IN THE WORKS. Here’s a bit about what we’re working on.
What about you? What are you doing to move your vision forward? Where can we help?
[wptabs mode="horizontal"][wptabtitle] LINKS & Current Projects[/wptabtitle]
Footage online at the links.
MEDIA – CASTING NOW- SHORT FILMS. JULY 2017
PROJECT: Page to Stage to Broadcast of one act play. Short segment within an Open Signal show, “518″ a NEW variety/arts magazine and performance program. Open Signal has an audience of over 400,000.
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Beverly Frentress, Hester Schell
DESCRIPTION: Seeking two actors for theatrical staging of an 8 page play to be shot in studio with Portland’s Open Signal community access media, produced by Beverly Frentress (DUST ON MY SHOES, Fertile Ground, 2017), directed by Hester Schell (SISTERS IN THE SNOW, Fertile Ground 2017). Two character play about racism in Portland and a botched trial where another young black man is falsely accused. Actors must be non-union and available for a few rehearsals and the shooting date.
GENRE: Crime Thriller
FORMAT: Theatre in studio: 5 camera shoot.
JASON: African American, male, 25-40. Wheelchair bound. Fed up, stalker. Activist.
STEPHANIE: Caucasian, female, 35-50, a powerful attorney. Cautious, stubborn, aggressive.
SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Electronic headshots and resumes. Please include links to footage. email@example.com Please put ROLE and NAME in the SUBJECT line.
REHEARSAL/SHOOT DATE: Rehearsals: weekday evenings, about 6 to 10 hours total; late August to Mid-September. Shoot date, mid September, Saturday 9/16.
PAY/PERKS: Stipend pay, low budget: $75.
Copy of completed material – Footage: Fully staged, produced program.
5 Camera Studio Shoot experience.
Work with award winning director.
This is a new program for Open Signal. With minimal rehearsal/prep we will have maximum benefit. We have a great opportunity to put this script on camera with an awesome result, using projections and 5 studio cameras! The director will enter film festivals, and use the material to generate community dialog about racism in the court system.
MEDIA – in pre-production – SHORT FILMS
SANDWICHED by Hester Schell. See casting announcement, above. Shoots September 2017.
Where’s My Dog by Hester Schell comedy, HD. Shooting 2018.
MEDIA – in distribution – Web Series
Director, Co-Writer, Co-Producer.
IN DISTRIBUTION: ROKU: COMIC ZOO, You Tube.
Please visit our You Tube Channel for the latest episodes and SUBSCRIBE.
MEDIA – in distribution – FEATURE FILM
Weapon of Choice, feature film by Jino Kang and Tony Urgo.
AWARD WINNER: Best Feature, Best New Break Out Action Star. Action on Film International Film Festival, 2014.
Principal Casting by Hester Schell
Past and Future – THEATRE – Directed by Hester
Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel, the elder.
A tale of time travel and the power of art: Two quarreling sisters vacation in Vienna in hopes of getting closer when one of them vanishes through a portal into Bruegel’s Dutch renaissance painting “Hunters in the Snow.”
Rebecca Grayce and Alan Coyne in Bernard Slade’s SAME TIME NEXT YEAR. Directed by Hester Schell.
Photo Credit: Jim Messina
WINNER! Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Comedy: ARTY Awards 2014
SAME TIME NEXT YEAR by Bernard Slade, Benicia Old Town Theatre Group. 50th Anniversary Production.
Tony Wade, Daily Republic: …”packed with love, friendship, and surprisingly, values; connects on many levels. It elicited belly laughs and then moved north to the heart with poignant moments as well. …the credit for that has to go to director Hester Schell. ” That instant payoff from theatergoers erupting into uncontrollable laughter after a setup and punch line can’t be faked. We ate it up.”
Best of Show, SF Fringe Festival, 2013
WINNER: Best of Fringe, 2013 SF
SINGULARITEEN by Patrick Brennan.
Fringe Theater Fest. “… well written, funny, and superbly directed.” Audience Reviewer
“The direction was great… Pacing, vitally important …” Audience Reviewer
“Amazing! Fantastic play, great directing and really, really great actors.” Audience Reviewer
MEDIA – in pre-production Radio Theatre
Original material is the audio theatre production of COLONY COLLAPSE.
Details here: Radio Drama Rama
SCRIPTS IN DEVELOPMENT/SCRIPT FOR SALE
We have feature film and theatre scripts in various stages of re-writes and preproduction, including the stage, feature film and TV episodic versions of COLONY COLLAPSE.
Here are the log lines and project descriptions.
FEATURE – (Co Write)
Losing everything on her 50th birthday, a woman is thrust into a world of cast-away people she’d always ignored and embarks on a journey to find community, empowerment and new love.
