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Meet the Filmmaker: Tyler Eaton, “Shadows”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
A: As a kid, I always tried different hobbies. Sports, musical instruments, drawing, painting, etc. I had no natural aptitude for any of them, and really struggled to improve (even with practice). In 6th grade I finally picked up my Mom’s digital camera and started editing short movies. It felt intuitive, exciting and incredibly satisfying to do, and I knew immediately that film is the best way I can express myself creatively. I started to further experiment with visual effects, sound design, and more, and eventually filmmaking became my number one hobby, and something I’ve decided to pursue professionally.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
A: My submission to the EFP, Shadows, is a short psychological horror/thriller film I wrote and directed for a class called “Video Production II” at Colorado Film School. It was selected for the Fall 2018 CFS Student Show at Harkins Theatre, as well as the CFS “Production II Show” which also took place at the Bug Theatre.

Q: What else are you working on?
A: I’m currently editing my final senior film at CFS, called The Truth. It’s a crime thriller about a hostage negotiation situation, featuring a real-life police department and SWAT team.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
A: As someone who struggles with some pretty intense depression and anxiety, I’m fascinated by the difference in perspective of reality between people who struggle with mental illness versus those who do not, and this has been a source of inspiration for my recent films.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
A:

A: Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD6qvlBpMA3BYNBOycY8W6w/videos?view_as=subscriber Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tyler.eaton.393950Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tylereaton222/?hl=en

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
A: I’m just so grateful that this program exists. Not only does it allow Denver filmmakers to showcase our work, it can also give so many of us that first little “festival” experience which inspires filmmakers (both those whose films are screened, and those who attend) to step up and get more films made and out into the world!

Shadows will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, January 16th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmakers: Katherine Borda & Lee Cipolla, “Lights Over Chautauqua”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
A: Growing up, I was always a huge fan of movies and was amazed of the impact they could have. The medium can be very powerful and change lives. From my first experience making a film to now, I have been propelled by this desire to make stories that can entertain but also reach people emotionally.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
A: It’s a short film called Lights Over Chautauqua that was shot here in Boulder. It’s a blend of science fiction and drama as a young man tries to understand what happened to him during a traumatic abduction experience. The journey to discovering the truth also leads him on a the path to repairing a broken relationship with the love of his life. It’s screened at a couple festivals to start off with and is now available on Amazon Prime. But our ultimate goal is to launch a series from it.

Q: What else are you working on?
A: I have a few features in development. Jasmine is an inspirational true life story about Native American Hoop Dancer Jasmine Pickner Bell. Also, The Depositionist, a thriller about a disbarred lawyer turned video-deposition cameraman who crosses the line and gets involved with a client who claims her ex-husband is planning to kill her.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
A: I’ve ever done the same genre twice. Technically, a few have been classified as dramas but they are always hyphened something else. Comedy, medical drama thriller, fight film, urban rapper film…but never the same genre twice. Not sure why it’s worked out that way.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
A: https://www.crystalrockentertainment.com/

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
A: This will be my first time attending so I am excited for what’s in store. I am very grateful for those folks who put in the effort to create this experience for filmmakers to showcase their work. They are unsung heroes. So, truthfully, thank you.

Lights Over Chautauqua will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, January 16th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmakers: Trae Beneck & Avery Troop, “Someone Else’s Shoes”

Q: Why did you become filmmakers?
A: We like making films. 🙂

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
A: You’d be watching our sci-fi horror short, Someone Else’s Shoes. In it we see a world where people can switch bodies for a day. This is the only place it will be screened. We originally planned to send it to festivals, but when it was complete we thought it was not good enough for that. I (Avery) sent it to the Emerging Filmmakers Project as a secret just to see if it was as bad as we thought. We are happy to have been selected. Honesty, Someone Else’s Shoes was just a learning opportunity for us.

Q: What else are you working on?
A: Our next short film, Balloon Party, is currently being edited. We will send this one to festivals across the country and it will be our main debut as filmmakers. We have been working a long time on it. The film is a surrealist horror comedy about a world of balloons were only the main character is human. It can be described as a whimsical fever dream.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
A: This film was made for 0$.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
A: As a group we are pretty obscure. The youtube channel named: “Trae Beneck” has some of Trae’s work and this film on it. When Balloon Party comes out it we might move it to a joint channel we are setting up called “Wasteland of Wonders.” If you email avery.troop@gmail.com I might be interested in working as a writer or an actor for your next project!

