Voices

The Verve: Spokane Film Project works to put city on the map

Members of Spokane Film Project, a group of artists who specialize in filmmaking, directing, writing, acting and everything else dealing in short films, movie making, documentaries and music videos pose for a photo on Nov. 5. (Tyler Tjomsland)
Members of Spokane Film Project, a group of artists who specialize in filmmaking, directing, writing, acting and everything else dealing in short films, movie making, documentaries and music videos pose for a photo on Nov. 5. (Tyler Tjomsland)

On this particular Sunday evening at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille, they push small tables together to form a large conference table to accommodate their group.

There are about 20 of them, ranging in age from 17 to 40-something, and they all have stories to tell. They banter a bit and laugh a lot.

They are the Spokane Film Project – or the Spokane Film Party, as some members call it, because they do have fun.

The project started in August after a handful of like-minded individuals decided that a film cooperative would be fun, as well as a way to let Spokane residents know that there is, indeed, a wealth of creative talent in the area. Their goals are to promote creativity, each other and pull Spokane out of its little brother syndrome; big brother being Seattle. Another one of their goals is to put Spokane on the map; they all agree that it’s time.

As the meeting begins, members introduce themselves. They are writers, directors, producers, photographers, camera handlers, editors and everything else needed in the film industry. Their experience ranges from seasoned to beginners, but they are all passionate and have all participated in view-worthy projects. One mentions an award she recently won for a short film, others discuss current and future projects including a podcast, local music videos called “Collect Sessions,” and “Transolar Galactica,” a Web series that recently raised $31,000 on Kickstarter. “Transolar Galactica” has quite a following and hopes of a feature film.

A local artist sits in on the meeting and pitches a mural project to the group in hopes that they will document her endeavors – they likely will. Members then discuss a two-day clinic they are teaching on a volunteer basis at Spokane Falls Community College on Nov. 22 and 23 for area high school students. The clinic will conclude with the airing of 60-second videos created by the teens. Also in November, many of the members will be scrambling to write, shoot, edit and deliver a complete film in only 48 hours for the 48-Hour Film Festival, which will be screened during First Night Spokane.

The group intends to complete four projects a year. The first will be an 11-minute short written by member Adam Boyd. It’s a dark comedy poking fun at the corporate world. Every member of the group will have a hand in its completion, and they will work with local artists, musicians and actors.

It is quite amazing – and a little shocking – to realize the projects that are being created in Spokane. Fame, for many, may be on the horizon and Spokane residents are none-the-wiser. Spokane Film Project members hope to change that by sharing their level of excellence while maintaining a grass-roots, local and progressive feel. They hope that Spokane and beyond will tune in.

The Verve is a weekly feature celebrating the arts. If you know an artist, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, band or singer, contact correspondent Jennifer LaRue by email at jlarue99@hotmail.com.


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