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2 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015


MARCH/APRIL 2015

MEDIA INC. 3


CONTENTS

VOLUME 27 • MARCH/APRIL

PUBLISHER

James R. Baker ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Susan Haley, Katie Sauro GUEST EDITOR

Mary Erickson STAFF WRITERS

Crystal Foley, Stephanie Hoover STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Regan MacStravic SALES MANAGER

Katie Higgins SALES

Steve Joseph PRODUCTION MANAGER

15

John Rusnak PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Kelly Baker

Actress Pisay Pao films a scene for the first season of Z Nation. DANIEL

DESIGNERS

SCHAEFER/GO2 DIGITAL MEDIA

Beth Harrison, Sonija Kells, Sam Rockwell, Liz Weickum

FEATURES

35

Casting Director Spotlight

39

Three Oregon TV Series Renewed

8

43

Southern Oregon on the Silver Screen: A Brief History

Legislative Update: What does this session mean for the Northwest production industry?

15

Pisay’s Power Play: Z Nation actress Pisay Pao talks filming in Spokane

37

Feeding Zombies: Justina Panther-Renoud caters to the cast and crew of Z Nation

40

Southern Oregon in 3 Takes: Three strong women discuss three strong but very different films

52

Augmented Reality Will Bring Us Together

7

Portland International Film Festival Opening Night

11

Oregon Film Industry Honored

19

SAG-AFTRA Awards Talent

20

Northwest Talent Showcase

WEBMASTER

Jon Hines

44 45

Ashland Independent Film Festival Preview Seattle Welcomes World’s Best Emerging Filmmakers Thanks to NFFTY 2015

47

A DREAM Come True for Indie Filmmakers

49

Girls Get Powerful with Media

58

The SARA Program: Your Destination for a Sound Education

LISTS 30

Talent/Modeling Agencies

36

Casting Directors

60

Recording Studios/Audio Services

OFFICE MANAGER

Audra Higgins INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER

Lois Sanborn COVER

Local actress Pisay Pao stars in the Spokane-shot series Z Nation. OLIVER IRWIN

Media Index Publishing Group 14240 Interurban Ave. S.,Suite 190 Tukwila, WA 98168 (206) 382-9220, (800) 332-1736 Fax (206) 382-9437 Email: media@media-inc.com www.media-inc.com 1219 SE Lafayette, Suite 201 Portland, OR 97202 Display Advertising. Call Media Index Publishing Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. Advertising confirmation deadline is the 30th of the month prior to issue publication. Advertising mechanicals are due the 5th of the month of issue. All submitted materials become the property of Media Index Publishing Inc. and will not be returned. Subscriptions. Annual subscriptions to Media Inc. (6 issues) are $15 (+$2.20 if sent to WA address); two-year subscription is $30.00 (+$3.30 if sent to WA address). Send check or money order to Media Index Publishing Inc., or call (206) 382-9220 with VISA or M/C. Back issues of Media Inc. are available at Media Index Publishing Inc. offices at the cost of $5 plus shipping. Copyright © 2015 Media Index Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher. Printed in USA

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FILM FESTIVALS

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT

Gottfried Photos by Benna

The Orest Film Center and hw rt No by ed nt se re ational th annual Portland Intern 38 e th egonian, bruary off on Thursday, Fe ed ck ki al iv st Fe Film aturing a night celebration fe g in en op an te ith 5, w rs included King Esta so on Sp s. le Ta ild W screening of ine, and ewing, Swank & Sw Br da va Ne ra er Si y, Winer Pearl Catering.

P

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: What does this session mean for the Northwest production industry? Photos by Regan MacStravic

A

t press time, both Washington and Oregon were in the midst of an important legislative session that could have important repercussions on the local film industry. Here, we take you through some of the bills on the table and what their impact might be. We’ll bring you updates as they become available at www.media-inc.com and in our next issue.

WASHINGTON In Washington State, a bill to increase the funding for the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program was introduced in the Washington State Senate on February 17. Senate Bill 6027 (SB 6027) has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee and a hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 25. SB 6027 would double the size of the production incentive program over the next two years to $7 million and increase the fund incrementally each year until it reaches $10 million in 2019. The sunset date for the program would also be extended to 2022. Washington’s current incentive program is the fifth smallest in the country. In April of last year, Washington Filmworks, which oversees the state’s film production incentive program, announced that, after just four months, the state’s entire allotment of funds available as production incentives for feature films and TV series had been exhausted for the year. SB 6027 aims to increase the incentive cap in order to keep Washington’s film industry competitive and help to retain film industry talent to fuel the statewide creative economy. The bill, which is supported by Mayor Ed Murray, is prime sponsored by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D, 36th), and co-sponsored by Senator Andy Billig (D, 3rd) and Senator Joe Fain (R, 47th). Filmworks organized a Film Day in Olympia on Tuesday, March 17. Nearly 300 participants from the local production community were in attendance to advocate for the film industry and many met with legislators to discuss the importance of the production incentive program in building a strong and robust creative economy. In addition, a film set was constructed behind the Capital Steps so that legislators could see for themselves what cast and crew do on a “typical day at work.” For more information, visit www.washingtonfilmworks. org or www.keepfilminwa.com. 8 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

Cast and crew set up a zombie apocalypse scene for Film Day in Olympia.

OREGON Meanwhile, spring is coming into Oregon like a lion this year with a change in leadership at the OMPA (see sidebar), several bills relating to Oregon’s film incentive program introduced into this 78th legislative session, and the great production news regarding the TV shows shooting in the state. Once Nathaniel Applefield, the new Interim Executive Director at the OMPA, has time to settle in, we’ll bring you a round-up of all of the measures in Salem that affect the incentive program. In the meantime, here are summaries of the bills to watch in Oregon’s Legislative Session:


SENATE BILL 872 Increases amount of maximum total tax credits for certified film production development contributions for fiscal year. Limits amount of expense reimbursement for filmmakers other than local filmmakers. Increases limit on reimbursement for local filmmaker or media production services company.

HOUSE BILL 2072 Establishes task force on Oregon film and media production. Increases amount of maximum total tax credits for certified film production development contributions for fiscal year. Provides for appropriation to Oregon Production Investment Fund for reimbursements of expenses for films or media production services produced or performed outside Portland metropolitan area. Removes limit on amount of expense reimbursement to local filmmaker or local media production services company. Applies to fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2015.

HOUSE BILL 2898 Increases amount of reimbursement from Oregon Production Investment Fund that is available to local filmmaker or media production services company. Applies to fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2015.

SENATE BILL 799 Advances sunset for tax credit for film production. For more information, visit www.oregonfilm.org. MI

OMPA APPOINTS INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

T

he Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA) has appointed Nathaniel Applefield as the organization’s interim executive director following the departure of Tom McFadden after seven years of service to the organization. Applefield served prior as executive director for the Portland Local of SAG-AFTRA, and has over ten years of experience in Oregon politics. A search for a permanent executive director is expected to begin in the coming weeks. “Tom’s leadership leaves the OMPA with as bright a future as any time in its history,” says newly elected OMPA president David Cress. “We wish him well in this next stage, and welcome Nathaniel Applefield to the organization.” As executive director, McFadden worked in conjunction with the OMPA board to increase engagement with industry and community members, expand the relevance of the association in public policy and legislative affairs, and raise awareness of the positive economic impacts of commercial, film and television production in Oregon. OMPA is the largest nonprofit association for commercial, film, TV and digital development professionals in Oregon, uniting crew, talent agencies, producers, directors and others who cater to the entertainment industry. The organization’s mission is to grow jobs and business opportunities for Oregon media story-tellers. Visit www.ompa.org for more.

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Andy Mingo poses with former Governor John Kitzhaber after receiving the Innovation in Education Award. KIM OANH NGUYEN

Oregon Film Industry Honored By Mary Erickson Guest Editor

O

n a foggy Tuesday night in January, Oregonian filmmakers celebrated achievements of the past year at the Governor’s Film Awards. Held in the historic Eastside Exchange building in Portland, the awards ceremony brought together dignitaries like former Governor John Kitzhaber, actor Russell Hornsby and renowned author Cheryl Strayed, along with film representatives from across the state. Gordon Sondland, chair of the Oregon Film board of directors, highlighted the diversity and excellence of media production in Oregon. Sondland, who has served on the board of directors for about a decade, will be ending his tenure as chair in 2015. Governor Kitzhaber presented Sondland with an Achievement in Film Service Award.

Sondland recognized the team at the Oregon Film Office, as well as Kitzhaber’s support for the industry, as instrumental in ensuring the success of Oregon filmmaking. The Zigzag Ranger District in the Mt. Hood National Forest was awarded a Film Advocate Award for its assistance with the production of Wild. Cheryl

Mike Jones organized a very successful Indie Game Con last October in Eugene. MARY ERICKSON

Strayed, whose book is the basis for the movie, presented the award to Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, Leanne Veldhuis, Kathleen Walker and Bill Westbrook, whom she thanked “for helping my book onto the screen with beauty and integrity.”

Also receiving a Film Advocate Award was Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake superintendent Craig Ackerman accepted the award, noting that “more people than ever are coming to see this place, to see the spiritual connection,” in MARCH/APRIL 2015

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large part because of films like Wild being produced in the park. Strayed also shared a letter from Senator Ron Wyden, who commended the Crater Lake staff and whose “collaboration helped showcase our state.” Andy Mingo was honored with an Innovation in Education award. Mingo, an art instructor at Clackamas Community College and film producer/director, has worked to make equipment and professional opportunities available to students interested in pursuing media production as a career. The evening featured reports from different regions across the state. Jeff Johnston from the Mid-Oregon Production Arts Network (MOPAN) mentioned a number of local produc-

12 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

Gordon Sondland received the Achievement in Film Service Award. KIM OANH NGUYEN

tions, including Tracktown, Animal House of Blues, and Portlingrad. He also highlighted several reality TV

shows in production in the Willamette Valley, including Graveyard Carz and Rollin’ on TV, and pilots being

filmed in the area. Mike Jones contributed with a report about the burgeoning games industry


in Oregon. Jones organized Eugene’s Indie Game Con in October 2014, expecting a handful of people to show up. Instead, the event hosted over 400 people and showcased 18 games made in Oregon. He anticipates organizing the second Indie Game Con for 2015. Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM) board president Ray Robison spoke about the region’s active film industry, from the production of Wild to the Ashland Independent Film Festival, in its 14th year in 2015, to the monthly “Camera and Cocktails” social events for local filmmakers. Christopher Jennings, director of the Eastern Oregon Film Festival in La Grande, championed this region of the state and its ability to accommodate productions.

