Arts and Entertainment

Filmmakers seek Whidbey help

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A group of Los Angeles filmmakers who are gearing up for production of a motion picture filmed on Whidbey Island in September are looking for businesses and community members who are willing to donate goods or services toward the project.

Joseph Itaya, director and one of four producers for “Lost & Found,” said support from the Whidbey Island community can go a long way toward keeping costs down for their independent film. And he’s hoping that locals excited about the movie will want to help.

Itaya, a 1996 graduate of South Whidbey High School, wrote the screenplay for the children’s adventure that is slated to be filmed exclusively on Whidbey Island. Coupeville will be a focal point of the shooting, including Fort Casey. North Whidbey also is targeted to appear in the film, including Cornet Bay.

To help with the project, the wish list ranges from flat-bed trailers to golf carts to vehicles that will appear in the movie.

Other needs include motor homes, box vans and catering services.

“People love to get involved (with a movie),” said Scott Fraser, owner of Frasers Gourmet Hideaway restaurant in Oak Harbor. “If there’s a chance to help, I’m sure people will.”

Washington Filmworks is partially funding the film. The production also is getting public donations through an online platform known as Kickstarter designed to help raise money for creative projects.

As of Tuesday, more than $3,500 from 26 people had been pledged to support “Lost & Found” at www.kickstarter.com. The minimum pledge is $1.

Scott Bridges, one of the film’s producers, said “star housing” is an area in which they are seeking support. Not only will the production need campers or motorhomes on location for actors but overnight accommodations as well.

He said he is hoping a bed and breakfast on the island might be able to help.

Itaya said some notable actors are being targeted for the film, which centers around the relationship and encounters of two brothers ages 11 and 15 spending a summer at their uncle’s cabin on a remote island. The brothers uncover secrets about their grandfather’s lost fortune, then encounter trouble from others as they try to unravel the past.

“Lost & Found” was a finalist for “best dramatic screenplay” at the 2013 International Family Film Festival. Jack Epps Jr., screenwriter for “Top Gun,” among other films, wrote that the work is “destined to be an instant classic and a must-see family film.”

Itaya said at some point there will be a call for extras to give the movie a more “authentic” Whidbey Island feel.

Bridges, who has acted in some films, said he’s hoping that a local construction company might be able to sponsor a temporary base camp for the movie.

He said security guards will be needed to watch the base camp.

Another important need, he said, will be production assistants who are “excited about the film business and willing to learn and work long hours.”

Itaya said a fundraising event is being planned for late August on Whidbey Island. The film is expected to begin production in September and could go on for six-to-eight weeks.

For more information about getting involved in the project, go to www.lostandfoundmovie.net, or send an email to contact@lostandfoundmovie.net

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