Work and Play Productions created an educational video for Redlands Community Hospital that is being utilized to educate staff and patients throughout the Inland Empire.
Work and Play Productions has been hard at work for the University of Redlands with numerous projects including a production that highlighted the 2015 Town & Gown Awards of Distinction honorees. We are also producing many live events featuring a lecture by Dr. James Fallows, an upcoming talk by Piper Kerman, the author of the memoir "Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison". The book was adapted into an Emmy Award winning series featured on Netflix.
Redlands City Council Chambers were transformed into a film set, as Work and Play Productions taped segments for a documentary highlighting 125 years of philanthropy. Historian Larry Burgess, above, and other area notables are featured in the film. kristina hernandez — staff photographer
By Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts
POSTED: 08/25/13, 9:20 PM PDT | UPDATED: ON 08/25/2013
REDLANDS >> Council Chambers were transformed over the weekend to accommodate a two-day film shoot for a documentary focusing on 125 years of philanthropy and volunteerism in the city.
Scenes featuring former library chief Larry Burgess were filmed at City Hall on Saturday and Sunday. The documentary has been in the works for months under the direction of Work and Play Productions.
Several other Redlands notables are also part of the film, scheduled to be screened at Esri on Nov. 26, the date of the city’s incorporation in 1888.
A film crew from Work and Play have been filming scenes around the city, including spring’s Run Through Redlands and Friday night’s Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival finale.
The film is a collaboration between the local production company and the city, which hired Work and Play in February.
A grant and other donations are fronting the project. No city money is being used to produce the film.
Pre-production began shortly after Work and Play came on board, said the company’s President, Susan Stevens.
Full production began in March. A draft of the film is due Oct. 1.
“The biggest challenge — we have recorded well over 50 hours of interviews, but this is a 45- to 52-minute final piece,” Stevens said. “So our big frustration is we will not be able to put everything in we have learned and gathered.”
By narrowing the focus to philanthropy and volunteerism, Stevens and Co. thought they would be able to narrow it down to the planned time.
But boy, were they wrong, Stevens said.
“Because what we have learned,” she said, “is there’s so much philanthropy and volunteerism, and examples of giving in Redlands, it would take a series of films to properly cover it.”
Most of the film crew come from the area, and many have experienced the two subjects themselves, she said.
“We thought we knew local history and what this town was about,” she said. “But no — we are learning too much.”
Burgess’ scenes were shot behind a backdrop highlighting the city’s history created by Richard Pennington and his crew from Pennington Designs.
Prior to the anniversary celebration kick-off, Burgess had written the City Council a letter asking if it was going to hold a series of events celebrating the milestone.
Burgess chaired the city’s 100th Anniversary Committee.
“I thought it was such a wonderful experience,” he said.
Burgess was approached by Mayor Pro Tem Paul Foster, who is leading the city anniversary celebration this time around, to be a part of the film.
Burgess agreed, and prepared himself to tell the stories best for the film.
“As I say to people, there’s no great reward necessarily in getting old,” he said. “But having studied this for 45 years, it really does give you an excellent opportunity not just to reflect, but to incorporate all the changes, nuances and new material being found. I don’t think I could have done it the same way if I had only studied it for three years.”
Filming will continue until the Oct. 1 deadline, with crews hoping to add footage before the November release, Stevens said.
The year-long 125th anniversary celebration started in December with the annual Redlands Christmas Parade. It concludes in November.
Posted: 06/16/2013 07:28:50 PM PDT
REDLANDS - Trevor Stevens will walk the red carpet Wednesday at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's ShortFest where his film, "Glazed and Confused," will be screened.
Stevens, a Redlands native, shot the 5-minute, 30-second film in the area as part of a class requirement at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
After its completion, Stevens felt the film was more than just a "student project."
So he began shopping the film out to festivals around the world, including the one held annually in Palm Springs.
Stevens said he realized that filmmaking was his calling after a stint as a competitive ballroom dancer and a short acting career.
"I saw that there was a side behind the camera that I hadn't known about, and I just fell in love with," said film student. "That is where I wanted to be. It was the ideal job for me."
