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Flyway Film Fest 2013!

I’m headed to Flyway Film Fest in Pepin, Wisconsin, and couldn’t be a happier girl! Last year I was floored when I was given the Spirit of Flyway award. I was incoherent with tears. It had been a helluva year, combined with the fact that Flyway is star-studded with so many film heroes of mine, I couldn’t believe what was happening.

This year, I wanted to give back to the fest that I love. I approached the usual suspects, my amazing collaborators Kris and Lindy Boustedt, to make three quick, punchy promos for the fest. Together, we hashed out the story outlines (leaving plenty of room for improv) and shot everything in one day on the RED Scarlet – coming in behind schedule after a day spent laughing and playing! We couldn’t have done it without the talents of Jesse Lee Keeter (co-star), Nicholas Davis (DP), and Nathan Beykovsky (Grip, AC, AD, Everything). Tight, tiny team made of win. Probably the most fun day on set ever.

Here are the bumpers we created, for your amusement.

We love how they turned out! We poke fun at overdone themes but also ourselves (we’ve been there!). I’m eager to see the audience’s reaction.

Also, premiering at Flyway is the beautiful and moving short I was in this Summer, BEHIND ME by Rebecca Pugh.

Humbled, happy, grateful, excited!

Bring on the films and pie, I’m flying away to Wisconsin, and I hope to see you there.

Connect With Flyway!

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Official Site

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Ten Years Later (full film!)

The script showed up in my inbox. I read it instantly. I sat back in my chair in shock. And then I turned to Facebook, of course. “Get ready, Lisa Coronado,” I wrote, to my bestie and fellow actress.

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Then I thanked Kris and Lindy for casting me in a role most directors wouldn’t. For taking that chance on me. I was happy to go to the dark side with these beloved creatives I am proud to know.

Presenting, online in its entirety, my career-to-date highlight, TEN YEARS LATER:

If you were affected, consider sharing this film with other film lovers. I’m incredibly proud of this film – it features many “firsts” for me as an actor, including playing an unlikeable character. I dug in to the work, spending months of prep with my coach, workshopping the relationships, and hitting the gym. It’s unflinching, unapologetic, gritty, dark, realistic and mean, but also beautiful, rewarding, exciting, perfect.

IMG_6225I also want everyone to mark Kris and Lindy’s artistic choices. They didn’t crowdfund this, they paid for it out of pocket to build awareness – to make it “without permission.” This choice isn’t for everybody, but I love that they weren’t going to wait and see if they could make this film, they simply decided it would be so. And it was so. And it was good.

Then, instead of a typical cast and crew viewing, they threw a huge free-to-the-public screening event at a state of the art theatre, curating an evening of short films from as far away as New Zealand, and involving the entire film community. And now, they generously released it online for everyone (along with several other short films they’ve made). Their choices are bold, unconventional, unapologetic, and wildly, generously brilliant. Everyone who makes and promotes art can learn from their example. They truly live by this motto – Creation is Momentum. They can’t be stopped.

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Kris, Lindy, and Lisa are my fiercest, most trusted collaborators. This wasn’t a casual film for us. I’m honored to work with these three and will again – any time, anywhere. ❤

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Behind Me: A short film by Rebecca Pugh

I online-dated Rebecca  and then we made sweet movie magic together.

Sorta. 😉

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Ten Years Later

In February, dynamic filmmaking duo Kris & Lindy Boustedt emailed me about a new short film they’d written, Ten Years Later. They wrote it with Lisa Coronado and I in mind to play sisters who meet again after ten years – ten years my character has spent rotting in prison.

Lisa and I were honored (and not a little intimidated!) and started working on the relationship between the two women. The journey took me to L.A. and even to Dallas where I continued to delve deeper into “Alice,” building her rage and thirst for revenge.

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We shot the film over the second weekend in April, and it was an incredible experience. I’ve never been asked to play such a dark character, and the challenge was very rewarding. Kris and Lindy’s faith in me spurred me to break through my own resistances to the material – I wanted to make them proud.

TEN YEARS LATER – Teaser from First Sight Productions on Vimeo.

