Clinton brings ‘The Contract’ to Homer audience

• Film debuts Dec. 23 at the Homer Theatre

By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune

HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - Clinton Edminster, the new face of cinematography.

HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - Clinton Edminster, the new face of cinematography.

A film made in Homer by anyone from the Outside would likely include breath-taking beach scenes, glacier-laden mountains, or the lapping of moody waves on Kachemak Bay shores.
But that isn’t what Clinton Edminster sees.
The young man – raised in Homer – isn’t looking at his community with a tourist’s appreciation. Edminster said he notices things like an unfinished stair constructed in a warehouse, the odd and lonely roadside scene along a narrow segment of East End Road, or how the lights broadcast from the Save U More store.
Elements such as these provide the backdrop for a movie 19-year-old Edminster wrote and filmed in collaboration with several other talented Homer artists. Entitled, “The Contract: An Allegory of Love and Respect,” will debut to the public at 1 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Homer Theatre. Edminster said the short film was shot entirely in Homer, with local actors.
Oceana Wills, Ken Landfield, Ethan Martin, Nikki Ervice and Dan Westerburg lent their thespian talents to the production, while Tom Taffe acted as executive producer. Jake Schmutzler was director of photography, Clara Noomah was the unit production manager and Hunter Multz-Matthews was the producer.
Edminster said he based the project on a script he wrote during some downtime on his dad’s fishing boat. Edminster fished with his dad in False Pass two summers ago aboard their boat, the F/V Restless.
“The script took two years and a lot of help,” Edminster said. “And while things went wrong so many times, if it had been easy, I probably wouldn’t have learned as much.”
Edminster said the plot deals with a botched murder contract that a girl (Wills) puts out on her dad (Westerburg.) In scenes that required blood, Edminster said he and his crew improvised with soy sauce and ketchup.
“That creates an awful smell I hope I never have to experience again,” he said.
Since the film is short – lasting 20 minutes – it won’t be fair to let out too much of the plot. But Homer places selected for many scenes may surprise the audience – and that Ken Landfield makes a really interesting attorney.
Edminster is a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, pursuing a degree in computer animation. He attended Homer schools, and spent his final year of high school at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in the San Bernadino area. He graduated from there in 2009.
Much of the filming for Edminster’s movie was completed in the summertime in Homer, with editing and other work done during the winter months. And with artists working together from various places around the country, some of the work was completed long distance between Edminster, Noomah and Schmutzler using Mac programs and talking online.
Edminster said – at one point – an entire scene was accidently deleted from the computer and needed to be re-shot.
“When that happened, I thought ‘Oh no, I’m not going to be able to finish the film,’” he explained. “But the second filming of it turned out even better.”
Noomah, who spoke from her dorm at Williams College in Massachusetts, said a lot more goes into producing film than what people might think – including some rather detailed logistics during each stage of the process. She and Edminster began making movies after she had roped him into a project while they were in the eighth grade.
“Then he called me out of the blue two years ago and asked if I would like to help him make this movie,” she said. “I made sure the actors had what they needed and made sure they had all the props. I carried a lot of things around in my car, which was pretty much a costume box.”
One of the scenes required filming at Petro Express at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night, which required coordination between all of them and their summer jobs.
“I enjoy working with Jake and Clinton because they have these grand, sweeping visions,” Noomah said. “But, in reality, it takes a lot more work to make those visions happen. I enjoyed being the one to keep it organized.”
Edminster will speak at the beginning of the film to introduce it and answer audience questions.

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Posted by on Dec 16th, 2009 and filed under Feature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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