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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Clark’s Edibles

MEET THE FILMMAKER: Wendy Duncan.

Wendy Duncan is one of Denver’s brightest acting stars, yet she has been gravitating to working more behind the camera recently. To anybody who knows her, it’s no surprise that she’s already creating some of the area’s most interesting work. Her latest project is a 90 second commercial for Clark’s Edibles that has to be seen to be believed.

Wendy Head shotWe don’t normally screen commercials at the EFP, but this one was just too original and entertaining to not screen. It plays along with six other short films from local filmmakers at The Emerging Filmmakers project on January 17th down at The Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo Street).

EFP Host Patrick Sheridan recently caught up with Wendy.

P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker?

W.D.: I became a filmmaker because I love to bring life to the stories in my head.

P.S.: What were you hoping to accomplish with this commercial?

W.D.: To create something people would not expect.

P.S.: After watching it more than a few times, I can say that I did not expect that. It’s pretty awesome. What else are you working on?

W.D.: Currently I am working on my BA in Digital Film Making at The Art Institute of Colorado. I am shooting a documentary on a recovering meth addict, shooting another comedy skit/commercial titled The Wedding Waiter, and writing a short movie script about good versus evil.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

Clarks Edibles Wendy Duncan Snap Shot(1-15-2013 1-59 PM)W.D.: I guess a weird thing about myself is I prefer to be behind the camera.

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

W.D.: People can find out more about my work at www.frontrowmediagroup.com and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2032791/.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project? 

W.D.:The Emerging Filmmakers Project is a wonderful event where one can meet quality people and receive helpful feedback on projects from working professionals in the industry.

P.S.: Thanks Wendy!

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The Monster in the Basement

MEET THE FILMMAKER: Lewis Leslie.

Lewis Leslie is one of Denver’s most prolific and passionate filmmakers. When he’s not shooting a movie, he’s writing one (or two or three), and recruiting some of Denver’s finest actors and crew to work on his shoots.  Despite all that, he still has time to raise a family. He’s both a frequent and welcome contributor to the Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP).

Lewis’ movie The Monster in the Basement screens January 17th down at The Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo Street) as part of a great line up of movies from local filmmakers.

EFP Host Patrick Sheridan interviewed Lewis back in October when his award-winning movie The Music Box played at the EFP. To check out that interview, click here: https://efpdenver.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/the-music-box/.

Patrick recently caught up with Lewis to introduce him to newcomers to the EFP and to see what he’s working on these days.Lewis Leslie

P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker?

L.L.: For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved movies. From E.T. and The Goonies as a kid, to present day films, there’s nothing more amazing than being taken on an adventure of sight and sound that only movies can create. I’ve always loved writing and telling stories. Movies are personally the most enjoyable storytelling format that I’ve found. I hope to be in this business for a really long time.

P.S.: What was the inspiration behind The Monster in the Basement?

L.L.: The Monster in the Basement is the first in a series of five short films by local artists that will comprise the feature-length horror anthology, The Dead Speak Tales.

P.S.: What else are you working on?

L.L.: Under Fire Studios is working on 2 feature films, Amusement Park Massacre and Visceral. These horror/thrillers will be shot in the next year or two. We’re also putting the finishing touches on our first feature Killer Ink, which showcases actor Peter Mayhew, who’s best known for his role as Chewbacca in Star Wars.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

L.L.: I like to use famous quotes to set the tone at the beginning of my feature films. For example, Albert Einstein’s “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.” starts of Killer Ink and Edgar Allen Poe’s “The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls.” starts off Visceral.

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

411193_3552787371385_1023678886_32526154_90493662_oL.L.: I’m all over Facebook, and our production company website is www.underfirestudios.com.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

L.L.: The EFP is a true blessing to Colorado filmmakers. They give aspiring artists a great venue, and a diverse audience, to showcase their work. I am very grateful to Patrick and the team for this opportunity. Please, come out and support local artists!

P.S.: Thanks, Lewis. It’s always a great pleasure to have you and your films down at the EFP. See you on the 17th!

Incubator

MEET THE FILMMAKER: Jimmy Weber.

Jimmy Weber might be the best filmmaker most of Denver’s indie film scene doesn’t  know yet. That’s because he’s too busy working on new projects of his own as well as national commercials (he worked on many campaign ads this past election cycle). He’s the nice, quiet “normal” type that loves scary movies and baking cookies. So be afraid. Be very afraid.

