Local production company shoots film on campus

It’s a cold sunday morning at Shoreline. A movie crew sits in the PUB, warming up as they wait
for the camera’s battery to get charged up enough to shoot a final scene on the walkway in front
of the FOSS building.
This is the crew of “Connor,” a feature­length independent film with a cast and crew of current
and former SCC film students. The film has been shot in other areas around Seattle, but there
are some scenes that still need to be filmed on campus over the break.
Aaron Dean, the director of the film, has gone through the Shoreline film program and has been
working on the project since December 2014. Dean is shooting the movie digitally and with film
he acquired for free through personal connections: some came from a friend working for a
media company and the rest from a box that was discovered in a closet at the Northwest Film
“When do I aim to have it out? Ugh. There are a lot of factors that go into that,” Dean says. “I
have enough (money) to develop the film, but not enough to really scan it. I’m hoping summer
it’s going to be out in some degree.”
At the shoot, lead actors Molly Tollefson and Matthew Rush have to run through a scene
several times so the crew could film from a variety of angles and make minor adjustments to the
Tollefson graduated from SCC in 2014 after performing in 13 drama productions. As a starting
out professional actor she has an agent now, but enjoys doing projects with the people she met
at Shoreline. According to Tollefson this film has been in the works for a while with her
Shoreline friends.
“It’s about this guy Connor that’s coming of age and is learning about being an adult and how
much power he has in the world,”Tollefson says. “I play Emily, who has a complicated friends-
with­benefits relationship with him.”
Matthew Rush, who plays Connor, is also a former SCC student/ However, he went on hiatus
after he started getting professional film work. Rush also co­owns a production company called
“Next Floor Entertainment” with two other SCC students, one of whom is also a camera operator
for “Connor.”
“The production has been great, we’ve been doing really well and it’s been a really comfortable
environment so far,” Rush says. “It’s kind of heavy material, so it has been nice to have the crew
as a support blanket to make sure everybody’s comfortable.”
According to Tollefson, the story confronts several current issues, including homophobia, white
privilege and sexism.
“The film is very 2015, it’s not taking place in a vacuum,” Dean says. “It’s on you to be aware of
what you’re putting out there. You can appease an audience and give them what they want, or
you can challenge them and give them what they need.”
Most of the people on the crew of “Connor” met while in acting or film production classes at
SCC. It’s important in the film industry, especially in one as small as the one in Seattle, to get to
know your fellow filmmakers.
“Seattle film is kind of a weird incestuous beast: we all know each other and we’ve all worked
together,” Rush says. “It’s a different than Los Angeles where it’s the Studio system and they
pop out blockbusters. They make great things too, but it’s cool to explicitly work on people’s
passion projects.”
Dean says that filming can be a rewarding experience since all the people he works with are
good friends or have become good friends, but because there’s a lack of big money in Seattle,
it’s a lot of work.
“Making films is ugly, it’s not a fun thing,” Dean says. “People think it is and maybe if you’re on a
set with a bunch of money and everybody has free time to do whatever they want it can be.”
In addition, Dean feels that there is a lack of artistic vision in Seattle and that people here aren’t
aware of the power that cinema can have as an art form.
“Seattle doesn’t know what it wants to be,” Dean says. “It wants to be Hollywood, but it still
wants to retain some kind of faux­liberal individualism, so we just end up making really boring
stuff about white people.”

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