HARRIETT doesn’t know it yet but she is about to become invisible.
On her 50th birthday her husband runs off with a younger woman, she loses her teaching job, her cat dies and no one, including her adult son has time for her. Suddenly no one notices her, even the police. After a near mental breakdown, she meets LIONEL, a black, a one-legged street musician in a wheelchair, ignored everywhere he goes. He shares his theories on the rules of invisibility and those who are marginalized.
Harriett hits the street to test Lionel’s theory: only invisibles see each another and they are everywhere.
Harriett and Lionel rescue a homeless teenage girl giving birth at a bus stop. Harriett befriends other cast-a-ways as she tracks down Lionel’s lost-in-the-system prosthetic leg. Now standing on his own two feet, the attraction between them is strong. But Harriett’s son won’t tolerate her new boyfriend. Lionel leaves, thinking they are racist.
Harriett envisions a way to support the disenfranchised.
She uses her divorce settlement to buy a vacant building and lot to house her dream: a resource center, thwarting her ex-husband’s luxury condo development on the same property. She puts three homeless men to work fixing up the property in exchange for housing. CANDY, the rescued homeless mother, coaxes Lionel to come back and help Harriett. On her 51st birthday “The Visibility Center” opens to great fanfare. Lionel and Harriett dance the night away.
When the invisible team up, they create a force that can’t be ignored!
Family Drama: Episodic Radio, TV or Stand alone feature drama -
SEVEN GENERATIONS: Episode 1, Colony Collapse
It’s time for the next generation to run the family farm.
Meet the Appleton’s: a family thriving on Phoenix Farm since before the Civil War. Until now. Climate change is real. Bee colony collapse disorder cuts into profits while encroaching suburbs and sibling rivalry have brother and sister at opposites: beefeater to vegan, “drill baby drill” to alternative energy, pushing this family to the edge … and back.
GENRE – Female Driven, Faith Based Drama with Magical Realism.
Spiritual themes with ghost/love story. Environmental interest. G rating.
LOG LINE – The power of wilderness to heal the human heart: A grieving widow trades harsh Brooklyn for pristine Alaska after a life-changing summer solstice cruise where her husband’s ghost bargains with God and Archangel Gabriel for more time.
SYNOPSIS – Everyone in Alma’s Brooklyn neighborhood knows someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence. Fifteen years ago a drive-by shooting took her husband, Michael. Beating the odds, she raises their two sons on her own: Jerry a college freshman on a baseball scholarship, and Franklin, in medical school and recently married. Retiring from working underground for the New York City subway, Alma is ready to celebrate. Since she and Michael never took their honeymoon cruise, she books passage to Alaska. All she wants is some peace and quiet. Her sister, Germaine insists she not go alone. But, she’s never alone: Michael is always nearby keeping her safe. Alma, doubting her mental stability, feels his presence, hears and hallucinates him. What she doesn’t know is God, who likes to surf and kayak, made a deal with Archangel Gabriel: Michael can be Alma’s guardian spirit until the birth of their first grandchild, when Michael will make his final passage. God places Gabriel on watch, flying in on stunning wings whenever Michael gets into trouble, answering his prayers.
The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights works its magic: On the solstice cruise, Alma meets Cassandra, who also lost her husband – also named Michael – to gun violence, traveling to scatter her husband’s ashes on what would have been an anniversary. United by deep grief and common experience and coincidence, they become fast friends. When the ship docks for a land excursion, they meet Duke, a salmon sport-fishing boat captain, with a boat for sale. Alma and Cassandra buy the boat on the settlement money Cassandra received from her husband’s wrongful death. Now in the sport fishing business, Alma trades Brooklyn for pristine Alaska. God and Gabriel enjoy kayaking, waiting for the birth. Soul in, soul out.
In Brooklyn, Alma attends the birth of the grandchild. After the baby arrives, Gabriel comes for Michael. Michael and Alma re-live the events of his tragic death at the same hospital. Alma and Franklin walk home where Franklin once again expresses his concern over Alma’s grief, and these hallucinations. At Franklin’s home, Jerry waits for news. Alma and Michael have their final visit when the sons hear their Dad’s voice. Now fully visible and audible to his family, Michael shares a prophecy and speaks to his sons about their futures and the strength of love and family. He gives Alma a farewell kiss as Gabriel takes him. Their powerful love demonstrates the bonds between a husband and wife even after death. Through Alma’s journey from grief to recovery, urban violence contrasts with pristine wilderness.
THEME Nature/Wilderness as a place for spiritual renewal; the power of love and strength of a marriage through memory; the soul’s passage from limbo to eternity.
LOCATIONS New York City, Seattle, Alaska, Cruise Ship
STAR PULL Strong roles for middle aged women of color. Good role models for young men of color.
