In The News

Something big is happening in Waterville, Maine

 The energy, excitement, and street buzz in Waterville is palpable. This former mill town set on the Kennebec River, and home to Colby College, is getting a massive makeover, re-inventing itself as the artsy hotspot of northern New England. The renaissance is the result of a unique collaboration between community, philanthropists, and businesses, spearheaded by Colby College, and driven by a passion for the arts.

We visited this often-overlooked city and were pleasantly surprised. There’s a lot happening here.

Directors Guild and Hollywood studios reach tentative deal while writers strike

The Directors Guild deal arrives on the 33rd day of the writers Guild strike.

The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have agreed to a tentative deal on a new three-year contract. This deal includes wage increases and “a 76% increase in foreign residuals for the largest platforms,” according to the DGA. It also addresses AI concerns. 

WGA and Other Unions Call on Studios to Reach ‘Fair Contract’ With DGA

In a statement, the unions said that such a contract would benefit “every worker” in the industry.

“A fair contract for directors does not benefit just a select few; it uplifts every worker in the film and television industry and acknowledges the interconnected nature of our work,” said the statement issued by the WGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the Hollywood Basic Crafts. “We call on the AMPTP to immediately negotiate a fair agreement that addresses the Directors Guild of America’s unique priorities in good faith.”

Indie Film: Midcoast filmmaker turns family’s hunting camp into set for new thriller

In Lucas McNelly’s thriller feature “Up Country,” three young men set out for a hike in the Northern Maine woods. Their taciturn, clearly unimpressed guide winds up stranding them there, leading to an increasingly intense fight for survival in an environment they don’t understand – and that seemingly has it in for people “from away.”

For Waldoboro native and Damariscotta resident McNelly, this crisp and nasty indie drama is a love letter to his hometown, even if “Up Country” suggests that unwary visitors to his home turf need to watch themselves. “I’ve always had this idealized dream of continuing to make movies of this size in Midcoast and various other Maine places and straight-up premiere them in my hometown theater,” says McNelly.

Cinematography student wins school awards for Skowhegan Fire Department documentary

A school capstone project inspired a student to dig deep into his hometown. ”It had to be a narrative, a documentary or a how-to,” said Shawn Packard, a Cinematography student at Full Sail University. “I live here, I have lived here my whole life. It has been home for me. It kind of means a lot with family and the traditions and the community that we have built here,” Packard said. As a graduating senior, he says it was important to him to leave and spread the legacy of Maine through film.