He cited two productions, Mother’s Milk and A Morning Light, as examples of work happening along the Columbia Gorge. There are also plans afoot to renovate the historic Liberty Theater in La Grande, which would provide the town with a 400-seat theater. The final regional report was delivered by Juli Hamdan, board member of BendFilm. Hamdan described the success of the Bend Film Festival, noting that BendFilm director Todd Looby has added energy to the festival since he took the helm last year. Tim Williams, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Film & Television, heralded the awards evening on January 6 as “a great success.” “We were very happy, not only with the overall

Cheryl Strayed presented a Film Advocate Award to the Crater Lake National Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman. KIM OANH NGUYEN

attendance, which was from across the state,” he noted, “but also in being able to recognize so many of the people who have helped our industry in ways that often aren’t

properly acknowledged— like the rangers at Crater Lake and Zigzag, as well as educators like Andy Mingo and longtime servants to Oregon’s media industry, like Gordon Sondland.” MI

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Local actress Pisay Pao stars in Z Nation.

Pisay’s Power Play Z NATION ACTRESS PISAY PAO TALKS FILMING IN SPOKANE By Katie Sauro Associate Editor Photos by Daniel Schaefer/Go2 Digital Media

Z

Nation is officially returning to film season two in Spokane, Washington, and no one could be more excited than actress Pisay Pao, who grew up in Seattle and worked on local commercials and films before landing the role of “Cassandra”on the Syfy series.

“THAT’S LIKE WINNING THE POWERBALL LOTTO,” SAYS PAO OF LANDING A LEAD ROLE ON Z NATION. “I JUST COULDN’T BELIEVE IT.” Filming in her home state and surrounded by local cast and crew, Pao describes the on-set atmosphere during season one as “euphoric.” “Each week there was someone new to congratulate or hug on set,” she says. “This was because every single episode was filled

with talented Washington actors. I was just as happy to see my friends and peers as they were to see me. It was like we all won the golden ticket. I know I’ll never have another experience like this.” Of course, no matter how many of your friends are on set or how familiar you are

with your environs, filming your very first TV series can be incredibly stressful, says Pao. “I prayed every day that I wouldn’t mess up. It didn’t work,” she says. “Luckily, I was surrounded by a very supportive cast and crew.” Pao recalls one particular moment on set when the crew came to the actors’ rescue. “Spokane is such a diverse city in terms of its landscape,” she explains. “There were days where it would rain and hail. Then 30 minutes later, the sun would come out. And of course this would happen when we really needed to get a shot or we were running behind on schedule. MARCH/APRIL 2015

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But you don’t argue with Mother Nature. “I remember a scene where we were all standing outside waiting to get into a compound and it just kept raining on and off. Anyone and everyone on the crew that had a free hand stood with an umbrella over the cast members, making sure our hair and makeup wouldn’t get wet. They just kept running in and out of the scene every time the rain would stop or start. It was comical, and really touching.” This is what Pao enjoyed most about working on the production: the camaraderie. “Every single TV or movie set runs into problems. Just about every project runs behind schedule,” she says. “But when you have a great team that’s willing

16 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

Pao gets into her zombified character.

to get a little wet so that the production as a whole gets the shot it needs, and they can laugh it off as part of the job, it’s really special.” Not only did the crew go above and beyond to en-

sure that the production was a success, but so did the pool of talented actors, many of whom were from Washington. “Nearly all of the actors that worked on Z Nation

from Washington showed up 110 percent prepared. They knew their lines, they hit their marks, and just gave their overall best,” says Pao. “I know this probably sounds biased, but the truth


is I think Washington actors feel like they have more to prove and they don’t have the opportunity to prove it often (given how hard it is to get things filmed in the state and how hard it is to get local talent hired over someone from L.A.), so when an opportunity does come along, they don’t take it for granted.” Many of these actors will get another chance to showcase their talents during season two, which begins filming in April. Speaking of season two, what’s next for Pao’s character, Cassandra? The first season’s finale ended with several cliffhangers, including Cassandra becoming infected with the zombie vaccine/virus. No spoilers for us. Says Pao, “I have to plead the fifth.”

Between takes with fellow Washington-based actor Nat Zang.

Fans will have to wait until season two premieres to find out. Until then, Media Inc. will bring you more

stories from behind the scenes, as cast and crew film throughout the spring and summer. MI

Pisay Pao is represented by TCM Models & Talent in Seattle. Visit www.tcmmodels. com for more information.

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SAG-AFTRA Awards Talent By Brad Anderson Executive Director, SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local

R

ecently, the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local celebrated with all of SAG-AFTRA the talent of union members by hosting a viewing party for the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Nearly 60 people attended the event held at St. John’s Bar & Eatery on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Actors from around the region mingled with colleagues, as well as others in the entertainment industry, including producers and broadcasters. Celebrants participated in raffles and enjoyed hosted hors d’oeuvres, as well as the pageantry of the ceremonies being displayed on the big screen at the venue. Local talent has been prominently on display recently, often represented by talent agents that have signed franchise agreements with SAG-AFTRA. The opportunities for local talent represented by Z Nation and the recent TV pilot filmed by Amazon called The Man in the High Castle, as well as the continuing Oregon productions of Grimm and The Librarians, have drawn the incredibly talented SAG-AF-

TRA actors the region has to offer. In addition, “Commercialize Seattle” (www. commercializeseattle.com), jointly promoted by the City of Seattle and Washington Filmworks, has successfully expanded the range of productions for actors in the commercial arena. As successful as these efforts have been, more work needs to be done to fully actualize the marketplace for talent in the area.

One effort that the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local is fully behind is a new push to increase Washington’s film incentive. The incentive program in Washington provides for an aggregate total of $3.5 million for approved projects. Because the existing incentive is so

tonfilmworks.org and register the district that you live in so that Filmworks can keep you informed about what’s going on and how you can help. SAG-AFTRA wants to increase the availability of jobs for the talented professional performers it represents.

SAG-AFTRA WANTS TO INCREASE THE AVAILABILITY OF JOBS FOR THE TALENTED PROFESSIONAL PERFORMERS IT REPRESENTS. low relative to many other incentive programs around the country, Washington is not as competitive as it could be. In fact, last year alone Washington had to turn away a projected $55 million in economic benefits because the incentive fund had already been exhausted. So, the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local has joined forces with other labor unions and with Washington Filmworks to go to Olympia this legislative session and ask the legislature to increase the size of the incentive fund. And everyone can help: Go to www.washing-

Of course, in addition to “glamour” work discussed so far, there are many other projects that use SAG-AFTRA talent—from projects for local creative agencies to projects for corporate education for companies like Amazon, Boeing and Microsoft, and, of course, radio commercials. In all of these areas, local producers can recognize the wealth of talent in this locale and the strength of the professional performers of the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local. MI Visit www.sagaftra.org/seattle for more information.

MARCH/APRIL 2015

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NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

(503) 546-3006 www.puddletowntalent.com

Aden Valentine

Alexis Miller

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Ana Harvey

Anthony Chow

Ben Crumley

Benjamin Scherr

Benny Morinishi

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CC Barber

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Easton Sell

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Gracie Morinishi

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McKinley Irby

Quinn Ewers

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20 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015


NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

Big Fish NW Talent (877) 424-4347 • www.bigfishnw.com

Aaron

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Ally

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Giana

Janice Claussen

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Lillia

Logan

Makai

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Marissa

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Neyma Clark

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Raul Payret

Roman

Sarah

Scott Roddan

Tim Tully

Tommy Deal

Travis Cook

Vivan Tam MARCH/APRIL 2015

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NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

M Mitchell Artist Management ((509) 720-8312 • www.weareMAM.com

Aaron Farb

Aaron Wheeler

Addie D

Sean Cook

Alex Donnolo

Anna Comacho

Brax Z.

Brayden Tucker

Cady Smola

Caleb M.

Caroline S.

Conner M.

Dane S.

Daniel Knight

Dave Rideout

Emily Nash

Evan S.

Geoffrey Kennedy

Gracie K.

Hans Iverson

Heidi Santiago

Jameson E

Jordan Lannen

Joshua Jerad

Judah Banks

Kaleigh Hopkins

Keith MacGeagh

Kelly Eviston

Kenny Parks Jr.

Sali Sayler

Kiley M

LJ Klink

Maeloni Ogle

Makaylah R

Mara Thomas

Naomi Mercer

Natsanet Beshahe

Nich Witham

Nick Ferrucci

Nina H

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NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

(503) 233-4244 www.optionmodelandmedia.com

Alpha Tessema

Anne Sorce

Aris Juson

Audrey Boos

Bonnie Auguston

Brandi Seymour

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Brian Koch

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Ceily Crow

Chrstina Miller

Cora Benesh

David Hendrick

Duane Hanson

Emma Pelett

George Fosgate

Gilberto Martin Del Campo

Grace Holland

Greg James

Harold Phillips

Josh Edward

Juan Canopii

Kaite Michels

Kelli Lair

Kevin Martin

Laura Duyn

Lavenda Memory

Marshall Bradley

Matthew Blankenship

Max Faber

Michelle Kopper

Monica Graves

Rob Lauta

Sara Fanger

Scott McMahon

Simone Sullivan

Tom Avila

Tommy Hestmark

Yolanda Porter MARCH/APRIL 2015

MEDIA INC. 23


NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

(503) 274-1005 www.ryanartists.com

Abby Dylan

Adrian Shanafelt

Alex Mentzel

Ava Moody

Brian Harcourt

Castillo Morales

Chauncey Dorsey

Chip Sherman

Daniel Bettencourt

Dino Castagno

Dominique Thomas

Earle Culberston

Isaiah Hanley

Jeanette McMahon

Jimmy Garcia

John Goodwin

Julianne Nelson

Jasa Lindsey

Kalulu

Karen Wennstrom

Karmen Spiller

Kelsey NorenLind-

say Lucas

Lowell Deo

Lucille Leasure

Matthew Schur

Melinda Ausserer

Melissa Magana

Michael Jaffe

Mike Dunay

Morgan Lee

Naiya Taylor

Nich Ealy-Elder

Quigley Provost

Rachel Pate

Shelly Lipkin

Echo

Johnathan Strand

Skyler Verity

Lynn Denton

24 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015


NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

(206) 728-4826 www.tcmmodels.com

Alex Matthews

Allie Marlene

Allison Standley

Anna Clausen

Ben Andrews

Bradley Goodwill

Brandon Marino

Brittany Cox

Carolyn Cox

Cathy Vu

Claudine Nako

Daniel Brockley

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David Hogan

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Geoffery Simmons

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Jodie Harwood

Kc Guyer

Keiko Green

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Lowell Deo

Marianna D

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Michelle Hippe

Pisay P

Quinn F

Ryan Sanders

Sara C

Sarah Carroll

Scott B

Scott R

Tom Dang

Yun Choi MARCH/APRIL 2015

MEDIA INC. 25


NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

(206) 522-4368 www.actorsfirstagency.com

Alan Harrison

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Aubrey Rinehart

Carol Swarbrick

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Danett Meline

Dave Forbert

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Elinor Gunn

Eloisa Cardona

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Gene Thorkildsen

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Hugh Hastings

James McCartney

Janeanne Wilder

Jaryl Draper

Jim Gall

Joey Koler

Linda Kennedy

Mandy Rose Nichols

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Michelle Westford

Michiko Hull

Norah Elges

Sarina Hart

Sascha Streckel

Sharon Barto

Sophia Franzella

Stephanie Spohrer

Therese Diekhans

Josh Williamson

26 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015


NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

(206) 264-8433 www.tiffanytalent.com

Akiyo H.