Jimmy is screening his awesome gore flick Incubator at The Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) this January 17th down at the Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo Street).  This marks Jimmy’s first movie presented by the EFP.

EFP Host Patrick Sheridan recently chatted with Jimmy. Sadly, cookies were not involved. JimmyWeber_HeadShot-1

P.S.: What lead you to become a filmmaker?

J.W.: My passion in life is entertaining people.  I also love making people feel really uncomfortable so creating horror movies was right up my alley.  In all seriousness though, I’ve been in a band, I’m a writer and I’m a graphic designer by trade so I’ve made a lot of art in my life.  Making movies is the most challenging and rewarding art form there is.  So that’s why I wanted to do it.

P.S.: What prompted you to make Incubator?

J.W.: Incubator is a weird little short we made a couple years ago.  I’ve always been obsessed with urban legends, so this was my take on the organ theft urban legend but with a little twist.  I really wanted to make a short film that showed I could make serious horror films and this felt like the right project to do just that.

P.S.:  What else are you working on?

J.W.: I’m currently in pre-production on my first feature film, Eat.  We’re shooting in March. It’s got funding, a cast and crew, everything.  I’m really excited.  The movie should be really weird and freaky but a little sweet at the same time.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

J.W.: Even though I like making gory and graphic horror films, most people will tell you that I’m a really normal person.  A lot of times when people meet me after seeing my films or reading my work, they think I’ll be some weird goth dude.  But actually, I’m a die hard Denver Nuggets fan who loves to bake cookies while watching the Step Up movies.

INCUBATOR_02P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

J.W.: PrettyPeoplePictures.com is our website and we keep it updated regularly.  You can sign up for our newsletter there.  You can also follow us on Twitter @PrettyPeoplePix and on Facebook at Facebook.com/prettypeoplepictures.  You can also follow our new movie’s production blog at EatTheMovie.com.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

J.W.: I think it’s really cool.  Colorado has a lot of great talent and the pool will only grow with the new incentives bill.  I have no doubt Colorado is going to be a hub for cool, up-and-coming filmmakers so it’s really great for the Emerging Filmmakers Project to seek that talent out.

P.S.: Thanks, Jimmy! See you on the 17th. And feel free to bring some cookies with you.

Guns, Drugs, and Synergy

MEET THE FILMMAKER: Matty O’Connor.

A few years ago, Matty O’Connor moved from Grand Junction to Denver to attend the Colorado Film School. He’s currently on schedule to receive his BFA in Film from Regis University.

Matty is quickly becoming a favorite with The Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP), having screened the trailer for Five Steps last year. He’s currently working with the local comedy troupe The Grawlix on some of their comedy shorts. Matty  returns to the EFP to screen his hilarious short movie, Guns, Drugs, and Synergy on January 17th down at the Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo Street).

EFP Host Patrick Sheridan recently chatted with his fellow pasty Irishman.

P.S.: What prompts a young guy form Grand Junction to take up filmmaking of all things?Me roof five steps

M.O.: I honestly can’t do anything else at this point. I was part of a demolition crew one summer for like 4 days and it sucked!!! I much rather create and share my stories with an audience. I’ve always enjoyed entertaining and making people laugh. Over time I became addicted to it… or grew a giant ego, It’s subjective. BUT, with film making I can make people feel anything I want. Happiness, sadness, anger, anything! I think I might be too manipulative . Oh well… Enjoy my films!

P.S.: What was the inspiration behind Guns, Drugs, and Synergy?

M.O.: I filmed Guns, Drugs, and Synergy in October of 2011 and released it May 2012. It’s the story of Tim Sanchez and his drug cartel, Sanchez Enterprises. Tim is the CEO of his company, and likes to follow the corporate structure. He has an HR Department, and just opened a south side branch, unfortunately for Tim, he’s invaded the wrong part of town. Now, the meanest drug lord who lived is after him, Jesus Ortiz. I made the film after I became a manager at my fast food job the Junior year of college. I had to manage something totally out of my comfort zone. Half of the staff every night hardly spoke English. It almost felt like I was the leader of a drug cartel, but instead of selling marijuana, I sold noodles.

