Randall Jahnson To Direct 2016 FiLMLaB

Are you ready to join the grand experiment?

We are nearly at the end of our submission period. 2016 FiLMLaB kicked off during the first week of January and will close in the last week of March. March 26th, to be precise. March 26th, at midnight to be even more precise. And even though all the submissions are not in, we are already assembling the production team. Directors, cinematographers, producers, assistant directors, production designers–it is not too early to begin recruiting talent for these roles critical to a successful film shoot. We are happy to announce that we already have an agreement with veteran screenwriter and producer Randall Jahnson to direct 2016 FiLMLaB.

Visual Writing with Randall Jahnson

2016 FiLMLaB Director, Randall Jahnson

Randall has a lengthy career in the film industry. A graduate of the UCLA Film Program, his first film, DUDES, was optioned by producer Miguel Tejada Flores (faculty at Linfield College and a guest at the 2016 WWC) and directed by Penelope Spheeris. Starring Jon Cryer, this cult classic recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in a showcase event in Los Angeles where Randall participated in a panel discussion with the director and star. He found further success writing for television, video games (GUN) and working with Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone on big budget pictures like THE MASK OF ZORRO and THE DOORS.

Very much a part of the Los Angeles music scene, Randall directed music videos for the punk band The Minutemen, and worked in a wide variety of film genres, including comedy, horror, historical, biopics, documentary, and shorts. He was instrumental in bringing the work of local artist, Paul Guinan, to the attention of JJ Abrams, who is developing the ultimate steampunk creation BOILERPLATE for the big screen.

“I am super excited to be getting behind the camera in the fifth installment of this on-going experiment in creativity and community.  As a contest and a process, FilmLab is so unique and so indicative of the film-making talent and culture of Portland.  And I’m really looking forward to working with someone else’s words on the page rather than my own.  I can’t wait to read the winning script and hunker down with its writer!”

As FiLMLaB’s long time Mentor-In-Chief, Randall has won praise from our FiLMLaB finalists for his ability to help them interpret producers notes from our Celebrity Judges round (prior to an optional rewrite); and our winners who then had to rewrite their winning script to incorporate a director’s vision. This is always a challenge and being able to navigate both visions is of critical importance to the project. Indeed, for Mark Scarbrough, it was the determining factor.

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A FiLMLaB winner in 2015,  (THE RETURN OF BUG EYED BILL)  Mark signed on as an Executive Producer for 2016 and was instrumental in helping us choose a director. “I had a truly enjoyable experience with the FiLMLaB contest. For a new writer like me, it was a perfect fit. The seven page limit allowed me to focus on keeping the story simple, and the prompts inspired my imagination. I can’t think of a better way to take the plunge in a screenwriting contest. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I just had to be a part of the next project, and was happy to make a donation to help insure the next lucky winner would get a chance to see their script on film. Randall was a tremendous mentor for me through the rewriting process, and I know with him at the helm, 2016 with see the best FiLMLaB yet!”

We are grateful to both Randall and Mark for stepping into the lab with us this year and will continue to line up our production team while the final submissions come in during these last two weeks. We don’t know which story will win the day and take home the grand prize, but one thing is certain: you can’t win if you don’t submit a script.

Are you ready to join the grand experiment?

At FiLMLaB, the experiment is you. And Randall Jahnson.  And Mark Scarbrough, and others yet to be determined.

Be determined yourself, and finish that script by 11:59 p.m. March 26th.

Ruth Witteried

As Visual Media Director, Ruth Witteried works with all programs based in the visual arts, including screenwriting and film production. As Executive Director of the FiLMLaB competition and project, she produced the 2012 FiLMLaB short, Alis Volat Propriis, winner of the 2013 OIFF Best Comedic Short; 2013′s Coffee.Table.Book.; 2014's Unwelcome Guests, and in 2015, The Return of Bug Eyed Bill. She acted as Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference from 2011-2013 and occasionally teaches screenwriting at Clark College. She currently is Executive Director of Willamette Writers' FiLMLaB. You can follow her on Twitter @sityourassdown1 or Facebook at FiLMLaB. Contact her. (visualmedia@willamettewriters.org)