Alayna G.

Alex C.

Amy S.

Benedick S.

Brandon T.

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Chris W.

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Don P.

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Emily H.

Jake L.

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Jamie D.

Jeff Z.

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Jennifer J.

John M.

Kat J.

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Katie M.

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Madison D.

Malaya E.

Maura L.

Max M.

Payton M.

Rachel D.

Ricard P.

Russ G.

Sarah B.

Toby H.

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To see our full roster, please visit www.TiffanyTalent.com MARCH/APRIL 2015

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NORTHWEST TALENT SHOWCASE

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NW

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0 - 100 yrs

Big Fish NW Talent Representation; Cheney, Seattle & Spokane, WA 877-424-4347; fax 877-424-4347 info@bigfishnw.com; www.bigfishnw.com

Gordon Adams Becky Reilly

N/A

Kim Brooke Models and Actors; Seattle, WA Kimberly Brooke, president 206-329-1111 kimbrookegroup@hotmail.com www.kimbrooke.com

N/A

DND

All

Babies to Grandparents

DreamCatchers; Seattle & Spokane, WA 208-696-1761 joshua@dreamcatcherstalent.com www.dreamcatcherstalent.com

Joshua Cooper, owner

N/A

DND

Emerald City Model & Talent; Edmonds, WA 425-248-4565; fax 425-248-4562 john.harb@emeraldcitymt.com www.emeraldcitymodelandtalent.com

Easa John Harb

N/A

6 mo 80 yrs

ENTCO International, Inc.; Lynnwood, WA 425-670-0888; fax 425-670-0777 info@entco.com www.entco.com

Terry Quick, president

SAGAFTRA

All

Sherrie Garcia & Associates Entertainment Service; Spokane, WA 509-922-2362; fax 509-922-2362 garciaentertainment@yahoo.com

Sherrie Garcia, agent

N/A

DND

Global One Seattle; Seattle, WA 206-858-6900; fax 206-858-6901 seattle@globaloneltd.com www.globaloneltd.com

Sunny Chae, CEO

N/A

5 - 80 yrs

Heffner Management, Inc.; Seattle, WA 206-622-2211; fax 206-622-0308 www.heffnermanagement.com

Nancy Peppler, president

N/A

DND

IMD Inc.; Medford, OR 541-858-8158; fax 541-858-1975 jill@imdmodeling.com www.imdmodeling.com

Teresa Pollman, president Jill D. Hidy, VP

N/A

4+

30 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

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NW

TALENT/MODELING AGENCIES

In Both Ears; Portland, OR 503-892-8833; fax 503-892-7182 info@inbothears.com www.inbothears.com

Amanda Clark, agent Britt-Marie Carlson, talent liaison

N/A

5 - 65 yrs

MAM (Mitchell Artist Management); Coeur d’Alene, ID, Seattle & Spokane, WA Spokane: 509-720-8312/Seattle: 425-3413562; book@wearemam.com www.wearemam.com

Anne Lillian Mitchell, owner Amanda Falcone, Seattle division director

N/A

0 - 99 yrs

Christine Goulet

N/A

8+

Option Model and Media; Portland, OR 503-233-4244; fax 503-200-5738 dennis@optionmodelandmedia.com www.optionmodelandmedia.com

Nina McLaughlin Kit Garrett

SAGAFTRA

1 - 100 yrs

Puddletown Talent, Inc.; Portland, OR 503-546-3006; fax 503-536-6767 jason@puddletowntalent.com www.puddletowntalent.com

Jason Jeffords , owner/ booking agent Matthew Reeves, admissions director

SAGAFTRA

Infancy - Adults

Q6 Model & Artist Mgmt.; Portland, OR 503-274-8555; fax 503-274-4615 justin@q6talent.com www.q6talent.com

Justin Habel, president

N/A

13 - 85 yrs

Ryan Artists Inc.; Portland, OR 503-274-1005; fax 503-274-0907 modelinfo@ryanartists.com www.ryanartists.com

Cholee Thompson, president

SAGAFTRA

All

SAG-AFTRA; Seattle, WA & Portland, OR 206-282-2506 brad.anderson@sagaftra.org www.sagaftra.org

Brad Anderson, executive director

SAGAFTRA

All

Sports + Lifestyle Unlimited; Portland, OR 503-227-3449; fax 503-227-4383 info@sluagency.com www.sluagency.com

Dave Weiss, president Paul Herschell, VP

N/A

Kids to Seniors

Topo Swope Talent, LLC; Seattle, WA 206-443-2021; fax 206-443-7648 topo@toposwopetalent.com www.toposwopetalent.com

Topo Swope, owner/agent Tim Crist, agent

SAGAFTRA

16 - 90 yrs

TAKE 2; Aloha, OR 541-870-7474 stacie@take2pro.com www.take2pro.com

Stacie Overman & Nathan Narain

N/A

6 mo and up

TCM Models & Talent; Seattle, WA 206-728-4826; fax 206-728-1814 terrim@tcmmodels.com www.tcmmodels.com

Terri C. Morgan, owner/director

N/A

Infant Seniors

Tiffany Talent Agency; Seattle, WA 206-264-8433 seattlebooking@tiffanytalent.com www.tiffanytalent.com

Tanya Tiffany, agent

N/A

5 - 89 yrs

Wooly Bugger Productions; Medford, OR 541-732-3095 wbp@woolybuggerproductions.com www.woolybuggerproductions.com

Derek Shetterly

N/A

DND

Martin Model Management; Bellevue, WA 360-333-5576 christine@martinmodeling.com www.martinmodeling.com

32 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

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COMMERCIALS FILM VOICE OVERS MULTIMEDIA CORPORATE VIDEOS

THE RIGHT TALENT EVERY TIME - CALL ELICIA! ELICIA WALKER Sag-Aftra Franchised Representing Union & Non-Union Actors 206.522.4368 (206.52.AGENT) DFWRUVÀUVWDJHQF\FRP DFWRUV#DFWRUVÀUVWDJHQF\FRP

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ph: 503.274.1005 fx: 503.274.0907 MARCH/APRIL 2015

MEDIA INC. 33


EXTRAS AND REAL PEOPLE CASTING

“Camp Abercorn� Photo by Ethan Jewett

Professional Casting - Reasonable Rates MOBILE CASTING • COMMERCIALS • FILM • WEB • TV Lori Lewis • Casting Director • FreeSpirit Casting LLC 503.720.4458 • www.FreeSpiritCasting.com

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ZZZDPH\UHQHFRP DPH\UHQH#JPDLOFRP 323-459-8584 34 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015


CASTING DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT 1LNH,PRUXNike Imoru Casting ZZZQLNHLPRUXFDVWLQJFRP Nike Imoru, CSA, is delighted to announce the opening of an additional casting studio in Seattle. It means we will be able to extend our casting reach and make connections with many more actors, agents, managers, commercial clients, producers and directors across the State. It’s an exciting move for us and we very much look forward to serving our Seattle-area clientele. The NIC casting studios in Spokane will remain open and continue to serve Spokane-area projects. In a gesture of collaborative enterprise, we are also thrilled to be sharing resources and creative synergy with Credence Productions, a company of producers and talent managers who are bringing their dynamic East-West Coast management team back to Seattle. Key Credence staff include: Tom Klassen, Co-Founder and Head of Talent; Michael Bloom, VP of Talent; Dawn Wilson, Manager and Producer; and Riley Charles, Head of Operations. Seattle Location / Nike Imoru Casting 1705 Westlake Ave N #105, Seattle, WA 98109 Nike Imoru Casting is located in the McHugh building, on the west side of Westlake Ave N in Seattle. There are hundreds of public parking spaces in a lot across the street from us, on the east side of Westlake.

/RUL/HZLVFreeSpirit Casting ZZZIUHHVSLULWFDVWLQJFRP Lori had an extensive background in the entertainment industry as an entertainer/actor before discovering casting and how much she loves it! She launched FreeSpirit Casting (FSC) on May 1, 2013 with the indie film Deep Dark, followed by the web series Exceptionals, along with several local commercials. In 2014, Lori was asked to cast the indie film Lily on Saturday, two more series, Runestone and Camp Abercorn, along with several more commercials. “At FSC we like to do things a little differently,” says Lori. “For example, all the commercial jobs we cast in 2014 were done without the need for callbacks. This saves everyone time and money. Another thing different about FSC is the followup with talent after casting, letting all know whether they were cast or not. It’s such a simple thing to do with today’s technology.” Simply put, Lori loves actors, the collaborative creativeness of this industry and finding new talent. Because of her background, Lori makes an extremely effective and empathetic casting director, stating, “I strive to be the type of casting director I always hoped I’d get to audition for when I was an actor.”

'HQLVH*LEEVForeground Background LLC ZZZIRUHJURXQGEDFNJURXQGFRP Denise Gibbs, owner of Foreground Background LLC, grew up in the world of theater and music performance as a director, writer, performer and actor. In 2006 she made the jump from theater to film and television production. Before doing film, she was the project manager of a local

graphic & web design firm. She also became the managing editor of a local newspaper, while producing and directing small local children’s theater, a reader’s theatre and event planning for faithbased family events. Denise has been a part of the casting process for numerous local and national commercials, television, film, corporate videos and new media projects here in the Pacific Northwest. She directed the first season of The Vanessa Waller Show, a talk show that won the SCAN TV Award for Favorite New Program. And she was part of the producing team that won the Accolade Competition Winner award for the film Of Yesterday and Tomorrow. Denise currently works as an extras casting director for most of the major film, television and commercial projects that come to Seattle. She also does principal casting on smaller projects. Denise has found having a background in theater and journalism also provides a foundation for working on commercials that involve “real people casting.”

Lance Mitchell Flannel Background ZZZÀDQQHOEDFNJURXQGFRP From the first trailer of Z Nation, social media erupted with chatter of the “Zombie Baby.” Behind every great entertainment trend is an agent. The proud “agent” papa of the Zombaby was Lance Mitchell of Flannel Background. “My wife and a friend started LLL Talent in Zombaby parents Ashley Hannah and Steve Emtman 2008,” says Mitchell. “Since then, they’ve been with Lance Mitchell of Flanbooking film, TV, and commercials out of ofnel Background. fices in Spokane & Seattle. After 5 years of my wife being the sole operator, we shook up the branding last year, changing from LLL to MAM (Mitchell Artist Management) putting our name on our business.” MAM concentrates solely on models, principal actors, and voice-over, which left their hundreds of background actors without a leader. “I literally came home to the announcement that I was now the owner of Flannel Background.” For 5 years, Lance Mitchell has been the “honey-do” guy behind owner/agent Anne Lillian Mitchell. With a degree in Production Management, he’s been the unseen force behind the scenes, including being an extra. “I get extras. I’m just an ordinary guy who loves movies and got to be on set. We realize extras have different questions and different needs. I’m here to help.” Looking for background actors in the NW: check out www.FlannelBackground.com.

