CHS catches the occasional indie film crew in our neck of the woods but starting soon, you’ll see a Hill-raised performer begin the process of taking his stage comedy to the silver screen after a successful crowdsourcing campaign.
Matt Smith, creator of “My Last Year with Nuns,” an autobiographical play based around his 8th grade Catholic school experiences circa 1966 on Capitol Hill, will soon star in an independent film based on the story. The production shouldn’t be hard to find.
“The public face of Capitol Hill (the churches, houses, and streets) as well as its back alleys and empty lots will frame and illustrate the lives of young Matt and his friends,” according to a release. Raised on Capitol Hill, Smith attended St Joseph’s Elementary, the setting for his monologue “comedy grounded in his Catholic education, racism, and the joys and horrors that are male adolescence,” according to the press release announcing the production. A snippet of that monologue and film background is scripted in an earlier CHS article.
According to the release:
Smith will play all the parts in the film, from his 8th grade self to the nuns of St. Joseph’s parish to the various kids, some innocent, some dangerously rough, who populated his world. The movie will mix performances shot in front of a live audience with scenes shot on location, adding texture and context to Smith’s vivid tales.
The film crew is currently looking for “1960s-era pictures of Meany Junior High, Seattle Prep, and St. Joseph’s school (ideally with students in the shot),” a July 2 post from the My Last Year With the Nuns Facebook page says. That film crew also contains some familiar faces in the area.
Capitol Hill Housing’s Michael Seiwerath will wrangle a producer role for the film while Bret Fetzer, former theater editor for The Stranger, will direct the nun-disciplined Smith. The rest of the film crew is rounded out by:
Seattle cinematographer Ben Kasulke, recently nominated for a Genius Award by The Stranger, will helm the camera. He is joined by an impressive crew of veteran Northwest artistic talent, including editor Sean Donavan (My Effortless Brilliance, Improvement Club), Production Designer Tania Kupcheck, Sound Mixer Vinny Smith, and Gaffer Kevin Cook.
With local talent in tow, Smith will add to his acting resume which includes a mailman role in “Sleepless in Seattle,” four solo performances and more.
So don’t be alarmed when you see a grown man on Capitol Hill portraying an 8th grade Catholic school student this week, that’s just Smith doing what he does best.
You can keep track of the production at facebook.com/mylastyearwiththenuns