July Spotlight: AMERICAN HONEY

AMERICAN HONEY Filmed in KC

If you didn't know the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize
winning film AMERICAN HONEY filmed in Kansas City last year, don't worry. 
The reason you didn't know is because the production kept their presence 
here very quiet. They asked  us not to discuss the project, actors or locations 
with anyone outside of those who were involved on a "need-to-know" basis. 
That meant no media, no social posts, no newsletter content about how 
exciting it was that they were here filming here. 

It was a great pleasure assisting this production. Knowing that this 
brilliant director was bringing her first US feature to Kansas City was 
incredible. Now that filming is done and they have premiered at Cannes, we 
can share some anecdotes that shed light on how the film office works with a
production like AMERICAN HONEY. First, watch their trailer and see how 
much KC you can find -

Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey” plunges the audience, with dizzying hand-held exhilaration, into the lives of a couple of dozen young pierced and tattooed drifters who have banded together into a roving derelict cult, driving around the Midwest in a van, where they have a scam going to use their hustle and beauty to guilt-trip people into buying magazine subscriptions. You may never have seen a movie that so eloquently captures the feeling of living not for the future but for the moment — and, let’s be clear, living that way is not a good thing. But there’s a haunting question that shadows the flying-high hip-hop catharsis of “American Honey,” and that is this: How did these kids get here? -Owen Glieberman, Variety

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May Spotlight: Bebe Wood

Each  month we connect with an influential professional in the industry. This month our Spotlight is on actress Bebe Wood. 

bebe 2At fourteen, Bebe Wood has had more success than many actors will see in their entire careers. Wood, a Kansas City native, has starred in some of the biggest shows on television including 30 Rock, Veep, NBC’s The New Normal, the Netflix mini-series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, About a Boy and films like A Merry Friggin’ Christmas. Today, Bebe stars in the new ABC comedy “The Real O’Neals” as Shannon, the clever daughter of Irish Catholic parents adjusting to their son’s coming out and their impending divorce. We got the chance to speak with Bebe about her KC roots and what it’s like being a successful young actress.


KCFMO: What would you say is the most common misconception about being a young actor?

Bebe: Acting is hard work. I love my job and I’m blessed to have it, but it’s not easy. People think being an actor on television would be a walk in the park and tons of fun. It is fun, but it also means a crazy schedule and a lot of responsibility.

I think staying in KC helps keep me grounded. I don’t get caught up in Hollywood competition.

KCFMO: How has your Kansas City upbringing affected you and your career? Continue reading

April Spotlight: Misti Boland | Red Bird

Each  month we connect with an influential professional in the industry. This month our Spotlight is on Misti Boland – screenwriter, director, producer, production designer, art director.

Using the internet to distribute film and TV content is sort of like the new Wild West…

You might recognize Misti Boland from the Sundance/Slamdance blog we did earlier this year when we highlighted area people at the fests. Misti was a member of the jury at Slamdance Film Festival. We got together at the Missouri Film/KC Film party in Park City and we had a good laugh as she shared a story about dancing with Emilio Estevez, who was very much enjoying himself at the party she just came from. She also spoke of her exciting project Red Bird that she was in post-production on.

Misti Boland is known as a a production designer and and art director, with more than thirty (30) films to her credit. She is one of the founders of Women of Lawrence Film (WOLF). She has been finding success as a writer-director as well and has just launched a new webseries called Red Bird. We are honored to have this rising star as our film office spotlight this month.


Misti Boland on Location Directing "Red Bird"
Misti Boland on Location Directing “Red Bird”

KCFMO: Where did the idea for Red Bird come about? And where did the name come from?

MistiI grew up watching Western television shows and movies, and as a filmmaker I’ve been looking for the opportunity to create one.  When I was approached by actor friends Alexandra Goodman and Ian Stark about writing a script with two characters who encounter struggles with living off the land, I thought it would be a perfect fit Misti-Boland-on-setfor making a Western.