Ten Years Later is an origin story for Alice, who shows up in their feature film, ASHLAND, which we hope to shoot later this year. In Ashland, Alice is remorseless and vicious; Ten Years Later shows you how she became that way. 904393_170507779774015_1133062690_o 904732_172871216204338_886544589_o

I could not have brought everything I am to this project without Kris and Lindy’s unswerving belief that I could handle this character, my coach Steven Anderson’s unflinching homework assignments that gave me nightmares, and my lovely friend Lisa’s unwavering commitment to giving her all. I haven’t worked with a more competent and talented set of professionals.  Thank you.

Ten Years Later will be released later this Summer.

Women in Film panel

Last night was one of those evenings that found me dragging after work – I wanted to head home and go to bed, but there was this interesting panel going on at the Women In Film – Seattle chapter, with some filmmakers I admire:

Lindy Boustedt (This Is Ours, Ashland), Sue Corcoran (All I Want is Christmas), Jane Charles (Sold), Megan Griffiths (The Off Hours, Eden), Elizabeth Heile (Journeyquest, The Gamers: Hands of Fate), Kat Ogden (Safety Not Guaranteed), and Cornelia Moore (The Dark Horse, Camilla Dickinson)

I went. And I’m so glad I did. Isn’t it great when that happens?

Here are some highlights I tweeted from the evening. The topic was “Production War Stories.” Tales of trial by fire and passion in the face of obstacles. Inspiring!

Sue Corcoran went to AFM with 5 stories to talk to distribs find out what was selling – ALL I WANT IS CHRISTMAS resulted #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

“Always cast the soul, not the body.” #AGYST #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Dir @thecinechick got the script for EDEN at the Salt Lake City airport after THE OFF HOURS played at Sundance. #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

If you’re a director, a writer, you need to commit to that, spend the time and money, travel and meet similar people. #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Trouble with hiring “volunteers” or “interns” on union gigs due to labor laws, L&I – difficulty of breaking into union film #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Looking at next movie as transmedia, working with a marketing firm to increase reach, promotion (Sue Corcoran) #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

For budgeting strategy: who is the audience and how are they going to watch it? #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Talking about the importance of actors invested in the story, who love being on set, who love the crew. #WIFpanel #AGYST

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

. @thecinechickworked for 5 years on no budget movies building relationships before ever getting paid. #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

And the quote that got the most traction of the night…

“When you find good actors they become family, you don’t let them go.” – @krisandlindy #WIFpanel #acting #AGYST

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Thank you to Women in Film for a great evening! I hope to be on that panel someday.

Introducing: ASHLAND

ASHLAND is the third feature film by filmmaker duo Kris & Lindy Boustedt (This Is Ours, The Summer Home, Perfect 10). I’m honored to be part of it.

As things progress, I’ll update you on the role I have in the film. Check out the whole team and our respective projects. We are going to blow the roof off 2013.

Revelation

It’s here.

Go deeper on the official website.

Revelation was ultimately made out of a pursuit of the love of process. It was created as a gift, to ourselves and to the arts loving community. It’s available online. If it gives you a moment of beauty, if it touches you, please pass it on and share those moments with another. Thank you so much for being an integral part of Revelation’s journey.

Director’s notes from our sold-out premiere at Teatro Zinzanni:

What is Revelation?

A revelation can occur to you, or it can come from within the your own heart. It can arrive like trumpets and timpani, or with a still small voice. A revelation changes your world.

 Six wordless micro-short films explore the moment of epiphany – the space between what was and what is – through generative movement, from the perspective of six actresses.

 Each microshort is intended as a stand-alone piece, that when viewed together transcend the individual experience and touch the universal. Follow the journey from its coming of age origin, through gaining a sense of power, the discovery of loss, the love for family, the wisdom of experience, until final microshort that encompasses them all – that this mortal coil is but a dream within the dream we sojourn here on earth.

 Revelation was created in ensemble work over several months in Spring 2012, and filmed in two days. Our script was ourselves – our hopes, fears, vulnerabilities, strengths, dreams, and desires.

 Thank you for joining in our journey!

~Wonder Russell

 

Revelation Trailer

My new project, Revelation, a short film about epiphany, premieres online for all on 10.17. The trailer just launched! Enjoy! May it give you goosebumps. 🙂

Revelation: Trailer from Revelation Film Project on Vimeo.

This Is Ours Screening

Last night, THIS IS OURS had its cast and crew screening at the AMC Pacific Place theatre in Seattle.

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Quick Hits

Quickly sharing this month’s key updates, and looking for YOUR feedback. Thank you for reading!

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