Last year was an amazingly productive one as an actor, producer, director and writer. And today we are going to take a look back at the highlights from the year.
January 2015 seems like an age ago, and I am now realizing that I need to to a better job journaling or tracking my bookings as an actor, because I cannot really recall what the first few months of the year were like (maybe that Super Bowl thing is interfering) But…thank goodness for Facebook and my generous (as in abundant) photo sharing (you’re welcome!), so I can look back at my pictures and get a pretty good handle on how things went down in 2015.
On March 17, I went full zombie in support of the Keep Film in WA movement, and descended on the Capitol steps in Olympia (!) to urge the legislators to increase funding for the Motion Picture Competitiveness tax incentive program. I had a great time spending the day in full Z Nation inspired zombie rags and gore, and while our efforts did not lead to support from the State, we made a great impression and hopefully paved the way for a strong push for 2016 legislative action. You can learn more about how you can help #keepfilminWA below.
Makeup by the amazing Akemi Hart. Wardrobe by the one and only Ron Leamon and Team.
2016 Keep Film in WA Campaign
The Competitiveness Program
Also in March of 2015, Seattle hosted the inaugural Seattle Web Fest, which was a great success. From their website, “Last year, over 40 web series from around the world were screened to a fantastic audience while filmmakers enjoyed a series of panels from industry professionals across many aspects of the web series world.
One of my first on-camera acting gigs was in a web series, What the Funny, like way before web series’ were even cool, and it was the first (but hopefully not last!) time I worked with Lynn Shelton. What the Funny screened during the Seattle Web Fest, and I was thrilled to be in attendance.
Seattle Web Fest
In the spring of 2015 Joey Johnson and Mighty Tripod Productions (my company) produced Paralytic, which was MTP’s first feature film as producers.
Producing a feature film is no small feat. Acting in a film you produced? Very challenging. Luckily, I had the support of my wife, Angela DiMarco, and with Joey Johnson, our director, leading the charge, we had a very smooth shoot. As of this blog post, Paralytic is almost finished with post-production, and will be submitted to film festivals and released in 2016.
In the photo to the right, I am driving with our Executive Producer, David Lowe, in our picture car for Carson Empman, my character.
In collaboration with Explorer West Middle School, Mighty Tripod Productions produced Cyberbullying, directed by my better half, Angela DiMarco. On the shoot, I performed Location Sound duties, and gained a whole new level of respect for that position. Don’t get me wrong, I have known for a long time just how crucial it is to get great location audio, but I did not know how physically challenging it was until I went through it.
In late March, Angela and I traveled up the gorgeous city of Vancouver, British Columbia to attend the Vancouver Web Fest and support Chop Socky Boom. Angela and I both acted in the first season of the web series. We had a fantastic time with our dog in the gorgeous city, and look forward to moving to Canada should things go horribly off-track in the 2016 Presidential Election. 😉
Chop Socky Boom
In an effort to be “more than merely an actor,” and to be as helpful as possible to my friends in the field, I further expanded my filmmaker skills by acting as 2nd AC for Tony Tibbetts on his film, What Do You Want? Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t pulling focus or anything, but I did rock the hell out of that slate and do other camera department duties at Mr. Tibbett’s behest.
During 2015 I met Evan Gardner, who took some great shots of me over the course of the year. Whether working in his studio or in natural light, we have been able to create some great images together.
The summer of 2015 found Mighty Tripod Productions producing again for the Seattle 48 Hour Film Project, this time teaming up with Domenic Barbero to create Team Dog Squad. We assembled an amazing group of artists to put in front of and behind the camera, and made Unsilent Night, one heck of a holiday heist comedy film.
In the fall of the year I was cast in Insufficent, and got to team up again with my friend Tabita Bastien (actor). The film explores: “A typical afternoon in the life of a codependent couple, consisting of an image obsessed atheist and a passive aggressive Catholic, culminates in a traumatic experience that shocks them each into a crisis of faith.”
The fall of 2015 was indeed busy with filmmaking, and the start of the 2015 Seattle Seahawks season! I had a great few months creating with my friends, and booking jobs for my agency, TCM Models and Talent. Below are some photos highlighting my autumn, which included writing and directing for Renton Film Frenzy, and producing and acting for the Seattle 48 Hour Horror Project. Our award winning film for the Horror 48, The Cost of Things, lead to me receiving an award for Best Actor.
To put a cherry on top of 2015, I produced Unwanted Company, a short film I wrote and acted in. It was my second writing venture of the year, but this time, in contrast to the script I penned for Renton Film Frenzy, I gave my self some time for some re-writes, and surrounded myself with a talented cast and crew. The film, directed by Tony Tibbetts, is currently in post-production.
Wow. What a year. And I am not done reviewing! I am going to mention just a few more things and add a few more fun photos below, but let me say this: One thing I am learning by writing this is that I need to reflect upon and appreciate my accomplishments whenever I get discouraged about my progress in this extremely challenging industry. Because as long as I stay driven, there is great work for me to do, self-producing or not.
Before I sign off I will mention that through my (well, our) company, Mighty Tripod Productions, we taught, coached, and advised over 100 actors. Many of which, after working with us, grew in their craft, achieved talent representation, booked roles on film and TV, and more. As an actor who is also a coach, I am as excited, if not more, by the triumphs of my students.
I am also very fortunate to work in the PNW market with Ben Andrews from Northwest Talent Management, and Diana Dotter from The Film School (where I studied this year, part time), and I look forward to working with them both to elevate the skills of the actors in our region.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for supporting my career.
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~ David S. Hogan