LAMP REACHES SEMIFINALS IN WORLDWIDE FILMMAKER CHALLENGE

LA Motion Pix (LAMP), led by Christian A. Mussett and Anna C. Stull, have submitted to the Focus Forward filmmaker challenge and reached the semifinal round. The Filmmaker Challenge is an expansion of the General Electric FOCUS FORWARD – Short Films, Big Ideas (www.focusforwardfilms.com) film competition.

Qualifying films for the Filmmaker Challenge are three-minute end-to-end stories about people or organizations whose innovative efforts in medicine, computer science, robotics, engineering, green energy, or other fields of applied technical knowledge have had a significant positive impact on humanity. Recent, cutting-edge inventions that are changing how we live today are of special interest. The Challenge films will be available online to a global audience through Vimeo and will sit alongside the first 30 films produced by FOCUS FORWARD filmmakers.

Christian and Anna partnered with James Tobin and Travis Lupher to create an artistic documentary for Veterans to Farmers. Veterans to Farmers seeks to provide American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts with pride, education and fulfillment through a permanent source of sustainable income, community and contribution: The family farm.

Anna reiterates the need for finding viable options for our nation’s veterans, “Veterans to Farmers is an amazing program, bridging the gap between veteran unemployment and growing food for our community. Here in Colorado we take both seriously. With over a half a million veterans living in our state and a food industry that imports over 95% of the food we eat, we have to adopt a local food system.”

Veterans will be taught how to build environmentally controlled greenhouses of uniform size and design that utilize methods of high-tech, controlled environment crop culture. Each Satellite Farm has a greenhouse and a family residence. The business model even provides an exit strategy so that Veterans can sell their business in the future through the network. This is unique in the farming world.

“As a recently retired Captain in the US Army, I understand the difficulties that may occur when transitioning into a civilian life,” Anna states. “Veterans to Farmers provides a therapeutic, educational work environment coupled with the importance of continuing service to our country. Growing food for our nation is just as important as national security.”

When reflecting on the project, Christian noted, “Anna was driven. I’m beginning to think forward is the only gear she has. Through endless evenings that waned into endless nights, we formed the heart of her vision. She knew this story had to be told and as an accomplished writer we knew she could bring to light the two major issues. When it came to selecting a team for filming, I knew I already had the perfect one in LA Motion Pix.”

Posting and viewing for ‘Audience Favorite Award’ begins on November 1st and continues through December 14, 2012. LAMP hopes you will support this cause, and independent film making as a whole, by having your voice heard.

Happy Halloween! Behind the scenes of “Bouquet of Consequence,” first reading

Christian put together a little diddy from the first reading here at the office for “Bouquet of Consequence.” This was the first time we officially met with Cathy Washburn, and when Peter Yellen blew us away with his rendition of the therapist—we originally had him cast as the Doctor only.

You’ll notice how Cathy scares the pants off of Meggie Maddock. Everyone in the room was spooked beyond belief as the character of Ellen Thomas comes to life through Cathy’s amazing performance!

From everyone at LA Motion Pix, we wish you a happy and spooky Halloween!

The Directors’ Statement

When we set out to make “Bouquet Of Consequence” we knew we wanted to make people pause. From the beginning it was important to make them think about the issues they were experiencing rather than picking sides or voicing a strong opinion either way. This movie deals with a variety of complex issues most will experience in their lifetime. Too often when faced with such dramatic events we find ourselves alone with our thoughts, alone with the choices, and the consequences of our actions are the burdens we bear.

In trying to keep “Bouquet Of Consequence” ‘neutral’ it was essential to have an open mind in the direction the movie would take. At first the script was written as a horror movie, playing up the extreme nightmares and aiming to keep the audience on their toes. Over time—together with the feedback from the team—the story dictated a more dramatic sensitivity towards the issues it aims to cover. Ultimately, we decided this was the greater challenge and with that, a greater reward and experience.

We hope the audience uses this movie as a catalyst of discussion rather than a solution to disagree with or support for that matter. But more than anything we hope to offer a beautiful slice of the realities of life. Inescapable choices that beg your fullest contemplation. In the end it’s not the righteousness of our decisions but the spirit of our actions we have to face our bouquet of consequences.

LAMP Interview Series:
Cathy Washburn

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the cast and team from LA Motion Pix’s latest film, “Bouquet of Consequence.” we will try to bring you behind the scenes interviews, updates, photos and videos as we lead up to the release. If you would like to ask any questions to any member or cast, you can email us at pr@lamotionpix.com or leave a comment below.

1. Cathy, I must admit, when we first met I did not have the impression, “This woman needs to be in a horror film.” However, after seeing your performance… I understand fully how dead-wrong I was. Do you have a history of working in the horror genre?

Not much! I played a Cheesman Park zombie ghost for the Travel Channel one time. I thought I was pretty scary that time, and I didn’t even get a credit. I would never have even seen it if my son hadn’t realized the show I had described was coming up as he was channel surfing & managed to record it.

2. Not everyone has the ability to be scary. I remember ducking behind a chair during your scene. In fact, I couldn’t really get far enough away. Even Christian, behind the camera couldn’t keep his composure. What’s your secret to being so frightening?

I guess it’s the same process as becoming a different character to fit any role for a play or a movie.  You get your mind and heart into what it would be like for that person to have to face the situation she finds herself in.  I’m pretty sure they call that acting.