$PH\5HQpAmey René Casting ZZZDPH\UHQHFRP Amey René is a casting director with over 15 years of industry experience. She started her casting career with Jeff Greenberg on the Emmy Award-winning show Modern Family. She now casts feature films, television and commercials. Amey is a member of the Casting Society of America. Recent projects include the films Captain Fantastic and Laggies, both filmed in Seattle, as well as commercials for Nike, GoldieBlox and the University of Washington. MARCH/APRIL 2015

MEDIA INC. 35


NW

CASTING DIRECTORS Cast Iron Studios; Portland, OR 503-221-3090; fax 503-221-3092 info@castironstudios.com www.castironstudios.com

Lana Veenker & Eryn Goodman, casting directors

Flannel Background; Coeur d’Alene, ID 208-818-3366 info@flannelbackground.com www.flannelbackground.com

Lance Mitchell, owner

Foreground Background LLC; Seattle, WA 425-246-2725; fax 253-926-0125 foregroundbackground@gmail.com www.foregroundbackground.com

Denise Gibbs, owner

FreeSpirit Casting LLC; Portland, OR 503-720-4458 freespiritcasting@comcast.net www.freespiritcasting.com

Lori Lewis, casting director/owner

Nike Imoru Casting; Spokane & Seattle, WA 509-220-2080 info@nikeimorucasting.com www.nikeimorucasting.com

Nike Imoru, CSA, owner/executive

Kalles Levine Casting CSA; Seattle, WA 206-522-2660 (wk) / 206-383-9001 (cell) contact@kalleslevinecasting.com www.kalleslevinecasting.com

Patti Kalles, owner

Amey René Casting; Seattle, WA 323-459-8584 ameyrene@gmail.com; utahgirl90@gmail.com www.ameyrene.com

Amey René, casting director Megan Rosenfeld, casting associate

Jodi Rothfield Casting CSA; Seattle, WA 206-448-0927 jodirothfield@gmail.com

Jodi Rothfield, owner/casting director

healthy variety • fresh food throughout shoot vegetarian, vegan & gluten free available culinary trained credits include: Z Nation, The Architect, Transformers 4 & More 36 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

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TYPES OF TALENT CAST

chefjustina@hotmail.com 509-981-5803


Chef Justina Panther-Renoud with Z Nation actor Keith Allan.

Feeding Zombies JUSTINA PANTHER-RENOUD CATERS TO THE CAST AND CREW OF Z NATION

F

or five months last summer, Seattle-based chef Justina Panther-Renoud returned to Spokane to work on the first season of Z Nation, an incentive project approved by Washington Filmworks.

Panther-Renoud has been in craft services for nine years and has extensive experience serving cast and crew on various projects, so the decision to hire her was a simple one for the production. Not to mention her hometown roots. “I’m originally from Spokane, so I knew the UPM there already,” she explains, “and the locations manager actually contacted me and told me to get in touch with producer Marc Dahlstrom. It was as easy as that!” What wasn’t so easy was dealing with the desert-like conditions of Eastern Washington in the

heart of summer. “It was a grind every day, and very grueling,” she says. “It was a zombie apocalypse, so we never had any green, lush locations. It was always dry and barren, so I had to keep the food as fresh as possible.” In fact, the temperature reached 105 degrees at the end of July and early August, sending Panther-Renoud scrambling to the store to pick up 350 pounds of ice a day, every day, for a two-week stretch. “Every day, I was at the store an hour before call time getting fresh food and ice, and usually again at

the store for an hour after we wrapped,” she says. Panther-Renoud worked no less than a 12- or 13hour day, every day. “For craft services, I always say that I’m kind of the most important and least important all at the same time,” she says. “We’re low on the totem pole, but as far as my importance on set, I’m told by everybody that it’s me who will change the morale of the whole day. Their clocks are set to when I’m coming around with sandwiches.” A typical day for Panther-Renoud—after hitting the grocery store, of course—began with set-up at 6 or 7am, followed by breakfast. Three hours after that, she brought sandwiches around for the cast and crew. She estimates that she made a total of about 6,500 sandwiches throughout the summer.

Then, throughout the day, Panther-Renoud would bring around various trays, from antipasto trays to balsamic drizzled-figs to fruit platters. “Russell Hodgkinson, who plays ‘Doc’ on the show, called this ‘happy dip time,’” says Panther-Renoud. What did the cast and crew look forward to most? “The sandwiches,” she says, without hesitation. “If I didn’t bring sandwiches out three hours into the day… it just wasn’t an option. It’s all they talked about. I still get messages on Facebook about them. My combination of ingredients, it stands out. Whether it’s cranberry mustard, or capers in the tuna salad, everything is gourmet, always fresh, and healthy. “Typically, crafty is a lot of sweets and candy and that’s just not what the crew wants or needs. So I always MARCH/APRIL 2015

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have fresh fruits and veggies and gluten-free options. A health-conscious table covers the whole crew.” She started the production working out of a hollowed-out van, but just two weeks into filming she bought a motorhome that was already set up for craft services. With air conditioning and a sitting area, the motorhome became a refuge for cast and crew. “I always said, ‘what goes on in the crafty motorhome, stays in the crafty motorhome,’” says Panther-Renoud. “It was definitely a nice investment.” Now back in Seattle, Panther-Renoud is working craft services on several commercials shooting in the area. As for the next season of Z Nation, the production will begin filming in Spokane in April.

When asked if she would work the second season, Panther-Renoud says, “I would go back, but I couldn’t do the entire show. It’s going to be 20 episodes instead of 13, and 8 months long instead of 5. I would probably work two weeks on and two weeks off until the summer.” Whether she stays in Seattle for the summer or returns to feed the zombies, Panther-Renoud truly enjoys working craft services on productions. “The kitchen is always set up in a different place; it’s always a different adventure,” she says. “I get the most beautiful views of sunrises and sunsets, and I get to do what I love: I get to take care of people, work with food, travel. I love what I do.

It's "happy dip" time on set.

“I am so lucky and blessed to be in the niche that I’m in and I love it.” MI

Sara Burton Location Scout and Manager

To contact Justina Panther-Renoud, e-mail chefjustina@hotmail.com.

sara@girlscoutlocations.com 503.998.2793 www.girlscoutlocations.com

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Three Oregon TV Series Renewed By Susan Haley Associate Editor

O

regon has great news to share in its TV production schedule! According to recent reports, the networks have renewed all three of the TV shows that have made the state home in recent years. TNT has announced its decision to renew The Librarians for a second season. The Librarians premiered in December as the most-watched new cable series of 2014 and is produced by Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, which also brought the series Leverage to Oregon for several successful seasons. Based on the popular movie franchise, The Librarians television series centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting the unknowing world from a secret, magical reality. The series stars Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen, the Librarian, with Rebecca Romijn as his guardian, and Christian Kane, Lindy Booth and John Kim as the newest generation of Librarians. John Larroquette returns as caretaker Jenkins. IFC also announced that the series Portlandia will be back for two additional seasons. Portlandia is produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video and is currently airing on IFC in its fifth season. The show stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen and includes guest roles that bring some of the best comedy casting to the Pacific Northwest. Shot in Portland, the show

includes some of the odder aspects of the NW lifestyle that has obviously hit a popular chord. “We are so excited to get to do more Portlandia with IFC,” said Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in a joint statement. “Getting to work with Jon (Krisel, the series’ co-creator and director) and our talented writers and crew, it really is our favorite thing in the world. Also, we get to spend more time in Portland!” The renewal is for 10 half-hour episodes in both seasons six and seven. Season five can be seen on IFC at 10pm on Thursdays. In the first week of February, NBC announced that Grimm is being picked up for season five. The show, shot on stages and on location in Portland and the metro area, has been doing well in its Friday night timeslot, with season four garnering over 7.2 million viewers all-told. Grimm was one of five dramas NBC renewed for the 2015-16 season. The show stars David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Reggie Lee, Sasha Roiz, Bree Turner and Claire Coffee. Executive producers include Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf and Norberto Barba.

Dean Devlin featured with Noah Wyle on the set of The Librarians. SCOTT PATRICK GREEN

A scene from Portlandia, starring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. AUGUSTA QUIRK/IFC

(l-r) Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, and Schakal star in Grimm, which is being filmed in Oregon. SCOTT GREEN/NBC/NBCU PHOTO BANK

These shows represent hundreds of jobs for Oregonians—both crew and talent who work hard to help make these shows a success, not to mention the

continued work for vendors and support industries that service Oregon’s film and television industry. Oregon is thrilled to have all of these shows back! MI MARCH/APRIL 2015

MEDIA INC. 39


Jenny Hinkey, line producer of Brother in Laws, on the set with Gary Kout, executive director of SOFaM, and the film’s director Osmany Rodriguez.

Southern Oregon in 3 Takes THREE STRONG WOMEN DISCUSS THREE STRONG BUT VERY DIFFERENT FILMS

2

film is When Giants Fall, a feature-length documentary by Emmy Award-winning producer Leslie Griffith. These three women discussed their experiences for Media Inc. readers.

Black Road is a noir drama produced by Anne Lundgren, principal of the Ashland-based production company JOMA Films. Brother

Jenny Hinkey, Line Producer As a line producer, Jenny Hinkey functions as the key manager during the daily operations of a film. She has the primary responsibility for the logistics of the production, and worked directly with executive producer Lorne Michaels. Shooting a full-length feature film on location (as opposed to a tidy soundstage) has its

By Anita Gomez Guest Columnist

014 was an eventful year for filming in Southern Oregon. Scores of productions were shot in various locations, furthering the area’s reputation for quality film and media production and contributing to MovieMaker Magazine naming Ashland, Oregon, as the #1 Town to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in the U.S. in 2015. Three of those productions are feature films now in the final stages of post-production, all very different in their genre, from lively comedy to sci-fi thriller to hard-hitting documentary. What they all have in common, however, is that all three were produced by very experienced and capable women.

40 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

in Laws is an SNL comedy from Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video production company, line produced by Jenny Hinkey. The third

BROTHER IN LAWS

challenges, especially a film calling for a remote, rustic cabin. When asked why Southern Oregon was chosen as a location, Hinkey said, “Most of the film is set in a family vacation house on a lake. Lake of the Woods was the perfect location for our film. We also needed to be close enough to a small town for additional scenes and Klamath Falls fit the bill perfectly.” Brother in Laws was shot for 20 days entirely on location from mid-August through September 2014. Arranging for meals and accommodations for the large cast of 50 and crew size of 70 was no easy task. The town of Klamath Falls is not particularly large, but the community worked closely with the filmmakers to comfortably provide for the


group and all of their needs. Hinkey said that other than a few key people brought up from L.A., they were able to find all the crew and equipment they needed locally. This included camera, grip and electric, and all the costumes, which came from Oregon. The production did need to ship in a handful of props from Seattle, and a few other hard-to-find items were sent up from L.A. Hinkey described the experience by saying, “I loved it! It was fantastic. Everyone in the city was so accommodating. And it was super affordable. Really a surprising number of looks for such a small town. All the locations and all the people we encountered—from Rooster’s Steak House to local community leaders—were great to work with.” When asked if Hinkey would like to shoot again in Southern Oregon, she replied with a resounding, “Absolutely! I would encourage any filmmaker to go to Southern Oregon to film.” She added with a laugh, “Just watch out for the deer while driving around Lake of the Woods!” Brother in Laws stars Bill Pullman, Rita Wilson and Saturday Night Live regulars Taran Killam, Kenan Thompson and Bobby Moynihan. Paramount will announce the release date soon.

