(From left: Ian Bell, Gevin Wood, Nathan Williams)
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Ever wonder what a film producer actually does?
Longtime West Seattle resident and filmmaker Gevin Booth would be happy to tell you. He is producing the movie “The Servant” here in Seattle and in Eastern Washington. And his work got under way long before the actual filming begins.
Among other duties, Booth explains, the producer is in charge of ‚Äúgetting the money, putting the pieces together so the director‚Äôs creative vision can happen, finding the cast, crew, locations, catering and looking at costume design. I‚Äôm creating an environment where the director can focus on the actors, cameras, and scene, and doesn‚Äôt have to worry about lunch arriving at noon.‚ÄĚ
Booth adds that he and co-producer Ian Bell are ‚Äújuggling 12 plates constantly, making sure nothing breaks.‚ÄĚ All this juggling is for “The Servant,” a feature film written by local filmmaker Nathan Williams, described by Booth as ‚Äúthought-provoking cinema. It‚Äôs interesting, entertaining and contemplative with philosophical implications.‚ÄĚ And, he says, with ‚Äúpolitical, religious, and supernatural themes, but is actually none of those things.‚ÄĚ
Booth says they are hoping to start shooting in September, wrapping by February 2014. You can read more about the movie and the road to getting it made via its website: theservantfilm.com.
Funding a film project takes creativity and innovation. Washington Filmworks, a non-profit organization created ‚Äúto encourage growth in the film and video production industry for the economic benefit of Washington State‚ÄĚ felt The Servant was a strong enough endeavor to be the first-ever funding recipient from its ‚ÄúInnovation Lab.‚ÄĚ
The Innovation Lab rewards in-state moviemaking by refunding a percentage of the total monies spent within Washington State to the filmmakers. Booth says this is an ‚Äúawesome opportunity‚ÄĚ for the film. Of course, the filmmakers have to first raise the money, before they have any to be spent locally, and the production is still in the fundraising stage. (They had a fundraising event last weekend; you can donate any time via their website.)
Asked why the filmmakers continue to work in Seattle rather than Los Angeles or New York, Booth has many answers. First, he says is the rainy weather. ‚ÄúIt feeds us as Creatives. We can sit inside and get into the zone. Creating art is our therapy.‚ÄĚ Also, because Seattle has a smaller population of filmmakers and actors, ‚Äúthe caliber (of talent) is stronger; people are in it because they believe in it. You develop a close team of colleagues who are (working in the filmmaking field) for the right reasons. Plus, you have the support of the local community and services.‚ÄĚ He also notes that filmmaking is once again ‚Äúa growing dynamic in Seattle. MovieMaker Magazine recently ranked Seattle in the Top Three cities to make a movie.‚ÄĚ
Booth should know – he‚Äôs been dreaming of making a feature film since age six.
He created an 8mm film version of ‚ÄúRocky III‚ÄĚ as a child and programmed his elementary school‚Äôs film series. Booth is also a writer and actor and has worked on film sets (often for free to learn the industry firsthand) as a Production Assistant, Grip, and Assistant Director. Not only did this help him network with filmmakers in the industry, it provided him with valuable knowledge as a producer for understanding the needs of the variety of people working on a set.
(From left – Booth and Williams while filming “Circled Wagons”)
He and Williams have collaborated previously on a number of projects including ‚ÄúCircled Wagons,‚ÄĚ an Official Selection at the 2005 Bumbershoot One Reel Fest, and ‚ÄúThings Left Behind,‚ÄĚ an Official Selection at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival.
Besides multiple film projects, Booth has also worked recently as post-production supervisor for A&E‚Äôs “Sell This House: Extreme.”
He has lived in West Seattle for 17 years. He says he loves it because ‚Äúthe West Seattle community is willing to support each other and has an interest in the arts.‚ÄĚ In fact, he and Bell met at Diva Espresso on Fauntleroy. Since he works in Georgetown, it‚Äôs also a dream commute.
He concludes with, ‚ÄúThis is our opportunity to add flavor to the cinematic stew. I‚Äôm looking forward to the day ‘The Servant’ plays at the Admiral Twin Theater.‚ÄĚ