A Seattle director is asking for community support to raise money to complete his film about one of the most violent incidents in Capitol Hill’s history. Filmmaker Jagger Gravning says his Wallflower film will tell the story of the 2006 Capitol Hill Massacre in an effort to better understand what drove a 28-year-old man to murder six people at an E Republican home before turning a gun on himself:
“Kyle Huff was a very sick person. I don’t want to try and convince people — I’m not trying to say we should have sympathy with Kyle Huff but we should definitely have empathy. Because reaching out and having empathy is how we are going to prevent things like that from happening in the future.”
This March 25th marked the five year anniversary of the incident.
The Seattle-based Gravning is raising funds for Wallflower via the Kickstarter Web site. The production has currently raised a little more than $3,500 of its $10,000 goal. As is typical of Kickstarter projects, donors that give at certain levels receive special recognition from the filmmakers. For example, a pledge of $250 or more nets a donor “The LOGO/GRAPHIC of your BUSINESS or the CHARITY of your choice will be shown in the ending credits of the film.”
The movie project was first reported by the Whitefish Pilot in Huff’s Idaho hometown.
In a conversation Wednesday night, Gravning told CHS he’s aware his project will be controversial but that his intention is to make a film that documents Huff’s spiraling depression, withdrawal and eventual fixation with the people he killed. “If there is a backlash, I think it’s misplaced,” Gravning said. “I’m literally trying to make a film about what happened with Kyle Huff.”
In 2006, Gravning was in Seattle at the time of the murders but he says he didn’t immediately feel the need to create a film about Huff. He says he knew one person who was killed and one of the survivors — but that’s not what has driven him to create the movie. “This was not some great mystery,” Gravning said. “It’s very important to take this example and learn. Mass shootings are predictable and preventable — we can see people in our lives who are suffering depression and withdrawing.”
Gravning, whose experience thus far has been limited to short and experimental films, acknowledges that he’s picked a challenging subject matter to make his start with. “Making a film is a hard thing to do. This makes it even harder. But I’m certain I have to do this film.”
Here is a project video and description of Wallflower from the Kickstarter page:
Frustrated by his own relatively unsuccessful life, Kyle Huff searched for purpose by stalking Seattle’s rave scene, whose licentious lifestyle and exuberant sexuality both fascinated and repulsed him.
Eventually Kyle unleashed his pent-up emotions in a shocking and suicidal last stand.
Although he committed a monstrous act, there was a man within the monster much like many other lonely and confused young men.
Our aim is to accurately portray Kyle’s emotional downfall. This tragedy must no longer be regarded simply as a mystery as was so often portrayed in the popular media.
It is important to understand Kyle Huff and the emotional well that ran so deep he was willing die in order to murder half a dozen others.
Thank you for your support of this important feature film based on true events. Remember, not a single dollar will be taken unless we reach our fundraising goal, which will allow the project to move forward.
You have the power to make this happen! Every dollar counts!!