BLACK ROAD Anne Lundgren, Producer Filmed over the course of 21 production days in July and August 2014 and in 20 different locations from Ashland to the coast, Black

WHEN GIANTS FALL

Anne Lundgren, producer of Black Road, reviews a shot.

Road is the quintessential example of an indie film. The crew was “small but mighty,” numbering just 15. The full cast of 14 is composed of 10 locals, with only 4 hired from L.A. Black Road’s production budget was completed with a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised approximately $46,000 from 365 backers in 30 days. The film’s Kickstarter page describes the feature film as follows: “In 2049 a cyborg drifter risks his life to protect a woman from her evil ex in the lawless State of Jefferson. With an A.I. implant in his head, DYLAN has a virtual companion and moral compass as his situation spirals out of control. At the heart of this movie is a simple story of desire and disillusionment. Our hero craves a stable life, satisfying work and meaningful relationships...but he’s in trouble - caught between $18M in gold, a femme fatale and the maniac who wants her dead.” Producer Anne Lundgren explains that she and her husband, writer/director Gary Lundgren, were able to tackle the production challenges because their

small band of production crew is a tight team who have worked together many times before. “It’s like family,” said Anne Lundgren. “It’s amazingly beautiful when you are able to put a team together that you love working with. There are a lot of really talented, passionate, professional people who live here.” As for equipment, Lundgren said they had everything they needed locally. “Except for one lens we had to rent online, 99.9 percent of the gear was from here.” She added, “Out-oftown producers would be surprised by the full range of resources, support and infrastructure available to them here. It’s grown so much in just the last few years.” JOMA Films and the Lundgrens are currently focused on getting Black Road finished and distributed. They are aiming for a release date of Fall 2015, after which they are planning a full slate of films for the coming years. Two prior features done by the Lundgrens in Southern Oregon are Calvin Marshall (2009) and Redwood Highway (2014).

Leslie Griffith, Producer, Director, Writer “One hundred years ago, an estimated ten million African elephants roamed the continent. Today there are less than four hundred thousand. Caught between bloody civil wars and a lust for money, African elephants struggle to survive a seemingly insatiable global demand for ivory.” Thus reads the website summary of the documentary When Giants Fall, about to be released by Leslie Griffith. Griffith is a journalist whose career in newspaper, radio and television has spanned three decades. She has earned 9 Emmys and 37 Emmy nominations. In 2005, The Humane Society of the United States awarded Griffith with the National Genesis Award for exposing abuse at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 2013, Griffith moved from the California Bay Area to the small picturesque town of Jacksonville, Oregon. When asked, “Why here?”, Griffith explained, “For the peace. Traveling between the U.S. and Africa—with all its stress and sadness—left me in need of quiet.” When Griffith moved to Southern Oregon, she specifically sought a house on a hill. She said she needed an open, expansive view to write. And indeed, looking out from her backyard with Mount McLoughlin in the background, it’s easy to conjure up Mount Kenya or Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, both of which appear in Griffith’s film. Griffith explained that MARCH/APRIL 2015

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watching the African elephants disappear is very tragic. But she believes there is a kindness that will be reflected in the film that may not have been there if produced in a city with the hard edges of a fast-paced life. “The area takes the edges off those rough spots.” Griffith continued, “When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I hike the Britt trails and feel renewed.” Griffith returned from her multiple trips to Africa with over 100 hours of film, hiring local crew to help her log, transcribe, research and ultimately edit the documentary. Other than special graphics out of San Francisco, and the final highly specialized post-production stages of audio sweetening and color-correction, Griffith has done all of her post-production work in

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Southern Oregon. “I have found here every bit the talented people as the filmmakers I knew in San Francisco and L.A. But often I find the people here in Southern Oregon have a calmer demeanor.” Griffith added, “I think the ease of lifestyle helps. And I’m grateful for that inherent gentleness of character because of working on such a heavy topic. A project like this is so intense.” When asked if she was planning on staying in Southern Oregon once her film was completed, Griffith said, “I can’t imagine ever leaving here. I have spent my life traveling. And the Rogue Valley is as beautiful as any place I’ve been.” When Giants Fall is set to release in Spring 2015. 2015 is already looking like another busy year for

Leslie Griffith, producer of When Giants Fall, with a young elephant on location in Africa.

Southern Oregon. The local film professional association and film liaison, Southern Oregon Film and Media, expects the region’s designation as a number one place to live and work as a filmmaker will bolster production activity even further. For information on film-

ing in Southern Oregon, contact Southern Oregon Film and Media via their website (www.filmsouthernoregon.org) or email (sofam@filmsouthernoregon. org). MI Anita Gomez is a freelance writer living in Grants Pass, OR.


Southern Oregon on the Silver Screen: A Brief History By Edwin Battistella Guest Columnist

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ilm-friendly Southern Oregon has recently been the location for dozens of feature and short films and boasts its own Ashland Independent Film Festival. Diverse filming locations, strong infrastructure and a wealth of local talent make the region attractive to filmmakers, and it’s an attraction with a long history. Among the earliest films shot in Southern Oregon was Grace’s Visit to the Rogue Valley, a 1914 promotional film for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Starring former Broadway actress Grace Andrews, the film included footage of Crater Lake, Medford, Ashland, and the Siskiyou Pass. Over the years, rugged Southern Oregon outdoor locations have played a role in Hollywood films. Park Avenue Logger, featuring Ward Bond, was filmed in Grants Pass in 1937. The film’s premise: a millionaire thinks his son is too bookish, so he sends him west to learn logging at one of his lumber camps. His son then uncovers how his father is being cheated by the local boss.

Historic Jacksonville was the setting and site for Last of the Wild Horses, directed by Robert Lippert, most known for producing films such as The Last Man on Earth (1964). Jacksonville was again featured in the 1972 film The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, about a failed bank robbery by Jesse James and Cole Younger. During the filming, the design crew covered streets in dirt, installed wooden sidewalks and hitching posts, and even added a new building in the town. Jacksonville had such a terrible time with the cleanup that the city avoided much outdoor filming until just a few years ago. Perhaps that’s why Bruce Campbell built the fictional town of Gold Lick for his 2007 film

Plaque in Jacksonville commemorating The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid. IMAGE COURTESY OF EDWIN BATTISTELLA

The Bella Union Restaurant and Saloon in Jacksonville, featured in The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (directed by Philip Kaufman, 1972). IMAGE COURTESY OF EDWIN BATTISTELLA

My Name Is Bruce (about a B-movie actor mistaken for his character and called upon to battle zombies) on his own property in Jacksonville. Baseball, not zombies, was the lure of the 2009 film Calvin Marshall, with scenes also shot at the athletic facilities of Southern Oregon University, North Mountain Park in Ashland, and at Harry & David Field in Medford. And in Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves (2013), Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning are environmental extremists plotting to blow up a hydroelectric dam. The Galesville Dam near Roseburg was used and scenes were also filmed in Medford, Ashland, and at the Lake of the Woods near Klamath Falls. The wild Rogue River has been the scene of several films, including part of 1975’s Rooster Cogburn (after which John Wayne became owner of a historic ranch in Selma, Oregon). And the 1995 film Dead Man, with Johnny Depp as an accoun-

tant named William Blake, included a Makah village constructed along the Rogue in Grants Pass. The rivers, landscape and period homes are part of what attracts filmmakers to Southern Oregon. Local support from officials, businesses and groups like Southern Oregon Film and Media are all part of the picture, as well. And sometimes, the attraction is the people. When Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild was filming in Ashland, the call for extras called for “hippies, deadheads, punk rockers, grunge, people with tattoos/ piercings, dreadlocks, etc.” It was a bit of counter-culture typecasting, but there were plenty of applicants. MI Edwin Battistella teaches linguistics and writing at Southern Oregon University, and is on the editorial board of the Oregon Encyclopedia of History and Culture. His most recent book is Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology (Oxford University Press, 2014). MARCH/APRIL 2015

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FILM FESTIVALS

Preview By Susan Haley Associate Editor

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he  14th  annual Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) will take place April 9 – 13 at the Varsity Theatre, the Historic Ashland Armory, Ashland Street Cinema, and the Ashland Springs Hotel. Full festival programming can be found at www.ashlandfilm.org. Cathy Dombi, interim executive director, has been guiding this year’s festival into what we expect will be another awesome experience. Described as “like Sundance only warmer,â€? AIFF is the largest independent ďŹ lm festival in Southern Oregon and the Siskiyou region of California. Set in the picturesque town of Ashland (also home to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival), AIFF provides an intimate setting that allows audience members, ďŹ lmmakers and industry representatives a rare opportunity to interact over ďŹ ve days at various events, including screenings, forums, conversations, educational programs and informal gatherings. AIFF is known not just as an excellent experience for attendees, but is known as a â€œďŹ lmmakers’ ďŹ lm festival.â€? “Ashland does everything right—the location is beautiful, they treat you like family, the programming is outstanding, the audiences are supportive and smart, everything is well-run, and they make it easy to meet

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other ďŹ lmmakers in a relaxed environment,â€? said Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen, the ďŹ lmmakers behind Marwencol. “By the end of Ashland, you want to make another movie just so you can come back and experience the festival again.â€? Screening at a well-attended festival often helps a ďŹ lm on its journey to a distribution deal and greater success. There have been many examples of ďŹ lms screened at AIFF that have gone on to earn continued awards. According to Judy Irving, her ďŹ lm, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, was rejected by all the big festivals. “After our ďŹ lm was selected by Ashland, the momentum started building,â€? she said. “Recognition with the Audience Award helped us get two distribution offers, and now Wild Parrots is among the top 25 highest-grossing documentaries of all time.â€? Because of the popularity of the festival with ďŹ lmmakers, most ďŹ lms have

WHAT TO EXPECT AT AIFF 2015

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someone in attendance who is connected with the ďŹ lm. Festival attendees are able to enjoy Q&As at most of

the screenings and those sessions, along with the panels, make Ashland one of the best festivals on the circuit. MI


FILM FESTIVALS

Seattle Welcomes World’s Best Emerging Filmmakers Thanks to NFFTY 2015 By Stefanie Malone Managing Director, NFFTY • Photos by Mark Malijan

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his April, the next generation of the world’s best filmmakers will come to Seattle to showcase their work at NFFTY 2015. NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) is in its ninth year running and has continued to make an undeniable impression on both the lives of the young filmmakers accepted into the festival, and on the film community that joins in the electric experience of hearing the voice of this generation. NFFTY is the world’s largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors, showcasing work by filmmakers 24 and younger from around the globe. Opening Night kicks off on

ever before, NFFTY 2015 is a great example of why this festival has been called the “Sundance for young filmmakers.” A few of the things that set this year’s festival apart from last year are the Closing Night screen-

ing, “Femme Finale,” and the Masterclass panel with Danish screenwriter Rasmus Heisterberg. The Femme Finale screening on Closing Night (Sunday, April 26) will feature films from a lineup of all

April 23 at the newly remodeled Cinerama Theater, with the remainder of the festival at the SIFF Cinema Uptown from April 24-26. With more film screenings and filmmaking panels than MARCH/APRIL 2015

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Five days of 80+ independent documentaries, features and shorts from around the world.