CAST Diversity Casting. Inter-generational.
Leading woman, 45. Supporting women, ages 47, 35, 25.
Supporting Men: 20, 27, 70.
ALMA: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, CCH Pounder, Alfre Woodard
MICHAEL: Denzel Washington, Mykelti Williamson, Carl Lumbly
CASSANDRA: Emma Stone, Ellen Page, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain
DUKE: Nick Nolte, Richard Dreyfus.
Children’s Series, Educational TV: 4 to 7 Year Olds
LET’S TAKE A WALK…
Through the discovery of various eco-systems, Let’s Take a Walk… teaches hiking and outdoor safety skills while encouraging respect for the environment by building an appreciation of our delicate natural resources. Each episode explores a new eco-system.
EPISODES: Let’s Take A Walk… On the Beach … In the Woods … At the Harbor … Where the River Meets the Shore … Around the Farm … Through the Garden … Into Tide Pools … Where Mountains Meet the Sky … Into the Caves
Stuck in his mid-life crisis, Celeste’s artist-husband John, is seduced by a “femme-fatale” predatory seductress, Julie, a high stakes artist’s agent. Their dangerous romance destroys two families and ends when the jilted husband, Sam, pulls the trigger in a double homicide suicide.
COMPLETED PLAYS -
In A Moment’s Notice
Contrasting decisions in very different circumstances. In a moment we decide whether or not to have someone in our lives: a young man given up for adoption looks up his birth mother. They decide to build a relationship; A grown daughter looks up the father who abandoned her pregnant mother. They decide it’s not such a good idea to know each other.
The premier production was produced by the Theatre Department at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California in 2007. This script is available for AEA (Equity) world premier status. ROLES: 4 principal characters (two men/two women, 3 supporting characters (1 man or woman, 1 woman, 1 man)
Cup of Coffee
Written for the New England Russian Theatre Festival, this official entry is a spoof on the plays of Anton Chekov, highlighting several famous Chekovian moments. World Premier: Boston Playwright’s Theatre, January 2010. ROLES: 3 men, 1 woman
A theatrical stage version of the film and radio script mentioned above; the farm animals performed by puppets. ROLES: 5 leads (3 women, 2 men; 3 supporting roles (2 men, 1 woman). Strong roles for women. Unique opportunity for puppetry.
Please contact us for more information.
SHORT FILM FINISHED:
Poison by Elliott Hayes. Hitting festivals in 2015 -2016. Drama.
World Premier: Whitsell Auditorium/Portland Art Museum. September, 2016. Women In Film/PDX.
“Remember Ice -9? Kurt Vonnegut? One little drop and everything everywhere, Frozen. ”
After a husband catches his wife with a neighbor, the couple try to work through WHY she cheated. She’s sorry. He just wants her dead. He likens it to ice-9 in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. “Once it’s in, it’s in. Like Poison.”
Read more about the project and like us on Facebook.
LIVE PERFORMANCE & THEATRE
SAME TIME NEXT YEAR by Bernard Slade
AWARD WINNER! 2014 ARTY AWARDS, Solano County California Tribute to Performing Arts
Best Director (Hester Schell), Best Actor (Alan Coyne), Best Actress (Rebecca Grayce) and Best Comedy Production. 4 of 6 nominations (Sets, Costumes) GREAT REVIEWS. Benicia Old Town Theatre Group’s 50th anniversary production.
Click the link to read all about it! Press: Click this.
“Same Time, Next Year’ packed with love, friendship, and surprisingly, values.”
“Same Time, Next Year,” connects on many levels. It elicited belly laughs and then moved north to the heart with poignant moments as well.
..the credit for that has to go to director Hester Schell.
That instant payoff from theatergoers erupting into uncontrollable laughter after a setup and punchline can’t be faked. We ate it up.” Tony Wade, Daily Republic. April 20, 2014
AWARD WINNER: BEST OF SHOW and 4 OTHER SF FRINGE FESTIVAL
including BEST OF SHOW!!
SINGULARITEEN by Patrick M Brennan. Directed by Hester Schell
2013 San Francisco Fringe Theater Festival. 2013 San Francisco Fringe Festival. AUDIENCE REVIEWS
“I loved Singulariteen! Fast moving, Funny, Thought provoking. Not 1 dull moment!
