Spotlight: Craig Olson

LSP Member Spotlight - 2014.06.16

1. How did you find out about Living Storm Productions? What made you want to become part of the group?

I first came into contact with LSP in the summer of 2011 after I had graduated from my undergrad in Civil Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was job hunting and working part-time at the bar (Jordan's Big 10 Pub), but that was pretty much all I was doing. I was looking for something else to fill my time, so I thought I would look for an acting gig. LSP had a Craigslist ad out looking for actors for their short films "The Audition" and "Wind Up Toy". I met with the casting director, Tammy Adler, who said that the acting roles were filled, but they were always accepting scripts for new short films. I had never written a short film before, so I took a crack at it, and Tammy said I had a talent for it. The group’s interest in my creativity and vision is what made me want to be a long-term member of Living Storm Productions.

2. What first interested you in film?

I have enjoyed film and television from a very young age. I also enjoy reading very much, but there is something that I really appreciate and respect about conveying a story through auditory and visual components. I also love the idea of turning a blank sheet of paper into story using nothing but the creativity of your mind and then using a different creativity to bring that story to life on the screen. It is amazing to me how one film can evoke so many different emotions that a human would otherwise not feel on a normal day.

3. For you, what’s the most exciting part about making a film?

From a screenwriter’s perspective, there is nothing more exciting than watching talented actors recite the captivating dialogue that first originated in the recesses of your own mind. To see a story come to life that you created out of essentially nothing is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.

From an actor’s perspective, the rush of hearing the AD call “Sound” and “Camera” then hearing the CLACK of the slate is unmatched by anything else I’ve felt on a film set. Especially when the words that you speak for the camera are the words that you yourself wrote. It is quite an amazing experience.

4. What is your experience in filmmaking?

Since joining the group in 2011, Living Storm Productions has produced three of the short films I have written: "Killboy and Krash", "Stones", and "Freud". For these productions, I was a production assistant for both "Stones" and "Freud". I have also served as a production assistant and actor for LSP’s promotional advertisement: FarmMatch. I will also be providing the role of Assistant to the Director for LSP’s upcoming production of "Full Circle".

One of my screenplays, "Going Up", is also currently in production by Project Famous, a local artist collective and associated arts and entertainment magazine in Madison. For this project, not only was I the screenwriter, but I was also cast as the leading male role in the film.

I also will to be independently directing a few of my own shorts before the end of the summer.

5. What are some of your filmmaking ambitions?

My ambitions in filmmaking are, for lack of better word, very ambitious. 

I would love to not only be an established screenwriter, but also a respected actor and director. I would love to have at least one film of mine produced in which I would have the opportunity to write, direct and star in the project. Failing that, I would love to be involved in any project filling any one of those roles, as well as any crew position that may be needed. 

My big picture ambitions involve bringing all surrounding independent filmmakers together and creating a vast filmmaking empire established in the Midwest to compete with the existing filmmaking industries on the East and West coasts of the United States.

— with Craig Olson.

Robert Westervelt