My name's Wonder Russell. I'm an actress, a Seattle girl, and a filmmaker.
I went to film school in LA at the New York Film Academy, making and cutting 16mm films. In the years out of school that brought jobs and many moves across the U.S., I made a creative u-turn in my dreams. Other than a few Production Coordinator jobs on low budget features, filmmaking went from "sometimes" to "hardly ever."
Until, Lisa LeVan and I started workshopping two characters - Whitney and Laurie. We ultimately performed the workshop scene at a showcase in LA, giving us the courage to let these characters run amok on film. The film bug came back with a vengeance, as if it had never been laid aside.
As Executive Producer, I found locations, hired the crew, made script revisions, found and bought props, arranged for a keg of beer to be onset for the extras I'd cajoled into riding a bus all day for free, created the schedule, worked with our composer and graphic designer, and the myriad problem-solving tasks that accompany an independent film made with obsessive love.
I funded out of pocket (thank God for day jobs and Visa), and ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign to cover finishing funds. 10% of what we made over our initial Kickstarter goal was donated to The Northwest Film Forum, a local nonprofit whose education and programming are so vital to myself, and my film community.
I'm proud to be a filmmaker and actor. I believe strongly in the necessity and power of our industry. I believe in the grit of my fellow filmmakers whose talent spins gold out of straw in spite of their limited resources. I'm proud as hell of Connect To. I stand by it, I believe in its story. This is a special film, a quiet film of intimacy, longing, and hope in unexpected places.