Reel NW Season 3 Shorts
- Reel NW
Reel NW airs independent films from or about the Pacific Northwest. From thought-provoking documentaries to powerful narrative dramas, KCTS 9 showcases our region's talents, stunning environment, and the issues that affect us.
Season 3 feature films premiere on KCTS 9 Television and website beginning Jan. 18, 2013.
Check back for information on upcoming Reel NW feature films.
What happens when you take the prim and proper concert piano and pianists straight off the stage and throw them into the dusty, scary, grimy mess of the factory where the majestic black creatures are born.About the Filmmaker
My name is Matthew Brown, and I am a visual storyteller. I love to create moving portraits of life around me, the mundane and the exhilarating alike. I have been making videos since I was five, after the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco inspired me to be a filmmaker and to think differently and creatively about the world around me. I grew up in a very rural town called Rough And Ready, California, where I basically had nothing but my imagination to use up my time. I practiced on my cheap little out-of-date camera until just three years ago. Then, as I played more with filmmaking and experimented with editing and shooting, I realized that I had a knack for it. I write, direct, shoot, and edit, and try to evolve my craft with every video I make. Read More
I am a freelance filmmaker. I have been working professionally for two years now and have done projects ranging from videos, documentaries, museum installations, tourism videos, short films, and live concert projections. I recently made a video for Imogen Heap’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and am excited that The New York Times wrote some nice words about my work. Universities around the world present my work to their students, and I have been featured in film festivals all over the world.
I have a video journal where I make portraits of the places I have been and try to make a beautiful little memory out of them. I have lots of fun personal projects on the timeline and in my head at all times.
I plan to get enough experience in filmmaking to make a few short films, and then a feature. I am very excited about where the next year will take me, and what new heights my craft will reach. Other than filmmaking, I love to hike as many times a year as possible. Traveling and experiencing new cultures is very important to me. I like to garden, play with dogs, talk politics and philosophy, learn about geology and astronomy, and go to the movies.
I wanted to take the prim and proper concert piano and pianists straight off the stage and throw them into the dusty, scary, grimy mess of the factory where these majestic black creatures are born. I have always been mesmerized by pianos, even just the look of them. They have always had an ominous quality to them. Their shiny, black skin, and volcanic vibrations inside. I wanted to show the piano the way I saw them...as passionate, living beings that suck the creative life out of anyone who touches them and feeds it into the ears of the listener.
Steinway let my cinematographer (Nathan Miller) and I into their factory to run around and shoot with some of their brand new crazy expensive pianos. They don't let filmmakers or photographers in very often, so I am very grateful that they let us do the things we did in there. To work with the pianists, having fun experimenting on this was one of the best times I've had this year. We almost got heat stroke, I sprained my ankle, and almost died from the fumes in the factory, but we survived it!
- Matthew Brown
Silent comedy is immortal, except when the film begins to burn through - but abandoning his film causes this silent star to encounter movies and a leading lady that he was never cast for.About the Filmmaker
An incorrigible doodler from birth, Sarah Jolley studied animation for the past four years at both Vancouver Film School and Newport University of Wales, with the solid backing of a Foundation year at Manchester Metropolitan University behind them. Whilst making things move has evolved into her true passion, she also practices her storytelling in writing comics, literature and scripts. Sequential imagery and character design often accidentally lead to writing entire novels at two in the morning, but having been raised in Cheshire on a strict diet of classical reading and comedy, it's hardly surprising that she aims to complete at least six impossible things before breakfast.
An open letter to Clay Bennett.About the Filmmaker
As a child Peter Edlund dreamed of growing up to be a dinosaur or playing in the NBA, but unfortunately neither of these career paths panned out. After a period of severe emotional anguish, he settled on pursuing a career in filmmaking instead, and enrolled at Seattle University. While there he was lucky enough to meet cinematographer extraordinaire Rachel Klein, and editor/taskmaster Megan “the Wolf” Leonard, with whom he began creating films under the moniker of Visual Pollution Productions. He is forever in debt to his incredibly supportive family.
