Local filmmaker Brad Stabio created the Denver Actor Project, an ongoing showcase of local actors, to demonstrate the talent that can be found in the Mile High City. The project premiered at the Starz Denver Film Festival last November with a series of six short films, and Stabio hopes to create more for this year's festival.
Founder of Stabio Productions, Stabio had been wanting to celebrate the city's talent for some time. But it wasn't until two years ago that he came up with the idea of creating short films in which local actors performed well-know monologues in re-imagined contexts.
The Denver Actor Project is designed to show that talent can be found beyond Los Angeles or New York. "I think that over the past four or five years there has been some stand-out filmmakers who are starting to get recognized beyond Denver," Stabio says. "I want people to recognize that Denver has this talent and, professionally, as a video producer, I want people that are looking for talent -- whether it be a director or a producer or lighting people or an actor -- to know that they don't have to go out of the state to find good people."
With the support of the Denver Film Society, and in conjunction with Cinema Geeks Productions and Pretty Monkeys Media, Stabio began to work on the Denver Actor Project.
He recruited actors Jordan Leigh, Tracy Shaffer, Chris Grundy, Paul Page, Amie Mackenzie and Jeff Kosloski, selected the monologues and started thinking of a way to link them together. "I knew that I wanted to have a kind of a storyline through the films or have actors cameo in them," Stabio says. "Each one screened completely separately at the festival before feature films, so I wanted people, if they caught one or two or three of them, to see that there was something going on and maybe want to explore a little further, or maybe just get a little bit of joy out of it."
The first short his crew shot, starring Amie Mackenzie, inspired the idea of linking the films with a wedding theme. After that, the other pieces fell into place.
Continue reading for more details on the Denver Actor Project.
Since the project's debut at the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival, Stabio has screened the films at private screenings, and is working to show them at other venues, including the Emerging Filmmakers Project at the Bug and Open Screen Night at the Oriental Theater. The short films are also available online.
Stabio is now trying to raise funds to continue the project with new films for the 2014 Starz Film Festival. But filmmaking is not easy, he notes, and it takes more than just good ideas. "You never know what kind of roadblocks you'll run into, particularly monetarily," he says. "But what we're hoping to do this year, and we'll see if this works out, is maybe do dialogues with two actors. We've toyed with the idea of keeping the same actors from last year and it would be almost like a hand-off to new actors."
To keep the local focus, Stabio is considering using dialogues from films made in Colorado or with some other Mile High connection. "We're trying as much as we can to keep things local and showcase Denver acting talent and crew," he adds.
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