By Jessie Wilson
Programs & Communications Coordinator, Washington Filmworks
On June 8, Washington Filmworks publicly announced funding assistance recipients for the Innovation Cycle of the Filmworks Innovation Lab. The program, which is part of a long-term economic development strategy, is designed to invest in the future of film by tapping into Washington’s creative community and encouraging original storytelling that capitalizes on new forms of production and technology. The Board of Directors of Washington Filmworks may allocate up to $350,000 per year in funding assistance support to projects that apply to the Innovation Lab. Unlike the standard incentive program, the Lab is a competitive and juried process.
“The entertainment industry is shifting and adopting alternative distribution paradigms,” says Amy Lillard, Washington Filmworks Executive Director. “Washington State is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this digital revolution, and create revenue streams that integrate our in-state technology resources. Washington Filmworks is passionate about developing programs that empower our local storytellers to lead the innovation revolution. Using our creative capital and technology expertise, we can create a new economic development model for the world to follow.”
This cycle of the program was designed to challenge local filmmakers to create motion picture content that traverses multiple delivery platforms. Washington Filmworks was thrilled to receive a diverse pool of 25 quality applications to the program.
For this cycle of the Lab, Washington Filmworks worked with a jury of industry experts to evaluate projects and make funding assistance recommendations to the Board. The jury represented all facets of motion picture production, multiplatform storytelling, and emerging entertainment models. Serving on the jury were Kraig Baker, Jane Charles, Scott Macklin and Matt Vancil. The jury members share a deep understanding of the business of film.
Ultimately the jury chose finalists to pitch and made recommendations to the Board about the level of funding assistance for each project. The Board voted to allocate funds to five projects and decisions were based on the Lab’s selection criteria, as well as the merits of each project and its investment in Washington State. The Innovation Cycle of the Lab encourages these filmmakers to present new business and revenue models that leverage Washington’s film infrastructure in the digital era.
The filmmaking community joined Washington Filmworks at the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival to acknowledge the achievements of all Lab applicants and celebrate with the funding assistance recipients as the results were revealed. The following is a list of projects that received funding assistance and the key creatives who pitched each project:
• The Maury Island Incident – Steve Edmiston (Writer/Producer) and Scott Schaefer (Director/Co-Producer)
• Science-Trak (formerly referred to as Project Pluto) – Kevin Maude (Executive Producer) and Graeme Lowry (Producer)
• Rocketmen – Alycia Delmore (Producer/Actor) and Webster Crowell (Writer/Director)
• Salish Sea – Tracy Rector (Producer/Director) and Lou Karsen (Producer/Co-Director)
• Emerald City – Lacey Leavitt (Writer/Director) and Eric Stalzer (Co-Writer)
Congratulations to all filmmakers who participated in the Lab and a special thank you to our remarkable jury for all their hard work and dedication to the evolution of motion picture storytelling in Washington State.