***2013 NW Regional Emmy® Award***
Honor the Treaties is a short film that examines photographer Aaron Huey’s work for Native American rights on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The film explores the idea that journalists sometimes ‘get the wrong story’. Using Aaron’s seven-year experience as a photographer on the Pine Ridge Reservation, we examine the idea of growth and change in relationship to telling a story.”About the Filmmaker
Eric Becker is a Seattle-based director who has been working domestically and internationally in documentary film for 6 years. His work, both short and feature-length, focuses on human rights, peace, and the environment, and has screened at festivals and on television. His unique visual style and approach to storytelling seeks to reaffirm our shared humanity, reminding us that there are tangible solutions to issues of social justice. His most recent short documentary, Honor The Treaties, was featured at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival’s shorts program opening night. He graduated with an MPH in Global Health from Yale University in 2006.”
***2013 NW Regional Emmy® Award***
Preguntas Hermosas is a poetic story of time shared and love lost, told through a combination of “Poema X” by Pablo Neruda and “Under the Harvest Moon” by Carl Sandburg. It unfolds in three parts: a fond remembrance, loss, and then finally acceptance.About the Filmmaker
David Viau is a creative director born and raised in Seattle, Washington. From an early age, he has loved to draw, write and direct movies.
After graduating from the University of Washington in visual communication, he worked for apparel giant Nike and various interactive design agencies. His love of motion-based design drove him to embrace the television and film industry and led him to work as one of the founding designers at Superfad.
As a creative director and artist, David displays a host of skills that range from live action direction, visual effects, photography, illustration and design.
In The House I Keep we experience the life of the lead character Nicole, as she grapples with her day, six weeks after suffering a miscarriage. What lies beneath a thin veneer of normality is a rage and sorrow that isolates and warps. She struggles to come to terms with the loss of something that was, but never was. Something that she alone felt was real. It is in the war between her internal and external life that we come to understand the conflicts that have plagued her recovery. What is remarkable about this day is that she stumbles upon a curious symbol of hope that will ultimately lead her back to peace.About the Filmmaker
A graduate of Toronto, Canada’s Ryerson Theater School, Jhene Erwin starred in the feature film The Fishing Trip, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. She played a supporting lead in the Family Channels M.O.W. Night of the Twisters, as well as the lead in Janice Gambles story on CBC’s The Scales of Justice. Jhene was a series regular in Nancy Drew for New Line Television and Liberty Street for the CBC. Other appearances include Joanna Stubbins on USA’s Psych and Snyder in the feature film Crimes of the Past. Read More
Jhene is a writer and published poet (Onyx Anthology of Spoken Word.) Her poetry landed her a demo deal with EMI London collaborating with DJ Wai Wan. She has independently released two spoken word CDs. The single That Kind of Boy, was chosen for Ars Novas Hottest Independent Artists: Electronic/Dance, CD and These Thoughts, hit the top 20 on American Idol Underground.
Last year she was asked to contribute a blog to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Still Birth Series and has begun her own blog titled Dig Deep. Finish Well – Attempting to navigate the peculiar landscape of loss, after the recent passing of her beloved husband.”
As the film evolved it easily transcended my experiences into a universal story of loss and redemption. The Leonard Cohen lyric "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." has informed each phase of production. There is a kind of madness that can infiltrate one's life with any significant loss. It can at times be a necessary comfort but if its logic is allowed to completely envelop the psyche, the road back to sanity is hard to find. Our lead, Nicole stands in the center of this dilemma. The film examines the day in which the 'cracks' become so extensive that living in two worlds is no longer an option. Nicole must chose. Does she follow her unborn child into the darkness or does she turn again to the light, the love, that awaits her.
