Movie premiering in Everett gives city a star turn

EVERETT — If Doug du Mas had his way, more movies would be made in Everett.

The film industry location scout was instrumental in 2013 in making sure “7 Minutes” was filmed in Snohomish County.

“I can’t say enough good about the city of Everett,” said du Mas, who is based in Seattle. “I will come to Everett with every project that can possibly be shot up there.”

The Washington premiere of director Jay Martin’s debut feature-length thriller is Saturday evening at the Historic Everett Theatre. Location manager du Mas will field questions from the audience after the screening.

“I hope all the local extras — the Cascade and Everett high school football players and the Everett cops — will show up, as well as the owners of all the properties where we shot,” du Mas said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The movie, in which Everett doubles as a “desolate” city, is about three down-on-their-luck young men who commit an ill-fated robbery. The plan is to get in and out in seven minutes, and the clock ticks. The story is told in real time while flashbacks provide the build-up to the crime.

“The acting by these kids is amazing,” du Mas said. “It’s a good little movie and people will really enjoy it.”

Sam (played by Luke Mitchell), his brother Mike (Jason Ritter) and their friend Owen (Zane Holtz) all have money troubles.

Sam, a former high school football star with a pregnant cheerleader girlfriend, Kate (Leven Rambin), suffered a career-ending injury and he’s been laid off from a factory job.

Mike, who has a wife and small child, is in equal financial trouble, and Owen, who’s recently out of jail for shoplifting, is the son of “Mr. B” (Kris Kristofferson), a career criminal whose fatherly advice is, “Don’t get caught.”

The list of characters also includes local cop Jerome (Brandon Hardesty), Tuckey (Kevin Gage), a friend of Mr. B’s who gets wind of the robbery and wants to get involved, and the bank manager (Joel Murray.)

The movie was shot in places such as the Totem Diner, in front of Karl’s Bakery on Wetmore Avenue, Haller Middle School (the former Arlington High School football stadium), Everett real estate investor Craig Skotdal’s house, on Colby Avenue, the U.S. 2 trestle, houses in the Snohomish River valley and the Travelodge on Pacific Avenue.

“And that low-rent motel at the north end of Broadway near the college, the place I used before to shoot a TV episode of ‘The Fugitive,’ ” du Mas said.

“7 Minutes” had its official premiere in October at the Austin (Texas) Film Festival. It will be released to theaters and video-on-demand by this summer. Reviews from Austin included one that called the movie “gripping from start to finish.”

Sponsored by the Historic Everett Theatre, the Saturday showing also doubles as a kickoff to the Everett Film Festival, said Teresa Henderson who directs the festival, which starts Feb. 20.

Jessica Voelker, tourism promotion coordinator for Snohomish County, said the filming project was worth nearly $145,600 in income to hotels in the county. The county’s Tourism Promotion Area program gave a lodging grant to the film crew, a move designed to increase tourism in the county, Voelker said.

“Additional economic benefit from the film in just two weeks of locating here was over $74,000,” Voelker said. “These figures include expenses related to fuel, rental space, eating at local restaurants and employment of local talent. We would like to see many more films come to the county.”

Carol Thomas, the city’s cultural arts director, said Everett has done a good job streamlining the film-production permit process and making it easy for directors to meet with city officials.

“They were able to get a tremendous variety of settings all within short driving distance. And businesses like the Totem rolled out the red carpet for them,” Thomas said. “For the same price, they could never have produced this quality of film in another city. You can see it. The cinematography is beautiful.”

Du Mas agrees.

“Washington state doesn’t have an incentive program, so a lot of movies are being made in Vancouver (British Columbia) and Portland instead of Seattle,” du Mas said. “So, because of the local incentives, Everett is a great location. I tell everybody I know about it.”

When the “7 Minutes” producers approached du Mas with the script, he immediately thought of Everett. “Slam, dunk,” he said.

He picked up the film’s producers at Sea-Tac and drove them around Pierce and King counties.

“You always have to leave something for them to find,” he said. “Once they saw Everett, they started doing the Snoopy dance.”

He got the same response from the producers of “The Architect,” starring Parker Posey and filmed in north Everett and other locales in 2014. That movie should be out this year, too, du Mas said.

Everett Police Lt. Rod Sniffen already has his tickets to the showing of “7 Minutes” on Saturday.

“I’ll be signing autographs afterward,” Sniffen said with a laugh.

Sniffen first was involved with the film in an official capacity, working with the crew on the closure of city streets.

Later, when the script called for a SWAT team, Sniffen put himself on the off-duty list (and off-the-city payroll) to handle some big weapons for the movie.

“It was a fantastic experience and I’m told that my scene made the cut,” Sniffen said. “I’m really interested to see how it turned out.”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; Twitter: @galefiege.

‘7 Minutes’

See the movie: One night only, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31, Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave. Tickets are $12. Call 425-258-6766 or go to Watch the trailer at

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