Experienced Industry Professionals to Lead Film Workshop | News, Sports, Jobs

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Alpena natives Kara Bauer LeMonds, left, and Zachary Irving, right, will lead a seven-week filmmaking workshop for teens and adults at Art in the Loft.

ALPENA – The first 15 candidates for this series of introduction to the film will be spoiled and have the chance to show their own creative talents.

Dynamic Alpena duo Kara Bauer LeMonds and Zachary Irving team up to present this seven-week series at Art in the Loft, starting April 6.

Alpena native Irving owns and operates Irving Entertainment, which he started about three years ago. His studios are located on Water Street in downtown Alpena.

“We’re a video production company,” Irving noted.

He said the business has grown, thanks to local interest and support.

One of his highly regarded mentors is Mary Ellen Jones of Harrisville, he said.

“Now we’re so busy I’m bringing more people in,” Irving said. “We have about six to 10 people at a time who will be working on different projects across the country right now.”

Writer and producer Kara Bauer LeMonds is originally from Alpena, but spent two decades pursuing her career in Chicago and Los Angeles, working on production projects before returning to Alpena to settle down and start a family. She now works at the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, but her love of screenwriting and filmmaking will never end no matter where she lives.

She graduated in 1997 from Michigan State University with a degree in literature and history, and did some film studies there.

“But it’s not like today, it’s not this full movie schedule,” Bauer LeMonds explained. “It was more theory and just kind of an appreciation for the movie. But I’ve always loved movies.

After college, she moved to Chicago.

“I’m a writer and I’m a voracious reader,” she noted. “I’ve always loved the way the film medium can tell a story. I’ve always found that very exciting.

She planned to become a teacher, then she tried law school and decided it wasn’t for her either.

“I found myself in event planning in the dot-com era, and I did this large-scale event on the ground in Silicon Valley, and I loved the production part, but the subject matter was totally out of my wheelhouse,” Bauer LeMonds recalled. “I remember a friend of mine saying to me – I was 25, considering a change – ‘Why don’t you get into cinema? You like cinema. And I was like, ‘ I can do it. Maybe as well.

She said she worked her way up the “old school” way, making tons of phone calls and knocking on doors until she got the jobs she wanted. Oh, and she also worked a lot for free. You can expect to do this to prove yourself in this industry.

But it all paid off in the end. Bauer LeMonds resume includes over 20 years of experience producing television commercials, music videos, film promotions and high fashion shoots. She has had the opportunity to work with many “A” list talents and the best team in the industry.

“I’ve done over 350 commercials in my career,” Bauer LeMonds said.

After starting and ending his career in Chicago, with 10 years apart in Hollywood, Bauer LeMonds worked with production companies like MTV, Stardust Visions, Backyard Productions, Park Pictures, Smuggler, Anonymous Content, @radical media , Paramount Pictures, and RSA, to name a few. The independent short “SOAP” which she wrote and directed was accepted at seven film festivals, including the LA Short Fest and the Palm Springs Festival of Shorts (which qualified for the Oscars). The web series she wrote and directed, “Destined to Fail”, was featured on the Funny or Die website.

Irving has been nominated for Emmy Awards and is an internationally award-winning filmmaker who has worked on multiple feature film projects, documentaries, commercials, and television work with PBS, FedEx, and more.

Irving is also under contract with the US Army Futures Command. You might recognize her name from “Fresh Waves,” “Michigan Micro Adventures,” or as a judge for NOAA’s “Thunder Bay International Film Festival.”

Irving Entertainment is a multimedia company that creates professional-quality video in a variety of assortments, complemented by a state-of-the-art editing bay, sound stage, and lighting studios. This professional group employs more than 10 very talented artists related to digital media. Visit irvingentertainment.net.

The cost of the series is $300 per person, which works out to less than $42 per session. Scholarships will be considered.

In this in-depth series, you’ll meet for five consecutive Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m., where you’ll learn:

¯ Character development and use of the medium of film to tell a story



¯ Shooting style

¯ Production bases

command string

¯ Cast

Script writing

Artistic direction

sheet music

sound effects

and more!

You will then work in collaborative groups with personal guidance from Bauer LeMonds and Irving. Apply these newly acquired skills in reality by shooting your own mini-movies on May 7, followed by an afternoon of editing on May 8.

If that’s not enough, we’ll follow up with a red carpet premiere and bubbly toast at 6 p.m. on May 21.

To ensure creative integrity, we must limit this project to the first 15 applicants. Payment is required in advance to ensure your inclusion. Because life happens, a waiting list will also be available in case of cancellation.

“Film, at its highest level, is a collaboration of incredibly talented people,” said Bauer LeMonds. “You are surrounded by professionals. So if you hire your team, you’re just giving them room to do what they do. And when that happens, as they say, “Movie Magic” or “Lightning in a Bottle.” It’s a beautiful thing.

After a decade in Hollywood, she returned to Chicago to be closer to her family, then moved back up north.

“Ultimately, Northern Michigan called and I wanted my kids to grow up in a garden, not a pot,” she said of why she moved to Alpena.

She said that despite her travels, she finds the kindest, interesting and creative people right here in her hometown. Many Alpena natives have also enjoyed great success in the film industry, she noted.

“Having someone with hard work and determination, and talent, and with what, is so important,” Bauer LeMonds said. “There are several luminaries who were born and raised in Alpena, Michigan, who are doing great work in Los Angeles right now. Brandi Kalish is an award-winning production designer. Tait Fletcher is a stunt performer and actor, and he doing incredibly well right now. We’ve got Joel Potrykus, who’s like a super, mega indie god of horror. And he refuses to go to the big places, and he’s still doing extraordinarily well.

She added that Joel Ferguson moved to Atlanta, Georgia to work on gripping and gaffing, which he has had great success with. Both gripping and gaffing have to do with a board’s electrical components, specifically the lighting.

“I’ve always told my personal assistants that the two things you need to be in this industry are smart and reliable,” Bauer LeMonds said. “And if you’re smart and reliable, it’ll get you anywhere.”

She sees so much talent in Alpena.

“We just have untapped potential here,” she added.

She looks forward to helping new filmmakers realize their potential.

“I have 20 years of experience and I just want to be able to share that with new artists and inspire them to become filmmakers,” said Bauer LeMonds. “We’re looking to help someone start their reel.”

“Basically, we give them the knowledge and show them the tools they can use,” Irving added. “We show them step by step.”

“From the very beginning to the very end,” added Bauer LeMonds.

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