Someone Else’s Shoes will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, January 16th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Níko Sotolongo, “Coo Cooí”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
NS: I’ve always been a storyteller and, like most filmmakers, sharing stories is how I best express myself. When another person connects on some level with one of my stories, well, that’s just about the best feelings in the world.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
NS: I am excited to share Coo Cooí with you. It is my senior thesis project from my time at the University of Colorado Denver Film program and it has already screened at the Durango Film Festival and the Santa Fe International Film festival. It is also currently under consideration for the Boulder Film Festival.

I hope to use this short as a proof of concept for a feature-length version of the script which I have recently finished writing.

Q: What else are you working on?
NS: Like most freelancers, I’m currently working on a bit of everything. There is a finished screenplay that I am trying to produce here in Denver and I am also writing several pilots with the hope of having them produced one day.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
NS: I love horror and horror-comedies, not that weird I know, but when I was a kid I used to hate anything even remotely scary. Now it’s my jam. Who knows.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
NS: If you’d like to find out more about my video services and any of my upcoming projects please check out my website nikosotolongo.com and follow me on Instagram @Niko.Soto.Foto

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
NS: Thank you so much for selecting Coo Cooí and for supporting other burgeoning filmmakers here in Denver. You have given us an audience which is all any storyteller could ever ask for!

Coo Cooí will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, December 19th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Ivan How, “Charlie Mike”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
IH: I wanted to impact people the same way the films I grew up watching impacted me.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
IH: This is a student film called Charlie Mike. It is a psychological drama about a soldier in the woods. It has screened twice at the University of Colorado Boulder. It has been accepted into the Hollywood Verge Film Awards, and is currently in consideration for the Boulder International Film Festival. I don’t plan to submit to any more festivals.

Q: What else are you working on?
IH: I’m currently working on writing, directing, and producing a SAG-AFTRA registered action/drama short film. Production will wrap just before Christmas.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
IH: My movies never have happy endings. As much as I enjoy watching happy endings in movies, I find them dishonest and misleading, so I stay away from them in my own films. There is no “happy ever after” in real life; there’s only “now what?”

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
IH: My portfolio can be viewed at:
https://ivanhow91.wixsite.com/portfolio
My IMDb is:
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10113301/

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
IH: It’s refreshing to see a genuine platform for aspiring filmmakers to showcase their work to audiences that want to see it. There are plenty of festivals that take advantage of aspiring filmmakers by charging exorbitant submission fees. EFP is clearly not one of them.

Charlie Mike will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, December 19th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmakers: Kimberly and Robert Bogin, “The Magnificent Fourteen (Year Olds)”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
KRB: My husband Rob Bogin (director/writer) and I (producer/editor) have always been into movies. We have our own video production company and we just recently started a film division.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
KRB: The Magnificent 14 (Year Olds) log line is “Nerdy middle school students, hired by bullied classmates, use their unique skills in a shocking plan of revenge.”

We made the movie for the 48 Hour Film Project (Denver) and won the Audience Choice Award and Best Choreography. We were also accepted into the Portland Comedy Film Fest where the movie screened at the beginning of November. It’s been submitted to a couple of other film fests with notification dates in January.

Q: What else are you working on?
KRB: We’re finishing up a horror short called Homebodies. Our next project is a comedy short called Got Beer.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
KRB: Hmmm…I can’t think of anything really weird. I guess a fun fact is that most of our cast are middle and high school theatre majors from Denver School of the Arts.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
KRB: www.minicineproductions.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
KRB: We love that the EFP gives local filmmakers a chance to screen their films at an actual theater. Sometimes it is hard for small filmmakers to get an opportunity to show our work to an audience and get feedback. EFP makes it happen!

The Magnificent Fourteen (Year Olds) will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, December 19th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Ty Bradford, “Sick, Weird, Kid.”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
TB: Ever since I was twelve, I’ve had a camera in hand — to me there’s nothing like telling stories with moving images and sharing that experience with an audience.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
TB: This is a film I made as a project to give back to then senoir LGBTQ community – but it’s meant for all ages. I recently discovered how many seniors are still struggling with being who they are, so I thought it important to share their words of support and wisdom and I must thank the brave folks who were willing to go on camera. It’s been screening at The Center on Colfax, at retirement communities all over the country and it will live on the web.

