Cutters Celebrates Client Filmmakers At CIFF

Cutters Celebrates Client Filmmakers At CIFF

The Chicago International Film Festival officially opened last week and Cutters Studios made contributions this year to several films including director Scott Smith's feature comedy CHASING THE BLUES director Stephen Cone's dramatic feature PRINCESS CYD, and director Sean Miller's futuristic short THE REPLACEMENT.

"Cutters Studios has a long history of supporting innovative filmmaking in the commercial world and all forms of feature entertainment," said company CEO Tim McGuire. "Our editors Aaron Kiser and Christopher Gotschall stand behind two feature films that are going to get a lot of attention at CIFF and worldwide… and across all three of these films screening at CIFF this year, many of our great Flavor and Another Country talents also shine through."

CHASING THE BLUES will have its world premiere at CIFF. Director and co-writer Smith is a veteran advertising creative director who enlisted Cutters partner Chris Claeys as post-production supervisor and Kiser as his editor.

"Outside of the extreme talent and craftsmanship of our editor and captain, Aaron Kiser, colorist, Steve Wood and sound designer, Mike Regan, the dedication and enthusiasm of Cutters Studios - and the support that my team felt - was amazing," said Smith. "I'm grateful to Chris and Tim for taking in our little indie film and giving it the love of a big feature."

Smith also expressed deep appreciation for the direct involvement with DP Nicole Whitaker to master key effects sequences, and Regan's audio design and mix, which he called "flawless and inventive." Additional studio credits include assistant editor Kalen Kirkpatrick and producer Katie Wickman at Cutters, sound effects editors Alex Paguirigan and Logan Vines and executive producer Tim Konn at Another Country, and executive producer Neal Cohen at Flavor.

Next, feature drama PRINCESS CYD is continuing a highly successful film festival run, having earned critical acclaim worldwide and brought home the Narrative Feature Audience Award at the 2017 Sidewalk Film Festival. Writer and director Cone chose Cutters' Gotschall to edit his film, which is set in present day Chicago. For Gotschall, who edited WTTW's 2016 Emmy Award-winning Albany Park Theater Project "Feast" special, this represents his first full-length feature.

"Stephen is a writer/director/actor I've long admired, and someone I've wanted to collaborate with since seeing ‘Wise Kids' years ago. His work is always engaging, honest, brave, character-driven and spiritually relevant - my favorite things in a movie. He usually edits his own material, so I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity to work with him. PRINCESS CYD pushed me out of my comfort zone as an editor, and I'm thrilled that it's resonating with audiences and critics."

Gotschall will proudly join Cone and the film's producers at the CIFF premiere screening for PRINCESS CYD set for Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. For Cutters Studios' Another Country, the film's credits also include re-recording mixer Drew Weir, sound effects editors Alex Paguirigan and Logan Vines, producer Louise Rider and executive producer Tim Konn.

Director Miller's cautionary sci-fi short THE REPLACEMENT will screen as part of CIFF's Shorts 1 - Chicago Style: City and State program.

"THE REPLACEMENT has received a tremendously positive response, and it's due in no small part to the work of Cutters Studios," Miller began. Pointing first to the work of Flavor, it's fair to say the director was astounded by the team effort led by executive producer Neal Cohen.

"The team at Flavor took our cityscapes and filled them with holographic billboards to create an oppressive metropolis full of sensory overload," he explained. "They used Augmented Reality to design our next-generation smart phone. And for the cloning effects, their artistry seamlessly delivers the interaction between the main character and himself."

Full Flavor credits for THE REPLACEMENT also include Digital Intermediate colorist Brian Higgins, VFX artists Chris Elliott and Tyler Engle, VFX assistant artist Patrick Wong, and motion graphics artists Brad Backofen, Adam Kohr and Jake Wilson. Of Higgins' work, Miller added, "Brian made our already gorgeous raw footage look like something from a Ridley Scott film. I was really impressed with the colors he was able to pull out from Chicago's famous orange sodium vapor lights at night. The city is full of layers now."

Tickets and more about the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival are available here.