I first met Elly when a mutual friend of ours decided to film a scene for a horror film in Milton's boiler room. Somewhere in the midst of a busy day filled with two dozen small children covered in fake blood running around in the basement, Elly managed to put down her camera long enough to make an introduction and ask to come back at another time to take some HDR pics of our basement.
The progression of our friendship after that is a little fuzzy- it seems as if she's been around Milton since the beginning. While working on the full length political thriller State of Fear , Elly contacted us again- asking if the crew could use our basement for to build out the set for a telephone booth of a US naval aircraft carrier. She filmed at our wedding, showed up two years ago at our annual party- fresh off the set of a S tar Wars fan film dressed as a sexy female sith, and took promotional HDR photos of Milton's creepy areas for the promotion of our final paranormal investigations. She even invited me to join a portfolio shoot for local Special Effects Make-Up Artist Jennifer Maher, resulting in my first paid modeling gig. One of the photos she took of me ended up catching the eye of a gun oil manufacturer...so, yes, thanks to Elly, I can now add "Professional Zombie Model" to my ever-growing resume.
Earlier this year, her landlord was having legal trouble with the property she was leasing as a studio space. While the bank was sorting paperwork out, she had to find a place for her massive collection of weird stuff* while she looked to purchase a studio of her own in STL. She called me up one day and asked if she could use Milton as storage. "Of course!" was my enthusiastic reply, "Because we'll probably need to ask you a tremendous in the next few months."
Maeva's Coffee was already beginning to take form in our minds- and we knew we very much wanted to host a kickstarter campaign to get the community involved in this project. As we researched, a common theme was found in every how-to blog, every reflection of an unsuccessful or successful campaign, and even in the "tips" section on the Kickstarter site itself: Without a good video, your project is screwed.
Lucky for us, we had an Ace in our back pocket. Even luckier, we still had a full sized oak coffin and a rotating darkroom portal being stored in our warehouse that this Ace happened to own. She was trapped! Just kidding...even without the stuff, Elly has always been a great artist to collaborate with- and I'm sure she would have agreed to help.
Elly spent two long days on our side of the river- filming with us at Goshen roasting company, Mississippi Mud Pottery, at Milton and around Alton. Her patience was extraordinary and the footage that came out of those 20+ hours made a Kickstarter video worth boasting about. If you haven't seen it, you serious need to check it out.
In addition to being a fantastic videographer and photographer, Elly is also a superhero. In the classic Marvel style, she spends the day working at a mild mannered legal office. At night, she leaps tall buildings in single bounds, plays with various martial arts weaponry, and explores the seedier sides of abandoned structures for the sake of capturing something thrilling on film. Every time I meet her, she has another adventure to tell. She's one of those people you can't meet soon enough- someone so awesome that, no matter when you meet her, you immediate kick yourself for not having met sooner in life.
Elly also does property listing photos (take note relators!) and is for hire for video/photo projects. Keep her in mind, folks! It's great to have this kind of talent in the area. See her work and drop her a line here.
(*And I mean really, really weird stuff came out of that studio including a full retro dental chair and crazy looking drill, theater seats, wicker lawn furniture, big metal grates, phonographs, and props galore. This lady has enough props to outfit several movies single handedly without repetition.)