give voice to the next generation of indigenous storytellers. Rector and filmmaking partner Lou Karsen were awarded funding assistance through the Filmworks Innovation Lab in 2013 for their interactive project People of the Salish Sea, and the feature length documentary at its center, Clearwater.
Photographer Matika Wilbur, who has been photographing Native America through a multi-year initiative called Project 562, was also honored. Wilbur is travelling the United States to document people from each indigenous nation in America. Her goals are to “build cultural bridges, abandon stereotypes, and renew and inspire our national legacy.” You can find more of her work on her website.
Read more about the work and current projects of both these accomplished Washington artists here. Rector and her collaborators actively share production diaries and photos on the Washington Filmworks blog, as they work to complete Clearwater and People of the Salish Sea. Watch for upcoming installments in 2014. Meanwhile, if you’d like to read previous posts you can find those here.
We look forward to seeing more great things from both Rector and Wilbur in the coming year.
If you’re headed to Sundance 2014, be sure to check out the World Premiere of Washington incentive film Laggies. The feature, directed by Lynn Shelton and written by Andrea Seigel, stars Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloë Grace Moretz. Production took place this summer in 23 unique locations throughout the Puget Sound Region, primarily in Seattle. Laggies also features more than 250 Washington-resident cast and extras! The film will screen 5 times at Sundance 2014. Learn more on the festival website.
Synopsis – On the verge of turning 30 and reluctant to move on from her youth, Megan (Knightley) clings to her job as a Read More…
Media Inc. recently shared a story about the Washington incentive film West of Redemption. Learn more about this feature, which went through the Washington Filmworks Standard Program this year and was shot on the eastern side of the state.
The Inland Alternative For Independent Film in Washington
West of Redemption, a Washington Filmworks incentive film produced by Seattle’s Kairos Productions, wrapped principal photography this September. In contrast to many feature films produced in Washington, the movie was filmed east of the mountains, out of Spokane. It stars Billy Zane (Titanic), Kevin Alejandro (Southland), and Mariana Klaveno (True Blood).
While many productions choose Washington State for its views and rich natural landscapes, inland Washington offers many similar resources. By working with Spokane-based North By Northwest, West of Redemption was able to…
A big thanks to all that came out to our Annual Industry Update Celebrations in both Seattle and Spokane this week. The events were a success and it was fantastic to see familiar faces and new faces on both sides of the state. If you missed the presentation, we’ll share it online in the coming weeks.
Growing the statewide film industry takes a partnership. We’re working hard on your behalf, but we need your help.
Partner with Washington Filmworks
- Tell us what you’re working on. Send an email to info@WashingtonFilmworks.org anytime to let us know about your projects, big or small.
- Take our Jobs and Vendor Surveys. These will come out in early 2014 just after your W-2s. Watch for announcements in our monthly newsletters.
- Follow us. Sign up for our blog and newsletters, and follow us on social media. We share info about the business of film, industry trends, and our programs, as well as news about classes, workshops, and events across the state.
The Washington film industry has made fantastic strides in 2013. Here’s to you!
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