CUJNCPFƂNOQTI 2015 Art by Gabriel Mark Lipper

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female filmmakers. Among them is the powerful short documentary The Provider from filmmakers Leah Galant and Maya Cueva. This film follows the work of Dr. Shannon Carr, who works to provide safe and legal abortion services to women across the U.S., while encountering various forms of opposition. How Do You Like My Hair? is another standout screening at Femme Finale, from filmmaker Emilie Blichfeldt. This introspective short is a coming-of-age story about a girl determined to accept herself as she is and to find beauty outside the norm. Femme Finale is part of an ongoing initiative, which kicked off at last year’s festival, to highlight and support female filmmakers in order to address the issue of gender equality in the film industry. In his Masterclass panel, Danish screenwriter Rasmus Heisterberg (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Royal Affair) will discuss the intricate journey that starts with the conception of an idea and leads to the creation of a story. He’ll lay out how to find the right path for an idea so that characters, plots and themes can develop organically throughout the writing process, so that scenes, sequences and eventually a whole script emerge. Festival programmers anticipate this year’s festival

will hit an all-time high for submissions received and films screened. Last year, the 2014 festival received a record-breaking 800 submissions from all over the world. A total of 214 films screened, representing 30 U.S. states and 15 countries. Attendees totaled more than 12,000 and films covered all topics and genres, from compelling and provocative to hilarious to uplifting. Many NFFTY alumni have gone on to highly successful careers, including Kevin Klauber, the editor of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Another ‘08 alum, Erica Sterne, is currently the director of post production at The Weinstein Company. Elena Gaby’s Paper State won Best Student Documentary at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the future leaders of the film industry, and the chance to be able to say, “I knew them when…”! The full festival schedule is available at www.nffty. org. Festival passes and individual tickets are now on sale. MI Stefanie Malone is Executive Director of NFFTY. She is formerly an award-winning producer who has worked with a long history of creating content and programs for PBS. She’s a fan of documentaries and the Marx Brothers.


FILM FESTIVALS

A DREAM Come True for Indie Filmmakers By Susan Haley Associate Editor

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iteral representations of dreams have always played an important part of cinema, from George Méliès’ 1898 silent The Astronomer’s Dream to Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning Inception released over 110 years later. But it is the kind of dreams that independent filmmakers have while lying awake at 3am fantasizing about their finished film’s future that led to the creation of the DREAM Film Showcase. The DREAM Film Showcase is the inspiration of Vancouver, Washington, native Corey Moultrie, a local production designer and art director, and Derek Nickell, a cinematographer and editor and recent Los Angeles transplant. Moultrie had just finished his first short film, Our Lost (which Nickell had edited), and had alThe Looking Planet screened as part of the DREAM Film Showcase.

ways dreamed of premiering it on the big screen at the Kiggins Theatre, where he had been inspired by so many films during his youth. Not comfortable with the screening being all about them, the two put out a call to other Northwest filmmakers whom they had worked with to make the evening more

of an event. Response was positive, and on September 18, 2014, the first DREAM Film Showcase (featuring seven shorts, three trailers and a music video) lit up the Kiggins screen. Energized by the successful debut screening, Moul-

trie and Nickell approached Kiggins Theatre owner Dan Wyatt in the hopes of making the Showcase a regular event. Wyatt and program director Richard Beer had been discussing the creation of a similar series, so they enthusiastically joined forces. The group decided that although an emphasis would be put on showcasing local talent, the Showcase would open the competition to the filmmaking world at large. Dates were set for four 2015 screenings, and Nickell set up a profile with FilmFreeway to solicit entries. Within just a few weeks they were thrilled when they had received over 40 films from as MARCH/APRIL 2015

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included works by filmmakers from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Spain. Two films shown were Oregon productions: Circles by Aaron Nelson-Caviglia and Melissa Gregory Rue of Portland, and Coppice by Shirlyn Wong of Milton-Freewater. “It is the dream of all filmmakers to see their film pro-

far away as Sweden, Brazil, Belgium and China. Though the theme of dreams isn’t a prerequisite for entering the now quarterly DREAM Film Showcase, the programmers have found that many of the strongest entries have tended to have a dreamlike quality to them, no matter their genre. Films in this past January’s Showcase

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A look at the short film Hush.

jected with the best equipment on the biggest screen possible with an appreciative audience,” says Moultrie. “I hope that with the DREAM Film Showcase we can help make more filmmakers’ dreams come true.” The next Showcase will take place April 30 at 7pm at the Kiggins Theatre, located at 1011 Main Street,

Vancouver, Washington. MI For more information on entering or attending future DREAM Film Showcase screenings, visit www.dreamfilmshowcase.com or www.FilmFreeway.com. Films must be under 25 minutes in length and produced within the last five years. All films chosen to screen receive a DREAM Film Showcase selectee award.


FILM FESTIVALS

Girls Get

POWERFUL with Media

By Mary Erickson Guest Editor • Photos by Tony Evans

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OWGirls is a filmmaking workshop for girls ages 1518. Organized as an educational offshoot of POWFest, the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, POWGirls is committed to “helping girls realize their power, creativity and voice in media production and encourage them to explore opportunities as future filmmakers.” Two teams of girls produced and edited two films, Great Expectations and Words of Wisdom, both of which screened at POWFest on Sunday, March 15, at Portland’s Hollywood Theatre. I talked with Tara Johnson-Medinger, executive director of POWFest and POWGirls, about this year’s POWGirls workshop.

Mary Erickson: Tell me about the inspiration for POWGirls and how it started. Tara Johnson-Medinger: Every year since POWFest started, we’ve been committed to showcasing work of young directors (youth 18 and under). We’ve always had a free submission selection process for them and we always do a collection of their work to showcase that during the festival. We’ve been committed to making sure there is a platform for students to showcase their work, especially young girls. We’ve received entries from all over the country—actually all over the world, now—from youth-based media programs. It’s pretty dynamic, the amount of youth-created media out there.

As we were looking at the future of POWFest, we wanted to bring in the component of growing our next generation of filmmakers. We wanted to go beyond just showcasing their work and include an education program where youth could learn how to control media and create their own stories, and also get their hands on top-notch gear in the process. Kids have iPhones that they can use to be a moviemaker instantly. POWGirls adds the extra element of crafting the story, a level of media criticism in terms of how aesthetically you’re approaching your piece and the connotations of certain shots. We want to get a little deeper into the effect of the media that they’re putting forward. There’s this op-

POWGirls participants represent the next generation of filmmakers.

portunity to put the power of story and leadership into their hands. ME: How did the first POWGirls workshop go? TJM: We ran our first iteration of POWGirls in March 2014. We did a beta test because we wanted to make sure that the program could function properly. We wanted to make sure that young girls were interested, and that we could find the right team to run it. We made some really strong partnerships in the community. We partnered with Portland Community Media last year, and they gave us the use of their space and equipment, which was a huge relief. We hand-selected six girls last year, put them through the process, and really took to heart their evaluations at the end of the workshop. Those

six girls in 2014 participated in the program for free. We were able to work through some of our own kinks and get their feedback. They made a movie over the course of the weekend of our film festival and showed it on Sunday afternoon. It was really intense. They did not have a lot of time to create their film, but they got it to screen. It was super exciting. The girls were changed. They were so articulate and proud of their work and up on stage commanding that audience. It was exciting to see that happen in front of us. We wanted to continue that program and grow it. ME: The 2015 POWGirls workshop just finished. Tell me about how it went. TJM: POWFest’s education manager Barb Myers, who was a mentor last year with MARCH/APRIL 2015

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POWGirls participants set up a green screen shot.

POWGirls, really fostered the program, and we were able to grow to accommodate 14 girls. We initially said 12 but we had such a positive response that we opened it up to accommodate two more girls. The girls came from high schools all over, even one from an online high school program and one who is homeschooled. It was fairly racially mixed. That’s something we need to continue to work on. We want to reach communities that may not get these opportunities as

often. We want to make it equitable. We charged $200 per girl, but 50 percent of the girls were on some sort of scholarship, either half or full scholarship. If it was asked for, it was given. We want to be really inclusive with this program and I think we really accommodated those needs. We partnered with MetroEast Community Media in Gresham, Oregon. They came forward with amazing gear. These girls got to use new 4K cameras. It was incredible to be able to say, not only are you going to get all this instruction on craft and stories, but you’re going to be working with top gear that a lot of working filmmakers work with. That’s a really exciting component of POWGirls this year. Jennifer Dynes at MetroEast is really committed to what they’re doing in community media. These girls

now have the ability to come back and use MetroEast as a facility. It opened a door to a whole new world to these girls. You could really see a tremendous amount of transformation throughout the weekend. They crafted the story, executed it in production, got through the editing process, and came out with a final product. I’m excited and proud of this program. I feel like we just said we need to do this, and we figured out a way to make it happen. The response was tremendous. Every single girl in our exit survey said they wanted to participate in an advanced class. We want to give these girls the opportunity to create their own stories.

TJM: We’re working towards doing an advanced program in the summer. Girls who participated in our initial POWGirls can come back. We want to work specifically with a designated client and we can match them with mentors and take them through a project-based image piece for a nonprofit. The goal is to give them more project management skills and bring the professional level to them and to continue the experience. The biggest hurdle that we have in growing the program is funding for our program. That’s what we’re strategically looking at. How do we continue to sustain this program? We need sponsors and funders to step forward with financial contributions so we can sustain this important program year-round. MI

ME: What are you planning next for POWGirls?

For more information, visit www.powfest.com/powgirls.

What’s all the Hullabaloo? Whether it plays in HD or on the web, from feature films to commercial spots, Hullabaloo tells stories that get results. Creative. Engaging. Serving Your Business Needs. THAT’S HULLABALOO. Clients include: Top Pot Doughnuts, Nordstrom, Amazon.com, Starbucks, MTV, National Geographic, PBS, and Microsoft. 20 years of award-winning experience.

