FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6
6 pm | SHORT FILMS SCREENING WITH AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKERS STEPHANIE
ARGY & ALEC
Sponsored by the Prescott
Award-winning filmmakers Stephanie Argy
and Alec Boehm will host this special screening at the Peregrine Book Company. Afterwards they will discuss
some of the challenges of their work shooting period piece films.
• The first short film is Gandhi at the Bat
, the 2010
Jury Award winner for best short film at the 2010 Prescott Film Festival
• Next up is the trailer for Red
• The last short film in this series is A Person Known to Me
a special appearance of one of the actors from this film
Following the screening will be Q&A with Stephanie Argy and Alec Boehm who will
also talk about casting and the film shoot.
The article below was written by one of the filmmakers Stephanie Argy who will
be appearing with Alec Boehm for the December 6th event.
A PERSON KNOWN TO ME
A New Dynamic in Storytelling – Bringing Together Movies and the Written Word
A PERSON KNOWN TO ME is an 11-part serial adventure, set between 1895 and 1905, about a legendary Chicago detective agency called Mahoney & Porter. The heart of the story is the mentor-protegé relationship between two of the agency's detectives, Constantine Sherro (Donal Thoms-Cappello) and Cassius ("The Cub") Delaney, as they travel all over the United States on their assignments.
It's perfect that the Prescott Film Festival is hosting this screening at Peregrine
Book Company, because this project is a combination of both movies and illustrated
books. It's one big story – like a serialized Dickens epic – and we're asking
people to follow the story back and forth from books to movies. We've been
eager to have conversations with both readers and movie fans, to find out
ways to make the experience of going back and forth as fluid and fun as possible.
We'd love to have the evening evolve into a conversation about how to make
The 26-minute short film that's screening is actually the fifth part of the 11 – it will be preceded by four illustrated novels. But this is the first movie in the whole series, so it's the first time that we see our characters on film. We shot the movie in Port Townsend, Washington, which is a Victorian seaport, about two and a half hours northwest of Seattle, on the Olympic Peninsula.
We chose to set our detectives' cases in locations that have been very significant in our own travels. And Yavapai County has truly been one of the most important places in the world for us. We were introduced to the area when Helen Stephenson showed our feature THE RED MACHINE and our short film GANDHI AT THE BAT as part of the Prescott Film Festival monthly series; after that, the Sedona International Film Festival played THE RED MACHINE – and honored the movie with the Best Independent Feature Award. (That was the movie's first big award, and it changed everything for the movie and for us.) Next, Helen brought both of our movies back to Prescott for the first-ever Prescott Film Festival; THE RED MACHINE was the opening night movie, and GANDHI AT THE BAT won the award for Best Short. And finally...last June, both movies played at the first Jerome Indie Film and Music Festival. Moreover, the press and the people throughout the area have been unfailingly supportive of our work – especially Tonya Mock at AM Arizona, who has hosted us and our actors numerous times.
So, with all that...we really wanted to include Yavapai County in our story. In December, we're going to start shooting the second short film, which is Part Seven in the series – the tale of a mine owner who's poisoned to death with cyanide.
With Port Townsend, the challenge was to see if we could immerse ourselves in a community, learn about its history, find cast and crew willing to join in the adventure, then put that all together into a story that wove the local history together with our continuing tale.
It worked – even better than we'd imagined it could. Not only did people find out new things about themselves and what they could do as individuals, they also met other talented people in their own community with whom they can continue to collaborate in the future. So we're very proud that we were able to make connections within that community that didn't exist before.
The next challenge is to see if in addition to making connections within a community, if we can now make connections BETWEEN communities. Can our Port Townsend cast and crew become friends with and mentors to our new Arizona cast and crew? And having incorporated Port Townsend's history and geography into our ongoing adventure, can we do the same with Yavapai County? Can we convey something of what makes this part of the country unique?
To help foster the relationship between communities, we're thrilled that we'll be joined at the screening by two members of our Port Townsend cast. Peter and Kaya Wiant are a father and daughter who appear in the Port Townsend installment of A PERSON KNOWN TO ME as...a father and daughter. (Typecasting!)
In Port Townsend, we found our cast through a local community theater, and we used almost entirely local crew. Some of our crew members had never worked on a movie before, but they all had lots of skills – and we were able to help them find ways to apply those skills to film set work. Here again, we're reaching out to people from the area who want to be part of our cast or the crew. Between the screening and the shoot, we'll be holding one last round of auditions, and we'll be gathering up the last of our crew, so people can e-mail us for information at email@example.com to get details on how to get involved.
We have done a lot of period movies – all the stories that we wanted to tell so far have been set in other times. It's an interesting challenge to cast for projects that take place in another era, because it's not just a matter of putting actors into period costumes. The performers have to be able to transform themselves. The behavior is different, manners are different. They hold themselves differently and relate to people differently. The language and patterns of speech can be very challenging – even for people who are excellent actors. And sometimes people simply don't look period – faces and bone structures were different in the past, and there have been people we would love to have cast, but couldn't, because on film, they looked too modern. So when we find actors who can bring all that together, we hand onto them like gold! A PERSON KNOWN TO ME is our third project with Donal Thoms-Cappello (whom we met when we cast him in our short film GANDHI AT THE BAT, which will be opening the evening).
– Stephanie Argy
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