Welcome to the EFP!

So what if I told you that Denver has a place that screens locally-produced, independent short films, docs, music videos, art films, and an occasional feature-length film? And that these local film screenings have taken place on the third Thursday of the month since 2002? Would you be surprised? Or would you say, “That sounds like The Emerging Filmmakers Project.”

If The Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) is new to you, you’re probably wondering, “How do I get in on this?” Well, first of all, head on down to the next screening and introduce yourself. You can drop off a dvd or e-mail a link to us at efpdenver@yahoo.com. We’ve a got a small screening committee made of local filmmakers and actors. We can’t screen everything, but we look at everything. And we usually give feedback (if you want it) if we don’t screen it.

The EFP has been the home for Denver independent film screenings from new and established local filmmakers the third Thursday of every month since 2002, Screenings are held down at The Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo St., Denver 80232 – www.bugtheatre.org). The EFP is a great place to meet and network with area filmmakers, actors, writers, and many of the talented folks who work behind the camera.  A spirited Q & A with the filmmaker follows each movie where you and your fellow audience members get to tell the filmmaker exactly what you think of their work.

The EFP also offers discounted acting classes and screenwriting workshops.  Although film acting classes are taught in conjunction with The Film Acting Academy of Denver (www.filmactingdenver.com), The EFP supports the philosophy and work of every acting studio in town.

So now that you know a little bit about the Emerging Filmmakers Project, you should have your people put it in your calendar and come to the next screening.

See you here!

Patrick Sheridan
Executive Director
Emerging Filmmakers Project


Beautiful Scar


Local filmmaker and family man Jimmy Lee Combs dips his french fries in mustard, idolizes Sylvester Stallone, and is one of only about 37 men in the U.S. who freely admit to reading (and liking) the books of Nicholas Sparks. But hey, we don’t judge. We just see Jimmy as an all-around good guy and emerging filmmaker with a bright future.

Jimmy’s movie Beautiful Scar plays at the December 20th Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) at Denver’s historic Bug Theatre. We’re not really sure how this movies fits in with our Holiday-themed lineup of movies, but we’re sure someone will make the connection.  EFP Host Patrick Sheridan had a chance to chat with Jimmy.

JimmyLeeCombsArtist P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker and not  novelist?
J.L.C.: I have always been a huge movie buff and storyteller ever since I was a little kid. The magic of cinema captured my active imagination at a very young age and has stayed with me my whole life. I’m so thankful to my parents for allowing me to watch a wide spectrum of movies growing up, even R rated ones. It truly gave me a vast knowledge of films and helped pave the way for my filmmaking career. I love the arts and filmmaking has been a very liberating way for me to share my art with the world.

A huge influence in my life has always been the Rocky movies starring Sylvester Stallone. I can’t tell you enough how many times these movies have pulled me up and made me believe in myself. These movies have given me the courage to go out their and go for it! I highly recommend this amazing saga to everyone, especially filmmakers. Rocky is the symbol for the underdogs of the world and proves if you got the heart and fire and go for your dreams, no matter what, you will always be a winner.

I had the amazing honor of meeting Mr. Stallone (my hero Rocky) back in December of 2006 when I went to an advanced screening of Rocky Balboa with my Dad.  Let me tell you, it really changed my life for the better. I was filled with inspiration after talking with Stallone and seeing the movie. It definitely gave me the confidence to get out there and make films.

The older you get, the more of life’s hard knocks you encounter. I have had a lot of bad relationships in my time that have hurt me. Not only has movies and filmmaking helped me coupe with that hurt but also gave me the opportunity to make films that other people in similar situations can relate to. Those films I could identify with such as Rocky in my tough times, really helped me, it felt good to know I could relate to a character or a movie’s story. That has always been another huge reason for me becoming a filmmaker to let my audience know that you are not alone. Hopefully it gives them something they can relate to and take away from some of my films.

