Every year STIFF invites some of the best local film makers to take part in what we call the Film Challenge. Each year the challenge evolves as we try to get teams to think outside the box. This year we changed the format from narrative filmmaking to music videos. In keeping with the tradition of evolving the challenge we thought music videos would be the perfect way to showcase the talents of local filmmakers. Each team is working with a band of their choosing and given creative license to take the video in any direction they see fit. Teams shot the videos over this last weekend and have until the 11th to deliver a final project. So, who are these teams? Below are just a few of the film makers and the bands they are working with.
"Team QWAH productions are a collaborative and (mostly) democratic set, where jobs are shared and traded along with ideas for whatever best serves the project. This team has worked together under various personal production names, creating multiple short films and music videos. They have also completed two features; last year's "Bite Size" was winner of 2009 "Best Opening Credit Sequence" STIFFY & 2009 "Best Horror/ Comedy" at Indie Gathering. The second feature, "Off Camera", is premiering at STIFF 2010. This is the long awaited, nearly lost in postproduction, first project to bring together the members that would become Team QWAH! Be sure to also check out the shorts made by the Team QWAH members better known as "Pucker!" playing in assorted programs throughout this year's STIFF!" Team QWAH will be working with a band called Kincaid. Kincaid is a two-piece bathing suit of a hard rock band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in 2006, their debut EP "Burnt Face Pussy" is set to release via digital download in 2010. The band is named after the character Kincaid from the film "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. Chris Green aka Asgoth A.D. aka ScorpOnyx on vocals/guitar/programming, and Ty Huffer on vocals/bass comprise the current lineup.
Heading up yet another team is Zachary Gore. Zach is directing the video. He is the writer/director of "Here and Gone," a short film being featured at this year's STIFF festival. He currently is also producing videos for local artists Twig Palace and Fox and the Law and is curating a new quarterly multimedia collaborative webzine called Through This Window [http://www.ThroughThisWindow.com]. Patrick Richardson Wright [http://wrightmight.com/] is shooting it. In addition to shooting some pretty amazing video, he is a great photographer and web developer.
Also on crew are Kelsi Johnson, who was production manager for "Here and Gone," as well, and Meaghan Nanson, who has worked on numerous film and video projects in recent history. They will be working with the band Friday Mile [http://www.fridaymile.com/] Friday Mile is a local indie-pop band who recently released their second LP, titled "Good Luck Studio." It was recorded with veteran LA-via-UK producer Dennis MacKay (Bowie, Harrison, Lou Reed) and was mixed at Avast by MacKay and Stuart Hallerman (Built To Spill, Death Cab for Cutie, Soundgarden). They're gaining a reputation for their keen sense of songwriting, lyrical imagery, and gratuitous use of melody and harmony.
Henry McComas is a two year veteran of the film challenge. Henry is working alongside UW film student Lindsey Marcus and long time collaborator Colin McLoughlin. Henry has been directing for the past 6 years and done such film as Emerald City which was part of the STIFF 2009 program. Henry and crew are working with a hard rock/metal band from the south sound.
Other filmmakers putting together videos this year are, Garett Garrido, Rylan Morris, STIFF veteran Amy Enser, Dan Schwert, and Hugh Berry.
Last Night I had the extreme pleasure of attending Mateo Messina’s benefit event for Children’s Hospital at Benaroya Hall.A couple members of the Symphony Guild are also STIFF volunteers and one of our friends is a childhood friend of Matt’s, so we have actually gone for the last few years.Many symphonies can be a bit on the boring, but these events never are.Aside from the fact that Matt’s music is incredibly cinematic, he always includes unusual guests and I really look forward to these shows.
This year’s was called Symphony of the Superhero and featured some incredible talent.Seeing Cut Chemist standing in front of an orchestra and choir with a couple turntables and mixing in their sounds along withLili Haydn’s violin and the music of The Malandros, in front of a large video screen was one of the coolest things I have ever seen (the phone pic really can’t even come close to doing it justice).I have never wanted to stand on my seat and dance at Benaroya hall before.The after party at the W Hotel was also pretty fun as Blake Lewis stopped by to jam with Cut Chemist.
I’m sure that the video from last night’s show is going to take a few months to cut together and get online, so in the meantime, check out this clip from a couple years ago featuring Alice in Chains performing Kashmir.When you see the ads for this thing next year, make sure to buy a ticket.Not only will you see something that will blow your mind, you are helping out an incredibly worthy cause