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We ran this letter in February of 2013, but unfortunately the practice of misclassifying employees is still pervasive in our industry. Be advised that if IATSE Local 488 discovers any company engaged in this illegal practice, said companies will be reported to Washington State L&I, Employment Security and the IRS. Dear Production Executive: There is a disturbing practice that has taken hold in our production community. Many production companies are utilizing the erroneous practice of misclassifying freelance labor as independent contractors. Presumably this is an attempt to gain an unmerited financial advantage in the bidding process. IATSE Local 488 has devoted its own resources to research this issue and has confirmed that this practice is in violation of state and federal law. Leadership at Local 488 consulted with their attorney as well as the Washington State Department of Labor and the Employment Security Department. In the course of this investigation it has been confirmed that labor is to be compensated through a proper W-2 payroll process with appropriate taxes withheld. It was further reconfirmed that work performed as a production crew member does not meet the IRS criteria or Washington State RCW’s to be classified as an independent contractor. IATSE Local 488 represents the vast majority of film and video technicians in the Northwest and is an active advocate for everyone who works in a freelance position regardless of membership in the IATSE. Local 488 feels that an essential element pursuant to this role is to promote a professional, stable and local crew base. The practice of misclassifying crew members deprives local technicians the protections granted by law, thereby depleting the intergrity of the workforce. It is also a priority of Local 488 to collaborate in development of the varied media industries in Washington State so that they can thrive and grow into robust companies. However, requiring crew to submit an invoice for compensation of labor as opposed to a proper W-2 timecard places the production company at significant risk. Not only are there liability concerns to address but if the practice falls subject to the scrutiny of the state and federal departments mentioned above there will likely be the discovery of significant unpaid payroll taxes and severe fines assessed. It’s important to acknowledge that most production companies do play by the rules. Those companies should not feel a financial disadvantage for their efforts. The time is now to standardize the correct hiring practice. Begin immediately to properly classify your freelance crew as W-2 employees when working on your productions. There are many companies that provide temporary payroll service to facilitate this process if there isn’t an ‘in-house’ solution. Misclassification of the freelance workforce as independent contractors is a serious concern to all freelance technicians. Local 488 is committed to participating in correcting this mistaken practice and will not condone its persistence. We look forward to the immediate cooperation of production company executives with this matter for the wellbeing of all involved. Gregory Smith President, IATSE Local 488 president@iatse488.com

Bob Riggs Business Agent, IATSE Local 488 bobriggs@iatse488.com 360-239-8218 - mobile


Devon Lyon directs a Dell Venue tablet commercial.

Augmented Reality Will Bring Us Together By Stephanie Hoover & Crystal Foley Staff Writers Photos by Levy Moroshan

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ost people work to pay their bills and express their passions on the side. Devon Lyon, founder of Lyon Films, is one of the lucky few that gets to do both simultaneously. The Portland-based production company is celebrating 10 years in creativity-fueled business. “We are fortunate that what pays our bills and what ignites our passions are mostly one and the same,” Lyon said. “Working with creative agencies or directly with clients to craft a creative, meaningful message that honors their brand or service.” However, time constraints of 30 or 60 seconds can be challenging. Lyon said he is “personally always looking for opportunities to produce and direct longer form narrative,” as well as a love for the short film format.

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“I’ve had some success in that regard in the past and will be producing a new short later this year—so keep your eyes peeled,” he said. Lyon Films has produced a range of work, employing anywhere from 5 to 50 people per shoot, depending on what the client needs. While they started off producing political commercials, the company’s current expertise falls into three categories. Their biggest sector is commercial production and direction, which includes stan-

dard 30- or 60-second spots for traditional broadcasting or targeted web advertising, which is becoming more common. The second is corporate communications, such as B-to-B and internal communication and messaging. However, Lyon said their most rewarding work is their focus on local non-profits, such as the Portland School System’s program, All Hands Raised. “We are blessed to have such amazing people in Oregon and we count ourselves lucky to know many of them,” he said. Lyon is proud to call Oregon home, and is happy to have worked with the state, the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA) and corporate clients, all of which helped bring top quality work to the state. They’ve worked with

Devon Lyon

many local companies, including ZoomCare, All Hands Raised, Timbers, Mercy Corps and Ralphs. National brands they’ve worked with include Dell, Intel, EA Sports, IBM, Alienware and Amazon. Lyon has a hard time identifying his personal favorite production, but has a few notable favorites. One is the spot they produced for the gaming PC brand Alienware, which involved building an armored personnel carrier set, as well as commissioning a mini gun, like the one Jes-


Lyon Films’ national spot for Carrington College.

se Ventura had in Predator. They recently wrapped up another video game system based spot that involves a space explorer, which Lyon said was a blast to produce. Lyon is looking to venture into new ways to tell stories using augmented reality, a concept he is particularly excited about. He is currently exploring partnerships in virtual reality and immersive, non-linear storytelling, which he thinks is the next “evolutionary step in how

stories are told.” “I can’t wait to use technology—in the real world, in real time—but in ways we’ve only begun to imagine,” he said. “The prospects for those of us who are storytellers [are] just limitless.” Lyon thinks there is an upcoming evolution, with the advancements in virtual reality, such as the optical overlays with Google Glass, and alternate reality gaming on the Oculus Rift. He believes these technologies will

converge into something he likes to refer to as augmented reality. He gave a TED Talk in November of 2014 on how augmented reality will change the future of playing, not only in the sense of video games. While those opposed to gaming may tout a correlation to antisocial behavior, Lyon believes augmented reality has the opportunity to foster even more meaningful exploration and adventure with other people. Lyon himself grew up with games and considers himself an avid gamer, and has been since his first system, an Atari 2600. He has since branched out in systems and game types. “I enjoy sports games (FIFA) and I enjoy deep, story-based [role playing] games,” he said. “At the moment I’m stoked to be work-

ing through Zelda’s Wind Waker (2003) with my seven-year-old daughter. It is so much fun to play and explore together.” Regardless of whether Lyon is able to stake his hold in the augmented reality field, he is enjoying the dynamic landscape of production. “Producing and directing is ever-changing. Each project offers unique challenges and rewards. I am always learning something new, but even better, I’m always working with fantastic people that are incredibly passionate about what they do,” Lyon said. “From clients to crew and actors, the world of live action production is second to none.” MI For more information about Lyon Films, visit www.lyonfilms.com.

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Providing operators and equipment 54 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

425-891-8575 Duffel@akteleprompt.com www.akteleprompt.com


Gap Financing: Inside the Torrid World of Film Finance By Oliver W. Tuthill Jr. Guest Columnist

Reprinted courtesy of MovieMaker Magazine

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ince Thomas Edison produced the first film of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Corbett engaging in a boxing match back in 1897, filmmakers and film producers have struggled with finding the resources to get their vision on the screen. Thousands of creatives see their film visions in their minds, but how many actually have the ability to master the creative, technical and financial process in order to see a film successfully completed? This article will focus on the financial process with gap financing being the primary concentration, but first, let’s start at the beginning. When a film producer acquires a property, or the rights to a screenplay, the next step is attaching talent, be it actors, producers or a name director. This involves entering into discussions with international sales agents to ascertain if the talent she or he can attach will help sell the film in foreign territories. Then the producer goes after presales contracts. Scott Freije handles sales and acquisitions at Artist View Entertainment, an international sales representation company located in Los Angeles, and he contends that gap financing plays a small but important role in getting a film made. “We really see them in a way as finishing funds because sometimes you need that extra money to get your film finished.” Freije also recommends that a producer should, “Work within the parameters of a known genre that there is a demand for.” David Sheldon, the CEO of Film Financial Services, spends his time co-financing films for Hollywood Studios and independent producers. Films’ budgets typically range from $10 to $50 million. His company pulls together elements of financing in a tailor-made structure for each film and he maintains that gap financing is an important component in the financial process. He calls the process structured finance. “It contains various components of finance for a transaction, and each one of the components has a different risk/reward profile,” Sheldon said. He went on to list the various elements and explained each one. 1. Gap Finance – The bank takes very little risk, but its reward is limited to its interest and fees. 2. Presales Guarantees – The bank takes very little risk and is limited to its interest and fees.

3. Equity – This would consist of real cash equity that an investor has put in. 4. Service deferrals – Deferred salaries for talent and deferred fees for costs. 5. Subsidies or Tax Credits – This will be offered as a rebate when production is completed or as a partial write off on taxes. It can vary from state to state and country to country. 6. Product placement or cross-promotional contributions – Companies will pay the producer to place their product or service logo in their film. “Gap finance is referred to by bankers as ‘Senior Debt’ because it is lending against the rights of unsold international territories, and the amount of the banker’s loan is dependent upon the value of those unsold rights,” Sheldon said. “The international sales company does estimates by country and the gap lenders will typically lend only for major international territories, not the small ones.” He is referring to large territories like Germany, France and Japan. A small territory would be considered a country like Vietnam or Laos. Sheldon went on, “The banks insist that their loan is covered by 150% and there is no profit participation. It is a straight loan and the gap loan is the last financial component that comes into play.” According to Jeff Colvin, the Senior Vice President and Group Manager at Comerica in Los Angeles, his bank is in business to provide gap financing to film producers. He is only looking for films that are produced for $10 million or above, and up to 20% of the budget can go towards gap financing. Colvin said it is not cost–effective for the producer of a low– budget film to utilize gap financing. “We will do a loan against the presale contracts, the tax credits, rebates and foreign incentives. We do our own analysis to make sure our risks are kept to a minimum, but gap financing is not risk free,” Colvin said. “We are loaning against the unsold territories, and if the film turns out poorly then buyers will not want to license the rights from the producer. Sometimes even when the producer has a presales guarantee the buyer will default, and we will have to enter into arbitration. We will then resell those rights in the same territories but to different companies.” Brenda Flewellyn is the President of FILMBANKERS International and is considered one of the premier finance professionals in the entertainment industry. “Gap financing is lending against unsold film rights that have established values usually set by a sales agent and agreed upon by the financier,” she said. “The bank is taking a big risk because you do not know if the distributor will even like it once the film is ready for exhibition, and that is why gap is so risky.” She goes on to explain that a close relative of gap financing is bridge financing. MARCH/APRIL 2015

