I make movies,photography,comedy and music happen
You can prolly guess this, but, I was a weird kid with a huge imagination. I’d make up wild stories on the spot…like the time I told my pre-school teacher that my mom had been married five times. Or the time I convinced one of the babysitters that we always brought the sofa out into the yard. (Me, my little brother and the neighborhood kids DESTROYED that sofa.) Then there was that time I convinced my little brother and the babysitter’s two kids that if we defoliated all the freshly planted saplings in the yard, filled our hands with the tender green leaves and ran down the swing set’s slide… we could fly. I was a born leader…and a compulsive liar. When I told my oldest daughter this story she said “That was SO DANGEROUS” followed by “You’ve always been weird, haven’t you?”
It didn’t stop in middle school…or high school. High octane right brain activity, high iq and a shit childhood will get you someplace. Usually, that place is jail. I was lucky.
I started writing stories as soon as I could string a sentence together. My first story was called “Smelly Horse”. It was about, you guessed it, a stinky horse. It involved the use of Lysol, at some point, and then the usual happy ending. It was one of the 5 best stories in the class. As a reward, I got to read it to the Kindergarteners. I was hooked.
I’ve written hundreds of short stories since then, plays, a novel, short screenplays and a feature length screenplay. Making movies was a natural evolution. I didn’t think about that until about 5 years ago, though. At that point, two of my kids were grown and my third child was a Freshman in High School.
I’m one of a very small handful of women directors in Bellingham. Natalie Fedak is one of these women. At the age of twenty-one, she’s probably the youngest, until someone tells me otherwise.
Natalie has written and directed the first season of her Fantasy Web Series “After Forever”. She also plans to run the first Solar Powered Studio in Bellingham. Very environmentally conscious, this one.
After Forever is the story of Cade. A 623 year old warrior, who as a reward for slaying a dragon and saving her village, was given the gift of imortality. All Cade really wants is to be mortal, and bake scones. So she goes on a quest to find the sorceress who put the spell on her and have that spell lifted.
Me, Sue: When did you start making movies?
Natalie: I started making movies when I was a freshman in college with a team called Finley Mimbles in Tacoma. They were a bunch of passionate students at Evergreen college, and they were the first artists to show me what was possible for young creative types like me.
Me, Sue: Is this what you wanted to do when you grew up?
Natalie: Film making was always in the back of my mind growing up. When I was a six year old bent on becoming a frog researcher, it was partially so that I could be featured in a nature documentary. When I wanted to be a professional soccer player in high school, part of it was the expectation that I'd be famous enough from my sports career that I could easily transition into film after I'd won enough World Cups. When I tore my ACL before college and shifted my academic focus from biology to creative writing, I realized it was time to accept what had always been coming: I'm a story teller. Film is my current medium, and I can't wait to see where it takes me.
Me, Sue: Who inspires you?
Natalie: As a writer, everyone inspires me because everyone has a story. A homeless woman sifting through her collection of plastic bags on a street corner inspires me just as much as Katherine Bigelow or Stanley Kubrick. My mother inspires me because she never tells me I can't do something, but she also lets me fail, learn and grow. Children inspire me because they haven't learned how the world wants them to be yet, so they are wonderfully themselves. And elderly people inspire me, because they've gone through the doldrums of existence and had their essence refined by life experience.
Me, Sue: You’ve got a great sense of humor. Do you have a comedy background?
Natalie: The Dead Parrots Society Club at WWU was a delightful foray into the comedic world during college, but most of my humor comes out of curiosity and not from training. Everything is funny when you look at it too closely.
Me, Sue: Any other projects lined up?
Natalie: Other than the 3022ft. documentary and another un-announced documentary in Alaska, I plan to focus a more on writing and directing than production once After Forever is finished. Even though season 2 is the length of a full-length screenplay, there's a big difference between sitting down to write a feature, and writing short pieces that add up to a full length. It's also been a while since I wrote a script I wasn't planning to produce, and that can be creatively stifling. My juiciest idea at the moment is to adapt Jane Austen's Emma into the 1930's prohibition era Seattle Underground brothel scene. I have character treatments written already and it would be a wonderful blend of drama and humor. Think "Moulin Rouge meets Clueless".
