I’ve been working on a play at ACT Theater called “One Slight Hitch” written by Lewis Black, whom you may now from his standup comedy, or one of his best-selling books or from the Daily Show with John Stewart where he appears regularly on a segment called “Back in Black.” He’s the finger-wagging, vitriolic critic of the powers-that-be, fearlessly saying everything that no one else has the gumption (read:balls) to say… at least publicly!
In person, however, ‘Lew’ as his friends call him, is an only slightly toned-down version of his public persona. He will, on occasion, show some tenderness but for the most part is, in person, exactly how you would imagine him to be.
The play takes place on the day of a wedding, two hours before it is about to begin. While the cake arrives and the flowers go missing, the ex-boyfriend shows up. That’s me. Hilarity ensues and the clock keeps ticking. Some call it a door-slamming farce. I call it a romantic comedy. You can call it what you will…. but you have to see it first.
Zack (Alek Greenleaf) and Ellie (Desi Scott) share a moment in the park.
First of all, in my third person voice, the official “little bit about the film” blurb:
As far as boys are concerned, there’s only one way to become a man: sex with a woman. Everyone around him has already done it and even though his girlfriend Ellie appears to be ready, Zack isn’t leaving anything to chance. When his friend Cody (Wiley Wilkins) throws a party, Zack invites Ellie hoping that he can turn the raucous night into something special. Unfortunately, Ellie can’t come. That leaves only one other woman at the party: Sharon, Cody’s single mom whose tumultuous personal life drives her to drink. The two share some encouraging words and a brief embrace that Zack interprets to mean that he won’t be, for much longer, the last virgin. Shot on location in north Idaho, this provocative film features several of Seattle’s youngest and brightest stars, as well as veteran heavyweights Abby Dylan and Jeffrey Fracé.
Shot and edited by Ty Migota, himself from Idaho, the film’s propulsive soundtrack uses only Mr. Gnome, a rocking psychedelic duo from Cleveland, with the exception of “Fight Song” by Shoshone singer/songwriter Mark Smith (TwoBirdz) and Seattle composer Jeff Tolbert.
The film will play the closing night of SIFF’s ShortsFest Weekend Monday May 28th 6:30PM at the Uptown Theater, Q&A to follow. Some cast & crew will be in attendance. There, Telford and Migota may also reveal their plan to return to Idaho this summer and turn this short story into a feature-length film.
Read more on "I Won the Lottery, the Acting Lottery!" »
Let me preempt two obvious questions about this video with two easy answers: yes, those are real pigeons and yes, the fat guy driving the Malibu (that looks to the untrained eye like an El Camino) is me, Shawn Telford.
At the end of 2010, I was cast in a Washington State Lottery commercial that was filmed on the Olympic peninsula in a small town called Sequim, pronounced ‘Squim.’ Here I would like to point out that ‘Squim’ is not the the best named city in Washington state, that award goes to Tillicum, pronounced ‘Till I cum.”
We began shooting this lottery commercial super early in the morning, which meant I had to take the first ferry out of downtown Seattle at something like 5 in the morning… yeah, I know, that’s like the butt-crack of dawn and I’m heading deep into teen-vampire territory… Needless to say, I had an advanced copy of the Cave Singers’ album “No Witch” to keep me company. As I drove off the ferry, I turned up my car stereo and let the album fill my ears as I drifted through the dark morning following a trail of commuter tail-lights deeper into rural Washington, which, as it turned out, happened to be the perfect introduction to the Cave Singers’ new album. In fact, my preview/ interview of the album/ band can be seen here.
During the day we filmed, I must have parked that car 20 or 30 times. At one point early on in the day, the 1st AD turned to me and said, wow, you’re a good parker. Not only did he look relieved but he also looked grateful. As if it hadn’t occurred to him or anyone else how important parking ability would be to not only this role but for this whole commercial. In fact, not once throughout the entire audition process did anyone ask me if I could parallel park let alone drive a car. Well, the truth is, I can do both. And I did. All day long. That and put a tarp over the car, which I must have done 50 times.
But, don’t believe me, see for yourself. And buy a lottery ticket.
Read more on "IFC Premiers New Brent Amaker & the Rodeo Music Video" »
“I don’t care what you do, I don’t care what song. Just make it weird.”
This was Brent Amaker’s one stipulation.
“And try not to spend too much money.”
That was his second.
He told me this over lunch one afternoon in Ballard. And that was, literally it. We were off at the races.
I’ve known Brent for years. There’s always been mutual affection and admiration for one another but never an opportunity to properly work together. Until now. Naturally, I said yes.
Following our business lunch that afternoon, I conceived and eventually directed the new music video for Brent Amaker & the Rodeo and I was sure to include some of the weirdest characters I know, namely the performance artist Ernie von Schmaltz and roller derby skate legend Re-Animate-Her.
But I seriously couldn’t have done this video without my friends and fellow collaborator/conspirators Ty Migota and Elayne Wylie.
Furthermore, we couldn’t be more thrilled that IFC asked to exclusively premier the video, so naturally we let them. And then, the cherry on top is their description, and I quote! “Seattle director Shawn Telford lets loose John Waters meets David Lynch style and everyone gets their freak on in this video for “Man In Charge.” Just when you think you have the song figured out, and possibly even the sexed-up Elvis under control, in comes Seattle rapper Tilson (The Saturday Knights). Crazy train honky-tonk, all aboard!”
John Waters, David Lynch and Shawn Telford… all in one sentence. Who would’ve thunk it?