Arts and Entertainment

From Vashon to Portland, young filmmakers collaborate

Former Islanders Andrew Franks and Alexander Atkins show off their film’s poster. - Courtesy Photo
Former Islanders Andrew Franks and Alexander Atkins show off their film’s poster.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Two sons of Vashon, Alexander Atkins and Andrew Franks, will return to the Island this weekend to present their new short film, “Men Who Don’t Work,” in its public premiere at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Vashon Theatre.

The filmmaking duo — now residents of Portland, Ore. — produced numerous films together during their middle school and high school years on Vashon, but their individual collegiate pursuits caused a five-year break in their collaboration.

Both have now earned degrees in film and video — Franks at the University of Washington and Atkins at Purchase College in New York.

“Men Who Don’t Work,” a 12-minute film based on Raymond Carver’s story, “What Do You Do in San Francisco,” tells the story of a small-town postman in the 1960s who becomes enthralled by the mystery of an unusual family that moves into a house on his route. The film’s captivating imagery brings the author’s simple realism to life and transports viewers into the mind of a man forced to grapple with the uncertainties of 1960s Americana.

Atkins and Franks raised $6,000 to fund the film, tapping friends and family on Vashon as well as admirers of their project in the Portland filmmaking community. Christopher T. Paul was enlisted as cinematographer for the film, and an original score for the film was composed by Portland musician Matthew Cooper.

The film was shot in May and involved shutting down an entire Southeast Portland intersection and lining the streets with classic cars.

The short film, which has won the endorsement of Raymond Carver’s widow, Tess Gallagher, has thus far been submitted to more than a dozen film festivals worldwide. Atkins and Franks plan to submit it to at least 40 more over the course of the next year.

Both filmmakers will be present for the film’s premiere on Friday and will introduce the film and answer questions after the screening. There will be an after-film party at The Hardware Store Restaurant.


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