Mayor Ed Murray declared today Seattle Film Day. Check out the proclamation below!
It’s no secret that we live in a gorgeous part of the world here in Washington. The diverse and scenic terrain of our region helps attract films, commercials, and television productions to film here.
Indie hit Captain Fantastic is a recent example of a production that benefited from – and draws attention to – our local landscapes.
The film last year took home SIFF’s Golden Space Needle Award for Best Film (pictured below) and received a 10-minute standing ovation at Cannes. The accolades have continued to roll in, with the film’s star Viggo Mortensen up for Best Actor at this weekend’s Academy Awards.
As we head into Oscars weekend, we turn to Captain Fantastic location scout and manager, Dave Drummond, to learn more about the production and what it means for our local film industry.
OFM: How did you get your start in film, and how has your career evolved?
DD: After working in the corporate world for several years, I left to pursue a career in the film & video business. I started out working in a variety of roles, but over time determined that location scouting & management were a good fit for my skills. After initially working on short films and small industrial videos, I was fortunate to mentor under a longtime location manager, who gave me the opportunity to work on Grey’s Anatomy. From there I began working on larger and more complex projects, including several different films and television shows that have shot in Washington.
OFM: How did Captain Fantastic come to be filmed in Washington?
DD: The story was written with the forests of the Pacific Northwest in mind, but we had to prove to the filmmakers that Washington was the best fit for the project. I met with the director and producers very early in the process, showing them various wilderness areas in the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. They were thrilled with the possibilities, but it was the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program that solidified their willingness to shoot here. Without the film incentive, they would have taken the project to Oregon or Northern California.
OFM: Captain Fantastic filmed in more than 25 different locations in Washington. How does that compare to other films you’ve worked on?
DD: Captain Fantastic was one of the most challenging projects I’ve worked on and included locations in several different parts of the state, including the Olympic Peninsula, the North Cascades, and eastern Washington. The nature of the story required many of our locations to feel wild and remote. One of our primary sets required the building of a new road in order to reach it. We also worked with the US Forest Service and the Department of Natural Resources to film in wilderness areas that had not been seen before on film.
OFM: What was your favorite part or a noteworthy memory of working on this production?
DD: One of many highlights was the filming of a climactic scene at Deception Pass State Park, overlooking the Rosario Strait. It was a spectacular location, but one that often experiences low-flying aircraft from the nearby Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island. The Navy was kind enough to provide us with an air traffic control officer, who spent the day with us on set. He coordinated directly with the control tower to minimize flights directly over our filming location.
OFM: What’s your take on the economic impact that Captain Fantastic and other films have on Seattle and Washington state?
DD: As the location manager on films like Captain Fantastic, I see the economic impact these projects have firsthand. Just one project like this injects hundreds of thousands of dollars into local economies. Much of that money goes to businesses and support services that are not specifically part of the film industry. In the location department alone we typically spend money on things like motels, restaurants, facility rentals, contractors, wilderness guides, off-duty police officers and security services. On Captain Fantastic we also made donations to a number of non-profit organizations that supported our efforts, including Camp Korey, the Washington Climbers Coalition and The Mountaineers.
OFM: What are your hopes for the local film community? For our region as a place where films are made?
DD: Washington State is poised to become a much larger player in the nationwide film industry, but only if the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program is renewed and increased. The industry talent and services we have developed locally, as well as the diversity of locations the state offers, can compete with anyone in the U.S. or Canada. But without a strong film incentive, producers in today’s competitive market will look elsewhere to make their films.
Dave Drummond is a film location scout and manager based out of Seattle. See what he’s been up to at drummondmedia.com.
On Sunday, February 26 (before the Oscars), Dave will be giving a presentation at the SIFF Film Center, featuring clips from over 25 different movies that have filmed in Seattle and other parts of Washington State. Dave will share some of his experiences working as a location scout and manager, revealing some of the unique and memorable locations featured in the history of Seattle films. For more information or to purchase tickets visit siff.net/education/film4all/made-in-seattle.
Kate Becker, the Director of the Office of Film + Music + Special Events, released the following statement in response to a shooting outside the Crocodile on January 19, 2017.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to all those affected by the shooting last night at the Crocodile Café, particularly the three hospitalized victims, as well as the concertgoers, performers, staff and management of the club.
“Rest assured all steps are being taken to apprehend the shooter and ensure the safety of our city.
“This morning, I met with the Seattle Police Department and the Mayor’s Office to discuss the investigation. I also met with the owners of the Crocodile to share our support. I was inspired by their courage and determination to keep the music playing. The Crocodile will be open for business tonight. We encourage the community to show their support for the Crocodile.”
On Tuesday, December 20, it was announced that legendary Seattle rock-band Pearl Jam will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They will join fellow Seattle music groups Heart, The Ventures, Jimi Hendrix, and Nirvana in the Hall. The Seattle music titan first emerged as a household name in the early 90’s and have not slowed down since, producing 10 studio albums, touring 38 countries, and playing 968 shows during their career. Below are five pieces of media that epitomize their energy and approach to making music.
