Local filmmaker Bryan Shickley’s new animated short received a “secret screening” this week in a packed outdoor tent at the Des Moines Quarterdeck.
The new film features the iconic voiceover talents of Northwestern comedy legend Pat Cashman (Almost live!), whom Shickley met through his former mentor Scott Schaefer, founder / publisher of South King Media and sole writer on the same KING-TV comedy show.
Local filmmakers Schaefer and Steve Edmiston recently joined the new Shickley Project as producers.
If you recognize Shickley, it’s probably because he’s a former South King Media / B-Town blog intern, when he was a student at Big Picture High School in Burien. Beginning in 2011, Shickley was mentored by Founder / Editor Schaefer, who worked with the chubby-faced teenager to help him flourish into the incredible and confident talent he is today. Since graduating from Big Picture, Shickley has earned an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Animation from Evergreen College, the same school as one of his heroes – Matt Groening, creator of The simpsons – once assisted.
While the title and story of his new film remains under wraps, writer / director / host / vocal artist Shickley was thrilled to share his unique vision with a live audience.
“It’s a long time coming, especially with the isolation of the pandemic, and I couldn’t wait to show the film to real audiences live,” said Shickley. “I had hoped everyone would laugh out loud, even though I knew they were all wondering ‘how can this all be true’? The holding of this screening test audience helped us a lot. Plus, I’m pretty sure if anyone was a Pat Cashman fan, it was a dubbing slice of heaven.
Why the secret?
“In practice, we had to preserve our premiere status for film festival nominations,” said Schaefer, the director of another local favorite film, The Maury Island incident. “While Bryan’s film is intended as a TV pilot for an incredible story-based comedy sci-fi series, it certainly sets itself apart as a short. And we’re still strategizing on festival and sales. That said, the nature of the film itself, with its homage to local intrigue, plot, and historical cover-ups, easily lends itself to a ‘secret screening’ event – that’s part of the fun. “
The event was sponsored by the Poverty Bay Secret Screening Society, South King Media and Quadrant45. The non-traditional Quarterdeck tent was also an attraction for filmmakers.
“Holding a ‘secret screening’ at the Quarterdeck was a perfect way to share this funny, story-inspired and provocative film right now,” said Edmiston. “The tent – it’s a lovely setting – with wonderful drinks, glowing lights, lots of heat on a cold night. Pair that with a hilariously compelling story to be projected on the big screen and a new filmmaker with a future – what’s not to love? “
The audience seemed to like the whole experience; some comments included:
“It was so much fun! I laughed and smiled the whole time!
“What a great project from all points of view! “
“And to think that this incredible talent was once a clumsy, chubby intern!” “
And this one by Melody Edmiston:
“I don’t know how much I can express my joy to be a part of this event last night. It starts with a dedicated person like Nancy Pappas Barnhart to support programs like Big Picture and an Innovative School District. It takes a community member like Scott schaefer be ready to mentor and be there ten years later when the mentee is ready to fly and could benefit from the support of their big ideas. It takes the vision of people like Catherine Carbone Rogers and Ken rogers to create a warm environment to come together and promote community and big ideas despite a pandemic. Add to that the gift of a good story that no one can sell more than Steve edmiston, a new talented artist to promote and a group of human volunteers who always show up. Always. And they always say yes, let’s do this thing, it will be fun. This, my friends, is magic. It’s a gift I’m so grateful for. Too much to score in this post because I know I’ll forget a few but you guys are the best!
“It was so good to laugh out loud with all of you! “
The producers have promised future screenings of Shickley’s film in the New Year, so stay tuned.
Photos courtesy of Melody Edmiston
To learn more about – and to follow – Shickley, visit: