Portland Native Screenwriter Wins 2018 Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship

On September 18, 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Allison (Solberg) Buckmelter, a Portland native, and her husband Nicolas Buckmelter, won the prestigious 2018 Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship award.

Three individuals and one writing team have been named winners of the 2018 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. The fellows will each receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards Presentation & Live Read at Beverly Hills’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Thursday, November 8.

Allison and Nicholas’ winning screenplay, “American Refugee,” was 1 of only 4 selected out of 6,895 scripts submitted worldwide. Next to receiving an Oscar, winning the Nicholl Fellowship is the highest honor a screenwriter can receive from the Academy. Allison graduated from Jesuit H.S. in 2001 and the University of Oregon Clark Honors College in 2005, where she majored in English, and minored in film studies. She currently lives in Ventura CA with her husband and 2 children

The 2018 winners are (listed alphabetically by author):

Allison Buckmelter and Nicolas Buckmelter, American Refugee
Joey Clarke, Jr., Miles
Grace Sherman, Numbers and Words
Wenonah Wilms, Horsehead Girls

A total of 6,895 scripts were submitted for this year’s competition. Nine individual screenwriters and one writing team were selected as finalists. Their scripts were then read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, who ultimately voted the winners.

For the sixth consecutive year, an ensemble of actors will read selected scenes from the winning scripts.

Read more at Hollywood Reporter here.

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Workshop: Sound Design—Creating Acoustic Worlds For The Screen

October 20, 2018. 10AM to 4PM. Northwest Film Center. $45.

Visit https://nwfilm.org/classes/sound-design-creating-acoustic-worlds-for-the-screen/ for more information and to register.

Sound design is not about software, catchy music or cool sounding effects. It’s about emotional response: how a combination of dialogue, music, sound effects, designed sounds and backgrounds supports character development and the dramatic elements of the story. This workshop will explore how powerful sound can be by looking deeply at different artistic choices and their influences the meaning of a scene. The different stages and workflow of sound design will be discussed in detail, from reading the script, to reviewing the rough cut and the final mix. The goal is to help you see the potential of sound in a new light and for you to gain a framework for creating a sound design plan for your own film. Remember: audiences will forgive bad lighting and camerawork. They won’t forgive bad sound.

Instructor KELLEY BAKER was the Sound Designer on Gus Van Sant’s early films (including My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, and Finding Forester) and Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven, as well as independent features, animated films, network television specials and his own three features, (Birddog, The Gas Café & Kicking Bird). He holds a BA and MFA in film from USC and is the author of Road Dog and The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Part One & Part Two.  His many independent shorts and documentaries have aired on PBS, Canadian and Australian television, and have been shown at Film Festivals including London, Sydney, Annecy, Sao Paulo, Sundance, Chicago, Aspen, Mill Valley and Edinburgh.  Based in Portland his entire career, he presents this popular workshop at colleges, universities and conferences across the country.

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Workshop: A Tale In Two Minutes—How To Pitch Your Film Idea

November 2, 2018. 10AM to 3PM. Northwest Film Center. $20-$60.

Visit https://nwfilm.org/classes/a-tale-in-two-minutes-how-to-pitch-your-film-idea/

Pitching is part writing, part strategy, part performance … but above all, it’s storytelling. So your pitch simply boils down to telling a good tale, right? If only it were so easy.  Whether you’re proposing a feature, documentary, commercial or other creative project, you need an engaging, suspenseful and tight pitch of 60-120 seconds at the ready.  Like filmmaking, pitching involves knowing your audience (prospective buyer), but it also involves a whole lot more. How the heck can you describe a feature length film in ninety seconds? What do you reveal and what do you not?  How do you avoid getting mired in detail or lost along the way? How do you get your audience excited enough to actually buy your story? We’ll explore all this and more in a high energy, informal, safe and welcoming environment. The material is helpful not just for in-person pitching, but for proposal writing and other forms of marketing.

Topics include:

  • The art & science of storytelling (where Aristotle meets neuroscience)
  • Finding the essential elements of your story
  • Creating an effective log line
  • Writing and structuring your pitch
  • Memorizing vs. telling
  • Engaging your audience
  • Prepping for the unexpected
  • Tools for overcoming performance anxiety
  • And much more

Register one of two ways. Pitching Participants ($60, limited to 12) will be actively guided in working on one or two of their film ideas, receive expert feedback from instructors and may compete for prizes during PITCH FOR THE PRIZE. Observers ($20, limited to 15) will attend the lectures and watch the in-class pitching practices and critiques.

No previous experience is required.  All levels of filmmaking experience are welcome.


David Poulshock’s Red Door Films produces corporate films, web videos, documentaries and features, including Wee Sing, the groundbreaking pubic television series.  Nancy Froeschle is a Nicholl Fellowships Winner who has written produced thrillers, dramatic shorts and serialized pilots including Riders and Lake Crescent.

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Spotlight On Location Professional – Enrique Arias

Enrique Arias taking a moment during filming of an episode from “Wie is De Mol.” The location: Dee Wright Observatory.

Being a location scout in the state of Oregon with the name Enrique Arias has always been a challenge. People tend to think I’m not a native of the state, but the fact is I have lived in Oregon all my life. I was born in Portland, Oregon. My parents and the rest of my family immigrated from Cuba in 1963. Don’t ask me how Cubans ended up in Oregon, it’s a long dramatic story.

I inherited a love for Oregon from my father. My dad was a blue collar worker. He worked the assembly line building forklifts for the Hyster company but whenever he got the chance, he would pile the family into the wagon and take us to see all the beauty Oregon had to offer. Trips to Mt. Hood, the Sandy River, the Gorge, the Salmon River, as well as the Oregon Coast – from Tillamook to Astoria – made wonderful memories for me sitting in the way back of our Ford Country Squire. No seat belts required.

At 18, I was cast by Gus Van Sant for the role of the younger brother in his early film Mala Noche. However, I had to turn Gus down because I got my first paid gig to act in Ashland, Oregon on an industrial film with Sandler Films. I decided to pursue acting as a career and went to the U. of Oregon where I graduated with a degree in theater. I moved back to Portland to work in sports marketing and became a professional actor. In the 90’s, I was acting on stage and in industrial films as well as Made-for-TV movies. It was during this time when I acted in an independent film that I got to spend time with the crew and get a real look at working behind the camera. Several crew members encouraged me to work behind the camera and recommended I take a class from Kathleen Lopez, who taught a Production Assistant class downtown. Mrs. Lopez hired me as a PA right after completing the class and from there I worked my way up to locations asst. then scouting and managing locations. Since that time, I have added production coordinator, producer, 2nd AD, director, and writer to my resume. However, location scouting remains my core passion and I use my experience as a scout to augment my many other skills.

I love Oregon and I’m proud to show the state as a location for filming. There is so much diversity of geography and diversity in its cities and small towns – the world is represented well in the single state of Oregon. I can show clients the ocean, snow covered mountains, sand dunes, deep canyons, high desert, old growth forest, rivers, waterfalls, and open sky. I get to show clients all of these geographic variations.

Clients looking for big cities or small towns for their locations are surprised to see that not only do we have both but that we can often represent periods of time in these locations fairly easily.

I’ve had the good fortune of not only working with US film companies but also working with foreign crews from South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the Netherlands who specifically come to experience what our state has to offer and it’s tremendous diversity of locations. As a location scout, I’ve always dreamed of getting an opportunity to show Oregon in one single project.

My dream came true in 2016 as a location scout and production manager when I was hired to work for a reality TV show from the Netherlands called, “Wei is de Mol?”. This project required working in almost 3/4 of the entire state. I believe the trailer, as well as the full 2017 season, is the best advertisement for why anyone should film in Oregon – see the opening trailer for Wie is de Mol, Season 2017, here. We landed helicopters on Rowena loop, flew them down the Columbia Gorge and landed them in downtown Portland. We lit spectacular fireworks over the ocean in Manzanita, re-created a wagon train on the Oregon Trail in Pendleton, paddled canoes on Spirit Lake outside of Bend, rode bikes through the Painted Hills, filmed on and from hot air balloons over Smith Rock. What made this job so magical was the people who we met and worked with along the way. I can’t say enough about all of the communities that worked with us to get the project done – City departments, National Park rangers, State of Oregon park rangers, shop owners, tourism commissions, Eastern Oregon ranchers – they were all amazing. Every time I made a request for a permit or needed extra help on getting a location, the people of Oregon were always willing to help to get things done. Oregon is a great place to film. The people of Oregon make the experience even greater.

Enrique Arias
Common Good Communication LLC
[email protected]

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Iconic Oregon Animator & Filmmaker, Will Vinton, Dies Aged 70



Will Vinton

This morning , Oregonian, Will Vinton passed away after a long battle with Multiple Myeloma.   Vinton was, and is, an inspiration to many of animators and filmmakers alike.  He started his career in filmmaking in the early 1970’s with Claymation projects such as, “Closed Mondays” for which he won the Best Animated Short Oscar in 1975.  Vinton went on to create Will Vinton Productions (later Will Vinton Studios) and created many more animated short films, PSA and television commercials, as well as special effects for film and television (he won an Emmy for this work on the television show, Moonlighting, in 1987.)  Vinton was hired by many feature and television studios but perhaps he is best known for his animated work on such accounts as, the California Raisins, M&M’s, and Dominos Pizza. 

Oregon’s world-class animation community owes a great, great deal to Will and he will be remembered in every animated film, short, series and commercial that we celebrate as #OregonMade and with every new, innovative animator we welcome into Oregon’s creative cannon.

Thank you, Will, for all that you have given to the artistic legacy of this state.

Here’s a great little piece from the Oregon Cartoon Institute from 2007 featuring Will discussing his leadership role in the animation community and his connection to Portland and Oregon.

A celebration of his  life will take place at No Vacancy Lounge from 3:00 on Sunday October 21st.

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OregonMade Creative Foundation & Travel Oregon Team Up To Offer “Winter Season Grant”

Photo: ODOT

Oregon’s Magical Winter Season Grant 

The $15,000 “Winter Season Grant” is being provided by the OregonMade Creative Foundation and in conjunction with Travel Oregon  to create a short film series of moving “postcard stories” that will captivate and encourage people to experience the winter season for themselves. The purpose of this grant is to support local content creators who are producing high-quality, innovative multimedia content about Oregon that inspires travel to or around the state.
About The Grant:
What do you find magical about Oregon’s winter season? Winter brings opportunity for outdoor adventures, ranging from peaceful to thrilling.
The successful, original pitch will interpret the aspects of Oregon’s winter season and serve to inspire.  The winning pitch will show, not tell, what (some consider to be) the state’s “secret season”  – winter – in a whole new way.   Your short film series of moving “postcard stories” will captivate and encourage people to experience the winter season for themselves.The applicant will be expected to create a series of two or more short moving “postcard stories” that will reveal a compelling story of what makes winter in Oregon magical.Remember, a postcard can be almost anything, so be creative and inspirational.

Oregon’s Winter Season –November through April

About The Pitch:
What do you find magical about Oregon’s winter season? Do you have a unique activity or place you visit when the crowds have left?  How is it different from other Oregon seasons? Does the cold of winter inspire intense and dynamic activity, or is it blazing with warm possibilities?  The successful short series of moving postcards will tell a story(s) that will ably inspire, or excite viewers to take a fresh look at Oregon’s winter season.

About The Applicant:
You are an established or emerging Oregon resident filmmaker who is able to demonstrate that you can produce a compelling short film series in the timeframe allowed. The short film series you create will portray Oregon’s winter season in a favorable way, inspiring others to experience it for themselves

Deadline for applications: October 26, 2018, 5pm
Winner Announced: November 21, 2018
Target Delivery Date: April 2019
Find out more here.
Application Guidelines & Information:HERE
Application Cover Sheet:HERE.
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Inaugural “Portland Circuit” Collaboration Began With Sold Out Theatre!

Photo: Breaking Glass PicturesTHE PORTLAND CIRCUIT:

The#OregonMade Creative Foundation alongside the Northwest Film Center, the Hollywood Theatre, the Clinton Street Theater, and Cinema 21 announce the first film selected for a unique theatrical distribution program for locally produced feature films.

The Portland Circuit, a collaboration between the #OregonMade Creative Foundation, the Northwest Film Center, the Hollywood Theatre, the Clinton St. Theater, and Cinema 21, has been created to provide a local theatrical run for #OregonMade feature films. This initial pilot program will select feature-length films and allow them to have a paying audience screening in four of the most dynamically programmed independent theaters in Portland.  The first screening was at the Hollywood Theatre and we are happy to report it was sold out!

