Monday, November 30, 2009

Barrow

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lapse in posts. We checked out for a few days to give ourselves the time and focus needed to chow down in full relaxation mode over the holiday.

Things in Barrow went well. It was snowy, not too cold most days, and fairly dark with lots of beautiful frost covering every angle of every surface. We have our fingers crossed that we might get some similarly cool-looking conditions during our shoot.





Couldn't get a great shot of this because the light was so even, but if you look closely you can see that people have written their names in the snow on the fence.



Here's a shot over the lagoon from the Barrow side of Barrow looking over to the Browerville side. Once it's been cold enough for long enough, you can snowmobile and walk over the lagoon, but you have to make sure it's fully frozen.



These pictures were taken at around 2pm so the brightest part of the day had gone by. Even though the sun doesn't rise at this time of year, it does get closer to the horizon and brighten the sky to a dusky or late afternoonish kind of light.

In terms of casting we managed to meet a bunch of talented great people. Thanks to all those who came out to meet us! Here's a short video of our new friend Bucky at KBRW who helped us get the word out with flare. Thanks for all the support Bucky!

video

While we did meet lots of excellent people in Barrow, we didn't go away feeling we had met everyone we'd hoped to, so we're planning to try to get back up there. If things go our way we will make it back to Anchorage and Barrow for further auditions in both places in December. I will be sure to post the details of our next trip as soon as possible. We are hoping to solidify our plans very soon.

If you are someone who missed your chance to audition in Barrow or Anchorage, please check this blog and/or join our Facebook group so you don't miss your second chance! Our Facebook group is called "On the Ice" and you can get to it by clicking "Join our Facebook group" on our website: www.ontheicethemovie.com


Still on the topic of radio...for those of you not from Alaska, here's a quick clip of the birthday program that happens every day on KBRW. It's a half-hour daily show where people can call in and wish their friends and loved ones a happy birthday or anniversary. This clip happened to be on Andrew's cousin Byron's 14th anniversary with his wife Doreen!

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Finally making it to Barrow was a real treat. For Andrew obviously it was coming home, but for me too after all these years visiting Barrow and making films there, I felt a sense of relief when we got off the plane. It felt like a hard-earned reward after all our weeks on the road.

As we expected this trip was on one level about finding actors, but it was also about building our community across the state and in Canada. We met incredibly supportive, positive, artistic community members in every location and we are truly grateful to everyone who helped us along the way. In Barrow specifically, we'd like to extend our special thanks to everyone at the Heritage Center (Kathy, Patuk, Kristy, Debbie); Audrey Saganna; and Principal Jeff Theilbar at the Barrow High School, for your help throughout our Barrow auditions.

That's all for now. Check back soon for more from our trip and updates about our upcoming travel to Anchorage and Barrow for our second round of auditions in each location. If you missed your first chance to audition, don't be shy! We'd love to meet you later in December!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barrow Auditions

Auditions in Barrow start Thursday the 19th and go until Sunday the 22nd! Hope to see you there!

All auditions will be held at the Heritage Center

Thursday, November 19th -- 6-9pm
Friday, November 20th -- 6-9pm
Saturday, November 21st -- 1-4pm
Sunday, November 22nd -- 1-4pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but the sooner you can come the better. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back again on Monday or Tuesday to call-back auditions. If you come Thursday or Friday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet any Iñupiaq people who would like to audition, but you must be at least 16 years of age. All roles are Iñupiaq and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are looking for men and women of all ages! There are lots of parts small and large that we are hoping to find people for! Everyone should come even if you're only interested in a non-speaking role!

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Thanks Fairbanks!

What a great turn-out we had today. Thank you to the many students who braved the cold and came out to give it a shot. Thanks also to Ron Brower and everyone at the Alaska Native Language Center for helping us promote the auditions in their classrooms.

An extra special thanks to our incredibly generous and hard-working new friend Maya Salganek at UAF! Best of luck with all your great projects-- film, theatre and most of all Keet! For the record, you make very tasty salmon. Also, thank you to Cindy Schumacher and Jason Ferris at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center for your help with our downtown auditions.