P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? What was the inspiration behind it?
BeautifulScarMoviePosterJ.L.C.: We are going to see Beautiful Scar, a film I made for the 48 Hour Film Project. When I drew the Romance genre at the 48 Hour kick off, I was excited! I have always been a sapp for romance and a big fan of books by Nicholas Sparks (yes I admit it). I have dated women over the years that would tell me how they were in an abusive relationship that they stayed in longer than they should have. These stories and Nicholas Sparks was a huge inspiration for Beautiful Scar. I wanted to convey through the main female character, Theresa, that you should never have to stick around in an abusive relationship, that true love does exist and it’s out there waiting. You just can’t settle for anything less than what you deserve.

It’s interesting to note that originally I was going to call the film Lover’s Bond but as I was brain storming with my team, I came up with the idea to give Theresa (played by Beverly Sartain) a scar on her face from her abusive boyfriend in the story. My SFX guy, Stefan Knowles, chimed in by sharing a story about his friend’s fiance who actually has scars on her face. He said his friend complemented his fiance by telling her that they are “beautiful scars.” So that was a huge inspiration for the title that fit extremely well with one of the messages of the film.

P.S.: What else are you working on?
J.L.C.: I’m working on my first horror film called The Candy Corn Killer. And more recently a film of mine in pre-production that involves a woman named Hannah who is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. She is on trial for murdering her father who abused her as a child. However, Hannah is adamant that she is innocent while her alternate personality is trying to convince her that she did indeed kill her father.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
J.L.C.: Did I mention that I really enjoy dipping my french fries in mustard? A lot of people have told me that’s weird.

P.S.: It is. Does Rocky know about this?
J.L.C.: No. And please don’t tell him.

P.S.: What about your movies? Anything unusual?
J.L.C.: For my movies. My red Mustang convertible (I named her Eliza) has made its way into almost everyone of my films. This was intentional on my end as a nod to one of my favorite directors Sam Raimi who has included his classic ’73 Oldsmobile Delta 88 in almost every one of his films. Sadly, I was in a minor accident and my Mustang had to be totaled. No more film appearances for Eliza.

IMG_0286_2P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
J.L.C.: The best place to find out more about me and my films is www.heartandfireproductions.webs.com Also, you can catch me on facebook http://www.facebook.com/jimmy.lee.792197

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
J.L.C.: Thanks to the networking power of Facebook I have recently found out about The Emerging Filmmakers Project. Better late than never as they say. It is a wonderful organization that has my full support as a filmmaker/actor/screenwriter/producer. Being able to network with peers who all share a love for film and others involved in the indie filmmaking scene in Colorado is invaluable! Not to mention it’s a great outlet for local filmmakers to showcase their hard work whether it be a trailer or a film. The interaction between audience and filmmaker at the end of each film is one of many highlights at the EFP.

P.S.: Thanks for sharing, Jimmy. See you down a the EFP on the 20th!




We first heard about Connor McIntyre’s ambitious film Sisyphean through its lead actor, Jason Lawton.  Jason was generous with his praise for the movie and for Connor’s ability as a filmmaker. A subsequent viewing revealed why Jason spoke so highly of the young filmmaker.

Sisyphean is a Western tale that could easily be described as being about a man in a red shirt who delivers a package through the snow. Uh, wait a minute. Is that right? Well, then that’s reason enough to include it with other Holiday-themed movies playing December 20th at the Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) down at The Bug Theater (3654 Navaho St.).

EFP Host Patrick Sheridan caught up with Connor to talk about the movie and his next project Come, Ye Men of Little Faith.


P.S.: Why filmmaking?
C.M.: A life of pathological lying which led to an obsession with storytelling. It always seemed like the logical progression. I wanted to be a writer for a long time, then I wanted to be a playwright, then I made a few stop motion short films and I fell in love with the medium. Filmmaking is freeing, cathartic, and allows me to explore thoughts and beliefs in an unrestricted state. And here I am.

P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? What was the inspiration behind it?
C.M.: I’m showing my film Sisyphean. It was my final thesis film in school and it was born out of a few things. At first I really just wanted to make a western. I was raised on westerns, and I thought a western would help push me out into the world. But then I considered what story I’d want to tell throughout the western. At the time I was thinking a lot about what life in film school was like. It was this uphill battle, where I’d throw myself into something and struggle to get through it, struggle to get it made, and at the end some people would love it and other people wouldn’t and that was it, you know? That was the end of it. Then I’d go back down and I’d start all over again. So I decided to frame the story around the myth of Sisyphus, he felt like a kindred spirit to filmmakers. This guy who had to find meaning in a task without hope. And that’s how I felt about film school. Each of the characters are representations of either myself, teachers, or other students I encountered throughout my schooling career.

