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Lights, camera, action

Small-town productions garner broader audiences

A bluegrass/rap montage about home brewing and a middle-aged drama set in a large home overlooking downtown: What do they have in common?

On the surface, not a whole lot. In fact, it’s a stretch to even introduce the two in the same story.

But both productions were written and filmed in Hood River, by Hood River residents, so there is a connection.

The first, a five-minute short called “The Rainbow Ranch Inn,” is the creation of Giselle Kennedy and friends, filmed at the rustic Wildwood Farms in the Oak Grove area. After submitting the mock wild-west themed music video to the Off-Centered Film Fest, Kennedy’s creation was chosen as a top-three finalist. Kennedy and Gavin Lord, Full Sail brewer-turned-hillbilly-lyricist, are in Austin, Texas, this weekend for the judging of the contest. The winning entry will be announced April 21 and, along with the paid trip to Austin, will garner a $1,000 prize.

Kennedy moved to Hood River from Portland in September and has a background in freelance video production going back to when she lived in San Francisco prior to moving to Oregon in 2010. She now works under the label G. Kennedy Creative.

“When I moved to Portland I decided I wanted to specialize in food culture, agriculture and sustainability,” she said. “In the case of this video; we are surrounded by a lot of wonderful, talented people and it was a great way to collaborate with friends.

“When I moved here I didn’t really know what to expect; I have never lived in such a small town. But so far I’ve learned that this is an extremely supportive community. I think there’s a lot of potential here to use media like video to showcase local businesses, groups and stories.”

To see samples of Kennedy’s work visit her website at www.GKennedy Creative.com. To see the video, visit www.bit.ly/ HXJgyo.

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In a very different realm of film, “Eve and Emily” is a feature-length production by Daniel McCabe of Prescience Films. The story takes place over the course of 12 hours, in a house in Hood River, and is a nod to such films as “The Passion of Anna” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Filmed over about a week in a large home overlooking the Columbia River, “Eve and Emily” used a cast of four and a crew of five working behind the scenes.

McCabe, a psychiatrist at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, has produced seven features in the last 10 years. When finished with post production, he will submit the film to a variety of festivals and see how it is received.

“Whether it gets in or not I can’t say, but I think for this movie I’ll consider sending it to a couple of the bigger festivals, like Sundance or Toronto. Once the film has made it through the festival run then, assuming that it is not bought, I’ll probably self-distribute,” McCabe said. “It’s really not something I make money on. If I was interested in making money, I would not be doing this.”

As with his previous productions, McCabe wrote the script, did the casting and will do most of the post-production work for “Eve and Emily.” When complete, the project will have taken a couple years, from start to finish.

“My goal with each movie is to try to add something new; to put in a new challenge for me to work through,” he said.

“In this case, it is a very dialogue-intensive interpersonal drama that depends on the actors to move the story along.”

“It was an incredible experience spiritually, and intellectually,” McCabe wrote on a blog he keeps at www.presciencefilms.com. “The mindful moments I had during the creation of this piece are beyond profound to my personal life, and I will carry those moments with me the rest of my life. Those moments make all of the sacrifice both in time, money, and sweat well worth the effort regardless of the outcome of the final product. I once again am reminded of the power of the act of creating art.”

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