He was just 10 years old when he made his first film with friends in the backyard of his Redlands home and later took it upon himself to learn more about the craft.
As a student at Redlands High School, Stevens enrolled in Kevin Bibo's film class.
The two bonded quickly.
"He became a strong mentor to me. He was the one that put a camera in my hand and put fire in my heart," the now 21-year-old said.
Before graduating from Redlands High in 2010, Stevens was president of the school's Digital Dogz club and began working as an intern with Redlands
After high school, Stevens began attending Dodge College - the only place he applied for, he said.
His junior year was when he began filming "Glazed and Confused," a film about a first-time robber who tackles a doughnut shop and encounters more than "dough" from a late-night employee.
To make the film a reality, Stevens enlisted the help of several fellow filmmakers and friends. Tne film was shot at Muffin Top Bakery in downtown Redlands after the business had shut for the night.
"I made contacts with Tony Shabke at Muffin Top Bakery in Redlands and asked if I could film there," Stevens said. "He was the best - so kind and welcoming. I am very grateful to have had his support.
"This is a local Redlands business and I'm a local from Redlands, so it was all about giving back."
Stevens' film will be screened at 8 p.m. at Camelot Theaters, 2300 E Baristo Road, Palm Springs.
Stevens, who says "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is his favorite movie and directors Danny Boyle and David Fincher as inspirations, hopes to one day be the one a young filmmakers look up to.
To learn more, visit facebook.com/glazedandconfusedfilm.
June 14, 2013; 10:57 AM
Trevor Stevens of Redlands has known since age 12 that he wanted to be a film director.
Now he will see his recent film school project, shot in Redlands, screened at the upcoming Palm Springs International ShortFest.
“The goal of (showing) a short film is to promote yourself as a director so that you can make a feature film,” said Stevens, 21, a student at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts of Chapman University.
The 19th annual festival runs Tuesday, June 18, through June 24 and screens only the films that have been selected by a film jury. Stevens’ short, titled “Glazed and Confused,” will be shown at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at the Camelot Theatres. Visit www.psfilmfest.org to learn more about the film festival.
Stevens has filmmaking in his blood. His parents own and operate Work and Play Productions, which is producing a video for Redlands' 125th anniversary celebration, with Trevor’s help.
A childhood dancer, dance competitor and actor, he gravitated to filmmaking as a young teen and shot home movies in his back yard. He worked as an intern with Cheryl Williams, Redlands’ multi-media coordinator, where he gained experience behind the camera.
He chose Dodge College, where he will be a senior, because of what he calls its “offbeat and unique program, with faculty and students who share my odd sense of humor.”
“Glazed and Confused” is Stevens' first film as a director. His film production course required three pages of script, two characters and one location, he said. His finished film, which runs about five minutes, deals with two high school friends who meet several years later “in the worst circumstances possible.” One is trying to rob a donut shop where the other is working the night shift.
“It's a crime comedy about the choices people make,” said Stevens.
He cast actors Heston Horwin, a Chapman friend, and Jordan Mosley in the parts.
“I knew they were right because they made me laugh so hard tears came to my eyes,” Stevens said.
He was looking for a run-down donut shop as a film set but eventually decided to use Muffin Top Bakery in downtown Redlands because he hangs out there and had discussed the film many times on the premises. Seeking a darker and grittier look, he covered store logos, scattered cleaning supplies around and imported fatty, greasy-looking donuts, which the bakery does not sell.
“It is actually just the opposite, specializing in gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan baked goods,” Stevens said.
Store owner Tony Shabke said the store looked like a real movie set.
“It was fun watching the filming,” Shabke said. “Trevor is a talented filmmaker and seemed very involved and professional.”
Cinematographer and producer Jackson Miller headed up a crew of about a dozen for the seven-hour shoot in March.
Michael Eaton, one of Stevens' professors at Dodge, said in an email that Stevens is “a talented director with good ideas. (He) had a strong vision for the tone of the film, and by the time we did a read through of the first draft of his script, the whole class could feel the charged energy of the scene.”