(Note: Here’s the link to the 3022ft. project: http://www.3022ft.com/)
Me, Sue: That sounds rad.
Me, Sue, CONT.: Why did you decide to do a Kickstarter campaign instead of an Indiegogo campaign?
(Note: If a project doesn’t meet the dollar amount with a Kickstarter campaign, the project gets nothing. With Indiegogo, the project gets to keep all the money it raises. They only have 4 days left to raise the rest of the money for season two. They have $3,915 pledged of $6,000 goal. Please give, if you can. Link is at the bottom of the page.)
Natalie: I decided on Kickstarter rather than Indiegogo because I don't half ass anything. Even if we made half our budget and got to keep it through Indiegogo, we would automatically be half-assing our plans for Season 2. People have asked me if it would be better to at least have something to show instead of flat out nothing, but I don't think it's right to compromise on an artistic vision. After Forever requires the budget we laid aside (which is minuscule already), and anything less would be a farce.
Me, Sue: But…But…I did an Indiegogo campaign…Are you calling me half-assed? How big do these pants make my butt look? Like half an ass, would you say?
Me, Sue: I’m totes burning these pants when we’re done here.
(Note: The above question didn’t actually happen.)
Me, Sue: How did your previous Kickstarter campaign go?
Natalie: I haven't run a Kickstarter campaign before, but my film partner Max Romey and I ran an Indiegogo campaign to support post-production on 3022ft. Though we only raised 20% of our goal, it was enough to cover basic post-production costs as well as give me the means to stay self-employed. Fundraising is different with post-production than it is production, since you don't need things in post production, you need people and time. If the people are willing to put in the same amount of time for less money, you can still make it work, but if you can't buy the sets or costumes you need to make a film in the first place, then it all goes down the tubes right away.
Me, Sue: What kind of feedback have you gotten from fans and the community?
Natalie: The main reason we're running a Kickstarter to begin with is because of the fan response we got from season one. People I'd never met were emailing me and Facebooking me, asking when the next bit season coming out. People were drawing fan art and writing music based off the characters, and lots of fellow film makers in the Bellingham community encouraged me to continue the series. Especially after I announced my goal to become Bellingham's first solar powered film set, people were really eager to see what doors this project could open for the community.
Me, Sue: A Solar Powered Set? That’s going to be amazing! The band Cake’s studio is off the grid, or so I’ve heard.
Me, Sue CONT.: Where is your most geographically distant fan located?
Natalie: I'm not quite sure. We have a large following in Germany for some reason.
Me, Sue: Where do you hope this project ends up?
Natalie: I hope this project ends up happening, first of all. After that, I don't really know. It's immediately destined for YouTube, so our gauge for success is a matter of views rather than where else it ends up. I'd love to get a big enough fan base to go to ComicCon in the PNW, and to help crowdfund our next project. Especially with web-based content, if people are engaging and demanding more, than they should pitch in to make it happen. If the response isn't there, then hello Jane Austen in a brothel.
Me, Sue: Nice!
Me, Sue CONT.: Good talk. Thanks, Natalie! Now you ask me some questions! I’ve got SO MUCH to talk about!
*I spin around in my desk chair about nine times while Mongolian Throat Singing Cake’s big hit “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.” Pretty much my fucking theme song. Natalie’s too, I’m guessin’…
(Note: That last question didn’t happen either. *Sigh* I have a real problem…)
Please check out season one of After Forever, and for the love of God, give to the Kickstarter campaign. Let’s not piss off Germany, shall we? You remember what happened the last time that happened, right? Don’t make me hold you responsible for another war…and other stuff.
Just fork over the dough, Cheapo. ;-)
I love you. You make me so happy inside. *Happy Face!*