Q: What else are you working on?
TB: Working with seniors has opened up a whole new realm of interest for me, especially when many of them told me how invisible they felt. I’m currently writing a feature film (drama/dark comedy) that will hopefully change that perspective and the goal is to shoot it here in Denver. If anyone knows of any senior actors (+/- 70 years young) please send them my way!

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
TB: I’m obsessed with warm chocolate chip cookies.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
TB: My company is Ovo Films / https://www.ovofilms.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
TB: EFP deserves a standing ovation for supporting local artists and for screening local work.

Sick, Weird, Kid. will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, November 21st at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Mason Aks, “Tag”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
MA: I have been doing theater my whole life, and after awhile I was noticing that film is a better place to be to get recognized. Your pieces and progress is permanent, and will stay for entertainment for years to come.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
MA: You will be seeing a small video I made challenging myself to not use dialogue for a film.

Q: What else are you working on?
MA: I just finished releasing my first TV pilot, which is a comedic retelling if Grimm’s Fairy Tales. We had a budget of $4,000 and all volunteers for actors and we got it done.

Here is a link: https://youtu.be/yrZW5lUbTns

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
MA: I try to stylize my filmmaking so that the camera tells the jokes instead of only the actors. As I’ve been progressing I’ve been enhancing dialogue delivery, but my comedic filmmaking is still present.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
MA: Two places:

Old World Productions Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Oldworldproductions/

Mildly Adequate YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh2dpwyvjoRqkKlZO_pzNmA

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
MA: Thank you for accepting this film. This is my first short film I’ve ever done and did it with no budget, so I’m very proud of it.

Tag will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, November 21st at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Lindsay Morrison, “Hi Larry :)”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
LM: I initially got into film via music videos of the 90s. I didn’t necessarily understand it as a career, but the art form intrigued me. Then I took a “Films of David Lynch” course in college and that’s what got me into the idea of directing. I was so inspired by his strange clues and unusual plot structures, and that’s when I finally started making my own short films. Directing for the first time, I was hooked, and pretty soon found myself in Los Angeles, going to film school at USC. I’ve explored many art forms, but film is by far my favorite. I love the ability to bring dream images to life and to tell unusual stories.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
LM: You will be seeing Hi, Larry:) which was my team’s submission to the 2018 Denver 48 Hour Film Project. Team WOLF LUV pulled the horror genre and we were so thrilled because it is our favorite. It screened at the 48 Hour Film Festival that year, of course, and then one other time at the Bug’s Open Screen Night. Our plans are to have it available online so as to spread its joy for many years to come.

Q: What else are you working on?
LM: I recently started a production company with my partner in life and in crime, Michael La Breche. We are WOLF LUV FILMS and we are currently working on an anthology series called Reliquary. We screened the first installment of it at the Bug twice this year, as well as at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Providence, RI and Portland, OR. We received warm receptions and are thrilled to report that we will go into production mode on episode 2 next month.

We also have been in development on a feature horror film, entitled LATEX and are getting ready to launch into pre-production on that as soon as we secure funding, hopefully early 2020. Meanwhile we are building our production company from the ground up. We recently moved into a larger work space and can’t wait to get shooting again.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
LM: I love my villains and am often caught by my husband quoting my own villain’s lines in every day life, which is probably scary for him since my villains are almost always women and they usually attack men. But don’t worry, my female villains attack women too; they are equal opportunity monsters.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
LM: You can find more WOLF LUV FILMS info and content at wolfluvfilms.com, and you can find my director reel on my personal website: lindsaymorrison.com. Also, please go find us on YouTube and our Instagram accounts (you can find them through our website). Also, please go find us on YouTube and our Instagram accounts (you can find them through our website).

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
LM: I am always grateful for an opportunity to screen at EFP. I think EFP is a vital part of the Denver film community and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

