Thursday, July 8, 2010

Steeltown Film Factory Contestants Weigh in with Independent Production

Steeltown Film Factory Contestants Weigh in with Independent Production

(July 08, 2010) Lightweight, the short screenplay by Randy Kovitz and Deborah Hosking that was a finalist in the Steeltown Film Factory screenwriting competition, is being produced and will be shot this summer – despite not having won the competition.
The Lawrenceville couple and their script made it through three rounds of readings, pitches and presentations in the Steeltown competition, but were not chosen for the final prize. 

The script had struck a chord with many readers and followers of the competition, however, and a number of them expressed disappointment at the news. In the weeks following the announcement, friends, actors and fellow filmmakers rallied to make the project possible.
A Pittsburgh Powerhouse!
The LIGHTWEIGHT production team is a veritable who’s who of Pittsburgh filmmaking, starting with local entertainment industry veterans Jim Rogal and Lori Cardille, as LIGHWEIGHT’s Executive Producers. Rogal’s credits include a number of Emmys and other prestigious awards; Cardille is best known for her lead role in George Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD, and her role on the television daytime drama THE EDGE OF NIGHT. She will be appearing in LIGHTWEIGHT as well.
Director Randy Kovitz also appeared in Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD and KNIGHTRIDERS, and a host of television, film and stage productions since. Kovitz has produced his own band and one-person stage shows, and this is his second short film. He has a small role in the production.
Adrienne Wehr and Mark Knobil bring their vast, award-winning experience and enthusiasm to LIGHTWEIGHT as Producer and Director of Photography. The pair have worked as a team before, on the award-winning Pittsburgh indie favorite THE BREAD, MY SWEET and on numerous MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD episodes. Wehr, whose recent film acting credits include WARRIOR, UNSTOPPABLE, RIDDLE, and GEORGE ROMERO PRESENTS DEADTIME STORIES, will also perform in LIGHTWEIGHT. Wehr was a judge in the first round of judging in the Steeltown competition.
“This wonderful screenplay was screaming to be produced and I am honored to dust off my producer’s cap to help make that happen—in true indie fashion—right here in Pittsburgh with such a stellar team”, says Wehr.
Steeltown panelists Heide Waldbaum, Lisa Smith and Janet Smith are also on the LIGHTWEIGHT team. Each boasts an impressive industry pedigree and bring a wealth of expertise to the production. Waldbaum’s last LA production before returning to Pittsburgh was as the virtual EFX production manager on James Cameron’s blockbuster AVATAR.
Waldbaum says, “Why LIGHTWEIGHT…. Hmm, let’s see, a young single woman moves back to her native town of Pittsburgh after living a successful, established life in New York City, only to find herself questioning her choices and recent change of events, particularly location? These questions arise just as she rises – floats – wondering how she ended up here and where she is headed. A familiar personal and relevant story, with one geographical difference, New York equals Los Angeles in my “E! True Pittsburgh Story”, and so it continues in a parallel fictitious short film called LIGHTWEIGHT.”

Kristen Schaeffer, co-creator and producer of the NEIGHBORHOOD NARRATIVES film series, will be Post Production Supervisor. Visual artist Deborah Hosking is Production Designer.
Starring: Polish Hill
Pittsburgh itself has a starring role in LIGHTWEIGHT, with Polish Hill taking the lead. While Pittsburgh often doubles as other cities in films, in this film the city plays itself, taking advantage of spectacular views, monumental churches and local residential traditions and quirks.
The rest of the cast is equally impressive. New York-based actress Kate Rogal, with credits including THE SOPRANOS, LAW AND ORDER and THE KILL POINT, returns to her native Pittsburgh to play the lead role, Elizabeth. Her real-life boyfriend Dana Ashbrook is joining her here as boyfriend Rich. Ashbrook’s screen credits are numerous and include the role of Bobby Briggs on TWIN PEAKS.
Rogal enthuses, “Wow! I’m so excited to be working with everybody that I love and in a city that I adore! Go Steelers!”

Another New York-based actor is returning to the city of his alma mater for a role in LIGHTWEIGHT: Will Brill is taking time away from David Cromer’s OUR TOWN to inhabit Byron.
Pittsburgh theatre actors Lisa Ann Goldsmith, David Flick, Jonathan Berry and Lissa Brennan are among LIGHTWEIGHT cast members, joining Kovitz, Cardille, and Wehr in this new Pittsburgh-made indie destined for global export.
LIGHTWEIGHT begins production this weekend, on Saturday, July 10, and the shoot contunues through Friday, July 16th.


The Pittsburgh Art Blog

pittsburgh galleries is reborn anew as The Pittsburgh Art Blog. the blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20, 2007.pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh art advocate rick byerly,