The Empowerment Project Screening, October 29, 2014

10.24WI Empowerment Promo.2 The Empowerment Project Screening, October 29, 2014

The Empowerment Project Screening, October 28, 2014

EmpowermentProjectnew The Empowerment Project Screening, October 28, 2014

Featured Filmmaker: Joe Jacobs of ‘Forced Entry’

Featured Filmmaker: Joe Jacobs of ‘Forced Entry’

Forced Entry is 7 minutes of dark humor you won’t regret watching. The 7-minute thriller is a roller coaster of emotions – in a great way. We were lucky enough to catch up with Seattle filmmaker, Joe Jacobs about the making of his film and much, much more.

Joe Jacobs 34791 Featured Filmmaker: Joe Jacobs of Forced Entry

What was the inspiration behind ‘Forced Entry’?

It started with watching the Mysterious Stranger animation (claymation of Mark Twains’ story), and got me thinking of storylines where fierce evil is juxtaposed with innocence. Out of the many different things that came out of it, one of them was a quirky short script that eventually became Forced Entry.

Who or what inspired you to get into filmmaking?

I always enjoyed movies as a kid. Then, in high school, I got the chance to do some video projects for some classes, and that was a lot of fun. After high school, I went off to a technical college with the idea that I’d get into audio production because I was big into hip hop and DJing and such. A few quarters in, I was enjoying audio production, but it didn’t quite fit. While I was pondering how to change up my education, Pi and Buffalo 66 were playing in the indy plexes, and I loved what those guys we’re doing, and that was the first time I really considered a pursuit of filmmaking. Been chasing it ever since.

What’s your favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie?

It used to be Thin Mints, but have switched to the mass consensus of Samoas. That’s a damn good cookie.

What’s your motto?

“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

There’s always going to be that perfect camera, new software, the book you gotta read, class you want to take. The truth is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be. “You can’t think your way to write action; you can only act your way to write thinking.” – William James via David Milch

If you weren’t in the business of making movies, what would you do?

I’m a fan of Weegee who was a photojournalist of sorts around the 1930’s in NYC, and thought it’d be interesting to be a crime scene photographer. I heard somewhere that, since the recession, that the people handling the photography at the crime scenes would be taking over other responsibilities like finger printing the corpses. I dunno about that. In that case, I might just open up a nice neighborhoodie brunch spot.

What is your evil twin like?

A filmmaker struggling to bring his amazing rom-com into the world, and is a total narcissist while doing it. And he hates Aplets & Cotlets (the bastard).

What is your favorite thing that you own?

My coffee pot. It’s the most honest answer. My morning coffee is like my grown-up blanky.

What’s your favorite hobby?

I’m kind of in between hobbies. It used to be snowboarding, but lately I’ve been looking to slip into the world of wood smoke barbecuing. I can spend days working on digital images, editing, and coding on my computer, and I need to have something that allows me to decompress and calm all the visual and mental noise. I’m a total carnivore and an early riser, so it seems like a good fit.

What’s your favorite movie?

No Country for Old Men. That’s a painful question just to pick from the Coen library, let alone any movie ever.

What gives you confidence?

My community. Seattle is full of, not only talented, but gracious and fun filmmakers and film crew. They’re just a good bunch of people up in the Northwest. Excellent place to make and experience film.

What’s your favorite book?

Where the Sidewalk Ends. I’ve never been a huge reader, but I feel that when I read it as a kid, it created in my kid brain a desire to seek out other quirky and interesting things. My family was very religious at the time and being exposed to Shel Silverstein was one of my first glimpses into a world that didn’t have to seem so sterile and well behaved.

Who’s your biggest role model?

I wouldn’t say that I have one that I’m always looking to. Lately, my role model is Forrest Fenn. This lovely man hid a treasure, believed to be somewhere around New Mexico, worth over 2 million dollars, then wrote a book and a poem littered with hints on it’s whereabouts, and he can wait to have someone find it.  I hope at my old age to be able to do something like that. The world is a better place with him in it.

What’s the most important thing for new filmmakers to keep in mind?

