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December 27, 2010 at 3:21pm

Movie buzz: "Welcome to Parkland"

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SMILE, PARKLAND, YOU'RE ON CAMERA >>>

Inspiration comes largely from observation, from noticing the unique in the mundane. The seed of an idea may come from a book, a building's architecture  or, in actor-turned-director Mick Flaaen's case, two people outside Northern Pacific Coffee Company near Pacific Lutheran University.

And voilà - Flaaen's first short film Welcome to Parkland.

Flaaen got his start in front of the camera over 30 years ago at Lee Strasberg's famed Theatre and Film Institute in L.A., under the tutelage of Elia Kazan's daughter. Now a SAG actor, he lives with his family in Parkland, dabbles in local theater and next year will receive one of the last video production degrees from Clover Park Technical College's dissolving program.

Last year Flaaen attended the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and after gorging on a weeklong buffet of several hundred shorts, he and Parkland producer Steffen Hauglum resolved to make their own. Flaaen based his dramatic script on conversations his two friends shared during regular visits to the Garfield Street coffeehouse. The friends play versions of themselves in the film, with first-time actress Kim Whalen as a carefree woman suddenly coping with her dad's need for a kidney transplant. Shooting with a snazzy Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the director and his cameraman, Bob Potasky, had good reason to keep things local.

"My whole thing (as a filmmaker) is to remain true to where I'm from," says Flaaen.

WTP is undergoing some finishing touches, and then, according to Flaaen, it'll be off to the festival circuit to give distant audiences another peak into life on our small piece of the map.

Check out the trailer here.

Filed under: Arts, Spanaway, Tacoma, Screens,

Comments for "Movie buzz: "Welcome to Parkland"" (1)

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Shirmin Apparicio said on Dec. 28, 2010 at 4:59pm

M. Flaaen, congratulations are in order...I can proudly say I knew you when we were in the same 'Acting Class'...(Looong time ago),I love when people follow through with their dreams. WTP, could very well be the next best Short... On "Film festival circuit to give distant audiences another peak into life on our small piece of the map." I am very happy for you and I do wish you the best...'It's better to have loved..." You've always remained true to where you're from, keep it rolling. Shirmin, your friend.

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