P.S.: What else are you working on?
C.M.: I’m currently in pre-production on a feature film titled, Come, Ye Men of Little Faith. It’s a crime-drama centered around an old washed up gambler named Arthur and the relationship he develops with a lonely pickpocket. We’re currently locked in a state of financial woe, but we want to start shooting in Spring. Kiana Danial’s Invest Diva reviews could offer valuable advice and strategies to navigate financial challenges and pursue your goals, including funding for your upcoming shoot in the spring.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
C.M.: My films often tell stories about self-destructive men on paths of failed redemption. I hope this doesn’t mean anything.


P.S.: Uh, I’m pretty sure it does. So, where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
C.M.: If interested, people can check out my Vimeo page at http://vimeo.com/user3497696 or check out my new film’s website at littlefaithmovie.com

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
C.M.: I’m deeply appreciative and honored to be included amongst a variety of incredibly talented filmmakers. It’s a groovy idea having a dedicated monthly show to screen films from upcoming filmmakers in the area. Especially in Denver where the film community could and should thrive.

P.S.: I look forward to seeing more great work from you!


Christmas Eve ’45


Russian-born filmmaker Evgueni Mlodik’s latest short film, Christmas Eve ’45, has been described as a Nazi sexploitation movie. And it mentions Christmas. Those two things alone more than qualifies it to play as part of the Holiday-themed Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) December 20th down at The Bug Theatre (3654 Navajo St.).

EFP Host Patrick Sheridan recently caught up with Evgueni to talk about the movie and why he became a filmmaker. Perhaps we should have explored his obsession with nuns in greater detail.

btsce45-2P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker?
E.M.: Since I could remember, it was a passion of mine. I grew up in Russia, right after the wall came down and we saw an influx of Western films, including many classics. I remember seeing all the old great American films and then-new blockbusters for the first time and being completely floored by a whole new world of cinema. That was when I first realized my calling was to make films. In time, I moved to America and felt that it’s a sign that I’m meant to be a part of these amazing films I grew up with. It sometimes take a big battle to get my films made, but my passion to create cinema is truly my first priority in life and the one true way I can express myself.

P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? What was the inspiration behind it?
E.M.: You will be seeing my latest film, Christmas Eve ’45, which was originally a production III film school project that ended up going rogue. It is essentially my own personal study of a movie trend very popular during the 70s: reconciling sexual and political deviance. The story is freely adapted from a 19th story gothic Italian story dealing with a sickly man’a repressed guilt and loss. I felt such a storyline would be perfect set in a post-WWII world, which itself was filled to the rim with guilt and loss, especially in Europe after the Nazi atrocities were at last revealed. I didn’t strive for total historical accuracy of Germany circa the 1940s, but for a stylized version of that place that portrays a society running a fever; where the Nazi imagery is fetishized and such familiar paraphernalia as the swastika and the eagle become visual representations of the perversion of the masses. I felt that a film about depravity has to be a depraved film and that in order to properly convey the reality of regular Germans over that horrific 12 year period within one short film, I had to use exaggerated symbols instead of characters and I’m proud to say my fantastic cast pulled it off.

P.S.: What else are you working on?
E.M.: I’m currently finishing pre-production on my thesis film at Regis University, which in some ways is connected to Christmas Eve ’45 and its exploration of intimate German society during WWII. The film, a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, is heavily influenced by and modeled after old German melodramas and musicals made by UFA after the film industry’s hostile takeover by Joseph Goebbels. No, there were never any Nazis or Nazi imagery in those films, in fact, most of them are rather harmless, but they all possess a hypnotic aura of the macabre, probably the reflection of the regime they were made under and are deeply rooted in German Expressionism. I found that combination to be very intoxicating and feel it would be an excellent companion piece to Christmas Eve ’45.

poster2P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
E.M.: (Laughing)Just one?  I guess be on a lookout for a Nun cameo (a recurring theme in my films.)

