Lab Finalist Team, Tracy Rector and Lou Karsen. (Photos courtesy of Philip Eichner.)

Washington Filmworks staff, Board and jury members spent last Friday hearing pitches from five applicants, selected as finalists for the inaugural innovation cycle of the Filmworks Innovation Lab. The Lab is Washington Filmworks’ newest funding assistance program. The Board may allocate up to $175,000 in funding assistance in this cycle, which was designed to support Washington filmmakers using new forms of production and emerging technologies.


Lab Finalist Team, Scott Schaefer and Steve Edmiston.

The day was filled with passionate presentations, thoughtful deliberation, and a well-deserved reception. Please save the date to join us Saturday, June 8 when Washington Filmworks will officially announce the outcome of the Lab at a program at the Seattle International Film Festival. Don’t miss this chance to acknowledge the achievements of the finalists and celebrate with the funding assistance recipients when the results are revealed!


Lab Finalist Team, Webster Crowell and Alycia Delmore.

For this cycle of the Lab, Washington Filmworks worked with a jury of industry experts, representing all facets of motion picture production, multiplatform storytelling, and emerging entertainment models. Serving on the jury were Kraig Baker, Jane Charles, Scott Macklin and Matt Vancil. All jury members share a deep understanding of the business of film in Washington State.


Lab Finalist Team, Kevin Maude and Graeme Lowry.

The jury selected finalists from a pool of quality applications and spent significant time evaluating proposals against program selection criteria, considering the creative merits of the projects, the potential for new revenue models, and getting to know the applicants. Thank you to our remarkable jury for all their hard work. Their dedication to the evolution of motion picture storytelling in Washington State is to be applauded.


Lab Finalist, Lacey Leavitt.


Meet the Innovation Cycle jury for the Filmworks Innovation Lab


Camera Shy, Lab Juror, Kraig Baker

Kraig Baker is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, where he serves as the Chair of the firm’s Technology, Advertising, Trademark, and Entertainment practice. Kraig focuses on advising clients and providing assistance with licensing transactions across the full range of issues in media, entertainment, technology, sports, advertising, privacy, social media, and Internet matters, with a particular emphasis on mobile, digital media and entertainment. Kraig has served as production counsel for a number of film, television, web, and live productions.  He is also an adjunct professor to the Masters in Digital Media Program in the School of Communications at the University of Washington, where he has taught classes on “Digital Media Law and Policy” since 2001 and teaches the law section of the Advanced Interactive Marketing, Social Media, and Digital Publishing certificate programs at the University of Washington. Kraig also serves on the Board of Directors for the Seattle International Film Festival.


Lab Juror, Jane Charles

Jane Charles is an award-winning producer, with 20+ years in the film industry. As a respected member of the Vancouver BC film industry, Jane worked in production on shows 21 Jump Street, Booker, Wise Guy, Neon Rider and the feature films Bird On A Wire, Run, and Pure Luck, as well as several TV movies. She has also produced television commercials, television shows and music videos for Sting, Harry Connick Jr and Our Lady Peace. She was Executive Producer at Apple Box Productions (1996 – 2002) and Run Spot Run Films (2002 – 2007) before relocating to Seattle, WA. Since 2008, Jane has been a catalyst in the Seattle, Washington film industry. Her local Seattle credits include MTV’s $5 Cover Seattle, Fat Kid Rules The World, All I Want Is Christmas, and Grassroots. Jane is currently producing & guiding post-production on Sold, a film based on the best-selling novel by Patricia McCormick, with Oscar & Emmy-winning director Jeffrey Brown and Executive Producer Emma Thompson.

Not Pictured, Lab Juror, Scott Macklin

Camera Shy, Lab Juror, Scott Macklin

Scott Macklin is the Associate Director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) program at the UW. Scott seeks to create a rich infrastructure that supports innovation and collaboration through participatory media and community engagement. Scott was the curator of TEDx Seattle, Chair of the Seattle Next 50 Story Runs through It community film celebration, serves on the Advisory Board of the Head Start Center for Inclusion and on Board of the South African NGO Saving our Schools and Community (SOSAC). Scott is an award winning author, filmmaker and the Executive Producer the Four Peaks TV program – a monthly series that features interviews with leading media and technology visionaries. Scott uses social media as a powerful tool for learning and building meaningful relationships that create opportunities to engage in acts of social justice.


Lab Juror, Matt Vancil

Matt Vancil is a writer, director, and creative producer based in Seattle. He is the writer and director of The Gamers movie series and the creator of the web series JourneyQuest. His work has screened at film festivals and conventions worldwide, sold tens of thousands of DVDs, sparked a role playing game, and been viewed over 4 million times on YouTube. In 2012, The Gamers: Hands of Fate, was the first feature to eclipse $400,000 on Kickstarter and broke Kickstarter’s funding record for a film or video project at the time. Matt has worked professionally across multiple platforms of narrative media, including features, television, and web series; hand drawn, rotoscoped, and computer generated animation; video games and pen and paper role playing games; and live interactive events.