So for the few of you in Seattle who live under a rock in the months of May and June, there’s this thing that happens every year called The Seattle International Film Festival. Imagine several weeks of national and international actors, directors, producers, cinophiles, and the like all milling about the Emerald City. It’s basically North America’s largest film festival…kind of a big deal, but in a mildly collected and non-offensive polite Seattle way. As a film critic it’s a great place for me to spend any extra time I have left these days to catch up on the latest foreign films, catch some obscure indie flicks, and meet some interesting new people– a pretty sweet gig I might add.
This year was extra special for yours truly though. As you may know, I sometimes dabble in indie film production here in Seattle doing all sorts of things. Well, imagine my surprise when local actor/producer and all round good guy Ben Andrews contacted me with the idea of being in a promo for SIFF in Renton, WA? For the last few years as SIFF has grown various surrounding cities have all vied for the opportunity to host a few screenings. This year was Renton’s lucky year, and, to celebrate the city decided that it would be a good idea to advertise their victory. That’s where Ben Andrews and Ben James at Evil Slave llc came in to the picture. With their minds a twitter of the possibilities, their group came up with the idea of two enthusiastic but perhaps disillusioned guys pitching film ideas to the Mayor of Renton. With just days to plan the Bens contacted yours truly and the kindred spirit of one John Curley, talk show host on KIRO-FM. Coordinating our schedules would take some doing, but a sunny Sunday morning at 6:00am seemed to fit. It was here where Director Sam Akina along with a team of crack commando film makers swung into action. The crew involved was amazing, all involved stayed focused and on target bashing out take after take until things were just right. From here editing, finessing, and many other magical steps happened (all too lengthy to go into really). POW! Final cuts! Below are the end results. The “Top Gun 3″ version is really my favorite, but they’re all good. Awesome.
Top Gun 3
Interesting news from this weekend. On Saturday morning I turned up at Robin Hood lanes in Edmonds for the second annual Bowling With Celebrities benefit for M.S. Helping hands– a non profit group set up to refurbish old medical supplies and give them to the needy. For instance, let’s say you have a relative with M.S. but they can’t afford a new wheelchair or scooter, you’d call in M.S. Helping hands and more than likely, they can hook you up with whatever your needs are at a reduced cost or even free for that matter. Truly an amazing group and a very worthy cause.
So there I was, bowling with with the likes of former UW Husky and Seattle Seahawk Michael Jackson, Local Musician Michael Powers, and a bunch more. let me explain, I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be a good bowler; regardless, the event was a blast, twice as large as last year, and a great success. And, the bonus! Whilst bowling I met a number of interesting folk with interesting backgrounds, in particular was the group that I started the morning bowling with, Jay, Devon, Maddy, Janna, and Lisa. Dressed to kill and ready to bowl, they stormed the lanes and braved the hardwoods, providing for much entertainment. As it turned out Devon happened to be a cartoonist…heh…and with bowling not always being a fast paced sport, there was idle time for him to scribble out a few little drawings; one of which included a great shot of a what looks like a 12 year old Jonas Brothers fan dreaming of yours truly…cracked me up. At first I didn’t think I wanted the picture, but then after re-thinking how funny and priceless it really was, I grabbed it before I left. Here it is, awesome:
On Friday, the fine folks at Disney’s Pixar Studios set up a promotion for the ages! The point was to advertise their upcoming release of the film “Up,” the tale of a guy who attaches a zillion balloons to his house and lifts off into the air, kind of fun eh? So, to celebrate the concept, members of the press were invited to recreate the event– sitting in a Barcalounger attached to helium balloons at Gas Works Park in Seattle. Seriously, just like the stunt of a guy in California who did the same thing (albeit less planned out) that was published all over the internet years ago. In our case we were tethered to the ground but still able to go quite a ways up. I can’t wait to see the video footage of this one. The film is due out on May 29th by the way.