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Meet the Filmmaker: Amanda EK, “The Supermarket”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

A: My creative partner with Glass Cactus – Jesse Livingston – and I have been developing a TV series and submitting our pilot to fests and contests. Last summer we decided we’d like to make a short film (Second Surface – nominated for Best Experimental Short & Best Mobile short at IndieX Fest) as a way to back up our screenwriting projects, and as a way to stay creatively focused during the pandemic. Over the winter we decided it best to work remotely, which led me to teaching myself the basics of Final Cut Pro and turning an idea I’ve had to use my childhood Polly Pocket toys to show a variety of raw and heartfelt pandemic stories. As a synesthete, I’m drawn to filmmaking because it gives me an opportunity to express my cross-sensory experiences in ways that aren’t possible to convey in writing alone.

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

A: The first episode of my Pandemic in Pollyville web series, “The Supermarket,” will be screening at the EFP. This will be its first live screening. I’ve been submitting it, along with other films in the series, to local and international film fests. Episode 9, “The First Date,” was just nominated for Best LGBTQ short and Best Web Series by Indie Shorts Fest. Eventually I’d like to host a screening of the entire series, with future plans for a gallery exhibit where each film is playing on separate old TV sets, and possibly a comic book version of the series.

Q: What else are you working on?

A: I have five more episodes of The Pandemic in Pollyville in the works, as well as a TV show that I’m writing and pitching with Jesse Livingston. Individually, I’m also pitching a memoir about the effects of growing up in evangelical purity culture, co-producing a Low Orbit podcast episode on Christian Rapture stories, co-editing a religious trauma anthology, writing a monthly erotica column for Out Front Magazine, and offering one-on-one creative coaching sessions.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

A: While filming, I treat the Polly dolls like actors. They need coaxing and direction in order to get the right pose and facial expressions out of them…and to keep their damn masks on.

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

A: For more information about me and my work, you can head to my website AmandaEKwriter.com. I’m most active on instagram @amanda.ek.writer and @glasscactus_prods, and you can watch all of our films on our Glass Cactus YouTube channel.

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

A: I’m excited to get to know other local filmmakers via the EFP as I seek to expand my community of like-minded creatives.

The Supermarket will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Bradley Haag, “The Legend of Drunken Brewmaster”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

BH: It’s been so long since I started, I’m not even sure anymore. I know it has something to do with getting my friends together and turning our absurd fantasies into something that exists beyond our own imaginations.

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

BH: You’re going to see an alcohol-induced fever dream / Karate Kid rip-off called “The Legend of Drunken Brewmaster” that was produced for the 2020 Four Points Film Project, which is like the Denver 48 but you get an additional 24 hours to complete and competes against the whole world. The required elements were that it be a Martial Arts film that included the character of Andy Wright, School Psychologist, use a sugar packet as a prop, and someone should speak the line “It’s crazy how that always happens.”. It screened at the 2021 Colorado Short Circuit Film Festival and won “Best Comedy Short”.

Q: What else are you working on?

BH: Other than getting that JCVDDV BD/DVD done, I’m trying to get a feature film made. I’ve made so many shorts. So. Many. Shorts. I’d like to have something at least 90 minutes long in my portfolio before I reach the grave.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

BH: One weird thing? How do I narrow it down? Ummm… we sacrifice the blood of an innocent before each production. Is that weird?

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

BH: You can look deep inside yourself and believe in yourself! Or you can go to nebulusvisions.com

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

BH: It was a mistake to screen this film and you’ll regret it. Seriously though, thanks for providing at platform for local indie filmmakers to screen their work.

The Legend of Drunken Brewmaster will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Rebekah Fieschi, “The Unvisited”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

RF: I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love movies. Books, movies, imagination and storytelling were always a big part of my life. At 9 years old Titanic made a huge impression on me and a friend and I wrote a (terrible, two page, dialogue-only) sequel (we called it Titanic 2, even though the boat wasn’t in it, and, yes, Jack came back to life). Then, at eleven I saw Edward Scissorhands and something clicked in my brain telling me that movies don’t just pop into existence, that they’re made by people who first have to imagine them. Since I was always very visual and imaginative and I struggled in school because of dyslexia, understanding that it was possible to capture these visual thoughts and communicate them to other people through film blew my mind. I decided then and there that that’s what I wanted to do, even though I had no clue how.