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
E.M.: The can always find information on my work on IMDb and my YouTube channel:


My last film and my upcoming one have their own Facebok Page.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
E.M.: EFP is an excellent resource and is fantastic way for local filmmakers to connect and explore each other’s work. I look forward to be seeing all the great films our local artists create!

P.S.: Thanks, Evgueni! See you there!


Something You Can’t Find


Zachary Wyman is an instantly likable people and a fine filmmaker to boot. So of course The Emerging Filmmaker Project (EFP) wants to show his work. This Thursday night, November 15th, Zachary is screening a short trailer for Something You Can’t Find, a 70 minute feature length film that has been called, “ An existential portrait of a generation. A film experiment on purpose and meaning in life.”

The full movie plays Sunday night, November 18th, at 8:00 p.m. down at The Bug Theatre. EFP host Patrick Sheridan had a chance to chat with Zachary.

P.S.: I really enjoyed your movie and I’m really happy that it is going to screen Sunday night at The Bug. So, Why did you become a filmmaker?
Z.W.: Because I want to create artistic things, and film is the one art form that’s made the most sense to me.  I started seriously pursuing filmmaking in High School, and the more I’ve gotten to know about it the more I feel like it’s what I’m meant to do, in some capacity.

P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
Z.W.: You will be seeing the trailer for my feature film Something You Can’t Find, which will be screening in full at the Bug three days later!

P.S.: What else are you working on?
Z.W.: I have a new dramatic feature script written, and just recently made contact with a new friend who has expressed interest in collaborating as producer and possible co-writer.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
Z.W.: As a friend recently told me, “You’re a film student.  We’re all weird kids.”  One weird thing about the film is that this morning I realized I may have based one of my character’s poses off of a Rooney Mara Girl with the Dragon Tattoo behind-the-scenes photo.  Subconscious influences…

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
Z.W.: Please take a look at the Facebook page I have set up for the film: http://www.facebook.com/SomethingYouCantFind  And feel free to send a message!

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
Z.W.: I have been to only one EFP event so far, and only wish I had been told to go before!  I think it’s an incredible networking opportunity, and the event I attended reminded me of a big friendly fan club!  It’s good to meet people with similar interests, and even better when the atmosphere can be so fun.

P.S.: We hope you become a regular and please keep making movies.


Frank Herbert’s Cease Fire


Jacob Collins recently finished film school at the Colorado Film School. Although he now lives, the New York area, he’s flying back for a special screening of his short movie, Cease Fire, based on the Frank Herbert short story.  Cease Fire plays Thursday night, November 15th at The Emerging Filmmakers Project at Denver’s historic Bug Theatre. EFP host Patrick Sheridan chatted with Jacob over the internet.

P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker?
J.C.: I wanted to do something with my life that would have me working with different situations, places, people, and stories, all of the time, and up until I went to college, I hadn’t been doing that.

P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
J.C.: At EFP, we’ll see the first full-length screening of Cease Fire (it had screened elsewhere once before, but not as a finished film); the plan is to submit it to as many festivals as possible.

P.S.: What else are you working on?
J.C.: Right now, I’m working on a few scripts for both feature and short films, and looking for work. I currently live in the New Jersey/New York City metro area, and with the recent hurricane/storm, things are still pretty chaotic in our area.

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
J.S.: I don’t know if it’s weird or not, but I always try make a finished story out of anything I do, and I try as hard as I can to stick to the original plan first and foremost. I do, however, listen to the ideas of the people that I’m working with on set – if I hear a great idea from someone, and it fits, and can be done with the equipment and time that we have, I’ll go for it. I also have been pretty lucky in getting locations and sponsors for whatever I try to do – most of it is just asking, and being persistent. It took, literally, over a year to find a jet for a single scene with no lines, and we were shot down consistently, and told to look for other options, but in the end, we found what we were looking for, and it was just one of those things that had to be the way it was. Luckily for us, persistence paid off.

