We're working on a new short film that I'm pretty excited about, The Girl I Should've Ended Up With! We're hoping to have it ready by mid-June. Stay tuned for all the details!
No Film School recently interviewed Joel Potrykus, director of the micro-budget indie film and SXSW entry Buzzard, about guerrilla filmmaking. Click the picture for the article.
Here's another video I produced, filmed, and edited for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union profiling their various business clients. This one features Suite 100 Restaurant Bar & Lounge. There's a little bit of a quality bump as I had some nicer tools this time around - I added Magic Lantern to the Canon T2i, went from a Zoom H1 to an H4n, and was able to use Adobe Premiere CC instead of iMovie'09.
Kelly Nichols had a long history working in the restaurant industry before opening Suite 100. “It started with McDonald’s. 14 years old, moved up here from California. I was young, wanted a job. I’ve been in restaurants ever since then,” he recalls. “I went to college in Arizona and came back, and started bussing tables. Then I waited tables when I turned 21 and just worked my way through the industry. Next thing you know, you’re the head waiter, then the night manager, and then you’re closing up. I ended up at Humpy’s, which was a great experience. Then I left to be the general manager when they were opening the Bear Tooth. Eventually, Heidi, my wife and partner, and I started asking ourselves if we were ever going to get into this or if we were going to keep running someone else’s place.”
Over the years, the idea of opening a restaurant continued to grow. “I had a couple people tell me I was going to own my own place someday. Those people owned two of the more successful restaurants and bars in town, and when people you respect tell you this, you put it in the back of your brain and it rattles around,” describes Kelly. The final push came in Vancouver, B.C., when Kelly and Heidi visited a restaurant upon a friend’s recommendation. “We’re in this restaurant and we’re eating this cool food in this great environment and it’s not expensive. Heidi and I made a decision that if we did this in Anchorage, we’d be successful. And then we thought if we’re not going to do this in Anchorage, who is? We should put our feet in and see what happens.”
Kelly met with several financial institutions before partnering with Alaska USA. “The time, place, and space were just right,” he says. “David Hamilton in commercial lending helped us out a lot with our construction loan and walked us through the process of learning how to do all this. It was a good relationship and it started building to a point where I now consider him a friend. With Kristin Muir in commercial insurance, it was competitive pricing and user-friendly. The service is better and you know the person. That’s why we’ve been with them ever since.”
With financing and insurance secured, it would be another 16 months before Kelly could acquire all the necessary permits, licenses, and finish construction to be ready in time for the projected open date of Valentine’s Day 2007. “We had 124 reservations that I had taken long before that I was not turning away,” he remembers. “This place was built by friends, families, neighbors, and people I used to know. The beer crews, the sweat equity crews, that’s what we called them.”
After months of hard work and long nights, Suite 100 opened successfully and on schedule, realizing Kelly and Heidi’s goal of being “your neighborhood bar and grill at one of the busiest intersections in town.” Kelly describes finally owning his own restaurant as “a great job. People come to us when they’re happy or sad. They come to us when they’re celebrating, or when they just don’t want to cook. You get a window into people’s lives that usually develops friendships, relationships, or acquaintances – it’s a good way to make a living.” He continues, “when a guest comes up and slaps down his hand on the counter and goes, ‘that was the best steak I ever had!’ it goes down the line of cooks and you can feel it. It’s not an ‘atta boy!’ It’s better than that. It’s a cool feeling to have that kind of relationship with people.”