A film is a collaborative effort. Be grateful for every little bit that any contributor brings to your film. And give back to other films as much as you can. Seeing filmmakers collaborating in different capacities on each others projects is an amazing sight. It’s hard work and a bit of magic to get independent films onto the big screen.

Sari Rodrig, the Talented, Young Animator Behind ‘Brother’

Sari Rodrig, the Talented, Young Animator Behind ‘Brother’

Three-minute award-winning animation, Brother, is about a humanoid robot who can’t build anything that works correctly, so he must find it within himself to make his creations come to life. This film is one of our favorite shorts on IndieFlix, and we’re not alone – just look at the long string of adoring comments below the film. This short is a big, big hit.

We were lucky enough to interview the creative talent behind Brother, Sari Rodrig, who conceived of this crowd-pleasing short for her thesis while receiving a BFA in Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts in 2012.

image Sari Rodrig, the Talented, Young Animator Behind Brother

Who or what was your motivation for getting into animation?

Honestly, getting into animation was a completely spontaneous decision.  I started college as an illustration major and a week into it, I was being to get bored.  I wasn’t passionate and it definitely wasn’t something I could see myself doing for very long.  I had been considering switching majors, and there was some sort of ad in a magazine I happened to read.  The title read “Make Art that Moves”.  And for me that made so much sense.  The next day I spoke with an adviser from the computer art department at my school, SVA.  The rest is history.

What was your inspiration for Brother?

The idea and style behind Brother came from a number of things.  The story line was inspired by my father, Steven Rodrig who builds mechanical sculptures from PCB boards.  I spoke with my dad a lot about Brother‘s concept, and it was very inspiring to bounce ideas off of someone I admired so much.  From there, Brother became this heartfelt robot who was just looking to create something that had life.  I think many artists go through that struggle, bringing their work to life in a way.  The style behind Brother came from a number of sources such as ‘Coraline’ and ‘Harry Potter’ (Part 6).  My good friend Zach Brunner, who is a very talented illustrator, was able to take inspiration from those types of styles to create the designs of our characters.  From there, I was then able to use Zach’s concepts to build characters and the set in 3D.

What’s your motto?

Big things come in small packages!

If you weren’t in the business of making movies, what would you do?

This is a tough question.  Somehow I feel as though I would end up the industry no matter what path I chose.  But if I absolutely had to choose,  I would be an entomologist.

What is your evil twin like?

My evil twin’s number one quality is spontaneity.  That’s something I wish I had more of.  She is also the type of person to break into some giant factory farm in order to free the animals there.  I’m not sure if that’s evil in her world, but probably evil to the owner of the farm.

What is your favorite thing that you own?

My favorite (inanimate) thing I own is my desktop PC.  When it comes to VFX and creating animation, it gets the job done.  If I was able to choose a living thing, that would be my cat Penny.

What’s your favorite hobby?

At this point in my career, I still love doing exactly what I do at work everyday, which is creating visual effects.  I also love to write and I definitely enjoy a good game of softball.

What’s your favorite movie?

I have two favorites movies which are Girl, Interrupted and Million Dollar Baby.

What gives you confidence?

I know it’s cliche, but I get confident when a supervisor or fellow industry member tells me I’m doing a good job.  A lot of times in VFX, things don’t always go as planned when tackling a project.  When I’ve solved a problem or made something look really nice, that gives me confidence too.

What’s your favorite book?

My favorite book is definitely Bridge to Terabithia.

Who’s your biggest role model?

Both of my parents are great role models to me.  They each have qualities which I admire and can only hope I inherit some of those traits.

What’s the most important thing for new filmmakers to keep in mind?

Stay passionate and be yourself.

A Few Words from Kurt Kuenne of “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father”

A Few Words from Kurt Kuenne of “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father”

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father depicts the wonderful life and tragic murder of Andrew Bagby, a loving friend, son and father. The film celebrates Andrew’s life and also captures the rising tension as his parents fight for custody over their grandson, Zachary. The 95 minute film ends with a twist that no one could possibly see coming. Several of us at IndieFlix feel this film has changed our lives and we’re certain it has done the same for many others across the world. If you haven’t seen it yet, it comes highly recommended by us with the suggestion of clearing your schedule for the rest of the day; this film will knock you off your feet.

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