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
J.C.: They can check my facebook page, but for right now, since the only short film I’ve directed and released is Cease Fire, people can check out the details on it at www.frankherbertsceasefire.com.

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
J.C.: I’ve never been to the EFP, but I’m glad to hear that new filmmakers have a place to exhibit their work and talk to other filmmakers!

P.S.: Thanks, Jacob.  We look forward to seeing Cease Fire Thursday night!



An Evenly Matched Game


Jay Shaffer is one of those guys that has been working in the film and video industry for a long time, but only recently decided to start making his own work. He’s screening An Evenly Matched Game at The Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) on Nov. 15th down at Denver’s historic Bug Theatre. EFP host Patrick Sheridan recently  had a chance to catch up with Jay.

P.S.: Why did you become a filmmaker?

J.S.:  I’ve been involved in the video industry for over 25 years and although I had done some creative  projects early in my career, three years ago I set myself the goal of making at least one narrative short film every year. Last year’s film was called Love and Robots which screened at the EFP in October of 2012.  This year’s film, An Evenly Matched Game, is a little more ambitious. We are thrilled to premier it at the EFP.

P.S.: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

J.S.: I am hoping that you see an emotionally engaging, action sci-fi film. I love the nurturing and engaged audience that the EFP draws, so that gives me realistic feedback on the film. This will be the first time this film has been seen outside of a cast and crew screening. We would love for it to show at the Boulder IFF and Festivus. And after the festival circuit is over, we hope to gather an online audience.

P.S.: What else are you working on?

J.S.: I’m looking for scripts for next summer’s short film. I’d love to find a nice easy-to-shoot western script. I’m also working on a kind of abstract timelapse movie, sort of like “Koyaanisqatsi” called “Kalideoscapes.”

P.S.: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

J.S.: I’m more of a cinematographer than a director, so I’m always looking for that killer shot in a film that makes people go, “How did you get that?” I guess it’s not all that weird, but just making your own films is a kind of weirdness IMHO.

P.S.: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

J.S.: My Vimeo Page http://vimeo.com/jayshaffer is where I post the good, the bad, and the ugly videos I create. And my Website /blog is at http://jayshaffervideo.com

P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

J.S.: I teach some filmmaking courses at Front Range Community College, and it was one of my students that suggested meeting Patrick and possibly showing my film at the EFP. My history with the Bug theater goes back to when it was first renovated by Reed Weimer and George Monchuck in 1994. I helped with setting up the lighting and sound system, in fact, I operated the sound board for the Bug’s grand opening.  I love that the Bug and EFP is a place where filmmakers and fans of indie film can gather and network. And the free beer isn’t bad either.

P.S. Thanks, Jay. See you Thursday night!




Local filmmaker Eileen Agosta is one of our favorite people. And she’s a helluva filmmaker to boot. It’s why we recruited her to be the Program Director for the Colorado Independent Women of Film Festival and why we added her to the “EFP Screening Board.” These two things, frankly, made Eileen wonder if she was still “eligible” to screen at the EFP. Our response: “Um, yeah… d’uh.”

Eileen is working on her first feature film project Trauma. Although not technically her first feature, she’s asked us to pretend that her first one doesn’t actually exist.  She’s got incriminating pictures of EFP host Patrick Sheridan so we’re happy to play along.  Patrick had a chance to catch up with Eileen, who is screening the first trailer for Trauma at October 18th’s The Emerging Filmmakers Project at The Bug Theatre.

PS: Tell us about yourself and why you’ve become a filmmaker.

EA: Would it be terrible if I told you I don’t know why I became a filmmaker?  Because I don’t.  It happened so gradually it’s like it was organic – almost like I became one because I was supposed to become one.  When I was younger my friends and I would play around with my dad’s old Magnavox camcorder, a huge beast of a machine that recorded right onto VHS, and shoot lots of goofy videos, scripted and improv.  And I shot a Star Wars parody called CAR WARS when I was a senior in high school.  But I didn’t really consider doing anything more with it, not at first.  I started out as a writer… I used to write short stories and (attempts at) novels, and then when I was in high school I wrote a feature length film.  I went off to college – CSU in Fort Collins (I started out as a biological sciences major, of all things) – and at some point during my second year it occurred to me that perhaps I should try and make that film.  I don’t remember how or why, it was just a thought I had that never went away.  So I did.  I charged the entire thing on credit cards (I do not recommend this), and it turned out as well as you’d expect a first time film that was written/directed/shot/edited by a first time filmmaker would.  And I just never stopped.  (The making films part.  I don’t charge them on credit cards anymore.  Seriously, that was a really bad idea.  Don’t do it.)

