Arts and Entertainment

Filmmaker gains notice through national contest


Staff Writer

Eric Doherty didnŽ’t think that his screenplay would get noticed when he entered it in a national contest, Project Greenlight, begun by Hollywood actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Over 10,000 people submitted screenplays in hope that their work would be turned into a $1 million movie made by Miramax films and television network HBO.

But DohertyŽ’s screenplay, Ž“Lazaras Rising,Ž” made it to the top 30 in the contest and he got to fly to Los Angeles to meet Damon and Affleck, whoŽ’ve starred in several major motion pictures.

Doherty, a Federal Way resident, even appeared in the television show that followed the winning screenplayŽ’s journey from script to screen. He never actually saw the show and he didnŽ’t make it to the top 10, but because of the show, Doherty is getting recognized for his work.

A production company asked to make Ž“Lazaras Rising,Ž” but Doherty decided to make the film himself ŽÐŽÐ on a $3,000 budget.

Doherty says he likes making films because it is like playing make-believe.

Ž“I like to take people into a new world,Ž” he said. Ž“It is real fun to see something on paper and then it comes to life.Ž”

Doherty began his journey into the moviemaking business at the age of 12 when his father bought him a sound-effects machine. He then got a camera and began making short films. He shot one every day, making $5 movies when he was 13 and 14 years old, he said.

Doherty attended Green River Community College with the Running Start program in high school and decided to attend a film school in Pittsburgh, Pa. The school, though, didnŽ’t teach him anything new about making films, so Doherty decided to drop out and make them on his own.

Since then, he has made many short films and movies on a low budget with barely any crew to help him with lighting, sound and camera.

Doherty believes great films can be made at a low price. He runs a Web site ( that allows people to buy his films and read about the journey he made to make his latest movie, Ž“Penrose.Ž”

Ž“Penrose,Ž” shot on a $1,500 budget, was released in July on DohertyŽ’s Web site and tells the story of a man who owns a cabin that keeps getting broken into. He hires someone to watch his cabin, but one weekend things get out of hand.

Doherty says that the 90-minute Ž“PenroseŽ” was made on a rough script with improvisation done by the actors.

Next up for Doherty is the next Project Greenlight contest that started accepting screenplays at the end of September.

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