Mullens mural painter
Accessible recreation guide
Following the dream
Cultural Facilities grant awards
Take two: WV Filmmakers Guild rides again
By Sam Holdren
Eighteen filmmakers from various points in West Virginia sit at small tables filling time on a balmy Saturday morning inside Sutton’s Landmark Studio of the Arts. While some who have long been acquainted partake in chitchat, the others wait silently, no doubt curious about their purpose here.
Then West Virginia filmmaker Bob Gates calls the meeting of the West Virginia Filmmakers Guild to order. Just hours after this October 5 meeting, fellow filmmaker and founder of Paradise Film Institute Danny Boyd will remark that “80% of West Virginia filmmaking history was sitting in this room today.”
Founded in 1978, the WVFG began with a group of filmmakers interested in establishing communications between filmmakers and anyone else interested in knowing what resources West Virginia has to offer where film or video is concerned. Since then, the group has sponsored various film projects ranging from Building a Cello With Harold, by current-guild president Bob Gates, to its current sponsorship of The Man Who Stole the Moon, by Morgantown-based filmmaker Chip Hitchcock of WV Public Television, who also received a $10,000 WV Commission on the Arts grant for his effort. The WVFG exists to support and promote filmmaking in West Virginia.
According to newly-elected secretary Terry Lively, plans are in the works for a website containing “contacts for members of the guild and links to a variety of film and video-making resources…including actors, scriptwriters, technical service companies, makeup artists, etc.” The guild will meet twice a year to conduct workshops, view and critique works-in-progress, and network, which remains a key activity in getting film and video projects accomplished in the Mountain State.
For the past few years, the WVFG has faced logical challenges in keeping its organization together: Members who relocated, members who fell on busy times, and the lack of youth assuming the reins for a maturing organization. Indeed, the youngest attendee of the October guild meeting was 23. However, the WVFG aims to return to its roots while infusing itself with a new interest and excitement that Gates hopes will “see it become a viable economic enterprise within this state.”
Membership is open to the public. Annual dues are $5 for students, $15 for other individuals and $25 for organizations. For more information or membership applications, please write to board member Kevin Carpenter at 92 South Stonewall Street, Sutton, WV 26601, or e-mail email@example.com.