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Film buffs ready for Celluloid Bainbridge

Aron Michael Thompson (left) and Brent David Fraser in “Shuffle,” one of  20 films that will be shown at the 13th annual Celluloid Film Festival March 20 at the Historic Lynwood Theatre.  - Courtesy Photo
Aron Michael Thompson (left) and Brent David Fraser in “Shuffle,” one of 20 films that will be shown at the 13th annual Celluloid Film Festival March 20 at the Historic Lynwood Theatre.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Two free workshops

Two free workshops led by film industry experts will whet film lovers’ appetites for the 13th annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 20 at The Historic Lynwood Theatre. You may RSVP for one or both workshops by emailing admin@artshum.org.

From Script to Screen

“From Script to Screen,” with Dura Curry and Annabella Serra, will be at 7 p.m. Monday, March 14 at the Bainbridge Commons, 370 Brien Dr.

Film Festival Survival Skills

“Film Festival Survival Skills” with Beth Barrett, will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 at Bainbridge Bakers, Winslow Green shopping center.

Barrett, director of programming for the Seattle International Film Festival, will lead a workshop on how filmmakers can effectively get around the worldwide film festival circuit.

 

Curry, Serra demystify the industry from Script to Screen

In getting a film to script, often times more drama happens behind the scenes than in the script.

“Getting a film made is a little miracle,” mused former film executive, screenwriter and screenwriting consultant Dura Curry. The Bainbridge Island resident has written six screenplays, four of which have been optioned by studios, one which had a director attached to it, none of which have been translated onto the screen. Yet.

“That’s pretty typical,” Curry said. “The director and the producer had a falling out on that last one.”

A former Vice-President of Development for United Artists and former MGM executive, Curry has shepherded countless scripts through the process, including the Academy Award-winning Braveheart and Leaving Las Vegas.

The process of getting a script to screen will be the topic of one of two celluloid-related events offered by Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council as part of its artists’ roundtable series.

“From Script to Screen: Bainbridge Filmmakers Discuss the Process,” features Curry and co-presenter Anabella Serra, who has been involved in the production end of film making for more than 25 years. Serra’s most recent work has been with Pixar Animation Studios on the movies “Up” and “Toy Story 3,” which each won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The animation software she helped develop was used in the film “Inception,” which won the 2011 award for Best Special Effects.

In the early days of special effects 20 years ago, Serra was one of only seven people in the world who knew the technology. She was on the crew that brought Terminator 2 to life. She traveled extensively, met many wonderful people and made lots of money. Hmmm…Sounds like the ending to a Hollywood movie. And like a Hollywood movie, there were plenty of trials and tribulations along the way.

“I got into this business by accident,” the mother of two said from her Bainbridge home. She followed up an engineering degree with a graphic design program, and then an internship at a TV station. The graphics software at the TV station was designed for engineers, not graphic designers, so her multidiscipline education paid off. The TV stint led to work in the blossoming field of special effects animation.

She encourages young people who want to get into the field to seek out internships. The hands-on experience is invaluable, and getting your foot in the door is a natural way to meet industry insiders.

Curry broke into the industry as a reader, the front line filter in the movie making business. Readers pore through thousands of scripts, some of which are gems, most of which are not. The reader identifies the prospects, designating them by three categories: pass, consider or recommend. And what makes a script go from pass to recommend? From the beginning, it all comes down to a compelling story.

“In a great script, the first 10 pages, the first two pages are amazing,” Curry said. “It grabs the reader.”

Serra agrees that a strong story with memorable characters is important.

“Humans are bizarre creatures. You have to touch the emotions within a person. You don’t have to touch everybody, you can target a specific audience. But you have to make a meaningful connection,” she said.

Curry works these days by referral only, helping screenwriters one-on-one ready their scripts for pitching to studios.

She and Serra will present the “best case scenario” for getting a script to screen followed by a lengthy Q and A session tailored to the experience and interest of the audience.

“We wanted a more dynamic and interesting exchange. Better than a Power Point,” Serra joked.

 

Bainbridge film festival has ‘Trouble in Mind’

If you’re looking for dark thrillers, the 13th annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival has a few, along with documentaries, shorts, and a comedy.

Several of the 20 films on the line up are reminiscent of the 1940s and 50s film noir genre – featuring crime-related plots, morally ambiguous heroes, urban settings, and dark, moody tones.

The 2011 festival’s feature film is “Trouble in Mind,” a 1985 romantic thriller directed by Bainbridge Island resident Alan Rudolph.

The story revolves around a Geneviève Bujold-run diner through which a series of lost, lonely characters (Keith Carradine, Lori Singer, Kris Kristofferson) pass as they try to make sense of their lives and the choices they’ve made.

Rudolph will introduce the film, scheduled to screen at 6 p.m.

The 13th Annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 20 at The Historic Lynwood Theatre, 4569 Lynwood Center Rd.

The festival is free; donations benefit the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council.

 

Other highlights:

“Shuffle,” a short drama written by and starring former Bainbridge Islander Aron Michael Thompson about a hitman with a change of heart who must play one last hand of poker with the mob boss who raised him. Director Garrett Bennett, director of photography Mark McKnight, and producer Quinn Rudee all have Bainbridge ties as well.

“Wragg Is in Custody,” a short feature by Scott Blake, who grew up on Bainbridge Island, adds the elements of fantasy and surrealism to the classic noir themes.

“Children of Fire,” inspired by the black-and-white, B-grade science fiction films of the 1950s, was created by West Sound Academy students under the guidance of instructor Thomas Hurley III. The screenplay was written by Bainbridge Performing Arts artistic director Steven Fogell.

The eclectic lineup includes films with Bainbridge connections and subjects ranging from fish eggs, theater etiquette, plastic beach litter, the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction, rekindled high school romance, the wonder of dogs to Tanzanian villages and an Eagle Harbor  sunset.

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