Archive | April 2014

A Message from Lacey Leavitt

Seattle based producer Lacey Leavitt offered the following guest post in response our announcement on Monday about the status of funding. She encourages the film industry to get involved and write Governor Inslee. Read on for more information.

If you wish to write the Governor, we encourage you to tell your personal story. We have included some statistics below about the economic impact of the incentive program, should you wish to include this information in your letter.


From Lacey:

Monday’s announcement from Washington Filmworks (WF), that the organization can no longer accept new applications for feature films and episodic series due to a lack of remaining funds, is further indication that our state’s motion picture production incentive program needs to be significantly upgraded. Since WF’s announcement, there has been a firestorm of activity on social media from our statewide filmmaking community asking what they can do to help.

Historically, our diverse film community reached out to our state legislators to discuss the incentive program. Because the legislators are not currently in session, I am taking this opportunity to share the importance of our industry with Governor Jay Inslee. The fact is that every successful film state has an enthusiastic, committed Governor, who has taken the lead Read More…

Celebrating the Summer Shooting Season

A Letter from Washington Filmworks Board Chair Don Jensen

WF Board Chair Don Jensen

WF Board Chair Don Jensen

There is a lot to celebrate as we look forward to the upcoming summer shooting season.

I’m pleased to report that the Board of Washington Filmworks (WF) has approved funding assistance for Z Nation, a 13 episode series that will shoot in Spokane this summer and air on the Syfy network this fall. Securing an episodic series has always been a priority for WF as it represents good paying jobs and consistent work. The series will shoot mid-May through August and will provide over 12,000 worker days to Washington cast and crew.

The board has also approved funding assistance for Captain Fantastic, a feature film that will shoot in the greater Seattle area this summer. Starring Viggo Mortenson, the film will be directed by Matt Ross (28 Rooms) and produced by L.A. based Electric City Entertainment. With an estimated 37 days of production, Captain Fantastic will employ approximately 355 Washington resident cast and crew.

We also continue to celebrate the success of Commercialize Seattle, a business development campaign designed to bring more commercial business to the region. Since launching the program in August 2013, WF has provided incentive funds for five commercials that have had an estimated $5 million of economic impact statewide. Projects receiving support have worked in diverse locations such as Read More…

Washington Filmworks Approves Funding Assistance for Episodic Series Z Nation

Amy Lillard, WF Executive Director, Rich Cowan, NxNW Founder, Greg Smith, WF Board Member, and Harry Sladich, WF Board Member.

Amy Lillard (WF Executive Director) Rich Cowan (NxNW Founder) Greg Smith and Harry Sladich (WF Board Members) at yesterday’s Spokane announcement.

Post Apocalyptic Drama to Film in Spokane this Summer

Z Nation is headed for Washington State! This month the WF Board of Directors approved funding assistance for Z Nation, a 13-episode dramatic series for the Syfy channel. Yesterday board members and staff of Washington Filmworks (WF) participated in a press conference at North by Northwest Productions in Spokane where the news was announced. Project partners The Asylum and Go2Digital Media will work with North by Northwest to produce Z Nation and Karl Schaefer will serve as the show runner.

This project is a game changer for Washington State. The series will film in Spokane from Read More…

New at NFFTY 2014

NFFTY_Poster_Final-358x550Seattle is home to the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), the largest youth film festival in the world. Created in 2007, NFFTY grows by leaps and bounds every year, screening hundreds of films from young filmmakers all over the planet. The 2014 festival kicks off Thursday and it’s guaranteed to be awesome.

This year NFFTY is under new leadership with the addition of Managing Director Stefanie Malone. Washington Filmworks recently caught up with Stefanie to learn more about her transition into the organization and what’s happening at NFFTY 2014.  


Hi, Stefanie. This is your first NFFTY as Managing Director. Tell us a about your background and what motivated you to seek out the role?
Prior to coming to NFFTY, I was at KCTS Television as Director of Community Engagement & Education and had the opportunity to produce some incredible programs and support great partnerships there, like the one between KCTS and NFFTY. I led the engagement and education department; developed and produced national and local multiplatform station projects; executive produced television programs; designed web content for; and regularly served on national advisory boards for PBS. I had the pleasure of working on regional projects with prominent filmmaker Ken Burns, someone who I greatly admire. I was fortunate enough to produce a program with Ken and Timothy Egan called On the Dust Bowl, which won a regional Emmy-Award last year.

When the position at NFFTY opened, I was Read More…

Unique Worlds, Big Characters

Right under our noses a local production company is busy making a lot of noise. Based in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, Screaming Flea Productions is one of the Northwest’s largest producers of nonfiction programming for cable networks. The production company officially became an entity in 1999, but the core team had been creating content for national and international broadcast prior to that.

Screaming Flea has worked with almost every cable network and has developed a diverse slate of programs, from lifestyle to reality, comedy to gritty docs, instructional videos to fundraising pieces – you name it, they’ve produced it. “This is not typical in the industry,” says Liza Keckler, Vice President of Development at Screaming Flea. “Most production companies are very Read More…

Commercialize Seattle Features More New Work

Congratulations to Workhouse Creative, a Seattle based production company, and Impact Studio Pro, an Issaquah based production company. Both are featured in the Latest Work section of Commercialize Seattle. Commercialize Seattle is a business development campaign designed to drive more production and advertising to the region. The Latest Work section of the Commercialize Seattle website showcases some of the very best work coming out of Seattle and greater Washington.

Read More…

Pilot Season Overhaul Unfolds

TV_ImageIs the traditional TV model on the way out or already dead, and how will the shifting landscape change the production of original content? Historically pilot season started sometime in January or February and went through early May for the upfront presentations, but a convergence of factors is rapidly changing the flow of production for original programming.

Many networks are forging new routes for their pilots. According to Variety a number of forces are taking effect, among them:

  • Heightened competition for top projects from cable
  • Cheaper ways to produce series
  • A push to offer original programming on a year-round basis


Experiments abound as new models are forged.

Many companies are exploring ways to offer advertising clients new ways to sync up with audiences and content production. Relativity Digital Studios (RDS), a company associated with Washington incentive film 21 & Over, is working to create branded content as well as non-branded original content for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Their entrepreneurial spirit offers a great deal of flexibility to creators, consumers and Read More…