The finished short is “an energetic and engaging film that is also quite funny,” Eaton said.
Stevens’ future plans include a project for his advanced film production class and his senior thesis, for which he is seeking investors. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“I choose to shoot in Redlands because I love the people and want to repay them for my growing up here,” Stevens said. “The inspirations for many of my stories come from Redlands.”
By Penny E. Schwartz, Correspondent Press Enterprise, April 13, 2013
One of the highlights of Redlands’ 125th anniversary celebration will be the unveiling in late fall of a video documenting the city's history.
This tale of a city will focus on the numerous acts of philanthropy that have defined Redlands through the years, the filmmakers assembling the documentary say.
“Making the video itself has been a labor of love, an act of philanthropy and volunteerism that coincides perfectly with its theme,” said filmmaker Susan Stevens.
She and her husband, Al, and their son, Trevor, form the heart of Work and Play Productions, which has been filming footage for the past few months. Equally important to their team are collaborators Rob Sandberg and Cheryl Williams.
Sandberg is a Redlands firefighter and Williams is the city's multi-media coordinator, but their involvement with Work and Play is separate from their city jobs, Susan Stevens said. Her husband is a retired city firefighter and safety officer.
The couple spent nearly a decade writing and producing on-screen advertisements for the Krikorian Theater, a job they stopped doing in 2007.
“During that time we were getting to know local business people and telling their stories,” Susan Stevens said.
At the same time, Al Stevens and fellow firefighter Sandberg were collaborating on making training videos for the city. Their son Trevor, a childhood dancer and ballroom competitor, became interested in acting, and then filmmaking around the same time.
Volunteerism came into play as Trevor Stevens devoted time to helping Williams with her work on the city's local TV coverage for “Pet of the Week” segments and the annual Christmas parade.
All these disparate threads intertwined for the Stevens family in 2007, when Al retired from the fire department, he and Susan stopped working for Krikorian and Trevor won an award for a commercial he had filmed.
“We realized that Trevor could tell a good story (on film) and he needed the tools to do so,” Susan Stevens said.
Drawing on the talents and expertise of their friends and colleagues Sandberg and Williams, who had become like family, the Stevens entered a 48-hour film challenge competition and won first prize in the Inland Empire division. Their seven-minute Western genre production titled “Snakebit” went on to compete in a Miami-based film festival.
Work and Play Productions has since found its niche in the genre of short films.
“We are all here by choice and do the things that bring us the most joy,” Susan Stevens said.
When the group received the nod to film a documentary on the city's history for the anniversary celebration, they swung into action.
They plan to include interviews with local luminaries — Stan and Ellen Weisser (state pharmacy board member and philanthropists), Larry and Char Burgess (former A.K. Smiley Library director and University of Redlands vice president), Carole Beswick (former mayor, Redlands Bicycle Classic founder and Redlands Country Club president), Curtiss Allen (Fourth of July Band founder and Community Sing leader) and Lorrie Poyzer (former longtime city clerk).
Footage of Redlands events and iconic landmarks will be incorporated into the 45-minute video, as will time-lapse photography following Heritage Park as it takes shape along Barton Road.
Larry Burgess is helping to guide the project.
“When Larry Burgess agreed to be the script writer and narrator, we knew we had a film on our hands,” Susan Stevens said.
Burgess, who retired from the library in December 2012, is an expert on local history. Don McCue, the new Smiley Library director, and archivist Nathan Gonzales also are helping.
“We want to interest entry-level local historians as well as provide history buffs with something new, something they didn't know before,” Susan Stevens said.
The story will have an emphasis on philanthropy and volunteerism, Susan Stevens said.
It is in that spirit that Work and Play Productions is producing the documentary, said Williams, who recommended them for the job. While a grant from Kaiser Permanente will cover the film's costs, no one is making a profit from it, Williams said. It is mainly a labor of love by home-town residents.
“Volunteerism is still alive and well today,” Williams said. “Who better to make this video than people who live in Redlands and love it?”