Tuesday, September 9, 2008

'Elevation' to screen at NHFF

Roundtable Pictures is proud to announce that its short film, “Elevation”, has been named an official selection of the 8th annual New Hampshire Film Festival.

Roundtable Pictures, based in Rollinsford, NH, was founded by filmmakers Mike Gillis and Lars Trodson in 2007. “Elevation” is the third film collaboration between Gillis and Trodson that has been selected as an official entry of the NHFF. Previous selections include “The Listeners”, which won Best Short Drama in 2005, and the ambitious musical comedy “A Bootful of Fish” in 2006.

The NHFF is scheduled to begin Oct. 16 at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

“‘Elevation’ represents everything that Lars and I have tried to learn about filmmaking over the past three years. We wanted to create not only a great piece of cinema, but also we wanted to bring to life vivid characters with great dialogue,” said Gillis. “We wanted this to be as much about storytelling on film as it is about the characters within the movie itself, and it’s great to receive the validation from the NHFF that we succeeded on a very high level.”

“Elevation” stars Lisa Stathoplos and Gregg Trzaskowski, who starred in the Trodson scripted feature-length film “Family Trees” more than a decade ago. “Family Trees” was an official selection of the very first New Hampshire Film Expo ( as it was called then) back in 2001. Stathoplos and Trzaskowski are two of the region’s most highly respected actors, and they have each worked in film, television, commercials and stage for more than 20 years.

The film chronicles a brief but tense and revealing conversation between a worker named Scott (Trzaskowski) and his supervisor Natalie (Stathoplos) about whether or not Scott deserves a raise. The film raises emotional and even spiritual questions about the responsibilities we have to each other in and out of work.

“We’re especially proud of the selection by the NHFF because this film was made by four primary contributors. That is not a fictional number. This film was conceived, written, directed, acted, set-designed, costumed, financed and edited by four of us,” said Trodson. “To honor that process, we think we’ve done something unusual, but which is also a gesture of the true nature of independent film. While each of us made individual contributions, the credits at the end of the film simply read: ‘A film by Mike Gillis, Lisa Stathoplos, Lars Trodson and Gregg Trzaskowski.' That’s it.”

Trodson said “there was little point in parsing out individual credits, because if one of us was not able to put in an equal amount of time and effort to make the film, ‘Elevation’ wouldn’t have been made. We wanted to honor that.”

Gillis also pointed out that nothing in the film, from the sound design, to the artwork within the film itself, to the way the film was photographed (the camera never moves within a specific shot), to the content of the ending credits and even the font used for the titles, was left to chance.

“Everything here was thought through,” said Gillis, “And what we hope you see on screen is a film that, although brief, will give an audience the kind of emotional satisfaction that any real movie is supposed to provide.”

The dates and times of the 2008 New Hampshire Film Festival have not yet been announced.

Roundtable Pictures has started submitting "Elevation" to festivals worldwide.

Stay tuned for more on "Elevation."