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nate the whole effort. Making a movie is a longer process, often requiring additional services and more time in the state. Last year, the company helped with a short animated film about dinosaurs. Piksik also provided services for “The Frozen Ground,” a thriller based on actual events starting Nicholas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack; which is set to be released in December of 2012. For that film, the company worked on casting, location scouting and logistics. With the differing requirements for various productions, flexibility is essential. Piksik contracts and expands depending on the scopes of the projects. As of February of 2012, Piksik has three employees and one intern working on various projects. The company is bidding on several national commercials that could involve Alaska. At the time of this writing, Piksik has provided services for about 10 commercials, including an American Eagle shoot, and has worked on two films.

Photo by Deborah Schildt

Bob Crockett

Employing Alaskans

Together, Piksik’s three permanent employees have a combined total of more than 60 years of film industry experience. General Manager Bob Crockett’s biggest contribution to the team is his vast experience as a location scout. Production manager Deborah Schildt is the state’s only certified casting director. Schildt has cast 26 feature films, and worked in Los Angeles for eight years. She has built a database of talent by visiting every major town in the state to find people who are interested in

acting, and people interested in other aspects of film production. Recently, she cast both “Big Miracle” and “The Frozen Ground.” According to Schildt, approximately 5,000 Alaskans were interested in working on “The Frozen Ground,” which isn’t unusual, and Alaska’s geographic diversity—as talent comes from every region—is one of the key components to the industry’s success. “We run out of time before we run out of people that are excited and enthusiastic. We found talent all across the map,” Schildt says. There’s diversity in the needed skills, too. Movies employ more than just actors, although a number of Alaskans have earned a paycheck from their work on screen. “They need carpenters to build sets, they need electricians to light those sets. They need a whole bunch of services that someone needs to provide,” Kornfield says. On any given day, 200 people were involved in the production of Big Miracle. That included prop makers, painters, seamstresses and others. In total, more than 1,000 Alaskans were employed as a result of the film, accord-

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April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  
April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  

Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annu...