Published on the day of the induction, this Seattle Times article by Charles R. Cross explored why Pearl Jam is unlike other Seattle bands and how central Seattle is to the band’s identity.
In this 2015 interview with Stephen Colbert, Eddie Vedder discussed the role activism plays in the band’s music. In 2006 Pearl Jam started The Vitalogy Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on community health, arts and education, the environment, and social change.
Pearl Jam has always known how to rock the house, and this performance was no exception. And oh how we miss that hair.
After 26 years together, Pearl Jam shared some fun facts about their debut album.
Where it all began. Ten was recorded at London Bridge Studios in Seattle and reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1992.
The incoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class were voted on by 900 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. The induction will occur on April 7, 2017 at Barclays Center in New York. Tickets will go on sale in January and the event will be broadcasted on HBO. Congratulations to Pearl Jam on their upcoming induction that reflects their momentous career of music making. Seattle could not be prouder!
Scott comes to the Office of Film, Music + Special Events from the Office of Intergovernmental Relations, where he served as one of the city’s in-house state lobbyists. In that capacity, Scott worked on a wide variety of issues including cannabis policy, economic development, arts, culture, City Light and public utility issues, and pensions. Prior to his time at OIR, Scott served 3 years as the chief legislative aide to then-Senator Ed Murray, working on marriage equality and LGBTQ rights. He also managed the operations of the office, constituent relations and scheduling. During this time, Scott pursued and received his Executive MPA from the Evans School at the University of Washington.
Scott received his BA in Theatre Administration from the College of Santa Fe, NM. After arriving in Seattle he worked stints at the Bathhouse Theater, the Group Theatre, Cornish College for the Arts and Annex Theater. He also pursued a successful acting career, performing at Annex, Empty Space, Intiman, A-Ha, Theater Schmeater, Seattle Shakespeare Co., Book-It Repertory, ReAct Theater, and Wooden O, among others. He also worked in numerous independent film roles, commercials, and voice-over bookings. After a 3-year shot at an acting stint in Los Angeles, Scott returned to Seattle to pursue his current career in public service.
On our team, Scott will be developing nightlife policies, serving as a nightlife advocate, and creating useful and timely resources for nighttime business owners and patrons.
The Freakout Festival, produced by Freakout Records, will take place on December 8 and 9 and features Seattle-based artists such as Spencer Moody (of The Murder City Devils), Smokey Brights, Erik Blood, MASZER, Maiah Manser, and Acid Tongue. Attendees will be able to enjoy the show at four different lively Capitol Hill venues: Chop Suey, Pony, Bar Sue, Lovecitylove.
Freakout Records launched in January and already expanded to New York. They currently have seven local artist groups signed and are determined to continue growing their label. A recent profile of Freakout by the Seattle Times commented on what the music festival means for Freakout Records:
“The festival marks the public debut of the Freakout label, which began in January and released its debut in July, a soundtrack to the movie “Alien” by the band Newaxeyes. Freakout has since put out EP’s by Acid Tongue (made up of two of Freakout’s founders, Cunningham and Keltner) and more notably “Hot Candy,” the latest full-length by Seattle rock darlings Smokey Brights.”
Director Kate Becker issued the following statement about the fire at the GhostShip in Oakland, CA:
“The City of Seattle’s Office of Film + Music and Special Events extends our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the Oakland fire at the GhostShip, and to the City of Oakland. As professionals who care deeply about the arts, we feel this loss very personally. It Is a sad reminder of the importance of the work we do daily as a partner with venue owners, City departments and elected officials, who work together to foster a safer music and entertainment scene for all.”
Director of the Office of Film+Music and Special Events, Kate Becker shared her experience at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival.
It is somewhat hard to believe that a little more than a week ago, I was leaving Reykjavík after a fabulous five days of music and fascinating meetings with Iceland’s music industry leaders. I got invited there unexpectedly. In April 2016, 28 music industry leaders from the Nordic countries came to Seattle for four days This Nordic Music Export industry group was comprised of music industry leaders from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. While here, they visited Sub Pop, attended KEXP’s Grand Opening, hosted panels and the interviews with local industry experts and attended a very special show in the space at the very top of the Smith Tower, compliments of musician Kris Orlowski. The Office of Film + Music had the distinct pleasure of hosting these folks. We talked at great length about Seattle’s creative economy and City of Music ™ strategy. One of the people who is most intrigued was Siggtrygurr Baldursson (aka ‘Siggi’). Not only was Siggi the drummer in the Sugarcubes, but he is also the director of Iceland Music Export.
Months after their visit, Siggi got back in touch to invite me to come on a hosted trip to Reykjavík during the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. The goal of my participation was to be on a panel talking about Seattle’s music economy, and participate in a roundtable with Mayor Eggertsson and the Reykjavik City Council. Of course, I said yes.
