October 2010 archives

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October 31, 2010

happy halloween from scarlet star studios!

by sven at 11:25 am

posted by sven | permalink | categories: miscellany

October 25, 2010

fertile ground interview

by sven at 2:13 pm

In January, there'll be a staged reading of a new play I've written: Death of the Party. It's going to be in the Fertile Ground festival — and I just got interviewed for the festival's blog!

Read the interview on the Fertile Ground blog... Or, for archival purposes, I'm including the text below.

NAME: Sven Bonnichsen

PROJECT: Death of the Party

I wanted to be Darth Vader when I was six. I grew up in a university town in Maine, and spent summers in the company of archaeologists. I moved to Portland in 1990 to go to Reed College… Partly because people here know how to wear the color purple. I work in animation, machining tiny metal skeletons for puppets. Theater’s a nice change of pace, because I don’t have to build my actors from scratch, or move their limbs one frame at a time.


  1. A Writer I Admire Is ... Joss Whedon

  2. My Writing Style Can Be Described As ... Thelonius Monk Meets The Muppet Show

  3. The Portland Theatre Company I’d Most Love To See This Show Produced By Is ... Atomic Arts (Trek in the Park)

  4. The Celebrity I Would Most Like To See Star In This Play On Broadway Is ... Seth Green as Claude

  5. A Portland Theatre Artist I Admire Is ... Matthew Zrebski

  6. I Am Terrified Of ... The Tickle Monster

  7. I Am Obsessed With ... Measuring time

  8. The Book Currently On My Nightstand Is ... The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (May/June issue)

  9. Three Adjectives That Describe This Play Are ... Vivacious, Bawdy, Cruel

  10. In the Indie Art-House Biographical Film Of My Life, I Should Be Played By ... Alan Cumming


  1. Tell us about your Fertile Ground Festival play.

    A frolicky pansexual disco boy goes to despicable lengths trying to unlock his best friend's untouchable heart. Claude, who thinks other people's suffering is the height of comedy, has the power to bed anyone he wants... Anyone, that is, except Dean: Man of Mystery, and rising musical sensation. When Claude pursues clues to Dean's past through a series of one-night-stands, unscrupulous infatuation will be punished with the romance that both monsters deserve.

    Death of the Party is presented by PDX Playwrights and will play Saturday, January 22nd at 12:30pm on the mezzanine of the Portland Armory (128 NW 11th Ave). Tickets are $5.

  2. How did this story come about? What inspired it?

    I wanted to write a sensual romance between two men that transcends labels like “straight” and “gay.” I also wanted to write about a truly despicable, id-driven character... Villains are usually the most interesting part of a show!

  3. Talk about your writing process. (How do you write? When do you write? What gets you writing?)

    I don’t want to get caged by the limits of my own imagination. So, for “Death of the Party” I collected hundreds of photos of faces off of Google... I picked one randomly — and that became Claude.

    My foundation for writing is journaling. At least one page a day, 365 days a year. For creative writing, I need to understand the whole fictional world first; dialogue comes last of all. I love pumping out twenty pages of stream-of-consciousness, my pen hand hurting. The first idea that really sings with poetry is usually on page 19.

  4. What is the most exciting/inspiring piece of theatre you’ve seen in Portland?

    I love what Atomic Arts is doing with their Trek in the Park shows. Hundreds and hundreds of people are showing up to see verbatim reenactments of Star Trek episodes. It’s what open air Shakespeare is supposed to be: melodramatic, philosophical, crowd-pleasing.

    I also really dug seeing Apollo at Portland Center Stage. It’s probably as close as Portland will ever get to staging Einstein on the Beach.

    In my own work, I’d like to blend these two styles: Abstract Arthouse + Pulp Fantasy.

  5. What are you up to these days when you’re not writing?

    I’m helping run PDX Playwrights, an open group for writers who want to hear their plays read aloud and share feedback.

    And I’m working on a mixed-media animation titled Let Sleeping Gods Lie. It’s about arctic explorers who discover a cave of giant space aliens — which were responsible for creating life on Earth — and whose former slaves still seek vengeance.

posted by sven | permalink | categories: miscellany

October 14, 2010

the whisperer in darkness - trailer 2

by sven at 7:00 am

click image to see trailer on YouTube

The H.P.Lovecraft Historical Society has just released a new trailer for their feature film, The Whisperer in Darkness! ...Big reveals!

Many of you will recall that I spent nearly a year laboring on this project as an armaturist. In the end, my work wasn't used as we'd originally imagined -- but it did ultimately play an important role in the production. (More on that at a later date.)

I got to see this trailer when it premiered at Portland's H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival on Oct 2. Very proud. Even prouder when the HPLHS guys received the Howie Award for their contributions to "the genre of cosmic horror, weird tales, and the promotion of Lovecraft and his work in particular."

[What, YouTube got nuked from space? Click here to watch an archived copy of the trailer (3:23min - 45.3 MB).]

posted by sven | permalink | categories: movies

October 12, 2010

"mutate" in film festivals

by sven at 5:16 pm

In the next few days, my film Mutate will be playing at three different film festivals...

Astoria International Film Festival
Saturday, Oct 16
Liberty Theater
1203 Commercial Street
Astoria, OR 97103
(503) 325-5922

"In this brief but highly creative abstract clay animation, we witness the whimsical and even sometimes intriguingly edgy musings of a sculptor/animator with a sense of humor. The zany sound track mirrors the outré visuals. Like most art, Mutate defies concrete analysis; just relax and enjoy the quirky fun!"
-- Michael Fendel, Astoria International Film Festival

Salem Film Festival
Saturday, Oct 16
3:00pm - Northwest Emerging Artists Shorts Package
The Grand Theater
191 High Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 990-0150

"Strange clay creatures revolve, dissolve and evolve in this delightfully quirky stop-motion animation."
-- SFF website

Video Gong Show - Final Round
Thursday, Oct 21
8:00pm ???
4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 281-4215

"3 competitive rounds of screenings have been scheduled & each is to take place in a different Portland quadrant throughout the summer. Top 5 films from each round will advance to the Finals at the Hollywood Theatre in October. Contestants compete for a $100 cash prize and a grand prize package from Picture This worth $1000. Just as with the classic show, the film's run time could be cut short by the sound of a GONG! The competition is meant to be fun (not cruel). Come support Portland's Indie filmmakers, while sipping a beer and having a laugh."
-- Film Action Oregon website

Why, yes -- AIFF and SFF do happen on the exact same day. Sigh. I'll be at the Salem screening if you want to see me in person.

Slim hopes of winning the Video Gong Show... In round 1, I was a runner up. I only moved on to the finals after someone else's film got disqualified.

Even so: Very exciting to be taking my filmmaking to the next level -- getting out there, getting seen!

posted by sven | permalink | categories: exhibits & events, movies, stopmo