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Art Beat

IT’S GROWING It’s that time of the month again. Tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 18), from 5 to 9 PM, is Art Night in Schenectady. This popular event continues to expand, with “23 art openings, 5 bands, great food and shopping.” Events will be held in Union College’s Nott Memorial, Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium, various venues in Proctors, Jay Street Studios, Moon and River Café, 184 Jay Street, Cottage Sweet Cottage & Country Scent Designs, The Katbird Shop, Two Spruce Pottery Studio & Glassy Beads, Earthly Delights, Innovations, Open Door Bookstore, Chez Daisie Creperie, Center City, Schenectady City Hall, Aperitivo Bistro, Wine Down Lounge, SACC TV-16 studios and Tattoo Blues With a Touch of Gray/Golden Productions Recording & Arts Studio. That’s it, we think. Oh, and you can check out the premiere of the new John Sayles film at Proctors, too—see the Night & Day page for details. For more info, visit www.art nightschenectadycom.

These kids are “lost”—and serious: a scene from eScape.

ANOTHER GRAND PREMIERE We’re not getting out of the Electric City at all in this week’s column. On Sunday (Jan. 20) at 6:30 PM in Proctors GE Theatre will be the premiere of the work-in-progress movie eScape, “a six-episode mini-mini-series” featuring a cast of local kids and professional actors. It was shot over consecutive summers; as filmmaker Mike Feurstein explained in an e-mail, “we shot all over the Capital Region and beyond, at places like Lock 7 park, Lake George, various forests and beautiful Capital Region structures.”

Reached by phone, Feurstein explained that the project began as “an homage to Lost,” the cryptic hit TV show. Judging from the film’s trailer, the movie has an engaging science fiction feel, with the intrepid kids set against adults with decidedly evil intent. (The adults you may recognize—they include Yvonne Perry, Kevin Craig West, David Bunce, Tim Dugan and Dan Kelly.) Based on a 70-page script, eScape was 90 minutes long in the original cut. Feurstein said that 90 minutes usually takes a couple of months to shoot; this was filmed in 16 days.

When asked about the quality of the kids’ performances, he said that extensive workshopping helped the kids become unselfconscious. It was a family project, too, as Feurstein noted in a subsequent e-mail: “Most of the families were on set at some point during the shoot. They provided assistance with traffic, kid wrangling, food prep and distribution, some on-set script supervision, prop management, rehearsal coordination between scenes and general overall support.”

After Sunday’s premiere, Feurstein will continue to fund-raise in anticipation of completing eScape by 2010. While there is no Web site for the project yet, Feurstein says that will happen as soon as it’s possible.

The kids in the cast will arrive at Proctors by limo sometime between 6 and 6:30 PM Sunday. Admission to the screening is free.

—Shawn Stone

sstone@metroland.net

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