More About Christy Karras

Colin Trevorrow, director of “Safety Not Guaranteed”, gives props to his Seattle crew.


embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube DirektColin Trevorrow, director of "Safety Not Guaranteed", gives props to his Seattle crew.

January 23, 2012   No Comments

It’s that time of year…

…when I get back to posting on the blog. Really, one of my resolutions is to be better. I always have so much more to talk about than fits in my published stories.

It’s time for Sundance and Outdoor Retailers, two of my favorite events. I went and said hello to some of my outdoor industry peeps yesterday. Planning to write more about the cool stuff I saw in upcoming blog posts…

But you all want to know about Sundance. Mom dropped me off at my conveniently located condo last night (she’s a champ!), and I’ve been taking care of some business this morning.

As usual, I’m writing for the Seattle Times. Here’s a link to my preview story for them, which ran in last Sunday’s paper.

Seattle’s been in the throes of “Snowmageddon” this week – which I flew out early to avoid. Those who tried to leave yesterday were not so lucky. But when their flight didn’t happen, intrepid Seattle filmmakers do what they do best: They made do, renting a big van and driving all the way to Park City just in time for the Q&A for “Your Sister’s Sister” this morning. Kudos!

I’ll be seeing “Your Sister’s Sister” tonight.

I’m planning to add something here daily during the festival (and regularly, I promise, after that).

See you in the snow!

Sundance started early, on Thursday, with a visit to Outdoor Retailer. One of the hat makers at OR (Deluxe Knitwits) made this one-of-a-kind hat, which they wouldn't sell to me.

January 20, 2012   No Comments

Film Festival Madness

In the midst of the Seattle International Film Festival here. They call it the nation’s largest for a reason: 450 or so film of all stripes…whew!

Here are some links to my coverage for Moving Pictures Network:

My festival preview:

My Ewan McGregor tribute story (no, I didn’t get to talk to him. Yes, I slipped his publicist a copy of my motorcyle touring book. And the most surprising thing about him? He’s a hairy dude (in a masculine, sexy way, of course).

I’m reviewing as many world premieres as possible. Here are the first couple:

A Lot Like You:

Do You see Colors When You Close Your Eyes?:

I’m so happy to be back to reviewing. Look for more reviews of film and other things in upcoming posts…

(Ewan McGregor, right, reacts to a mention of his hairstyle in the period film "Emma.")



June 7, 2011   No Comments

Advice for aspiring filmmakers

I got an email recently from a man in Seattle who’d read a story I wrote in the Seattle Times about the mutually supportive nature of the Seattle film community. He said his son was a budding filmmaker who had already set up a home-grown studio, complete with sound-editing equipment and a green screen, in the family garage. He wondered how he could get in touch with some of these talented and generous filmmakers.

After I wrote my reply, I thought this could be good information to anyone wanting a start in the biz. It applies specifically to Seattle, but some of the general advice would work for any community with even a small film scene:

(Cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke, one of Seattle's most generous and talented filmmakers, shoots a scene from "The Off Hours," directed by the equally talented and generous Megan Griffiths.)

Your son sounds like quite a prodigy! Definitely, most filmmakers get experience by volunteering on sets (and much of the work on these small-budget films is done by volunteers who just want to help out but who also get valuable experience). So he’s on the right track.

The filmmakers I profiled are spending a lot of their time promoting their latest work, taking it around the world through the film-festival circuit, so they aren’t currently filming. They all have some of the same organizations in their backgrounds, though, and I’d look at those places first (those filmmakers are still also closely affiliated with those organizations).

One is the Northwest Film Forum. It offers classes and workshops, but it also does all kinds of other events – screenings, panel discussions – and is always looking for volunteers, who then get discounts on those workshops and such. If he spends even a little time at these events, he’ll eventually run into all the people I’ve written about. Several of them are board members.

Many of the region’s filmmakers went to the Seattle Film Institute, which offers certificate and undergraduate-level courses but which also hosts shorter workshops.

Finally, there’s Washington Film Works, the state office for film promotion. It’s geared toward those already in the business, but it includes resources for those just getting in. There’s even a section on the website with advice on how to do that:

Washington Film Works also keeps track of ongoing productions, both artistic and commercial, in the area.

There’s also a group on Facebook called Seattle Area Filmmakers (under “public figure”) that posts news about events in the film community. My guess is that if your son went there and posted on the wall, indicating that he wanted to volunteer on a set, he’d get some responses.

Many individual filmmakers also have Facebook pages, and although they might be choosy as to whom they brought on as “friends,” they may be willing to answer a message from an enterprising young person.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to your son. It really is a remarkable community here, and those who work in it love what they do.


April 6, 2011   No Comments