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“It is when a film producer needs to start filming but does not have all the money to hire the talent and crew while waiting for his loans to close and fund. The producer will go to a finance company to ‘bridge’ the loan until the producer’s production loan comes through. The production loan can take a variety of forms. It could have a combination of presales, gap lending, equity, tax credits, and deferrals.” Flewellyn, with her partner Harold Lewis, has created a new company to help aspiring producers have a shot at finding production financing for their dream film. It is a new website called Pitch2Me.com and she is currently enrolling bankers, distributors and investors so it will be easier for filmmakers to get their film produced. For a nominal fee the producer can upload the essential elements of their project. Financial professionals and distributors can then zero in on the type of project the distributor or investor is interested in financing. Philippe Diaz, the CEO of the prestigious social rights film distributor, Cinema Libre Studio, feels that you must meet certain basic requirements before you can even approach a bank about gap financing. “Your film has to be more than $2 million and it must have name actors attached, actors that will sell overseas,” Diaz said. “You must have presales that can be verified as legitimate buyers and have 70 to 80% of your budget covered before asking for gap financing. You also must have a completion bond, which means a bond company will make sure the film will be completed and be ready for a distributor if for some reason the producer or director cannot finish the film on schedule.” Colvin recommends you find a good international sales agent before approaching a bank about gap financing. “The earlier you have a foreign sales agent attached to your film the better,” Colvin said. “The foreign sales agent will help the producer find out what the best cast would be and help secure presales guarantees. The bank wants a good sales agent.” Colvin also offers advice on what to do if the bank is unsure about the distributor offering the presales guarantee. “They can put up a letter of credit from their bank which is their bank’s guarantee that our bank would get paid. It would be acceptable then, because we would be taking a bank risk. Loan pricing against letters of credit would be cheaper because the risk we would be taking would not be on foreign distributors but on another big bank.” Diaz explains how important it is to the bank, to know how foreign distributors will feel about the film and the cast. “They will call foreign buyers,” Diaz said. “They will ask them how much will they pay for this particular film with this particular cast before they make a decision on doing business with a particular producer.” “The good days of film finance are behind us now,” Diaz continued. “With the great recession and the explosion of new product for growing networks, a lot of films were not commercially successful. In the last ten years we saw the death of the presales market. It is now dead for everything but the top movies. The presales market is dead for small films. Only the big films can obtain presales guarantees and that is because they can attach the top talent—the best known actors and directors.” Producer Howard Burd, who just finished up shooting his 56 MEDIA INC. MARCH/APRIL 2015

new film, Criminal Activity, in Cleveland, Ohio, with John Travolta in the lead, has never used gap financing. “I go out and I make calls on equity investors and can raise capital by monetizing the rebate that I work out with the states I film in, for shooting my film in their state. I shot my last film, Four Minute Mile, starring Kim Basinger and Richard Jenkins, in Washington State and received a 30% rebate after production. You can save a lot of money by doing that and getting loans from equity investors on the rebates.” Sheldon opines the fact that many banks no longer make gap loans to film producers. “The 2008 recession was very devastating to the film industry. Some banks have gotten out of the business altogether, and all of them have cut back,” Sheldon said. “That is because the Feds have put requirements on the banks to retain more assets and collateral.” When asked how much it costs to finance a gap loan, Colvin said, “First you have to check the LIBOR rate (London Interbanking Offer Rate) and see what the spread rate is. The bank will charge interest and fees on the loan. For a $10-million film you would be looking at a bench rate of about a quarter of a point, or .25%. The loan would be at the interest rate of LIBOR plus 1-2%. There would be a 2% fee and about $75,000 in legal costs. On a $10-million film you would be looking at around $775,000 in interest and fees.” This means the producer would have to get the film done for $9,225,000. “You go to gap financing when you cannot get presale contracts or you do not want to get presale guarantees,” Diaz added. “You can make more money by licensing your film to a foreign territory after the film is completed and ready for exhibition and distribution. Also, if you are going to get your gap financing you will need a completion bond and that is going to add another 3-6% onto your budget.” Diaz also explained about the possibilities of presales guarantees in the U.S. marketplace. “That is much harder to obtain,” he said. “You have to realize that all of North America is just one territory and bankers will not count on the U.S. market. Too much can happen, because you just never know how a completed film is going to turn out. If it is a bad film you are not going to make any money and this will have negative repercussions on your relationship with the bank.” Sheldon concurs with Diaz. “The U.S. values are more difficult to attain,” he said. “You have to take into consideration how the film will be released, how much the P&A is, and what are the terms of the P&A recoupment and if it will leave anything for the producer. Who would the domestic distributor be? What are their arrangements for distribution in the theaters, television, PPV, VOD, and internet streaming? P&A recoups ahead of the banks and it is not assured what the given cost will be.” Sheldon is optimistic about the future. “The whole entertainment arena has been hurt by the recession because advertising revenues have dropped a lot,” he said. “Bankers are more cautious, but business is slowly picking up again, but you need to work with big stars in action dramas if you want to be successful in this business. Gap financing is for producers who want to work with name talent on big budget films.” MI


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The SARA Program: Your Destination for a Sound Education

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he Seattle Academy of Recording Arts (SARA), a handson educational program founded by audio engineer Joe Reineke, will start its inaugural session this July.

Reineke—a 30-year veteran of the audio industry, including 15 years as a studio owner—has created a Washington State-certified school offering students the chance to learn audio engineering, production, analog and digital recording, mixing, mastering, and even business and entrepreneurial skills. “I started this program because I knew I could do this better than what was out there, and I was fed up with ‘graduates’ coming to intern at my studio completely under-educated from what I assumed were ‘reputable audio engineering programs,’” said Reineke, who’s also an Avid Certified Instructor. “My goal is simple: I want to transform a calling into a creative career and give my graduates the training needed to succeed in our industry.” SARA is a six-month intensive program with the curriculum structured in such a way that students devote one eight-hour day each week to their instruction. “We know that people lead full-time lives, so we’ve designed our program to be one full day per week, Tuesdays through Saturdays, so people who work traditional full-time jobs can participate in the SARA program,” said Reineke. He added, “We’ve also dedicated Fridays as an all-women’s day because the landscape is changing out there and this is no longer an ‘all-dudes club.’ Almost 70 percent of the people interested in the SARA program are women. It makes a lot of sense: half of the artists are women, so why can’t half of the engineers and producers be women, as well?” The program is based out of Reineke’s Pioneer Square studio, Orbit Audio, one of Seattle’s premier recording and mixing studios. In addition to working with recording artists like Macklemore and Arcade Fire, Orbit’s client base also includes corporations such as Microsoft, Pfizer, NBC, NPR and many others. With a maximum class size

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Orbit Audio in Seattle serves as the program's headquarters.

Joe Reineke, founder of the SARA Program.

of eight (plus two instructors), students really get a handson feel for the audio industry. They’ll not only have access to the studio’s world-class equipment, but also to the extensive experience and knowledge of Orbit Audio’s producers and engineers. “Folks will get a quality education here. I want the SARA certification to be as meaningful to employers as a Harvard degree,” said Reineke. “If we (Washington State) want to continue to be leaders, we need to train the leaders of tomorrow and give them the right skill set and foundation to excel.” MI SARA’s inaugural session begins July 7 and all ages (18+) are welcome. For more information, visit www.seattlerecordingacademy.com.


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NW

ADS Recording; Portland, OR 503-223-9941; fax 503-223-6073 ads-recording@comcast.net www.adsrecording.com

Ryan Wiley, owner

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AM Music; Fall City, WA 425-222-6660 ammusic@ammusic.net www.ammusic.net

Steven Ray Allen, president

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Aurastan Music Designs Ltd.;Portland, OR Gregory Ives 503-297-9254 greg@gregives.com www.gregives.com

1

Avast! Recording Co.; Seattle, WA 206-633-3926 www.avastrecording.com

Stuart Hallerman

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Bad Animals; Seattle, WA 206-443-1500; fax 206-441-2910 wendi@badanimals.com www.badanimals.com

Dave Howe Mike McAuliffe Tom McGurk

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Bear Creek Studio; Woodinville, WA 425-481-4100; fax 425-486-2718 bearcreek@seanet.com www.bearcreekstudio.com

Ryan Hadlock, owner Jerry Streeter, manager

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Bing Bang Boom!; Otis Orchards, WA 509-892-5382; fax 509-892-8102 info@bingbangboom.net www.bingbangboom.net

Bill Byrne, composer

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Blue Charles Prod., Inc.; Seattle, WA 206-783-6797; fax 206-783-6796 scot@bluecharles.com www.bluecharles.com

Scot Charles

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Clatter&Din, Inc.; Seattle, WA 206-464-0520; fax 206-464-0702 tickle@clatterdin.com www.clatterdin.com

Peter Barnes Rachel Komenski Vince Werner

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Cloud City Sound; Portland, OR 503-228-2222; fax 503-228-6819 sandi@superdigital.com www.superdigital.com/cloudcitysound.com

Rick McMillen

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CryBaby Studios; Seattle, WA 206-660-0117 www.crybabystudios.com

Leigh Stone, owner Justin Wilmore, engineer Chris Proff, engineer

1

Dead Aunt Thelma’s Recording Studio; Portland, OR 503-235-9693 mikem@thelmas.com; www.thelmas.com

Mike Moore, manager/engineer

1

Digital One; Portland, OR 503-228-DIG1; fax 503-224-7413 info@digone.com www.digone.com

Eric Stolberg, president

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Executive Audio; Seattle, WA 206-381-1244 executive@executiveaudionw.com www.executiveaudionw.com

Joe Reineke

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Fresh Tracks Studio; Portland, OR 503-235-7402 jon@freshtracksstudio.com www.freshtracksstudio.com

Jon Lindahl, owner/engineer

1

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GMB Technical Corporation; Sequim, WA 206-851-6667; fax 866-605-5519 info@gmbtechnical.com www.gmbtechnical.com

Jeffrey Bruton, president

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Grey Hawk Productions; Olympia, WA 206-595-8408 (cell) mark@greyhawk-productions.com www.greyhawk-productions.com Hanzsek Audio; Snohomish, WA 206-380-2641 info@hanzsekaudio.com www.hanzsekaudio.com Brendan J. Hogan; Seattle, WA 206-678-2699 brendan@brendanjhogan.com www.brendanjhogan.com Magnetic West Music; Ashland, OR 541-552-0842 myshacaruso@gmail.com www.magneticwestmusic.com McComb Sound; Seattle, WA 206-774-7915 info@mccombsound.com www.mccombsound.com

Mark Iler, audio engineer

0

Chris Hanzsek

1

Brendan J. Hogan

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Michael Paul Caruso, composer/music supervisor

1

Matt McComb, owner Maggie Garcia, producer

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Mirror Sound Studio; Shoreline, WA 206-440-5889 info@mirrorsound.com www.mirrorsound.com

Ken Fordyce, CEO Aaron Parks, engineer Diana Skye, manager

1

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Mortimore Productions; Spokane, WA 509-327-8384 info@mortimore.com www.mortimore.com

Dan Mortimore, president/DP/ producer; Angela Downey, VP marketing & sales/producer; Ray Gross, senior editor/audio engineer

2

Orbit Audio; Seattle, WA 206-381-1244 orbitaudio@gmail.com www.orbitaudiorocks.com

Joe Reineke, owner

2

Pure Audio; Seattle, WA 206-728-6300; fax 206-728-1433 inbox@pureaudio.com www.pureaudio.com

Paul Goldberg, president Kathy Levin, studio manager

4

Rex; Portland, OR 503-238-4525; fax 503-236-8347 russg@rexpost.com www.rexpost.com

Russ Gorsline, GM

3

Don Ross Productions; Eugene, OR 541-343-2692 don@donrossproductions.com www.donrossproductions.com

Don Ross

1

Secret Studio Records, Inc.; Seattle, WA 206-935-1165 secretstudio@secretstudio.com StudioBard; Portland, OR 503-273-2273 audiospa@studiobard.com www.studiobard.com

Mark Dabek, president

1

Michael Bard, head funkologist

1

Tim Underwood Productions/ TheWebVoice.com; Bend, OR 877-284-7876; fax 541-317-0496 studio@tuproductions.com www.thewebvoice.com

Tim Underwood, owner

2

Victory Studios; Seattle, WA 206-282-1776; fax 206-282-3535 conrad@victorystudios.com www.victorystudios.com

Conrad Denke, CEO

3

Wattsmedia, Inc.; Seattle, WA 206-456-6553 david@wattsmedia.us www.wattsmedia.us

David Mangone, partner/EP/director Andrew Watts, partner

4+

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