Hi, Larry 🙂 will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, October 17th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: John McSween, “The Lost Boy”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JM: When I was 12 years old, I watched the Siskel and Ebert review of Reservoir Dogs. They gave it 2 thumbs down. Both thought it was pointless exercise in style that was full of boring dialogue. But, from the few clips they showed and the movie’s summary, I had to see it. I convinced my mom to rent the R rated VHS at blockbuster and late that night I watched it twice in a row (with the only break the 5 minutes it took to rewind the tape). That was my coming to God moment. To my parents’ chagrin, watching movies became my primary pursuit and watching hours on end of video tapes became my favorite hobby. Up until that point I had wanted to be a painter. It took years before I gave my art supplies away. But, every time I sat in a crowded theater or sat in a crowded living room huddled around a 20 inch television to watch a new release, I became convinced that film had become the culmination of mankind’s artistic pursuits. All the great artists and all the great writers, had they been living in the 1990s, they would have been independent filmmakers.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JM: The Lost Boy was created in 2014 with a grant from Stanley Film Festival and financial (and spiritual) help from Colorado Film School during my last year there. It was one of two CFS entries into the now defunct Stanley Film Festival. I wrote the screenplay with the incredible Benjamin Dunn under a tight schedule of about 3 weeks in order to apply for the grant. Benjamin and I worked as a writing team because we both focused our stories on friendships and familial relationships. When we started The Lost Boy, we had been already been talking about writing a script about a father and a son in which the father ends up being the villain even though he sees himself as the victim. 2014 was also the beginning of the current trend of all films being based on pre-existing intellectual property. Ben and I wanted to tap into that Zeitgeist and we wanted to tell a story about the family and relationship dynamics that turn good kids bad. Our solution was to create a modern day retelling of the Peter Pan origin story in the horror genre with a focus on the family dynamic that would lead Peter down a dark path.

We went into production about 6 weeks after the screenplay won the Stanley grant in order to finish the movie in time for the festival and in order to work with the marvelous Emeli Emanuelson, whose schedule was booked. Emeli was not only an amazing actor, but she ended up doing as much as anyone for this short to come into being. Ben and I started working with DP Luke Askelson at an early point in the creative process. We decided before the script was complete that the movie would be shot in black and white, which was great for the short’s aesthetic but became a non-starter for using the short as a concept trailer for a feature length film. Production designer Cameron Styles and Art Director Darren McCoy took the heavy lifting of creating costumes, props, and set decorations in just over a month on a very limited budget.

Our original shooting location fell through at the last minute, which almost ended up killing the project. Luckily, in the 11th hour, a family friend agreed to let the cast and crew of 40 people crash at his ranch for a weekend. The new location threw numerous wrenches and surprises at us for the whole shoot, but producer Alex Rhodes-Wilmer was able to make it work. Primary production lasted 3 days and 2 nights. Most of the movie was shot at night in the winter at 8,500 feet outside of Woodland Park. It was cold. The kids were up past their bedtimes and their costumes exposed their bare skin to below freezing temperatures. Many of the scenes needed to be re-thought out and re-orchestrated outside on set 2 AM while it was 20 degrees in order to accomodate the new location.

Editor Ellen Feldman, Darren McCoy, Alex, and I sat in the editing booth for weeks trying to sculpt all that raw footage into a movie, which we did lust in time for the festival. The movie had a short festival run premiering at The Stanley Film Festival and playing at a few smaller genre festivals including the Mile High Horror Fest and the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival. Benjamin and I worked on several different versions of the feature length version of the The Lost Boy. Unfortunately, we never found the money to take it to the next level. The Lost Boy ended up being the last narrative film I directed.

Q: What else are you working on?
JM: I work as an independent videographer / editor.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JM: There’s a Starbucks cup in every scene.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JM: I own the domain www.johnmcsween.com, which will one day have information about me and my work. Until then, leave messages for me at the front desk of the Bug Theatre.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JM: I showed my first movie at the EFP back in 2008. Patrick Sheridan made fun of me for the whole night. I thought that meant that we had become friends, he had different ideas. Over the years, I screened about a half dozen shorts at the EFP and Patrick made fun of me every time. Patrick became a friend, mentor, and co-creator. I sent him every script I ever wrote and he gave me honest notes. The greatest compliment I ever got from him was actually for the script of The Lost Boy. He told me that “It’s actually not that bad.” I asked him for actors for every movie I ever directed and he never failed to send me actors who were completely different than I had envisioned, but who ended up being perfect for the part. I even cast him a couple of times. I remember my last time working with him – me as director, Patrick as actor – at the Bug Theatre, during a shoot for a short film called The Fame Machine. I asked him to play a scene a certain way. He said that he would be happy to play it that way or that we could just cut to the chase and he could do it the right way. That way, he said, I wouldn’t have to look at so much footage during post. I let him do it his way, and he was right. He got film. He got acting. He will be missed.

The Lost Boy will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, October 17th at The Bug Theatre.