Triplets’ film work wins them an award

MONROE — Jesse, Miles and Dylan Stipek’s first film consisted of fight scenes with plastic lightsabers. The identical triplets recorded the “movie” in their parents’ Monroe home — and on one memorable occasion, standing on the roof, until Mom saw and demanded they come down. A boom box provided the soundtrack and their costumes were limited to capes. They were 8.

Their latest movie, “Soldiers of Necker,” played at McCaw Hall in Seattle as part of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. The World War II film won the audience choice award for featured short. It included original music by Emmy Award-winning film composer Carl Johnson, who donated the score to the triplets.

“It’s incredible,” said their mom, Cheryl Stipek, a professional singer who performs at parties and festivals. “It gave me absolute tingles when I saw it on that great big screen. It was so good. It was so professional. It seems like just yesterday they were up on the roof with their Star Wars things … I never thought they would go this far.”

The Stipek triplets, now 19, run their own film company, Trico Films, with high-tech equipment, a wardrobe of costumes and a Web site. When they’re not editing video and writing scripts, they attend the University of Washington’s Bothell campus on scholarships from a New York-based foundation backed by onetime billionaire Andrew McKelvey.

They taped “Soldiers of Necker” in the woods of Monroe. The same friends who acted in their “Star Wars” inspired movies joined them on screen in “Soldiers of Necker.”

The 30-minute film is about two U.S. soldiers who get separated from their squad during an enemy ambush and are forced to wait until help arrives.

The triplets wrote, filmed, directed and edited it.

“Soldiers of Necker” was among the 73 films showcased at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth at the end of March. The audience choice award is their first major award.

“It was pretty cool because that’s a pretty big thing for us,” said Jesse Stipek. “We worked hard on the film and it did pretty good.”

Reporter Kaitlin Manry: 425-339-3292 or

@4. OT ByNumbers hedder:On the Web

Trico Films:

“Soldiers of Necker”

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth

Composer Carl Johnson

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