Though it seems to be based on the old studios of Hollywood, with crew members under contract to work on whatever film is in production, the Film Company at the Northwest Film Forum is more like a theater company whose key staff members collaborate on every project. These dual inspirations make sense coming from Gregg Lachow, who moved from theater to film more than a decade ago. Not content to sit around and wait for projects to come to them, this newly formed company is already finishing up their first feature film, Telephone Pole Numbering System. The movie was shot on film last month and will have its world premiere at the NWFF on Thursday, December 9, where you can meet the members of The Film Company. Screenings continue through the weekend.

The writer/director goes by the name William Weiss, who made a splash at Local Sightings with his "Emergency Pants" collection of short films. Telephone Pole Numbering System is about a 70-year-old man who is trying to decode the mysterious sequence of numbers found on telephone poles. At the end of January, when Guy Maddin comes to Seattle to present Cowards Bend the Knee, he will also be making a short film with The Film Company. Rumor has it he may even extend it into a feature. Impressive.

Another exciting event happening at the NWFF is Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (playing late nights on Friday and Saturday). Started in 1982 as a scene-by-scene remake of Raiders by a group of 12-year-old kids in Mississippi, it was finally finished in 1988. That means over the course of the adaptation, shot in order, you get to see the actors grow through puberty. I would love to tell you I've seen it, but the filmmakers are far too afraid of the wrath of George Lucas to even make a copy for the press, even though Steven Spielberg has seen and enjoyed it. This means the co-director and star, Chris Strompolis, will be personally bringing the movie with him to the screening.

Over at the new 911 Media Arts Center, after the Amnesty International Film Festival ends, there will be a free screening of a short film by local filmmaker Michael Cross on Tuesday, December 14, at 8 pm. It's called Commercial, and it's the perfect calling-card movie--witty enough to position Cross as an indie film director, but slick enough in its commercial parodies to land him actual commercials. Other local short filmmakers should ask to see his press kit, which like the movie is short, slick, and economical.

Finally, stop by the Northwest Film Forum on Wednesday, December 15, when I'll be hosting a workshop called Selling Your Script 101: How to Sell Your Screenplay from A to Z. Balancing out my own charming brand of bullshit will be a panel of folks who actually know what they're talking about. We'll talk about crafting your script for the marketplace, crafting it for self-production, and the standard litany of formatting mistakes that you should avoid.

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