Viaduct traffic to slow during “major film production” shoot

projector-64149_960_720After the Viaduct closure, the next slowdown planned will be for a “major film production” that will feature scenes shot on the Viaduct.

UPDATE: Looks like the film is “Fifty Shades Darker” and will be primarily filmed in Vancouver BC. This week’s filming will likely be establishing shots for the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey” – per usual, Vancouver will be Seattle’s stand-in.

Filming will take place starting this Thursday, May 19th through Thursday, May 26th. Filming will occur between 9am and 3pm, with rolling slowdowns for traffic (meaning: the Viaduct will not be closed, but traffic will slow with the assistance of uniformed SPD officers).

Per Kate Becker, Director of Film + Music + Special Events:

“We are thrilled to host another major film project in Seattle. The project will have a significant economic impact on the city and create high-paying jobs for our local cast and crew.  The competition for film production is fierce, and we are thrilled that our reputation as a film-friendly city helped to secure this project which will be seen by audiences in theaters around the world.”

No word on the film production company, other than that it’s a “major” player. Also no word on the film. The company is hiring over 100 cast and crew during the 6-day filming and 20-day production schedule in Seattle. Additional scenes will be filmed in Pioneer Square.

Seattle featured in “View from Above” drone film series

Emirates and Boeing partnered to create a series of films featuring 18 global destinations, and Seattle made the list. The “View From Above” films were made with footage from drones, and unlike previous drone videos of the Space Needle, this one was made with all the proper flight clearances.

The Space Needle makes several appearances, as expected. While Queen Anne is only a glimpse in the Lake Union shot, it’s one to be sure and check out – the drone flies through Gas Works as it makes its way to Lake Union and beyond.

You can see the Seattle “View From Above” film by clicking on the image below. If you’re interested in the other 17 films, navigate your way around the globe at this link.

SIFF Uptown Hosts Free Neighborhood Celebration and Awards for “A Story Runs Through It”

As part of the Seattle Center’s Next 50 Civic Action Month, local residents both young and old submitted short films about Seattle neighborhoods for a competition being held this Wednesday, October 17 at the SIFF Uptown. The awards ceremony is free and begins at 7pm.

“A Story Runs Through It: Neighborhood Film Celebration and Awards” features short films (3 minutes or less) that tell stories about Seattle and its neighborhoods from the viewpoint of residents. Filmmakers could showcase any part of Seattle, regardless of which neighborhood they call home.There are 3 categories: Youth Filmmaker, Adult Filmmaker, and additional submissions not up for awards.

All film submissions to “A Story Runs Through It” are available in their entirety online. Awards will be presented for Youth Filmmaker, Adult Filmmaker, Civic Relevance, and Special Recognition.

Courtesy: “Love, Seattle” Megan Leonard, Peter Edlund & Rachel Klein

There’s a wide range of films and neighborhoods highlighted in the submissions – if you’re looking for Queen Anne specific films, check out Mike Clarke’s “Next 50 Project” and for a showcase of Seattle images, including some Queen Anne icons, check out “Love, Seattle”. And, root for your favorite on Wednesday night!

Seattle International Film Festival opens today

The 37th Seattle International Film Festival will host its Opening Night Gala at McCaw Hall Thursday at 5:30 p.m., beginning the 25-day film extravaganza.

Among the special events, spectacles and movie stars at this year’s festival, Ewan McGregor is set to receive the Golden Space Need Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting May 22 at the Egyptian Theatre. The event will also feature a screening of his new film “Beginners,” a U.S. comedic drama by director Mike Mills.

Tickets for the Opening Night Gala can be bought here, which include screening of “The First Grader” and Gala party to follow. “The First Grader” is a UK film shot in Kenya by director Justin Chadwick, who previously directed “The Other Boleyn Girl,” about an 84-year-old Kenyan villager trying to get an education. General admission is $50 and includes two complementary drink tickets, while premium admission is $100 and includes open bar at the post-film reception and preferred entry into the Gala screening.

The Centerpiece Gala will be held June 4 and will feature the French film “Service Entrance,” a comedy about a Parisian stockbroker directed by Philippe Le Guay.

The festival concludes June 12 with the Closing Night Gala, featuring the UK documentary “Life in a Day,” a mosaic of thousands of individuals from around the globe in a single day by “The Last King of Scotland” director Kevin Macdonald.

This year the festival will feature 441 films, including 257 features and 184 short films, 96 of which will be premiered at SIFF, representing 74 countries, a record for SIFF.