PS: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

EA: It’s the teaser trailer for Trauma, a feature I wrote and am getting ready to direct.  It’s going to be a local film and I’m fortunate enough to have a really great team coming together.  I’m co-Producing with Jackie Billotte, an incredibly talented woman who will also be acting in the film, and Bradley Haag, who’s also going to be the Director of Photography and is also crazy talented (if you were at the September EFP you already know that.)  I’m also very excited to have cast Laura Mayo and Gina Di Tullio, two of the most amazing actresses I’ve had the honor of working with.

The teaser screened at the September Open Screen Night, and it’s on our website and Facebook page.  We recently wrapped an Indiegogo campaign, through which we raised part of our film’s budget (a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated!)  We’re getting ready to cast the rest of the film (auditions are October 21st) and we have some more fundraising plans up our sleeve to raise the rest.  We’re hoping to shoot later this year and early next.

PS: What else are you working on?

EA: Trauma is taking up a lot of my time these days, but I’m always writing.  I have a stack of unproduced short film scripts that I’m hoping to get to someday.  And Brad and I have been tossing around the idea of shooting a holiday film (with a twist).

PS: Tell us one weird thing about you or your movies.

EA: My cat appears in them – a lot.  And all of my shorts have an easter egg from a previous film in them.

PS: Where can people go to find out more about you?

EA: My website – www.tmdfilms.com – has information and links to watch all of my previous short films.  I’m also on Twitter and Facebook – @eileenagosta on both.  And TMDFilms has it’s own Twitter and Facebook pages too.

PS: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

EA: Discovering The Emerging Filmmakers Project changed my life.  True story.  If you’re local and you like and/or make films and you haven’t been to the EFP you’re missing out.  Seriously.

PS: Thanks for visiting with me, Eileen! I know Trauma and whatever else you do is going to be amazing. I’m happy to call you my colleague. Even happier to call you my friend.


Eleven 0 one

MEET THE FILMMAKERS: Will Kingston and A.J. Koch.

Irreverent filmmakers Will and A.J. are showing their latest work Eleven 0 one at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on October 18th down at Denver’s historic Bug Theatre. Eleven 0 one was recently voted Best Film in Denver’s 48 Hour Film Project.  The EFP is Denver’s longest running, locals-only, independent film screening event.  EFP Host Patrick Sheridan interviewed the two filmmakers over the internet.

PS: Tell us about yourself and what pushed you to become filmmakers.

WK: To meet girls. Unless my wife is reading this, in which case, something about boobs.

AK: When I was a kid, I started filming these rather rudimentary short films with my friends about killer laundry and alien squirrels. They were really awful. I guess some things never change.

PS: What are we going to see at the EFP? What are your plans for i?

WK: Eleven 0 One is a movie made for this year’s 48 Hour Film Project in Denver. After somehow winning that competition – I say “somehow” because the caliber of films this year was phenomenal – our film will be screened at Filmapalooza in Los Angeles. We’d like to release a revised version of the film at some point, but that’s a bit contrary to the spirit of the competition, so that may or may not happen.

AK: We also have plans to use it as a instructional video on hygiene.

PS: You can never have too many subversive, “pro-hygiene” movies, I say.  So, what else are you working on?

AK: My favorite upcoming project is Eleven 0 two. We plan on making it in 48 minutes.

WK: I’d like to say we’re always working on something, but the fact is we’ve all got jobs and families and pre existing conditions, so finding the time to create is always a challenge. Moist Pork is one of our side projects that we’d like to get back to working on, but it’s hard to coordinate with our Finnish partners overseas.

PS: I’m almost afraid to ask, but what is one weird thing about your movies?

