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From the December 2004 issue of Seattle Magazine

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Local Filmmakers Take Their Commitment to the Streets

Independent filmmakers seek Seattle's support while "Begging for Film"

Sondra Webber, Associate Producer, "Sly Dog"

Seattle, Wash., September 3, 2004 - How far would you go to realize your dreams? Independent filmmakers face that question as they balance their passion for storytelling with the challenge of raising enough money to call "action".

Krishna Devine is facing that question today. After four years producing commercials and television here in Seattle, Devine is excited to produce and direct her first short film, "Sly Dog". Her dark and comedic script has attracted the talent of top-notch actors Richard Sanders (Les Nessman of "WKRP in Cincinnati"), Dennis Bateman ("Northern Exposure", "The Fugitive"), and Juleen Murray Shaw ("L.A. Law").

"'Sly Dog', like life, is about unlimited possibilities. You never know what's around the corner, but what matters is how you rise to the challenge," said Devine.

Unlike Hollywood productions with big budgets and deep pockets, first-time filmmakers need to master the art of dialing for dollars. Krishna Devine and her crew have proven they can generate local support from businesses including Mac & Jack's, the Paramount, King 5, and Jones Soda Co. But they need to raise an additional $5,000 in order to film. And fast - the shoot starts September 24, just 21 days away. After they wrap they'll need to raise $20,000 more to complete the film.

"There is a lot of competition for limited dollars in the indie film space today. With the success of low-budget films like "The Blair Witch Project" and "Open Water", a lot of really talented people are heading out to produce their own projects instead of waiting for studios to fund them. You really need to be creative, like any entrepreneur," says Mary Sussex, Co-Producer.

And so "Begging for Film" was born. At a recent brainstorming session Jason James, Casting Director and Associate Producer, seeded the idea when he shared the story of a friend, a dare, and a day of begging that netted over $200. Devine and her crew jumped on the idea, ready to try just about anything to make their dream happen.

On the weekend of Sept 11, four teams of "Sly Dog" crew members will hit Seattle's streets and ask, or rather beg, for community support. Teams will station themselves at popular weekend hangouts Pike Place Market, Westlake Center, Seattle Center, and Fremont Saturday Market asking for donations. Sondra Webber, Associate Producer, will lead the charge.

"On any given day you put $1 in the jar at the coffee shop, tip your waitress $2, or give spare change to a homeless person," Webber said. "We think people will be willing to make the same gesture for us."

In addition to spare change, the "Sly Dog" team is asking for larger donations. Through a recent Northwest Film Forum / Wiggly World grant, "Sly Dog" has non-profit 501(c)(3) status - making them an attractive option to the larger donor. They have developed an "Auteur" package for high-level donors, providing "a bird's eye view of the movie biz". For $1000, donors get to spend a day on set during shooting, their name in the credits, and access to the actors.

And look for more industrious fundraising activities from the "Sly Dog" gang. Things like a celebrity "Iron Chef" - type competition, a wine tasting, a festival of short films, and an online auction. These independent filmmakers wonÕt stop until their film is made.

About "Sly Dog"

"Sly Dog" shows us a day in the life of the stagnant suburban couple Bob and Joy as they attempt to deal with their overbearing neighbor Joe, each in their own unique way. A front yard scuffle sets into motion a play of paranoia and suspicion that ends up putting a dark spin on the notion of a happy accident. The dark and comedic script for "Sly Dog" has attracted the talent of top-notch actors Richard Sanders (Les Nessman of "WKRP in Cincinnati"), Dennis Bateman ("Northern Exposure", "The Fugitive"), and Juleen Murray Shaw ("L.A. Law").

Through a Northwest Film Forum / Wiggly World grant, "Sly Dog" has earned non-profit 501(c)(3) status. All donations of $50 or more are tax-deductible.

About Krishna Devine

Krishna has worked in the Seattle film and television industry for over four years. After graduating from The Art Institute of Seattle in 2000 she went right to work on National Geographic's "The Shape of Life". Krishna currently works as a commercial Producer/Director for the Belo Corporation, home to local Seattle Stations such as KING, KONG, NWCN, and KWPX. All told, she has made over 100 commercials, produced more than 50 weekly airing programs (KWPX), and authored numerous segments for KING 5 Television's Evening Magazine. In the summer of 2003, Krishna started Seattle Indie Productions, a made-to-order production house that specializes in creating local commercials with a national feel. After telling so many thirty-second stories, Krishna is looking forward to throwing all of her passion and experience into what will be her debut short film, Sly Dog.