Stop Requested: a ride few can handle

By Christy Wolyniak, Intern

Abundant Productions is in the process of producing a Seattle-based movie so chilling and magical, even the trailer carries with it a sort of haunting which leaves viewers’ mouths gaping and wanting more.

Actress and producer, Lorraine Montez, first wrote “Stop Requested” as an Oprah or Lifetime show. However, once the script was in the hands of writer and director Ben Andrews and writer Ben James, the film quickly morphed into something for which no one was quite prepared.

“We made it more edgy/thriller – added a little bit of horror to it. We wanted to make it so that it wasn’t predictable at all – so the audience has no clue where we’re going with it until the key moment,” explained Andrews.

Jess is tormented by her past and is no longer living her life. Her choices ultimately affect not only her own destiny, but also that of the world according to Montez. Packed with symbolism from biblically based characters such as Jess (Jesus) and Miriam, the film displays a twisted battle between order and chaos.

“It’s Armageddon on a bus, just not in the format anyone ever thought it would be,” said Andrews.

This metaphysical thriller toys with many different aspects of religion and takes with it a chilling message of how our own choices affect everything.

“It’s her ride. We’re all Jess. We want to have the audience understand this is Jess’ journey: her choices reflect how all of us make choices between order and chaos,” said actress Julianne Christie who plays Miriam, who is sort of a John the Baptist character in the film who attempts to connect to Jess’ spiritual gifts.

Currently, the Abundant Production team is editing the first part of the film and fundraising in order to cover post-production costs. Though the producers have been sucking in their budget, everyone involved in “Stop Requested” maintains positive attitudes regarding the success of the film.

“At some point even in short film, you realize whether you’re wasting your time or not. Pretty quickly on in this one it was clear [“Stop Requested”] was going to be a good product, just by seeing footage and the way [the team was] running the production,” said sound mixer Jason Alberts.

Alberts lives in Ballard and has been doing audio for the film industry for 10 years. He is currently working on the upcoming film, “Grass Roots” which takes place in Seattle.

According to Andrews, the Abundant Production team wanted to create the short film in such a way so that it could function as other mediums such as a television series or feature film. He said they did not want to paint themselves into any corners, but instead keep the film open so that it could evolve further.

“[We not only want to] create a strong process that can be duplicated to help filmmakers produce a high quality product to pitch to investors, we also want to give the independent Seattle film industry a place on the map. Our product will not be the end-all, but it will be a great step saying, we’re here in Seattle and we can make some good films worthy of your attention,” said Stop Requested producer Drew Rillera.

As an independent film, many of the cast and crew of “Stop Requested” have other jobs and must square out time in their week in order to shoot. Though involvement in film may not pay as much as a job in L.A., this Seattle crew is psyched about where the film is going and passionate about their art form.

“Their brilliance that makes me better – I’m not talented, I’m surrounded by talent,” said Andrews of his cast and crew.

“Stop Requested” features Ballard talent, Charissa Adams, who plays young Jess. This will be her fourth or fifth film project in Seattle.

“I enjoy tapping into this aspect of this young girl discovering her power for good. At a young age, she discovered that she had something in herself that can make a difference. I really enjoyed discovering that in myself and bringing it to the film,” said Adams.

The eeriness of the film might very well shake up an audience and send them hunting for blankets and warm comedies. For the few who can handle it, “Stop Requested” is one ride that will leave people spinning.

“[This film] gets a hold of you, and you give each other a kiss and go, oh you too? It gets a hold of you like a good film should,” said Christie.

The final shooting of the film will take place in September. Everyone involved seems giddy with excitement as one scene in a bus tunnel may be withholding a space in time that no one has ever experienced until now.

“That [final] scene is completely epic. 50 extras freeze in time while two gods walk among them discussing how they’re playing with mortals,” said Andrews.

Other mentionable crew include motion picture writer/director and visual effects artist, Tim Everitt who has worked on films “Pirates of the Caribbean III”, “Collateral Damage” and others, director of photography, Connor Hair, and Emmy award-winning makeup artist, Brian Sipe.

Abundant Productions will be hosting an event called Club Show Down – Prince vs. Michael Jackson at the Knights of Columbus in Seattle Friday, July 29. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. There will also be a kickstarter campaign to raise additional funds online by next week. For more information visit abundantproductions.biz.

View the trailer, here: www.vimeo.com/25741513.

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