This is it. The final few days before the FiLMLaB premier of 2014’s winning short, Unwelcome Guests, at the Willamette Writers Conference. If you weren’t aware, the conference has moved this year, from our long time post at the Airport Sheraton, to the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel. WW President, Jenny Schrader gave me the grand tour on Saturday; the classrooms, pitch room, consult sales station and of course, Bill Johnson’s registration desk. Of particular interest to me, however, was the Lloyd Center Ballroom, where we would set up for FiLMLaB, this Friday, August 1, at 7:00 pm.
This is my third year as an Executive Producer for FiLMLaB, yet it will be the first time I make the actual premier. In previous years as Film Coordinator, I was obliged to attend other events and Conference Chair, Stefan Feuerherdt ran the show. I don’t mind saying, I’m a little nervous.
Fortunately, I will not be alone. I will be in the excellent company of director Martin Vavra, his AD Alyssa Roehrenbeck, and a few people who truly shine in the spotlight.
Tyson Dailey has been acting for ten years. “I am incredibly grateful for all who were involved in casting me in this wonderful project. Everyone was so great.” Tyson graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance from Central Washington University, and continued his education at USA Stunt School on a full scholarship. He has worked with several local theatre companies, including Artist Repertory, NW Classical and Third Rail Mentees. Additionally, he has several film and tv credits (Grimm, Finding Oblivion) and continues his stunt training, most recently in aerial arts.
Dennis Fitzpatrick has spent over 40 years in the performing arts as an actor, voice actor, director and producer. He works in film, TV, radio and theatre, and serves on the board of Portland Actors Ensemble, the longest running free outdoor Shakespeare company in the country. I first saw him in Andre Khrul’s Proposition (2012), where he played Mr. Almond (nut job?) with such a deft hand, it quite literally made me nauseous.
And yes, that is a compliment.
Paige McKenzie is known internationally as “Sunshine,” star of the YouTube sensation, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. A simple story of a girl and her haunted house has become so popular, it catapulted her to the attntion of Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who were blown away by her talent, “…and the brilliant, spooky world she has brought to life with her warm, relatable protagonist…” The brothers optioned the story in a major book and movie deal announced in May, with Paige attached to star.
Priscilla Mohan Prosser has trained under Scott Rogers, Steve Coker and Francis Ballard. Local audiences will know her from Reality Check, Turning Tricks and Agony among other indie films. Having been a radio DJ, she is thrilled about the resurgence of radio dramas and is currently working on several, as well as doing voice overs. For a laugh, catch her Flo’s Mom page on Facebook!
It was wonderful to work with these talented actors this year. They gave so much of themselves to this collaboration, bringing unique perspectives to their characters that no one could have anticipated. If FiLMLaB continues to grow it is because of the many diverse and talented individuals that align themselves with it.
Please join me, Willamette Writers and the FiLMLaB family this Friday night, August 1, at the Lloyd Center Doubletree to celebrate their talents as we screen Jon Dragt’s Unwelcome Guests in the Lloyd Center Ballroom. The show starts at 7:00 pm, is free and open to the public, so bring bring a friend and stick around for the Q & A afterwards.
Hope to see you there!