Fall Update – October 26, 2020 – Fail Forward!

Earlier this year I applied for the SF Film Westridge Grant, not once, but twice. An artist and filmmaker can expect a lot of rejection in their life… and well, I was rejected. It really wasn’t a big deal (although it would have been nice to move to the next round) and the process of writing the grant application helped firm up the film’s purpose and my creative vision. I really try to fail forward and use every opportunity for improvement, so with that I quickly moved on to the next step.

The script was written, the ideas were there, and the momentum felt right, so I knew at that point it was time to do a table read. I rounded up a talented group of interested performers to participate in a hybrid in-person/Zoom meeting. Typical Zoom issues aside (have you played Zoom bingo?), we got through the screenplay and had time for feedback. It was great! I loved hearing how people interpreted the script and truly valued the suggestions.

But what did I love the most? The support that people had for 1) the grant application and 2) the table read. Building a team in filmmaking is crucial to success, and some day when I get past all these little failures, I know there will be a final film at the end of the rainbow. Here’s to the journey!
For those of you reading, here are some key themes that the participants expressed to me afterwards: nostalgia, big tech, friendship, and trust. I’ll reveal more details in the next post. In the meantime, thank you to the performers, non-video participants, Stage One Creative Spaces and my Co-Screenwriter, Robert Kirkendall. 

If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact spotlight@ninteen85films.com. 
And please follow us on social media here: facebook.com/nineteen85films and Instagram.com/nineteen85films.

Hilary Davidson

Summer Update #1 – August 24, 2020

Although moments of change may be more apparent when they’re part of major events and milestones, everything is evolving all the time. We grow, we learn, we suffer, we feel. Through these experiences we firm up what our values are and build a base to go back to. I know that from jobs, travel, education, and the school of hard knocks, what’s important to me stems from these learned experiences. And through that I’ve determined the following…

Follow the Flow

Three years ago, I was “trying to get back into acting.” I went to auditions in San Francisco, mainly to get rejected and then spend 2 hours driving home. I finally said to myself that I would only do auditions in San Jose and my hometown, Santa Cruz. I applied for a couple roles that seemed interesting and got both parts! The first was the role of Celia in Robert Kirkendall’s short play, Last Call. The play was broadcast live on the Community Television channel in Santa Cruz as was shot in black and white for that ’50s sitcom look. The second was a short film about the cast of Friends and Seinfeld. Naturally, I played the role of Phoebe and was excited to be in my first short film ever. On the first day of the shoot I will never forget the feeling walking into the room with the actors and producers. It felt like I was home, I belonged. I met some of the coolest, most amazingly fun people in the South Bay and have continued to work with them on other projects. Most noticeably, I rounded up some friends to make the short film Mistaken and then Turning Tables the following year. The biggest takeaway was that letting things flow will create unexpected relationships and lead to fulfillment. You can’t plan for everything, there’s beauty in living each moment wherever it takes you.

Hilary Davidson

Watch our Films

Nineteen85 Films Overview Brochure

We’ve had a great time starting this filmmaking journey. As we begin to approach new opportunities we thought it would be good to reflect on what’s important to us and how we’re going to make an impact in the future. Click on the button below to view the full pdf!

View the brochure

Turning Tables at the CreaTV Creatives Celebration

Turning Tables received the Creative Short award the CreaTV Creatives Celebration. The event had watch stations throughout the venue so attendees could watch all of the films. Congrats to the other award winners! Thank you CreaTV for this interesting experience and super cool VHS award.
Nominated: Creative Short
Won: Creative Short

Turning Tables at the Austin Micro Short FilmFest

Turning Tables won Best Drama at the AMSFF, which included a lineup of 182 short films from all over the country. Thank you to Mikel Fair for producing this festival and showcasing the amazing work in this community.

Nominated: Best Drama, Best Director
Won: Best Drama

View Festival Info

Chapter 3 – Launch Event

On March 28th, 2019 Nineteen85 Films had its official launch! The event included a brief speech about the background of Nineteen85 Films and the future goals / vision. There was also a staged read-through of a concept for a feature film idea.

Special thanks: KimberlyAnn Rose, JD Charisma, Danielle Valdez, Havish Ravipati, Cliff Kennedy, Cinema Exchange, Christopher Denise, Kevin Brown, Palo Alto Writers’ Group, The Hive SJ

Turning Tables at Albany FilmFest

Turning Tables was shown during the “Living on Earth” category at the Albany FilmFest (Albany, CA). This block of short films included themes about people, society and life. This was a great festival with a diverse influence of films and subject matter.

Turning Tables at Poppy Jasper

Turning Tables made its film festival premiere at the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival in April 2018 (Morgan Hill, CA). After the screening was filmmaker Q&A with Hilary Davidson. The festival marked the first year under Mattie Scariot’s direction and proved to be a successful event!

Turning Tables at Screen!

The filming of Turning Tables wrapped in November 2017 and was first shown at Cinema Femina (Screen! Short Film Showcase) in February 2018. The energy in the room was off the charts at the first Screen! event of the year.

Chapter 2 – Turning Tables

After watching a showcase of live theatrical scenes, I was inspired about how people change over time, and how that affects their interactions with people. I wanted to show, in a somewhat strange circumstance, what it would be like if your life didn’t turn out how you had hoped. I was hooked on an idea to revolve around a pair of couples, literally with the camera, to unify their shared experiences and see how the characters evolve over the course of the scene. This idea turned into the one-shot short film Turning Tables.

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Chapter 1 – Mistaken

In March of 2017 we began shooting the short romantic comedy Mistaken. Co-written by Jen Floor Mathews, Logan Wildey and Hilary Davidson, the story follows a mistaken identity premise when Nate begins falling for the character Jen, but incorrectly thinks she’s married. After a handful of chance encounters and insight from the local bartender, the facts are revealed, straightening out the mix-up. Nate shares this news with Jen and the film wraps up in a nice bow.

Mistaken premiered at a small local event in San Jose in December 2017.

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Nineteen85 Films started when two friends from High School (Ike Jablon and Hilary Davidson) created a couple of short films. Their film Egnaro (orange spelled backwards) followed the color orange throughout the city of Santa Cruz as it was visually passed off from orange gumball to orange car to orange shoes, etc. After the color circled back to the first character in the story, she vended another gumball, this time it was green. The short film helped Ike get accepted into Chapman University and it was then when they coined the name Nineteen85 Films.

Nineteen85 Films
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© 2020

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