More from Barrow later this week...

Monday, November 16, 2009

One more chance to audition in Fairbanks

We've added another chance for everyone in Fairbanks to audition last minute. Here are the details:

Monday, November 16th
2-4:30pm
UAF Wood Center
Conference Room A


We haven't met enough of UAF's talented Inuit students! We are sure there are more people on campus interested in trying out, so don't miss your chance. We'd love to meet you! Email me if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Point Hope

Our visit to Point Hope was excellent after a few bumps in the road. Andrew managed to get a severe case of food poisoning in Kotzebue from a Bayside chicken bacon melt the night before we were both supposed to fly to Point Hope. Sparing you the very gory details, I flew to Point Hope on my own the next morning to get things set up and Andrew holed up close to a bathroom in Kotzebue. A day too late, we found out the word around town is never order anything with bacon from Bayside. Andrew concurs.

Auditions were light the first night in Point Hope, but with the help of several kind people around town (Ramona at the high school and Art Othniel Oomittuk) we ended up meeting over 30 people all told. Although the weather wasn't the best for sight-seeing or photos, the village is very picturesque and the people couldn't have been friendlier. Thanks to everyone there for supporting us, especially Rex and Emma at the Tikigaq Corporation for letting us use their conference room.

Last Tuesday we were stuck in Point Hope because of bad weather in the Kotzebue/Nome area and we woke up the next day hoping to make it out on the morning flight. Unfortunately, the storm had gotten worse south of Point Hope where all our flights originated so everything was canceled on all the airlines. Through the grapevine we did hear about a Shell Oil charter flight from Barrow that was dropping off a bunch of people late morning. After talking with the intrepid Bessie Kowunna, we managed to arrange hitching a ride on that plane. Coincidentally, the charter was leaving Point Hope to stop in Galena and then head on to Fairbanks, which worked really well for us. Our flights from Kotzebue>Nome>Anchorage>Fairbanks had all been canceled so getting us straight to Fairbanks and avoiding the heart of the storm was ideal. Bessie seemed confident the pilot could land but the winds were pretty intense so we were doubtful. Here's a little footage of Andrew driving out to the runway following Bessie and me in the pick-up in front of him.



video

We're kicking ourselves now because we didn't film the impressive landing in the white-out. The pilot explained that because it was blowing snow it was fine to land, but if it had been foggy he couldn't have. The bizarre thing was that once we got a couple hundred feet up, the visibility was pretty much clear above the wind. Here's a little footage of me unloading our bags from Bessie's pick-up just after the plane landed.


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It's hard to get the feel of the weather without the sound of the wind, but here's our take-off.

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So we're safe and sound now in Fairbanks. Things have been slower here than we expected, but still good. We have call-backs here tomorrow and then we head up to Barrow on Tuesday. Can't wait.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fairbanks Audition Info

The Fairbanks auditions will take place this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 13th
6-9pm
Morris Thompson Cultural Center
101 Dunkel Street
(across from the Tanana Chiefs Office Building)


Saturday, November 14th
1-4pm
UAF Fine Arts Building
Theatre Green Room

Sunday, November 15th
1-4pm
Morris Thompson Cultural Center
101 Dunkel Street
(across from the Tanana Chiefs Office Building)


You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Friday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Sunday or Monday as well. If you come Friday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

If you are traveling from a distance and can't make it Friday, please make an effort to come Saturday. We plan to do our call-backs on Monday evening for Fairbanks residents. If you are called back and can stay until Monday evening that is preferable, but if that is not possible because you are from out of town, we will do our best to accommodate you. We may consider adding a call-back session on Sunday evening.

We are hoping to meet anyone ages 17 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Anchorage canceled

Unfortunately, due to bad weather in the Kotzebue area, we are unable to make it to Anchorage today in time to run auditions. Our flights have all been canceled and we are still in Point Hope.

Fingers crossed, but I think we're hitching a ride with a charter flight that is coming in shortly. We'll be flying with them straight to Fairbanks so our Fairbanks auditions should move forward as scheduled, beginning this Friday.