Special to SIFF this year, the new “Pathway” system will be released aimed at assisting moviegoers in finding the kind of films they’re looking to experience. The SIFF website lists the ten Pathways as:

  • Love Me, Do! –  Romance and love in all its forms, pleasures, and idiosyncrasies.
  • Make Me Laugh – Films that make you chuckle and tickle your funny bone.
  • Thrill Me – Suspense, thrills, and action. Films with a faster pace that might also surprise you when you least expect it.
  • Creative Streak – The exploration of artistic endeavors from all disciplines: literature, film, art, dance, and performance.
  • Open My Eyes – Revealing films and documentaries revolving around history, politics, and contemporary events from around the world.
  • Sci-Fi and Beyond – Science, technology, environment, the future—and beyond.
  • Take Me Away – Be prepared to be taken to another place – from exotic far-off lands to vibrant experiences outside of everyday life.
  • Spellbinding Stories – Mesmerizing dramas and documentaries that explore thought-provoking questions, realities, and topics.
  • To the Extreme – Explore the outer limits with films that go beyond the edge.
  • Face the Music – Films that intersect the world of music on all fronts: from biopics and concert films, to musicals and live events.

Screenings for the films will take place at various venues throughout Seattle, Renton, Everett and Kirkland.

SIFF, the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States, will be opening the SIFF Film Center in the Alki Room at Seattle Center this coming fall, “fulfilling its long-standing vision of creating a permanent home where SIFF’s successful film, education, and community outreach programs can thrive,” the organization says on its website.

Find out more about what’s screening at the film festival this year here.

Reminder: Blockbuster closing, selling everything

Neighborhood film buffs may want to head over to the Lower Queen Anne Blockbuster to stock up on movie titles before the store closes down for good.

The last Blockbuster in the neighborhood announced that it was following in the footsteps of its Upper Queen Anne counterpart and closing up shop just two weeks ago. Employees estimate that the store will shut its doors in about a month, on April 10.

Until then all of the store’s merchandise (including DVDs, games, posters, movie paraphernalia, etc.) is on sale at clearance prices. More information on the closure here.

Seattle-based film a hit at Sundance Film Festival

A whole bunch of Seattle films stood out at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. One in particular is of interest to Queen Anne-ers since parts of it were shot on location here.

“The Details” stars Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney and Ray Liotta. Maguire plays Dr. Jeff Lang, who along with his wife Nealy (Banks), lives a regular middle-class life in Seattle. What begins as a series of innocuous events and bad decisions by Lang ultimately becomes something a bit darker in this black comedy.

The film was shot entirely in Seattle and features the Montlake and Fremont neighborhoods as well as many Seattle-specific references. Some of you may remember when the film was shooting in Kerry Park, as well as a few other sites in Queen Anne way back in September 2009. Here’s some video of the film shooting in Ballard.

Writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes sold the film for a reported $8 million, one of the festival’s biggest sales and ensuring a well-publicized theatrical release sometime soon.

Screening of “A Chemical Reaction” Saturday

The Queen Anne Movie Guild will be screening A Chemical Reaction this Saturday, June 12, as part of its first Saturdays documentary film lineup.

The film follows a Canadian town that was able to successfully ban the use of pesticides, inciting a province-wide movement:

Dr. Irwin’s persuasive arguments and data to back her findings eventually led the town of Hudson to enact a by-law that banned the use of all chemical pesticides and herbicides.  The most mighty chemical companies in North America put their full legal weight on the tiny town and eventually the case made it to the Supreme Court.

The town’s right to protect its citizens was upheld, and — like a row of dominos — other municipalities followed suit. The movement spread so far and wide that the entire province of Quebec enacted a ban and Home Depot stopped putting the dangerous pesticide products on their shelves.

Paul Tukey, one of the nation’s leading experts on organic lawn care has been following this story for years. After becoming seriously ill with acute pesticide sensitivity from applying chemical lawn products in his own lawn care business, he became an outspoken advocate for alternatives to chemical lawn care.  He travels across the country lecturing on the subject and has written the nation’s leading book on organic lawn care titled, The Organic Lawn Care Manual.

This documentary follows his journey that leads to the doorstep of Hudson, Quebec. It’s an inspiring story of overcoming great odds and demonstrates the power of people coming together to effect great change in our society.

As always, the showing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church, located at 1606 5th Ave W (the pink building next to the Queen Anne Library). Moviegoers should use the Fellowship Hall entrance on W Garfield St. Admission is free (though donations are welcome) and coffee will be provided by Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Can’t make it this month? Next month the Guild will be showing Playing For Change: Peace Through Music.