Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker is in Olympia today to present Mayor Murray’s “Seattle Film Day” Proclamation, and to support the new legislation to increase funding for the state’s film competitiveness program. In 2015, legislation to increase the incentive fund was supported by Mayor Murray, but did not receive a vote before the end of the 2015 legislative session.
Seattle ranked number 7 on MovieMaker’s annual top 10 cities to “live and work” as a moviemaker.
Rainy, brainy Seattle is making a comeback this year after slipping off our list in 2015. With nearly 3,000 local crew hires in 2015 and 2,000 local talent hires, more features and TV series are moving through the coffee capital of the world: like Syfy’s Z Nation, a unit on Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, and the long-awaited reboot of Twin Peaks.
“I’m thrilled MovieMaker added Seattle to their top 10 cities to live and work as a moviemaker,” Kate Becker, Director of the Office of Film + Music said. “Mayor Murray supports the viability of the Seattle film industry and is working hard to make Seattle the premier destination for film production with the support of innovative policies that encourage the industry’s growth and keep talent and jobs in Seattle. That, combined with the region’s diverse location options, support for gender parity in our market for moviemakers, and deep talent pool are the reasons Seattle stands out.”
Check out the rest of their review of Seattle here.
Mayor Ed Murray issued a proclamation declaring January 14 “Seattle Film Institute Day.” The proclamation was issued to celebrate of the Seattle Film Institute becoming a the only accredited collage.
“I want to offer my congratulations to the Seattle Film Institute on becoming the only accredited film college in the Pacific Northwest,” Kate Becker, Director of the Office of Film + Music celebrated. “Having an institution of this caliber in Seattle is vital for Seattle’s film industry’s future. It should serve as a calling card for producers and directors that Seattle is open for business, and we have a pipeline of talent ready to work.”
As 2015 comes to a close, we look back on some of the prominent commercial work that hired local crew and production companies, oftentimes using Seattle’s landmarks and neighborhoods as a backdrop.
Mercedes visited Washington State to film footage for several national commercials highlighting their 2016 GLA model vehicle, hiring over 50 local crew and 50 extras over the course of a week. The commercial filmed in eastern Washington, and in Downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill. A large portion of the filming took place at Rudy’s Barbershop and on 10th Avenue between E Pine Street and E Pike Street on Capitol Hill. The commercials can be viewed online here and here.
Poweraid filmed a national spot that featured Seahawks player Jimmy Graham. The spot made use of locations in the University District, Georgetown, as well as several in Shoreline. The production hired over 35 crew over the course of several shoot days. The commercial can be viewed online here.
National Automotive Commercials:
Overall, it was a successful year for automotive commercials in Seattle, with Ford, Kawasaki, Mercedes, and Toyota all filming national spots and hiring large, locally-sourced production crews (follow links for video).
Locally-Produced Commercial Work and Corporate Videos
In 2015, Seattle area production companies created content for Microsoft (source: TriFilm), Visit Seattle (source: Society), and On Deck (source: Urban Legend), HTC (source: Vossler Media Group), and many more clients. In just a couple videos, you can watch products, technologies, and services as they are set against iconic backdrops like Gas Works Park, historic Ballard, and Pike Place Market, all created in 2015 by local crews working for Seattle area production companies. Additional examples can be found in the Latest Work section of the Commercialize Seattle website.
(Frame from Mercedes “Shattered,” filmed in Seattle in 2015)
Did you hear? Taylor Swift was inspired by the Seattle Symphony’s Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winning music, so she donated $50,000 to them.
From Entertainment Weekly:
The pop star gifted $50K to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the group announced Thursday, because their recording of John Luther Adams’ “Become Ocean” reminded Swift of going to the local symphony with her grandma. “Become Ocean” won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for music, as well as a Grammy this year for best contemporary classical composition.
Listen to “Become Ocean” and see how it inspires you!
Kate Becker, Director of the Office of Film and Music, released the following statement in response to the Paris attacks.
“The tragedy in Paris on Friday illustrates how important it is to celebrate every day of life as the gift it is. The City of Seattle’s Office of Film and Music family wants to extend our sincerest condolences to the people of France and the family and friends of the victims of this horrific tragedy.
“Music is a way humanity transcends borders and distance. Like our friends in France, Seattleites recently attended an Eagles of Death Metal concert when they performed in Seattle on September 2 at the Showbox.
“The events of Friday the 13th, 2015 are tragic for so many reasons, but one that continues to echo in my thoughts is the stark contrast between what one feels when dancing and cheering to a favorite band and the terror that ended up becoming their night.
“As I, like so many of you, grapple with the events in France, one thing is clear; I will not let a small group of extremist terrorists change my behavior. I will continue to see shows, I will continue to dance, I will continue to attend clubs because I am free and alive. Celebrating music is how I plan to rebel against extremism, and I hope you will join me.
“Never stop dancing. In fact, there is not a better way to honor those who were lost or injured in France, than to dance the night away.”
Creativity was brewing last night at Rumba Notes Lounge in Columbia City during the first joint Music Commission and Arts Commission Mixer. Community members were invited to come out, meet with Commissioners to learn more about the work of the Commissions, and share their own work, current projects, and goals with Commissioners.