- Jhene Erwin
Two astronauts struggle to stay alive as their crashed space capsule slowly runs out of oxygen.About the Filmmaker
Antonio (Tony) Altamirano was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the US at an early age. Tony started making VHS films with no budget at a very early age then graduated film school in hopes to one day make a film as perfect as "Raiders of the Lost Ark”. He has developed effective & award-winning filmmaking skills by serving as a writer, producer, director, and editor on a variety of projects, large and small. Tony loves SCI-FI, The Muppets and avocados.”Director's Statement
I wanted to create a short film that paid homage to an overlooked age of sci-fi which took place in the 70's and 80's. Films like Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Logan’s Run and Blade Runner, to name a few, had an intellectual aspect that tackled social issues in the most extraordinary settings. I feel like our Arthur C. Clarks have been replaced by Michael Bays and story has been replaced by CGI and eye candy.
I also wanted to create something different, a sci-fi short with almost no special effects. Human interaction was more important to me than using the latest technology and effects. And thus began “Capsule”, a short fictional tale of a failed Mars landing that takes place in a retro future from the 80's.
I couldn't have made this short without the help of my friend Clinton Belt, who spent countless hours building the space capsule whenever he found time in between his two jobs. 90 percent of our non-budget went towards art direction and wardrobe. Clinton would ask me as he was building the capsule, "Why does this take place in a future from the 80's?" and I would reply, "Because we grew up in the 80's".
- Antonio (Tony) Altamirano
A girl with a hula hoop becomes a goldfish becomes the Earth itself. The ordinary and the extraordinary loop and transform in this playful take on the circle of life told in grains of sand.About the Filmmaker
Tess Martin is an independent animator who works with back-lit paper cut-outs, ink, paint and sand. She is the recipient of three 4Culture grants, two City of Seattle grants, and numerous others in support of her films, including Plain Face (2011), a 10 minute short that premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2011. More recent works include The Whale Story, animated on a 16 foot high wall in a public park, and Hula Hoop, a loopy sand piece. Her films have displayed at galleries as well as festivals worldwide. She is a member of SEAT, Seattle Experimental Animation Team, a collective of independent animators, and has curated a program of SEAT films titled Inter-Action, which screened in Seattle, Portland, New York City and toured Europe in October 2011. Tess received her BA of Fine Art from the University of Brighton in the UK and spent the majority of her life overseas before settling in Seattle in 2008.
Not Available online. Watch it on KCTS 9 Television.
***Not available online. Watch it on KCTS 9 Television.***
Piano Pat is one of those living legends. She's been playing the same venue, the Sip 'N Dip Lounge, in Great Falls, Montana since 1963. She's one of those characters you don't see every day.About the Filmmaker
Matthew J. Clark is a Director and Cinematographer with roots in the Northwest and life experiences that span the globe. Growing up the son of an Air Force pilot, the Clark family lived in various places and traveled and moved a lot. This vagabond imprinting on Matthew’s brain embedded the desire to explore and see new things. At an early age, the camera was introduced and has been a companion since for Matthew. This propensity to shoot, lead him to study at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the film school for an emphasis on cinematography.
Today, Matthew directs and shoots various commercial, branded content and advertising work, but when the opportunity arises, he still continues to explore with camera in hand for his own curiosity and growth. Weather the work is non-fiction or fiction based, Matthew loves telling stories, meeting new people and traveling.Filmmaker's Statement
I first saw Piano Pat perform back in the late 80’s. It was a hazy moment fueled by cheap beer and clouded by a thick layer of cigarette smoke. She was brilliant.
I thought she was planted by central casting and ready to be a character in the Simpsons or All In The Family or South Park. Friends of mine, with better singing voices than my own, joined in on some of the more popular tunes Pat sings. By closing time, the group had belted out all the big hits in Pat’s repertoire. I was hooked on the legend of Piano Pat. It took me awhile to understand, from a filmmaker’s stand point, how to tell her story. Finally, all the right pieces came together so I could just hang out with Pat and learn more. To look behind the curtain and see what kind of person she really is when not protected by her keyboards. My goal was to introduce the world to a treasure that is rare these days. A true legend.”
- Matthew J. Clark