The “theatrical runs” consists of a four day, theatrical screening in each of the participating theaters (each on separate days). The first run began October 1st, 2018 and the second run of a different, still-to-be-named feature film, will follow in February 2019.

The sixth feature film from director Jon Garcia, “Sex Weather,” has been selected as the inaugural Portland Circuit project.

The morning after the premiere his new film, a sleepy-eyed Darrel, played by Al’Jaleel McGhee, wakes to find himself in bed with his crew member Syndey, played by Amber Stonebraker. As they begin to discuss the previous evening and tepid reviews of the film, emotions give rise to a passionate and thoughtful relationship that once could have been if either had taken the chance. Filmed almost entirely in a small studio bedroom, actors McGhee and Stonebraker give stand out performances that guide the audience through tumultuous regrets and hopeful futures, while trying not to step on a fake lava floor.

Director Jon Garcia and crew members will be in attendance for a question and answer following all of the screenings.  The film will be distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures. The DVD/VOD will be available November 27, 2018.

Check out KPTV’s piece on the Portland Circuit here.

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Emmy Award winner, Visual Effects Supervisor Juri Stanossek to attend screening of JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER

Emmy Award winner, Visual Effects Supervisor Juri Stanossek will attend the screening of JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER on Sunday Oct. 7, 218 @ 3.00 PM at CINEMA 21. Following the screening will be a presentation about VFX by Juri Stanossek followed by a Q&A.

Juri Stanossek started his career in 1994. Since then he’s supervised more than 40 movies for TV and cinema. He acted as Visual Effects Supervisor at Elektrofilm from 2004 to 2008 and then moved forward to Pixomondo Stuttgart, where he supervised international productions like “Ghostwriter” (2010), “Hugo Cabret” (2011) , “Game of Thrones” (2012) and “Rush” (2013). He started at his current employer, Mackevision, in 2013 as VXF Supervisor. Thanks to his in-depth expertise he has overseen the visual effects in productions like “The Cut” (2015) and “Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016). Most recently Juri finalised VFX supervision for the movie  “Jim Button” (2018) and the new Netflix series “Lost in Space” (2018). His outstanding visual effects supervision work for “Game of Thrones”  won an Emmy VES Award in 2013 and last year Juri received the title of Professor by the prestigious Film Academy of Ludwigsburg where he’s been lecturing courses on animation since 2010.

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS (2 Nominations 1 Emmy )

Outstanding Special Visual Effect – 2018
Nominee – Juri Stanossek, VFX Supervisor – Lost In Space (Netflix/ Legendary Television)
Outstanding Special Visual Effects – 2012
Winner – Juri Stanossek, VFX Supervisor – Game of Thrones (HBO/

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Jim Button: Mackelvision’s Adventures in Mandala

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Ninth Annual Eastern Oregon Film Festival Celebrate Film, Music, And Community

LA GRANDE – Eastern Oregon Film Festival invites you to visit La Grande, Oregon for the ninth annual Eastern Oregon Film Festival held October 18-20 in downtown La Grande. The intimate gathering will feature twelve film screening blocks, both feature-length and short format across multiple genres, held at The Granada Theatre and EOFF’s own creative mixed-use space, hq, along with three evenings of after party showcasing emerging musical talent. Additionally, an Online Program consisting of 14 films—exclusively available to watch at Filmmaker Magazine’s website

#EOFF2018 will open with director Bridey Elliot‘s hilariously-spooky debut feature CLARA’S GHOST, in which she cast her entire family to play its dysfunctional protagonists.

“Clara’s Ghost is brilliant in the way it negotiates the hysterical and the quite tragic, the claustrophobic and the warm.”
– The Playlist

Friday night will wrap up with newcomer Erik Bloomquist‘s unsettling, psycho-horror drama LONG LOST about two brothers meeting for the first time. The final screening and closing night feature is none other than EOFF Alumni and community favorite Jim Cummings‘ heartfelt comedy about a cop who loved his mom and hailed as a “A visual tour de force” by RollingStone, THUNDER ROAD!

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