My co-writer, Jeremy Osbern, and I live in Lawrence, Kansas, and we both share an interest in the history of Bleeding Kansas and in particular Quantrill’s raid. We wanted to showcase a woman who lived through a similar event and witnessed the murder of her young son, which sparks her bloody quest for revenge.

The name for the web series came about when Jeremy and I decided that Sam’s (Kitty Mae’s father) special nickname for her would be Red Bird. 


RED BIRD HorizontalKCFMO: You are the writer, director and co-creator of this series. Tell us about those roles and any others you took on. Continue reading

March Spotlight: Stephen Locke

Each  month we connect with an influential professional in the industry. This month our Spotlight is on Stephen Locke from Tempest Gallery.

I’m a painter, photographer and filmmaker. Making visual art immerses me in the world. Through painting and film I explore the fathomless experience of being alive. Deep presence allows me to explore both the dramatic and mundane with equal exuberance.

locke 12

STEPHEN LOCKE goes where the wind takes him -literally. He is a man who captures storms. His weather photography business is appropriately named, Tempest Gallery and he sells “hi-def time-lapse videos to producers around the world” [KC Star, July, 26, 2014] – his clients include LG Electronics, Kia Motors, BMW, Wrangler, Fuji Television, Scottish snythpop band Chvrches, European culture television ARTE and ZDF German public-service television.

His films are so captivating and mesmerizing I’ve kept his site up on my computer and replayed them for hours. Stephen captures the sheer power of a storm with thousands of still images that make up his own distinctive style of time-lapse video and the outcome is beautiful. The outcome is art.

With Spring storm season approaching we thought it was the perfect time to talk to Stephen Locke for our March Spotlight.


KCFMO: You began capturing storm systems later on in your career. What drew you to this type of photography/videography?

Stephen: Originally I was interested in general landscape photography. As a landscape photographer in Kansas it was inevitable I would discover thunderstorms. They made the horizon more dramatic. I began planning my landscape photo excursions based on forecasts for severe weather. Eventually I learned to make my own forecasts so I could plan trips 3-10 days in advance. Initially my intent was still photography but I discovered I could combine several hundred stills to make a high resolution movie. Thus my career in time lapse film making was born.

KCFMO: From spotting a developing system on the forecast to finalizing the video, how long is the process of creating a time-lapse video?

Stephen: The entire process can take several days or weeks. The post production procedure of grading still pictures and combining them to make a movie can take several days to produce 30 seconds of footage. As technology improves and my methods evolve I’m often remaking movies shot several years ago. I regard all my movies as continual works in progress.

KCFMO: When you begin tracking a storm system, how often do return with the footage you were hoping for?  Continue reading

Celebrity Chef “Simply Nigella” Chooses KC for Christmas Special

Nigella Lawson Loves Kansas City

Five years ago Nigella Lawson visited Kansas City and she never 
forgot how magical it was. Fast-forward to her newest UK-based
cooking show, BBC's "Simply Nigella" and where does she choose 
to film the first Christmas special for her show? Kansas City.

Nigella is a celebrity chef with a career history as a journalist, 
broadcaster, television personality, gourmet and food writer. She has
written eleven cookbooks and Simply Nigella is her most recent. 

She has also starred in several of her own cooking shows - 
Nigella Bites, Forever Summer, Nigella, Nigella Feasts, Nigella
Express, Nigella Kitchen, Nigellissima, The Taste and Simply Nigella. 

Nigella has been a celebrity guest on shows like ABC's Modern Family, 
Bravo's Top Chef, Food Network's Iron Chef and Australia's Master Chef.

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Spotlight on TRUST FUND MOVIE

One of our favorite locations to film at was the “Italian Villa” which was an amazing home located only about 15 minutes south of downtown…we could not have asked for a better place to shoot our Italy scenes. The funny thing was, we filmed the family home in “Chicago” right across the street, that’s how diverse some of the neighborhoods are in Kansas City.