AK: We approach movie making from a run and gun perspective. More time is put into the production and post aspect than pre-production. We like to show up at someone’s house and just start making a movie from scratch that day.

WK: Characters entering / exiting through windows is an unintentional theme we’ve found ourselves repeating.

PS: Where can people find out more about you?

AK:  You would most likely find us at a bar somewhere in the Highlands…

WK: …or check your local police blotter.

PS: What else should we know about you?

WK: I’d like to think we’re learning and growing as a storytelling team, getting better at finding a thread and following it from start to finish. We’re also always looking to collaborate with other creatives, so if you need an extra set of hands or brains on set, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

PS: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

AJ: We think it’s great that Denver has a booming community of filmmakers, and we applaud the EFP for showcasing great rising talent.

WK: Thanks to everybody involved with the EFP. This is a great way to get some exposure and feedback, and a great place to meet a bunch of video nerds. Patrick, you’re wearing black right now, aren’t you?

PS: Yes, but I’m not wearing pants, but don’t worry I’ll probably have some on by the 18th. Probably.  See you down there!


WORM and Aquaphobia

MEET THE FILMMAKER: David Quakenbush.

One of Denver’s most unique and respected filmmakers, David screens two creative works, WORM  and Aquaphobia, at October 18th’s The Emerging Filmmakers Project (EFP) at Denver’s Bug Theatre. EFP Host Patrick Sheridan had a chance to chat with David about his latest projects.

PS: So, what prompted you to pursue filmmaking?


DQ: I’ve been a visual storyteller my entire life. As a child, while one of my brothers was off becoming an *actual* rocket scientist, I would instead build rocketship sets in my playroom.

Flash forward to the mid 2000’s, I was a graphic designer and web guru at the time. It was one of those snowy spring days, where the Denver sky drops three feet of slush and the city shuts down. I realized I had iMovie on my new MacBook, and I spent the entire day in front of the fireplace cutting a music video where Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet sings “Jump Around” by house of pain. From that moment on I couldn’t stop building projects.

I got a handy cam, shot thousands of hours of terrible footage, then hundreds of hours of less terrible footage. My wife was convinced that I had turned into “Mr. Brainwash” from Exit Through the Gift Shop. I kept outgrowing my editing software, and upgraded my way through Apple’s entire post-production product line. Then film school. Then a production job. Now this!

I dream in three-act structure, and I feel completely lost if there isn’t a camera in my hands. This isn’t something I do. This is what I am.

PS: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

DQ: EFP has been gracious enough to screen two of my projects: WORM and Aquaphobia. These are both premieres of brand new work.

WORM was my first adventure directing someone else’s script (Alan August wrote WORM). It’s about a bedridden man with a talking tapeworm, and the frustrations of his caretaker sister. It’s a grotesque little story that I found delightful, and I also wanted to see what that path is like — directing a more “commercial” narrative work without having written every word of text.  (Note: For a behind the scenes look at WORM, click here.)

Aquaphobia is an art film. It started out as three lines of bad poetry in last year’s journal, which I was inspired to elaborate upon after assisting New York based filmmaker Ed Bowes with one of his projects last summer. I picked up several non-traditional production approaches from that experience, and also felt courageous and inspired to follow a path away from strict narrative work and into a more creative direction.

Aquaphobia extends a few stylistic themes I’ve been developing for several years: dynamic fabric motion, time-ramping and manipulation, painting actresses white and selectively over-exposing them, contrasting real vs stylized space, flash edits/jump cuts, minimalist color palettes, abstracted voiceover, and nudging Sex and Violence as closely as possible to each other without getting gory or garish.

PS: What are your plans for these amazing works?

DQ: I plan on releasing them both on the internet at some point, and helping them find their audiences there. I’m not opposed to other forms of distribution, but I’m done paying for the privilege of being rejected at various festivals — too much work for too few butts in seats. In general I am all about creating stunning content and sharing it with people.

PS: What else are you working on these days?

DQ: Oh, all kinds of interesting things. Stay tuned on facebook  or keep an eye on wedrinkitblack.com.

PS: Thanks, David. See you again on the 18th!