P.S.: What else are you working on?

M.O.: I begin filming my Thesis film for my BFA at Regis University the day after EFP. We’ve been working on it for a while. You can peep a trailer for it here: https://vimeo.com/51120672.

I also have been working with the Denver comedy team, The Grawlix, directing short comedy sketches. Here is a trailer for our latest: https://vimeo.com/56427092.

I try to stay busy to keep out of trouble… It doesn’t really work.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

M.O.: I work with an incredible art team that moved to Denver for film school from South Dakota. The area code up there is 605, so if you look closely, you can find “605” scattered about in my films.

321995_2375422678363_1634472567_2319953_654066206_oP.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

Check out my vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user6257967. I post all my new work on there. Also follow me on twitter @mattroconnor to catch screening dates and other cool stuff.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

M.O.: It’s super awesome that EFP gives Denver filmmakers a place to meet and network. I’ve made some great connections at EFP, plus the beer is a nice touch. The best part is being able to see your film on a big screen with an audience. The chance to see how they will react, how it looks, and how it sounds is great and important to the art of filmmaking. It lets me know what’s working and what isn’t, so I can make edit changes before paying to send it out to a festival. Even if you don’t feel your film is 100% done, still try to get it screened at EFP. You never know, it might solve your edit problem. EFP POR VITA!!!!!

P.S.: Thanks, Matty!

Red Nose State

MEET THE FILMMAKER: Michael Mathews.

Michael Mathews has screened some of the most unusual works seen to date down at The Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP). He’s made movies about just about everything, including docs about the guys who paint stripes in parking lots and narrative films featuring shopping carts. Michael is showing Red Nose State at the January 17th EFP down at Denver’s historic Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo St.)

More than that, Michael is one of the good guys in town. He’s generous with his time and shares his vast knowledge with anybody smart enough to listen. Michael and EFP Host Patrick Sheridan go way back, having been part of the the now-defunct Group101 Denver, a filmmaking collective that encouraged and supported aspiring filmmakers to “get off their ass” and make movies.

Patrick recently had a chance to catch up with Michael.

P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker?IMG_0256_3

M.M.: I had an original Honeywell Pentax when I was 6, took pictures and developed/printed in my bedroom from early on. I still have every negative I’ve ever taken. I took tons of photos for High Schools all over the area. I got paid for pics of all the sports events, when I wasn’t playing on a team myself. My best photo made the front page of the Tampa Tribune. It was shot of Roscoe Tanner, who had the fastest tennis serve at the time, with the ball frozen on his racket.

I took all the normal home movies as my three kids grew up, edited with two VHS decks and made many subject oriented movies from all that footage. A friend at work asked me if I wanted to enter the very first 24 Hour Boulder Shootout about 10 years ago. We made The Secret Lives of Shopping Carts. I learned about the Group 101 program that was being turned over to Patrick from Michael Conti at the time. The program required you to make one movie per month for six months.  We were given a new theme each month. You can keep going after your six months ended and I made 16 films over 16 months. That’s where I learned a lot about filmmaking. Of those 16 films, many were documentaries.

I decided to make a feature documentary on a world famous BBQ joint in my home town of Phenix City, AL.  The Legend of Chicken Comer has sold some 520 DVD’s to date and really documents a lot about my home town – how things were then and how important BBQ is in the south. It’s a large slice of Americana.

P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? What was the inspiration behind it?

M.M.: Three years ago, I decided to make a documentary on clowns. I have prepared an 11 minute slice of my film Red Nose State, which covers the Dell Arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, CA, and the director and main Clown teacher, Ronlin Foreman. it’s a good example of one of the schools I visited many times and shows how unique clown training is in a tiny town in Northern California.

P.S.: What else are you working on?

M.M.: Nothing.

182109_4208625294968_937368372_nP.S.: I find that hard to believe.

M.M.: As of this moment, I’m trying to finish the first cut of Red Nose State, which will show all the hoops people jump through to find their clown, write material and perform as clowns all over the world. I hope to have it finished by Summer 2013.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

I’m a good listener and let people that I interview talk about what’s important to them. They will often say things that I would never even thought to ask about. So, what you can look for is a documentary that is in-depth, very revealing and interesting.