On November 4, 2016, I was honored to be a panelist on a Music Cities panel that included Bengi Unsal (Southbank Centre Director, London), Scott Fetters (2112 Director, Chicago), and Tim Renner (Berlin Minister of Culture), moderated by Bjork Blondal, Reykjavik City Council President. A robust conversation ensued with many people from international cities interested in growing their music strategies and economies.
Other highlights of the trip included a lunch with Mayor Eggertsson and the Reykjavik City Council. Seattle is Reykjavik’s only American Sister City, and so I was delighted to take Mayor Eggertsson a Louie Gong Eighth Generation blanket with warm wishes from Seattle. I was also taken to meet President Johannesson and First Lady Eliza Reid at their home, which was an extraordinary event. All of this was going on during Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik’s big music festival.
I was very proud to see Seattle represented on several stages at Iceland Airwaves. Notable Seattle acts, both of which were in large, full venues with international crowds were The Sonics and Digable Planets (not a Seattle band, but Ishmael Butler is Seattle-based now, and Tendai Maraire and Thaddeus Turner from Seattle performed with Digable Planets). City of Music™ hometown pride!
I flew back in time for Election Night in Seattle, but was so very honored to be hosted by the City of Reykjavik and represent our great city at an international music conference and festival.
The October 26th Film + Music + Interactive Happy Hour (FMIHH) gave the Seattle music industry an opportunity to thank the outgoing charter Music Commissioners for their service. Wyking Garrett (Seattle Hip Hop Summit Youth Council), Holly Hinton (Starbucks Entertainment), Megan Jasper (Sub Pop Records), Alex Kochan (independent), Ben London (Northwest Polite Society), DeVon Manier (Sportn’ Life Music Group), Tom Mara (KEXP), Jon Stone (CEA Partners), and Marcus Womack (Evidence.com) were appointed in 2010 because of the devotion and leadership they demonstrated in the Seattle music industry. As the first Music Commissioners, they would immediately set their sights on shaping the future of the Seattle music industry by showcasing Seattle as The City of Music.
The Seattle City of Music 2020 vision laid out a plan to thrust Seattle to the forefront of the global music economy. This vision has three components. The first is to make Seattle a city for musicians. This is to be accomplished by emphasizing music classes for K-12, protecting and expanding upon career opportunities for music professionals, and creating a vibrant music community. The second component is to make Seattle the city of live music through supporting music venues and having a diverse and abundant selection of music festivals. The final component is developing Seattle’s music businesses by investing in music related entrepreneurial opportunities and non-for profit programs while supporting music technology research and development.
“The Charter Music Commissioners are the ones that stood up and said we can be the city of music; we can make this happen” said Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas during the FMIHH program. She also noted that the plan the Commission made is on track.
The Charter Music Commissioners led the charge in enacting several programs that positively impact the music industry. Their collaboration with the Office of Arts and Culture, The Creative Advantage, has led to a re-emergence of music classes in Seattle Public Schools. Not only does this expose students to music at a young age, but it also increases test scores, enhances language development, and increases growth of spatial-temporal skills. Another program the Commission established is the City of Music Career Day, which connects Seattle area students with employment opportunities and aids them in expanding their networks. They also cooperated with the Port of Seattle to implement the “Experience the City of Music at Sea-Tac” program, which gives local musicians the opportunity to perform at Sea-Tac terminals, created a multi-genre web radio available through the airport’s free Wi-Fi network, and increases awareness for 240 Northwest artists by featuring them on the airport’s overhead music.
While the Charter Commissioners made great strides in turning Seattle into the City of Music, they also addressed the next steps for the Music Commission. During a discussion of the challenges that face the music industry, Charter Commissioner and CEO of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper stated that “it is important to make sure there are opportunities and affordable housing for artists… We need to make sure there are places for artists to live”. Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda seeks to remedy this problem in conjunction with actions taken by the Music Commission
The October FMIHH was a chance to celebrate the public service and accomplishments of the Charter Music Commissioners. It was also an occasion for members of the music industry, city officials, and the current music commissioners to reflect on what actions need to be taken for the Seattle City of Music vision to become a reality.
(Source: Three Dollar Bill Cinema Website)
TWIST, formerly known as the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, runs from October 13 to October 23rd. After 21 years TWIST has demonstrated itself as the premier queer film festival in the Pacific Northwest. TWIST programs will focus on up and coming local film makers, show award winning documentaries, and explore how films can re-shape the way their audiences think and talk about identity.
Another important change to this year’s film festival is the addition of TWIST 360°. TWIST 360° is an immersive media festival that will feature virtual reality exhibits and experiments. One example is The Machine to be Another, which allows attendees to switch bodies using virtual reality. There will also be an intensive training course for LGBTQ artists who want to learn how to create immersive content. Participants in the VR boot camp will be given the opportunity to bounce ideas off a panel of immersive pioneers, innovators, and industry leaders such as Rose Troche (Six Feet Under, Go Fish, The L Word).
TWIST will be showing films at venues all throughout Seattle! For more information or to purchase tickets visit their website.