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

RF: The Unvisited is visually inspired by the Hammer movies and the Addams Family. It’s a fantasy/comedy about an old couple in a spooky mansion that enjoys sharing the twilight of their lives but yearns to be visited by their neglectful daughter before it’s too late. There’s such an emphasis on our differences lately that it’s easy to forget that we are more alike than not. I wanted to make a simple, silly and relatable film everyone could enjoy. In a lighthearted way, the film explores themes of growing older, the fear of dying alone and the desire to be reunited with one’s family.
It has screened in a few festivals in France, it just screened at the Queens World Film Festival in New York, it won the Best Fantasy Short award at Sick Chick Flicks and it will be screening at one of Hollyshorts’ monthly screenings. After that, I will be looking to distribute it on a platform which will allow the most eyes on it as possible.

Q: What else are you working on?

RF: I am working on a few works of prose (because the downsides of dyslexia can be overcome). I’m also working on a short film about a six-year-old kid who misunderstands a conversation she overhears and becomes convinced that her half-sister lives in the sea and she becomes determined to find her. And, I am developing my first feature film which is a psychological horror/thriller.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

RF: I can’t think of anything that’s not weird about me or my movies.

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

RF: My website: www.horromance.com (where ways to watch my previous films can be found)
Instagram: @horromance or @rjffieschi
Twitter: @horromance or @theheadlessbeki

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

RF: I think it’s awesome to give local filmmakers the opportunity to screen their film. I’ve screened at the Bug before and know it’s a great place to watch movies, have your film be seen by an actual audience and exchange with other filmmakers. I actually met Kathi Baerns, the co-lead in The Unvisited, at the Bug during the Colorado Independent Women of Film Festival.

The Unvisited will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Shane White, “The Raven”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

SW: I’ve loved stop motion since I saw “Nightmare Before Christmas” when I was 5 and started making animated films in junior high by quickly hitting record on and off on my parents old cassette tape style video camera. I’ve always wanted to be an animator.

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

SW: “The Raven” was produced by local production house “Burn Studios” as a Halloween special for their ongoing web series “The Nug Nation” created by Mikey Peterson. Our hope at the studio is for the show to gain a wider audience so we can make more episodes!

Q: What else are you working on?

SW: In addition to the “Nug Nation” show we also have a series “Hemp in History” with episode 2 posting by the end of the summer.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

SW: I was new to the studio and asked the producers at Burn to allow me to make “The Raven” as a means to learn how to animate the Nug puppets for future episodes. I ended up with a film they were happy with and wanted to release.

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

SW: Visit thenugnation.com and find Burn TV, Burn Studios, and The Nug Nation on social media. Or my personal Instagram @shanewhitenoise

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

SW: EFP is very important and they deserve all of your money.

The Raven will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Jamey Hastings, “Rocky Mountain Flyathlon: Run. Fish. Beer.”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

JH: I think it’s twofold. I love to hear, see, read, and tell stories, and I love the collaboration that comes with working on a film with a cast and crew you trust. There’s something magical when a script you write comes to life, but it only gets there when you open it up to layers upon layers of interpretation by other artists. That’s where the good stuff happens.

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

JH: Rocky Mountain Flyathlon: Run.Fish.Beer is a short documentary about an event that screams “Colorado.” I heard about it from a friend and we decided it’d be fun to document. This is it’s first public screening.

Q: What else are you working on?

JH: I’m currently in pre-production on a horror short called, “The Dollcatcher,” a terrifying Twilight Zonesque jaunt in the woods.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

JH: I mean… The bin of porcelain dolls in the living room being created for “The Dollcatcher” is pretty weird.

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

JH: You can visit: youmayclap.com or vimeo.com/jameyhastings. You can also follow my You May Clap Productions Facebook page.

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

JH: I love EFP and am so happy to see it’s return! I have met so many of my favorite film collaborators just by showing up, watching films, and chatting.

Rocky Mountain Flyathon will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.