It’s not everyday that an independent film gets a deal with the AMC Independent program. But that’s exactly what Kansas City filmmakers Sandra Martin (SM), writer/director and Isaac Alongi (IA), cinematographer have done. Their film, Trust Fund, opens in KC on January 8 at AMC Theatres.  We invited Martin and Alongi to be the January KC film spotlight to celebrate the release. Congratulations to these incredible KC film talents and to all the cast and crew!

KCFMO: How did you film KC as Chicago and Italy? Tell us about your location selections.

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A Tale of Two TV Pilots

Funny People Descend on Kansas City

IMG_0470AlMadrigal_JakKnight_ThePhoenixownerandteam_IMG_0517 Kansas City was the location for two comedy television pilots – Comedy Central’s Travel Fun Show with Al Madrigal and Jak Knight (working title) and School of Humans/Tru TV’s Eugene Meets the Mayor starring Eugene Mirman and Wyatt Cenac. Eugene Mirman played the recurring character ‘Eugene’ on the  acclaimed HBO show Flight of the Concords and is the voice of Gene in the award-winning animated series Bob’s Burgers. Wyatt Cenac was a regular correspondent and writer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Al Madrigal was also a regular correspondent on The Daily Show, is the co-founder of All Things Comedy podcast network and was a co-star on NBC’s series About A Boy. Jack Knight is a young stand-up comic and actor.

Why is Kansas City the spot for these two pilots who are hoping to be given life as serial TV shows?

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Kansas City, Let’s Make a Film Together

TWO CITIES, EACH POWERED BY CREATIVE PEOPLE AND FIBER OPTIC INTERNET, WILL COMPETE FOR THE CAPTURE 2015 FILM  PRIZE

CAPTURE FILM PROJECT is upon us! Greater KC is competing with Chattanooga, TN (two Gig cities) in a never-been-done before epic film event – the most ambitious crowd-sourced film project two cities have ever attempted.11922789_1648724742031795_5698168199649258353_o

ALL ARE ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE! Footage contributors will be credited in the project. Registration is open now through Saturday at 3pm (upload deadline).

When:
Friday, Sept. 18 – Kickoff 5:00pm at Union Station Boardroom (Theme Announced here and online > capturefilmproject.org)
Sunday, Sept. 20Screening Event & Award Ceremony 5:30pm at Union Station Extreme Screen

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Creating Film History with CAPTURE 2015

Capture 2015 Announces Official Call
for Professional Film Team Editors and Musicians

First the important time-sensitive info at a glance:
What: Capture 2015 Call for Professional Film Editors and Musicians (teams are encouraged)
Deadline for Applications:
Sunday, August 30th – 10:00 PM
Online Applications at:
capturefilmproject.org/editors-musicians
Team Notifications:
Wednesday, September 2nd

Now, the details:
(Chattanooga, TN. and Kansas City) The Association for Visual Arts (AVA) in Chattanooga, KC Digital Drive, Film Society KC and KC Film + Media Office are collaborating on a milestone event, Capture: A Community Filmmaking Project Sept. 18-20, 2015. For the first time, crowd-sourced film footage will be made into fully realized short films by teams of professional editors and musicians simultaneously in two cities in two different states. And only one film will win the $800 prize for Best in Show. Which city will it be from?

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AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR – KANSAS CITY TWO-HOUR EPISODE

May 26, 2015 – We are thrilled to announce the first Kansas City two-hour episode of American Ninja Warrior will be –

IMG_4518NBC at 7 p.m. Central Monday, June 1

After months of waiting to find out if Kansas City was a confirmed site for filming we learned in January 2015 that Kansas City was awarded the show. American Ninja Warrior is a prime time show with an audience base of 6,000,000 viewers on NBC with repeat episodes airing as the number one rated show on the Esquire Network.

….I cannot thank you enough for how you guys have worked with us to make these episodes a reality.  Specifically, the work that you and Stacey [Union Station] have done to make this as painless as it has been is truly unique.

We could not have asked for a better experience. Everything from the Union Station location to the cultural activities have been universally praised by our staff and crew.

On a personal note, I want to thank you for your attentions to my staff, whom work tirelessly and often get little recognition.

Please feel free to use me a reference for trying to attract more projects in the future.

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