Local Kids Make Good (Movies)

On August 25th Orson Ossman’s production company will be renting The Clyde to show their new film The Phoenix Project to those who supported it on Kickstarter, as well as other interested folks. This fall Joseph Itaya will be here on the island filming his family film Lost and Found, also with a boost from Kickstarter. The Clyde is proud to have been a Kickstarter donor for both films, and even prouder of the fact that we helped provide a cinematic education for both young filmmakers. Orson and his musician brother Preston and “Joey” and his brothers and sisters spent untold hours in the dark at The Clyde staring raptly at the screen.

Another “Clyde kid,” Jordan Albertsen, seemed to be at the theater every weekend with his dad. We screened Jordan’s first feature, The Standard, several years ago, with screenwriter/director Jordan there to answer questions. He just released two great music videos he directed, one of them for Cumulus and one of them for The West, a band co-founded by drummer Bob Husak, another frequent movie-goer as a kid. That video stars South Whidbey’s Patrick Moote, currently traveling the film-festival circuit with his own film, the documentary Unhung Hero. We showed Jordan’s The West video last week as a little bonus. We’ll still waiting for permission to show Pat’s film, but meanwhile, you can often see his scruffy face in TV commercials.

Those five aren’t the only kids who fell in love with movies at The Clyde and went on to work in the field. Actress/singer/accent coach Amy Walker has made a number of videos, including one with Jack White and another where she’s backed by actor Jeff Goldblum on the piano. Ruth Gregory, whose dad has been our projectionist for decades, premiered her first documentary, Jump Like a Girl, to a packed house here, regularly wins prizes for her work, and teaches filmmaking at Shoreline Community College. Seasonally regular patron Laura Hilton just got her degree in film and is currently working as a production assistant on Itaya’s film (a job we recommended to her before we even knew it was the project of a SWHS/Clyde alum).

We’ve always had local people involved in movie making of course, among them award-winning screenwriters Lew Carlino, Bill Kerby, Suzanne Kelman and Rose Woods; screenwriter/game designer/director Brent Friedman, documentarians Mark Dworkin, Melissa Young, Chris Jordan, and Chris Korrow; actor/director Richard Evans, movie-music providers Artie and Joanne Kane and Gwen Jones; publicist Celia Black; Oscar-winning sound guy Kirk Francis (soon, alas, to move to Hawaii); cameraman Don Steinberg; and producers Jill Carlino, Chris Gabriel and Michaela Angelini. (feel free to add other names to this list in the Comment section.) But for me it’s fun to look to the future too, to know that our small-town movie theater helped instill a love for the creativity and power of the movies in so many talented young people.



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