Photo courtesy of Nesib CB Shamah

Sometimes the first plans are the 'Worst Laid Plans'

By: Christy Wolyniak

Ink. It can stain both a person’s skin and their reputation forever, but for two local film artists, it is the theme for a hilarious dark comedy about how plans can get out of hand, messy, and downright lethal.

Mark Jones, screenwriter, actor and co-director for the upcoming film, “Worst Laid Plans,” got a sharp idea while in a tattoo parlor in his native city, New Jersey.

“There were some really good artists there. It was not your typical Seattle shop for sure, but a little bit of a wild, wild east,” said co-director and producer, and Ballard resident for the last eight years, Nesib CB Shamah.

Currently in pre-production, “Worst Laid Plans,” follows four friends who get behind in rent and go to great lengths to make a quick killing to defend their beloved tattoo shop from a difficult proprietor.

“The story behind the story is about having friends that you’ve known forever that you probably should never have been friends with in the first place,” said Shamah. “I think that everyone can feel that sort of pain here in Seattle, especially the experience with a difficult landlord to different degrees.”

As former owner of the Columbia City Theater, Shamah tapped into his network of musicians and casted rock quartet Hounds of the Wild Hunt’s lead singer, Nicholas Anderson for the role of Vic. Local actor Tim Gouran stars as Ernie; James Grixoni plays the character of Nick and Jones wrote his own role for the character of Max.

Jones graduated from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing before attending the Seattle Film Institute where he met Shamah. Drawn to somewhat darker scripts, Jones wrote and directed the 2008 slasher-horror film “Spree,” with Shamah as producer. After screening a few film festivals, Brain Damage Productions picked up and distributed the film.

Now the two artists are rolling up their sleeves for a packed month of shooting for what they believe to be their biggest project yet. The former Top Tattoo parlor off 200th and Aurora Avenue will have a shot to feel ink in its veins once more as the “Worst Laid Plans” crew etches out its humorous narrative.

“There’s a rhythm to the language in the script, and I’m excited to see how that plays out,” said Shamah.

Expounding upon a punk mentality, Shamah describes his film as having deep roots – a Marx Brothers kind of shlubb-against-authority-type of comedy.

Centralized in Shoreline, the group of filmmakers will shine the spotlight on Seattle’s Rat City Roller Girl’s practice nest and Everett Auto Wrecking, which was also featured in Macklemore’s music video, “White Walls.”

Previous work includes music documentaries “Welcome to Doe Bay” and “Lemolo: A Beautiful Night,” for which Shamah co-directed and co-produced as well as the web series “This Week at Columbia City.”

“I’m really excited to release this thing that we created all in Seattle and to see what kind of reaction we get with it being a different kind of comedy,” said Shamah.

The film will be directed and produced by Creative Differences for an expected fall 2014 release– the same team responsible for the Emmy-Award nominated “Welcome to Doe Bay.”

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