Arctic Sounds is an oddly personal crime drama set in the Pacific Northwest. I have a terrible time trying to describe it. Jeff, the lead actor of the film, likes to call it “a love story about growing up.”
I’ve been working on Arctic Sounds for so long now that doing anything else feels strange.
I wrote the script when I was 22 and filmed it one year later after saving all the money I could while working day jobs in Oregon. I put the film together in 2008, casting a lot of great actors. The three main ones in this movie are:
Jeff Mills (Paul). Jeff got his start in the Pacific Northwest, working in television and films since 2004. Jeff recently starred in the short film Doing Very Well which premiered at the Portland International Film Festival.
Brian Allard (Steve). Brian, an active member of the Portland theater scene, arrived in 2006 from New York, where he appeared off Broadway in The Tempest. Recently, Brian played the lead in Romance, a film based on a story of the same name by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk.
Laura Anderson (May). Laura is a great natural talent from Portland, Oregon. Arctic Sounds marks her film debut.
As with a lot of no-budget films, all the actors in Arctic Sounds did double duty, helping to setup the camera and lights, lugging heavy equipment all over Oregon and Washington and doing a variety of other tasks above and beyond their already demanding roles as performers.
On the crew side, I had the help of Sophie Butigan, who was in charge of the sound recording for the film. Most often, Sophie and I worked as a two-person film crew, exhausting ourselves and keeping each other going over the course of our 22 day shoot. Here’s a photo of us, acting as the entire crew, on a typical day of shooting:
If anyone asked, we’d tell them that we were film students making a short movie. In general though, I think we usually looked small-time enough that no one bothered to hassle us.
In the time since we finished production, I’ve been working on the movie myself, performing all of the post production duties. It was a very long and painstaking process. Almost everything I’ve learned about filmmaking I’ve had to teach myself, and, after making Arctic Sounds, I get why most people don’t do it that way.
I’m very grateful to all the people that helped make this movie what it is, and I’m very proud of how it turned out. We hope you like it too.