A group of past and present local students from Snohomish and surrounding counties spent the last year writing and filming their first feature-length film, Rivertown. The group now seeks donations to help finance the completion of the movie.
Rivertown is a romantic comedy based on the lives of the four owners of a failed pawn shop located in a small town. The project was filmed in small local towns including Monroe and Snohomish featuring local talent.
The film was produced and directed by Washington State University graduate and Monroe resident John Baunsgard, and written by current Everett Community College student and Monroe resident Danny Nelson.
Baunsgard and Nelson are part of Wasted Talent Films. A local film company that has been producing films for over ten years.
“The cast and crew of Wasted Talent Films are people that epitomize creative talent, delicate and vast imaginations and a fierce fortitude for cinematic expression,” Baunsgard said.
Lake Stevens High School 2005 graduate and current EvCC student Kaylee Cruse plays an actress in Rivertown. Other cast and crew include Chrissy Kayatta, an EvCC atendee, who plays Amanda, the young female college student who attracts the eye of one of the pawn shop owners named Todd played by Danny Nelson. Mike Merz and EvCC graduate who plays Murphy, Vera played by EvCC student Coral Malean and Rad played by EvCC student Andrew Bell. Snohimish resident Tom Blue is Rivertown’s director of photography and one of the projects biggest contributers.
The cast and crew finished filming in October, and now need donations to help finance the completion of the movie.
“A year ago I sat down with friends and proposed the Rivertown project. We spent a year writing and accruing funds. Because the project was so low budget, we filmed once a month from May to August, about six weeks,” Baunsgard said.
Upon completion, the students plan to submit the final project to several film festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival.
“Rivertown is a project with a crew that believes wholeheartedly in the movie. We cannot thank you enough for your interest in our project, and look forward to completing our film,” Baunsgard said.
There is a promotional video on Kickstarter.com, a website that introduces a new way to fund and follow creativity and offers up and coming artists a way to get their projects produced.
“Rivertown really became a realization that film making is what we want to do and it is what we have the skills and drive to do. While this is only a single feature film, the Rivertown Project and Wasted Talent Films is really about a plan to bring structure to Washington film making,” Baunsgard said.
Rivertown must reach their fundraising goal of $5,000 by Dec. 27, if the amount is not reached by that date the group looses all funds raised up to that point. As of Dec. 6 the group had raised $3,171, which is 63 percent of their total goal.
Rivertown currently has 32 backers who have funded their project, including many of the cast and crew and their families.
“Five thousand dollars is the minimum. While some people may see this as too low to create a feature length film, we only spent between three and five grand filming, which is rare in the film industry,” Baunsgard explained. “However if you take a look at the quality of the rough footage, you can see that the cast and crew utilized every dollar of our production money and came out with something truly spectacular.”
The money raised will help WT Films to purchase editing software needed to finish post production, gather music from local artists to feature in the film, commission local designers to create original pieces of art for promotional posters, and pay for submission in local film festivals and independent distribution of the film.
In February the Rivertown crew plans to kick off a film tour, traveling to colleges and universities in Washington state to discuss the premier of their feature length film with the school’s event coordinators.
The group is looking to community members, fellow students and art lovers to help them reach their final fundraising goal by Dec. 27. Donations can be made by logging onto www.kickstarter.com/projects/wtf/rivertown.
“I have to admit that I never expected to have such large backers as we have had in Kickstarter, and that this is very encouraging.” Said Baunsgard.
For more information about Rivertown or other projects by Wasted Talent Films, visit www.wastedtalentfilms.com. If you would like to donate and are unable to access the Kickstarter account please contact the films director John Baunsgard at email@example.com or 360-303-5351.