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

M.M.: I’m working on my site but I do have one page that gives a little explanation: http://m9studio.com/clowns.html. if they go to www.m9studio.com they can watch all my short films, the BBQ documentary, and probably my best film to date, Kismet.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

M.M.: I am eternally grateful to Patrick for all his candor and help over many years. He is generous, funny and weird… My kind of qualities in a person. It’s great to have such a talented community and venue to show things. Heck, they even showed Legends of Chicken Comer film in it’s entirety at one point.

P.S.: Thanks for the kind words, Michael! I’m very excited to see Red Nose State when it’s finished. I’m hoping it will help cure my coulrophobia.

Twombley

MEET THE FILMMAKER: Zach Eastman.

Zach Eastman is one of Denver’s most talented young filmmakers. Making his way through the Colorado Film School, he’s already established himself as a young man with big visions and the commitment to bring them to life on the big screen.

Zach is screening his critically-acclaimed short movie Twombley at The Emerging FIlmmakers Project (EFP) January 17th at Denver’s Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo St.).

EFP Host Patrick Sheridan chatted with Zach briefly aout the movie and Zach’s other upcoming projects.

P.S.: So, why become a filmmaker?photo-1

Z.E.: I have loved movies as far back as I can remember. Growing up without many friends, film was like a companion, it always cheered me up when I was low. I used to read movie books and watch every movie I possibly could. Around the age of 10, after watching Casablanca for the first time, I was like, “I wanna make movies.”

What was relieving was this year was we went to Starz with our film and in that moment I could remember all these teachers and audults in my life tell me, “Your wasting your life sitting in front of the TV watching DVDs all day.” and I remember kids picking on me cause I was (and still am) such a film geek. All those moments finally got flushed out of my head cause I had found a way to be successful with the things I knew and was obsessed with.

P.S.: What was the inspiration for Twombley?

Z.E.: Twombley is the first big film I’ve shot this far in my career.  It’s based based off an original script I wrote that was then picked up as a project for cinematographer Michael Sharon’s thesis film.

Twombley comes from a multitude of influences. Firstly it’s an homage to the period of old time radio and the entertainers that were a part of it, people like Jack Benny, George Burns, Bob Hope, George Jessel, Jim and Marian Jordan. Second it’s influenced by the films I love watching – golden age studio films. Films that established visual and storytelling techniques that have become the standard today. I wanted to make a movie that looked and felt like a late 40s to early 50s vibe. Films like The Lost Weekend, The Public Enemy, and Frank Capra’s work really helped shape the pacing and the way the film looks now. In addition to films like Radio Days, Good Night and Good Luck really influence the showbiz aspects and how to film those moments properly.

P.S.: What are you working on next?

Z.E.: I have three projects in development. I am currently in pre-production on my next short film, The Boy Who Stares, which is all about a community reflecting on a tragic event ten years later. It’s a humanistic look at recovery from a cinematic point of view. I’m also co writing a feature with Director Zach Wyman. And I’m currently at work on finishing my first feature script, which I hope to shoot some time in 2014. It’s a slacker dramedy that will be shot something like a cross between Chasing Amy and Jackie Brown. I’m very excited to see it come around.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about your films.

photoZ.E.: I think my films are surprisingly optimistic. I always sit down saying “I wanna write something that doesn’t end happily” and generally I succeed, but even if the main characters don’t not have an external satisfaction, there’s always some sort of inner satisfaction or revelation that happens. So I guess they are dark but hopeful.

Of course I may just be talking out my rear end, for all I know the weird thing is that they aren’t any good

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

Z.E.: We are currently working on a website for Take 38 Productions, but all of our info can be found on Facebook:

Facebook.com/Take38Productions

Facebook.com/Twombley

Facebook.com/TheBoyWhoStares

I’m also on Twitter: @zachetake38

I also write for a lovely film blog called Mile High Cinema (MileHighCinema.com) on occasion.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

Z.E.: I love that a platform like this is available to up and comers. As a filmmaker, I like to see my work in a theater, the way it was intended, so to have a place to display work as regularly as this is a dream. It’s also got a regular clientele that are always so warm and engaging when it comes to you and your projects. It’s nice to have that encouragement, keeps you going in tough times creatively.

P.S.: Thanks, Zach! We’re very happy to screen Twombley and we look forward to screening your new works when they’re ready for us.  See you on the 17th!