The event featured welcome remarks from Commission Chairs Jody McKinley (Music) and Vivian Phillips (Arts), food from Safari and Watercress, Kenyan and Vietnamese restaurants located adjacent to Rumba Notes, and concluded with a rousing performance from local funk band Ancient Robotz. During the event, attendees were given the chance to “Date a Commissioner” in a speed dating style format where they could engage directly with Commissioners for intense 10-minute segments.
There were 16 Music and Arts Commissioners in attendance representing a diverse array of music and arts organizations, industry, and working creative professionals. Representatives from Mayor Murray’s office were in attendance, and over 100 community members from all facets of the creative sectors came out to meet each other, share experiences and information, and gain creative inspiration.
It was a positive and inspiring event and both Commissions look forward to holding more of these in the future. Thanks to Rumba Notes Lounge for hosting! Thanks to the community for coming out!
Mayor Ed Murray has announced the 2015 recipient of the 10th Annual Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, Megan Griffiths. The award recognizes an individual or entity for exceptional work that has significantly contributed to the growth, advancement, and reputation of Seattle as a filmmaking city.
“Megan’s passion for filming locally and attracting new business and talent has raised the profile of Seattle and the region’s film community,” said Murray. “Her award-winning career in directing and producing speaks for itself. I am pleased to present this award to her, and thank her for her championship of Seattle as a thriving place to make movies.”
Megan Griffiths has been a director, writer, and producer in the Seattle film community for over a decade. Her most recent film Lucky Them was filmed in Seattle and premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Her previous film, Eden, was set in the southwest but filmed entirely in Washington, and premiered at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival in Austin where it won the narrative Audience Award and the Emergent Female Director Award.
“I am honored to receive the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film,” said Griffiths. “I feel very privileged to live in a city where the Mayor and the community celebrate the film industry. Seattle is home to many great craftsmen and women who also happen to be outstanding humans and phenomenal collaborators, and I am proud to be able to call this ‘crewtopia’ my home and base of operations.”
The five Seattle film industry representatives on the Nomination and Selection Committee considered many deserving people before reaching a unanimous decision on the 2015 recipient Megan Griffiths. Griffiths will receive Silvered Piccolo Venetian with Emerald Handles created by artist Dale Chihuly. Griffiths received the award at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)’s Opening Night Gala on Tuesday, May 14, 2015 at the Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall.
On Wednesday, April 22nd, over 300 high school juniors and seniors and college students from across the city and greater metropolitan area attended the fourth annual City of Music Career Day at Seattle Center. A Seattle Music Commission initiative, Career Day is an annual, one-day, free educational program that provides future leaders of Seattle’s creative community with direct access to music industry professionals through networking, experiential learning, engaging workshops, and performance. This year’s event was the largest to date and also marked the first City of Music Career Day event produced collaboratively by the Office of Film + Music, Office of Arts & Culture, EMP Museum, and One Reel.
Mayor Murray set an inspiring tone for the day with his opening comments on how Seattle’s rich musical legacy set the framework for its current climate of musical exploration, creativity, and innovation. Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker and Office of Arts & Culture Director Randy Engstrom also addressed the crowd and set the stage for keynote speakers Ryan Lewis (producer/musician) and Zach Quillan (manager, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) to talk with KEXP’s John Richards about living and working in the music industry in Seattle.
Students engaged with a wide variety of industry experts, learning about music career opportunities in performance, management, concert production, arts organizations, record label operations, retail, licensing, journalism, and broadcasting, through targeted breakout sessions. Sessions featured working musicians Hollis Wong-Wear, Tomo Nakayama, Erik Blood, and Vitamin D along with industry professionals from Rhapsody, DigiPen, AEG Live, Amazon, and others.
Following the breakout sessions, students met one-on-one with mentors and talked with representatives from organizations including KEXP, The Recording Academy, Barsuk Records, Brown Paper Tickets, Sub Pop Records, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, Votiv, Fremont Abbey Arts Center, and many more.
The jam-packed day concluded with performances from Shaprece and Tomo Nakayama and, for the first time, an “After Party” where students networked with their peers, sharing their experience of the day and swapping stories. EMP Youth Advisory Board member Marco Schurgurensky DJ’d the After Party which featured City of Music Career Day cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes. Feedback from the student attendees has been fantastic, and plans are already in the works to make City of Music Career Day 2016 even bigger and better.
Mayor Murray announced his support of Senate Bill 6027 (SB 6027), introduced last week in the Washington State Senate to increase the funding for the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.
The bill doubles the size of the production incentive program over the next two years to $7 million and increases the fund incrementally each year until it reaches $10 million in 2019. The sunset date for the program will also be extended to 2022.
Washington’s current incentive program is the fifth smallest in the country. $55 million worth of film production was immediately turned away in 2014 when the annual funding cap was expended by May. This legislation aims to keep Washington’s film industry competitive and retain and increase film industry talent to fuel the statewide creative economy.
SB 6027’s prime sponsor is Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D, 36th), with co-sponsors Senator Andy Billig (D, 3rd), Senator Joe Fain (R, 47th), and Senator Don Benton (R, 17th).
See the Washington State Legislature page for more details.