3. Your character in Bouquet of Consequence, Ellen Thomas, is battling dementia. You seem to have a great sensibility towards this… how did you prepare for this role?

I spent some time with the husband of a friend who has Alzheimers, which helped me see how to be there without really being there, if you know what I mean.  Also, I had played a grandmother named Mattie who was developing Alzheimers in another movie a couple of summers ago.

4. When the audience leaves the theatre, how do you want them to remember Ellen?

I want them to see Ellen as a tragic figure who gets trapped inside her own mind.

5. In between scaring people, you are also performing currently at the Spark Theatre as Anfisa in Chekov’s, “The Three Sisters.” Can you talk a little bit about this project?

The joy of performing in a period piece at the Spark Theater is the close proximity of audience members.  You can almost sense what’s going on in their minds as they watch the story unfold just feet and inches from where they’re sitting, with the actors’ taffeta skirts swirling around their toes..  This particular version of the famous Chekov play is unique because it’s an all female cast.  The sisters remember pieces of the history and re-enact the roles of the male characters who had impacted their lives in a most engaging way.

5. What sort of roles excite you?

Roles that excite me are those that stretch my comfort zone and teach me something new about myself and the world.  I guess Ellen Thomas is teaching me that I had a hidden part of my psyche that I really hadn’t explored thoroughly.  I do feel respect and compassion for her, and I appreciate the opportunity to bring her to life, thanks to Bill and Travis.

LAMP Interview Series:
James Tobin, Sound Mixer

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the cast and team from LA Motion Pix’s latest film, “Bouquet of Consequence.” we will try to bring you behind the scenes interviews, updates, photos and videos as we lead up to the release. If you would like to ask any questions to any member or cast, you can email us at pr@lamotionpix.com or leave a comment below.

1. The first thing I have to ask, is do you have to have a degree in Sociology to become a production sound mixer?

Well, the short answer is no. My path to production sound mixing was long and convoluted. It mostly revolves around my love of music. In the grand scheme my Sociology degree is a blip on the radar.

When I was a kid I played piano and was in chorus. I also played the trumpet up until high school when I traded that in for a bass guitar and fell in love with Industrial and Techno music. In college I got a computer and started messing around with computer music software and graphic arts. It is there that I (miraculously) ended up with both Visual Arts and Sociology degrees. After beating cancer and a brief stint as a graphic designer, I found myself working at Wax Trax Records and, a few years later, starting my own record label (Dorje Records).

During this time I was contracted to design the audio installation for a very large theme park’s haunted house. That led to more similar work and eventually I struck out on my own, designing audio content for installed exhibits, toys and amusement park attractions. While networking some new gigs I was asked if I would be interested in mixing the audio for a feature film. I jumped at the chance… by saying no. I suggested hiring a friend of mine who had experience with production audio, and then hiring me as his assistant. That worked and I was hooked.

Inspired by the production and post production environment, I enrolled at the Berklee College of Music and got a Master Certification in Audio Production and Technology. I specialized in composition & production for new media, all the while, boom operating, sound mixing, and recording sounds for my library.

2. With such diverse interests—visual arts, music, interactive media, sociology—what made you steer towards sound mixing?

I like production sound mixing because it combines art and science happening together in a live environment.  There are many players involved in production audio. Sometimes field recording/sfx gathering is a very solitary experience… it can be tough to escape the noises of man. In other words, it is a great balance of technique, the technical, and creative problem solving. Every shoot is different, every day is different, every location is different. Sometimes you only get one shot at capturing what you need. There is something I enjoy about all that.

3. Besides “Bouquet of Consequence,” what other projects are you currently working on?

Right now I have lots of projects on my plate that are in various states of production. Currently I am working on 3 feature film projects ranging from a period western, to a documentary, and even a musical. I am also mixing the post audio for a short dramatic thriller film, as well as, creating and implementing the audio content for a PC video game. I also edit audio books for the Colorado Talking Book Library.

4. Where do you see your contributions in regards to the finished product?

In other words, if you do your job right… will the audience ever notice your work? It is my hope than my work on location goes entirely unnoticed by the viewer. The sound effects, on the other hand, I hope will make the audience scream, wince, grit their teeth, gasp, gag, or worse.

5. Is creating sound for a horror movie different than sounds for a video game? And would you consider “Bouquet of Consequence” a typical horror movie?

Creating sounds for games is a very different task than creating sounds for film. That said, many of the tools are the same and the goals are also the same. In either media, the audio is primarily there to tell the story. In addition to literally telling the story, audio creates emotion and gives the viewer cues for important moments in the story.

“Bouqet of Consequence” has many opportunities for the audio effects to be a driving force in the story telling. Without giving anything away, I think “Bouqet of Consequence” is NOT your typical horror story. It has some classic horror story elements and the use of audio will be traditional as well, but I wouldn’t call it a typical horror movie.

5. Considering the genre, the script, the characters, what sort of challenges are you going to face?

The challenges are usually the same for a production sound mixer, regardless of script or content. The biggest challenge is NOT recording the things that are distracting to the dialog and the action on screen. Things like traffic, airplanes, HVAC, crew noise and equipment, creaky floorboards, lawnmowers, and dogs tend to be the most common obstacles to deal with.