Our apologies to everyone who was planning to come to our additional day of auditions in Anchorage. We are going to try to get back to Anchorage at some point, but we are not sure when that might happen.

Email me if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stuck in Point Hope

For those planning to come to the extra day of Anchorage auditions tomorrow, November 11th...

Our flight out of Point Hope today was canceled because of the stormy weather, so we are hoping to make it to Kotzebue tomorrow morning. Then the earliest flight available from Kotz gets us into Anchorage at 4:28 so we'll come straight over to the gallery from the airport.


Sorry for any inconvenience it may cause you. We hope to be there as close to 4:30 as possible, but it may be more like 5pm.

More Anchorage auditions

We've decided to squeeze in another night of open call auditions in Anchorage. We've received many emails from people who missed the initial audition period, so for all of you out there who still want to come and try out, this is your chance. Here are the details:

Wednesday, November 11th
International Gallery of Contemporary Art
427 D Street (by the corner of 4th Ave.)
5-6:30pm

All Inuit cast -- 17-70 years old
www.ontheicethemovie.com

Also, if you know other people who wanted to audition, please spread the word!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Point Hope Audition Info

All Point Hope auditions will take place at the Tikigaq Corporation Offices. Here are the times:

Sunday, November 8th -- 5-7pm
Monday, November 9th -- 6-9pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Sunday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Monday as well. If you come Sunday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet anyone ages 17 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nome to Shishmaref to Kotzebue

We left Nome last Sunday after having had a fantastic casting process there. We met a lot of very talented people. Nome showed up! Aarigaaaa Nome! Our most sincere thanks go out to everyone at the Nome Native Arts Center, especially Lisa Ellanna, Wilma Osborne and our friend Marilyn Koezuna-Irelan for all their enthusiasm and hands-on support. Your generosity and positivity are inspiring and infectious. Thank you! For those that know Marilyn here's a great picture of her and her adorable granddaughter Owaluk.



We felt lucky to get the chance to get back to Shishmaref. Andrew and I were there in the summer of 2008 researching a documentary on the environmental issues Shishmaref is facing (erosion, high water, and intense storms related to climate change). This time we got to see what Shishmaref is like in the fall with a real snap of Arctic cold (20 below before wind chill) and some snow on the ground. Chilly and beautiful.

We were able to visit with some old friends and meet a bunch of talented people from the community excited about On the Ice. Shishmaref is a small village of about 800 so we got the word out pretty quickly on the local scanner. For those who don't know, this is what it looks like:







We did the casting at the Shishmaref school and the IRA Friendship Center. Here's a pic of us in the middle of a casting session in the school's carving room.



There are no restaurants in Shishmaref so we did a fair amount of cooking in our very simple kitchen.



We stayed in a trailer with no running water, but we were able to pull together some tasty meals with the help of our friend Dennis. Dennis has a very creative flair when it comes to cooking, and one night he invented a new Eskimo classic we'd thought you'd get a kick out of. Here's a quick video of how to make "reindeer tartare." (Sorry about the weird squashed proportion, still figuring out how to use Compressor.)


video

Thanks to everyone at the IRA and at the Shishmaref School, in particular Fred Eningowuk and Principal Steve Sammons respectively.

We're in Kotzebue now and already feel right at home. The incredibly warm and welcoming Maija Lukin and Corina Kramer are helping us get the word out with gusto. These ladies know how to rally the troops. I'll write more soon on Kotzebue, but here's my favorite picture so far from just outside the airport.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kotzebue Casting Details

Sorry for the lapse in posts. We have been in Shishmaref with no internet access. I will post a more detailed update soon, but I wanted to get the Kotzebue casting details up here for all those in Kotzebue who are planning to come.

All Kotzebue auditions will take place at the BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB. Here are the times:

Thursday, November 5th -- 6-9pm
Friday, November 6th -- 6-9pm
Saturday, November 7th -- 1-4pm


You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Thursday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Friday or Saturday as well. If you come Thursday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet anyone ages 17 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.