Mr. Movie

Seattle screenwriter to address CBC filmmaker forum

PASCO — Amateur filmmakers and those interested in the unique business of filmmaking should check out the Filmmaker's Forum on Monday, Sept. 28 at Columbia Basin College.

The session starts at 6:30 p.m. at the ASB Congress Room in the HUB on the CBC campus. It’s free to the public.

You’ll be seeing an independent film shot in Seattle and released in 2005. Police Beat was screened at Sundance Film Festivalwhere CBC Filmmaker’s Forum head Matt Mathesius caught it.

I’m green with envy. Mathesius gets to do Sundance and I don’t. Other than Cannes, it’s the movie event of the year. Anyway, Mathesius loved the movie and invited screenwriter Charles Mudede to attend the screening and field audience questions at the end of the film.

When he’s not writing screenplays, Mudede is an associate editor for the Seattle weekly, The Stranger.

His film follows a rookie African immigrant bicycle cop for a week. The guy is struggling with a relationship, and his thoughts are dubbed over scenes of the types of incidents and crimes a bicycle cop deals with on a daily basis. They are taken from actual Seattle police blotter reports that Mudede wrote for The Stranger.

The cops stream-of-consciousness conversations with himself and his frustration with his girlfriend leaving to go camping with another man work. They work well enough for me to recommend the movie — especially when it’s free.

Where I struggle with Police Beat is the incidents investigated by the officer. While I understand what Mudede and director Robinson Devor are trying to do, they tend to ramble on and make much of the film incoherent.

If you read this or a plot summary before seeing Police Beat, the police blotter incidents make more sense . However, they still distract from what is very good about their film — and that is their main character and his struggle.

Police Beat is worth checking out. Having talked many times with screenwriters, I always find it fascinating to dig into their minds, find out the motivation behind the screenplay and whether what they wrote and what was actually filmed are the same.