Columnist helps aspiring movie-maker seek financial help

Written by Marge Woodfin, Pilot staff writer March 12, 2011 04:00 am

Blake Heiss seeks help funding his movie-class project, an original film called “Pawn.” Photo courtesy of Blake Heiss
There’s Hollywood and Bollywood, and now, maybe Olleywood, with the O standing for Oregon.

With Elmo Williams, two-time Oscar-winning movie producer providing inside information on anything anyone wants to know about the business, plus a number of ambitious young upstarts rolling cameras all over Southern Oregon, we may be on the road to Oregon film fame.

One of those young filmmakers is Brookings-Harbor High School graduate Blake Heiss, who is currently working toward a Master of Fine Arts degree in film production at Chapman University in Southern California.

My young filmmaker friend asked me to pass on his plea for help in funding his class project, a production of his original movie, “Pawn.”

Unfortunately, I am, as often happens, “a day late and a dollar short,” in passing on Blake’s plea for help, and today, March 12, is down to the wire for donations.

The movie sounds original and exciting, “a near-future sci-fi story about a pawnshop where people can sell/buy their memories, and the hardened pawnbroker who runs the shop.”

Blake credits his education in Brookings with encouraging him to pursue a career in movie production. “Had it not been for the media courses I’d been fortunate enough to take at BHHS, I’d never be where I am now,” he declared.

“Most of my grad school colleagues, from much larger, better-funded high schools, never had the same kind of access to technology and training that I did, and I was also incredibly influenced by Brookings’ own Elmo Williams in my decision to pursue filmmaking as a career,” he added.

He reminded me of the day in 2004 when I took him to meet Elmo and had the opportunity to discuss filmmaking in some detail with our resident Oscar-winner, who encouraged him to stick with his career plans.

Blake noted, “We’ve watched ‘High Noon’ in school now a number of times as a classic example of a revolution in the way films are edited and stories told on screen.”

He said any donations, “even as little as $5 or $10 from enough people can make a difference in turning a dream into a reality on screen.”

Mea culpa, so sorry for being so late with this plea. Please don’t let my procrastination keep you from making a donation that may allow Blake to turn his inspired dream into a reality and send him on his way toward following Elmo into an Oscar-winning, creative career.

Blake can be contacted by telephone at 541-231-5738 or online at www.indiegogo.com/pawn.