Lead actress Shannyn Sossamon talks with filmmakers Andrew Morehouse (center) and Nate Bell while filming “The Hour After Westerly” at the Fort Casey Inn. (Wes Anthony / Firehouse Creative)

Lead actress Shannyn Sossamon talks with filmmakers Andrew Morehouse (center) and Nate Bell while filming “The Hour After Westerly” at the Fort Casey Inn. (Wes Anthony / Firehouse Creative)

Watch film featuring Whidbey Island for free through Jan. 16

The “Twilight Zone”-esque “The Hour After Westerly” is based on a short story by Robert M. Coates.

Whidbey Island takes center stage in a haunting short film that is available to stream for free via Vimeo through Jan. 16.

“The Hour After Westerly” is based on a short story by Robert M. Coates that was published by The New Yorker magazine in 1947. It’s about a traveling salesman who mysteriously loses an hour driving home one night, sees visions and meets a strange woman who acts like she knows him. He’s later mystified when the woman seemingly disappears.

Ray Bradbury included the story in his anthology, “Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow,” published in 1952.

The story’s “Twilight Zone”-esque intrigue is what drew in Los Angeles-based filmmaker Nate Bell. After developing the story with his wife, Bell partnered with Andrew Morehouse to write the script, produce and direct the 30-minute film. Locals will recognize Admiralty Head Lighthouse, the Fort Casey Inn, Coupeville Auto Repair and many shots of open Island County roads.

You may also recognize lead actor Peter Jacobson who portrayed Dr. Chris Taub on TV’s “House” and lead actress Shannyn Sossaman from her role as Lady Jocelyn opposite Heath Ledger’s William Thatcher in the 2001 movie “A Knight’s Tale.”

Bell’s family visits his wife’s parents in Coupeville every year, and Whidbey seemed like the right place to make the short film.

“It seemed like a no-brainer when we saw how beautiful it was, and the convenience about having people you know already living there,” he said.

Bell’s father-in-law helped with preparations for the shoot and even recruited one of the actors.

The row of white houses at the Fort Casey Inn and “that kind of light you can only get in the Pacific Northwest” sold the duo on Whidbey as their location, Bell said.

Some of the logistics were easier here, too.

“Southern California has been my home all of my life, and it’s very difficult in some ways to shoot down here because there’s so many permits, and it’s very expensive,” Bell said. “Moving out of the city in a place where we could cut through some of that red tape — it was a totally different feeling shooting up on Whidbey Island than shooting in Los Angeles.”

The movie was filmed in 2018 and premiered at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles in 2019. It was entered into 20 film festivals, with Jacobson scoring Best Actor in a Short Film at FirstGlance Film Festival Los Angeles. Since coronavirus restrictions postponed several of the film festivals, and the filmmakers were eager to release it, so they decided to post it online.

“We eventually got impatient waiting to share it with everyone,” Bell said, adding that the movie received a warm welcome at the Whidbey Island Film Festival last year.

The link to watch “The Hour After Westerly” will be removed on Jan. 17 so that the film is still eligible for film festivals.

Right now, Bell is working on another project brought to him by the film’s lead actress, Sossaman, that could bring the director back to the Pacific Northwest.

“It’s definitely in consideration,” he said. “We don’t have a fixed location for this story yet, but we’d welcome any opportunity to go back to Whidbey.”

If you stream

Watch the 2019 short film “The Hour After Westerly” via Vimeo through Jan. 16 for free. The “Twilight Zone”-esque movie based on a short story by Robert M. Coates was filmed on Whidbey Island and features shots of the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, the Fort Casey Inn and Coupeville Auto Repair. The movie’s link — vimeo.com/492609784/718dd1bce2 — expires on Jan. 17 so that it is still eligible for film festivals.

Talk to us

More in Life

The Gothard Sisters will perform at the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater on Sept. 19 in Snohomish. From left, Greta, Solana and Willow Gothard. (Ruth Vanden Bos)
Edmonds’ Gothard Sisters return to stage with new original music

The trio’s songs include one inspired by an Old West legend. You can hear them Sept. 19 in Snohomish.

Quinn Fitzgerald
New hosts take the reins at Everett’s weekly comedy showcase

Adam Tiller and Quinn “Lil’ Q” Fitzgerald now host the Monday-night stand-up sessions at Tony V’s in Everett.

Andy Bronson / The Herald
The Tokyo Classic burger is the most popular menu item at Katsu Burger, because it’s the most like an American burger, business owner Hannah Ha says.
Now you can make Katsu Burger’s best-selling burger at home

Chef-owner Hannah Ha of the Lake Stevens store says the Tokyo Classic is the most popular menu item.

A tray of grilled delights; clockwise from top right, Cheeseburgers, Mustard-Lime Steak, Tandoori Chicken, and Grilled Asparagus With Olive Oil and Parmesan, on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. (Colter Peterson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)
Make it count: We have one last weekend of summertime grilling

There’s still time for you to grill asparagus, cheeseburgers, tandoori chicken and mustard lime steaks.

Chicken thighs braised in hard cider with Brussels sprouts and apples makes an easy one-pan fall dinner. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Eat This: Cider-braised chicken with apples and Brussels sprouts

Braising the chicken in hard cider — the alcohol cooks off — amplifies its seasonal flavor and adds a subtle sweetness.

Cathy Richardson is lead vocalist of Jefferson Starship, which is scheduled to perform Sept. 17 at the Historic Everett Theatre. (Associated Press)
All about music: Schedule of concerts around Snohomish County

The listings include Sir Mix-a-Lot, ZZ Top and Bands, Brews and Bowling at Evergreen Lanes in Everett.

Ian Terry / The Herald

Christa and Richard Porter, of The Porters, play a set at the Black Lab Gallery during the Fisherman's Village Music Festival in Everett on Friday, March 31, 2017.

Photo taken on 03312017
Where to hear live music in Snohomish County nightclubs

The listings include Engel’s Pub, Mirkwood Public House and Port Gardner Bay Winery shows.

Red Curtain
Oscar Madison, played by Joe Goins, left, annoys Felix Unger, portrayed by Thomas A. Glass, in Red Curtain’s production of “The Odd Couple,” showing through Sept. 26 at the Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville.
Oscar Madison, played by Joe Goins, left, annoys Felix Unger, portrayed by Thomas A. Glass, in Red Curtain’s production of “The Odd Couple,” showing through Sept. 26 at the Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville. (Red Curtain)
Theater, dance and comedy shows around Snohomish County

The listings include Historic Everett Theatre, Edmonds Center for the Arts and Thumbnail Theater shows.

The 2022 Kia Carnival has front-wheel drive, three rows, and placing for seven or eight passengers, depending on seat configuration. (Kia) 20210913
Kia replaces Sedona minivan with all-new 2022 Carnival MPV

Do similarities to the brand’s current boxy SUVs justify the new nomenclature? Kia says yes.

Most Read