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MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE
Issue No.45, Vol.9
 
Moviemaker Magazine
 
The 10 best cities in the US for moviemakers
 
No.8 - SEATTLE
 
(Please note: During production, the working title of Inheritance was Mrs. Baker)
 
When Garrett Bennett decided to abandon LA for his native Seattle to get his film Farewell To Harry made, he couldn't have known he'd end up winning Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival. Moreover, getting such a top-notch local entry may have been just the thing to jumpstart a local indie scene that's been threatening to break out since the mid-90's.
 
Certainly, every year, more and more of the factors neeeded to bring a full-blown independent renaissance are falling into place. Says Bennett, "The Seattle International Film Festival has been doing great things to embrace the locals, and both the Seattle Film Office and the State Film Office have become very connected to moviemakers here, nurturing from within instead of just courting the big money pictures."
 
Additionally, the Seattle-based Northwest Screenwriters Guild provides a liason "between writers agents, managers, producers and other Hollywood players... to talk about the art and business of moviemaking, the craft of writing and the many ways of launching a careeer."
 
The Guild offers workshops and special events. Moviemakers Kris Kristensen and Brian McDonald recently addressed Guild members on their experiences writing and filming their first feature, Mrs. Baker. In addition, the Guild maintains a great number of helpful links for the aspiring moviemaker on their website.
 
Student moviemakers can take advantage of the University of Washington's top-notch screenwriting program as well as film programs at the Cornish Institute.
 
On the more alternative end of things, Seattle's legendary WigglyWorld provides a consistent venue for the more abstract and avant-garde work in the community, as does 911 Media Arts Center, in addition to providing classes and editing space. A loose knit group of moviemakers known as The Hat Factory also reaches out to a fledgling moviemakers, and offers semi-regular script readings and meetings within the community.
 
All this activitiy is finally paying off. Garrett Bennett is not the only recent success story. Producer Rory Veal has also scored big with his film Lover's Lane, which was picked up as a Blockbuster exclusive and sold to 105 overseas markets, as well as various cable and pay per view deals. Lover's Lane was also the breakout film for actress Anna Faris, who went on to star in Scary Movie and Scary Movie II. Veal is currently marketing the recently completed Shredder, "a snowboarding horror film," and expects it to fare even better than Lover's Lane. With a grin I could hear even over the telephone, Veal confessed "I've already turned down Blockbuster this time. They didn't offer enough money."