Amazing! Fantastic play, great directing and really, really great actors.” Audience Reviewer
“The direction was great… Pacing, vitally important in a one-acter of this length was perfect.” Audience Reviewer
“It was well written, funny, and superbly directed.” Audience ReViewer
PROMO Shooter/Editor – Singularteen by Patrick M Brennan, SF FRINGE FESTIVAL, 2013,
Winner – BEST OF SHOW, + 4 sold out awards
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING/CO-PRODUCER:
Hester Schell co-produced the Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Company’s 2nd season production: Shakespeare’s HAMLET, directed by Robert Pickett. Hester is also on the Company’s board of directors and serving as Director of Marketing and Publicity. hmbshakespeare.org
PROMO Shooter/Editor – Hamlet, Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Festival, 2013, Season 2
HYSTERICAL HOUSEWIVES, women’s stand-up comedy workshop.
Next Performance: SUMMER 2015.
Hysterical Housewives Archives
[wptabtitle] MORE LINKS & Past Project Highlights[/wptabtitle]
SHOOTER/EDITOR Love is Like a Tractor by Larry Hosford Trailer, COLONY COLLAPSE by Hester Schell
DIRECTOR/SHOW RUNNER: YOU TUBE CHANNEL – ADVENTURES IN STAYING YOUNG with Pam da Ham and Joanie Baloney
WRITER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR: Water Adventures in Staying Young
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Cooking Show Spoof
COMMERCIALS & TRAILER/PROMOS
PROMO Shooter/Editor – Hamlet, Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Festival, 2013, Season 2
PROMO Shooter/Editor – Singularteen by Patrick M Brennan, SF FRINGE FESTIVAL, 2013,
Winner – BEST OF SHOWm, + 4 sold out awards
PROMO Shooter/Editor - The New England Russian Theatre Festival: Original play submission, “Cup of Coffee” a spoof on the works of Anton Chekov.
DIRECTOR/SHOOTER/EDITOR: PACIFIC PRAYER by Laine Sainte-Marie, 2013.
SHOOTER/EDITOR: AMERICA’S CUP TRIALS. Short. 2012. San Francisco Bay
WRITER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: JU$T UNDER A MILLION: Short Film. Comedy. 2007.
4 Hollywood producers search for the next big hit.
Film Festival Screening – Beverly Hills HD Film Festival. Air Time: cablecast on Hottv.com
JU$T UNDER A MILLION press archive
JU$T UNDER A MILLION premiere
WRITER/DIRECTOR/SHOOTER/PRODUCER: BLANKETS FOR AFGHANISTAN, 2003. Documentary. Air Time: Free Speech TV. Produced for the American Friends’ Service Committee.
HESTER’S WORK HAS SCREENED AT THESE FILM FESTIVALS -
2014 Action on Film International Film Festival WEAPON OF CHOICE. Feature (Casting Director).
WINNER: Best Feature, Best New Break-out Action Star.
2009 La Femme Film Festival BAIT & SWITCH TV: Investigative News Satire (writer)
2009 Rochester International Film Festival, Audience Award, Best Short: JULE, JULIE (actor)
2009 Boston International Film Festival. JULIE, JULIE (actor)
2008 Sacramento French Film Festival. JULIE, JULIE (actor)
2008 New York Film Festival NEVER ENOUGH: SEX, MONEY & PARKING GARAGES IN SAN FRANCISCO (art director, props, set dresser)
2008 Beverly Hills Hi-Def Film Festival. JUST UNDER A MILLION (writer/producer/director/ art director)
2007 Mill Valley Film Festival, California – Official Selection. PRESQUE ISLE by Rob Nilsson
2005 Cinequest Film Festival, San Jose, California, Official selection – PLANTING MELVIN (acting).
2005 Hearts and Minds Film Festival, Wilmington, DE –PLANTING MELVIN (acting) 2nd Place: Best Feature.
2005 Breckinridge Film Festival, Official selection - PLANTING MELVIN
2005 California Independent Film Festival, Official selection – PLANTING MELVIN
2005 Breckenridge Film Festival, Colorado, Official Selection – PLANTING MELVIN
2005 California Independent Film Festival, Official Selection – PLANTING MELVIN
2005 Napa/Sonoma Film & Music Institute, Featured Artist Series – PLANTING MELVIN
2003 Hot Docs, Toronto, Canada – BLANKETS FOR AFGHANISTAN (producer, writer, director) Distribution through Free Speech TV, Denver, CO
2002 Cinequest Film Festival, San Jose, California – YOUR GUARDIAN (acting)
2004 SF Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, San Francisco - LOVE LIFE (acting)
2002 Berkeley Film Festival – Best of Fest. – ULTIMATE REALITY – (script supervisor)
2002 Chill Valley Film Festival – ULTIMATE REALITY (script supervisor)
1995 Bay Area Women’s Film Festival, Berkeley, California – WALLS OF SAND (acting)
1983 Cannes Film Festival – AMERICAN TABOO (acting) Also Academy Award Winner, best student film 1982.
Please contact us for Hester’s full production resume.