Access Tucson members go big screenby Elizabeth "Bjay" Woolley on Oct. 27, 2009, under Arts, Life, pop culture, Tucson
I was known to party quite a bit back in the 90′s when I was young and had the energy. I would come home late, not quite ready to go to bed yet. So I would watch Beavis and Butthead and the local public Access Tucson channels until I got tired.
The latter featured kids chatting about partying and odd topics. They usually took calls from viewers. The late hour was a brightly lit welcome sign for slap-happy prank callers. Who could resist watching that? Surely not this buzzed girl.
I found myself developing an affinity for the shows that carried the “Pondo’s Kids” moniker. Over the years as I matured and changed – so did the shows and hosts. They went from just trying to give the viewers cheap thrills (sometimes while sloshed) to soberly examining topics of life, pop culture, politics, and movie making.
Marty Ketola, co-owner of the “Pondo” production company, says he gets recognized by fans who say the shows have touched a chord in them. He says “they were going through similar events in their life, and that it was good to know they were not alone in those experiences. This runs the gambit of everything from my divorce to dealing with authority figures back in high school. We were just trying to entertain people, but apparently we ended up doing more than that, and that’s gratifying. Fans sharing these experiences with me gave me the same affect; that I’m not the only one with issues.”
Pondo’s Kids has evolved into the production company called Pondo Enterprises (no longer kids) co-owned by Marty Ketola and Clif Campbell. They focus on creative low-budget films. Their work is appropriately called “off the grid filmmaking” on their website.
Tonight is an exciting night for Pondo Enterprises. Their latest project, a movie called “Writing Fren-Zee,” written by Campbell and Ketola, will premier on the big screen. It is described as a clever, unique romantic comedy about friendship and writer’s block.
This movie was directed by Ketola, had a production cost of $2000 and was shot entirely in Tucson over a thirteen-day period. It stars prominent Tucson theater actors Jonathan Northover and Eric Schumacher. It also stars newcomers Nate Campbell, Julie Schaffer, Megan Guthrie, Marie Sembar and features the hilarious Reb Moorehead as Merle the bum
“Writing Fren-Zee” premiers tonight (Tuesday, October 27, 2009) at the Crossroads 6 Grand Cinemas theater with a “PG-ish” rating and is open to the general public. Admission is $5.
Sharing the bill is a short horror comedy named “HUNNYBEAR” from local director Peter Leon. “HUNNYBEAR” starts at 9 p.m.,
followed by trailers for local projects and then “Writing Fren-Zee” at 9:30 p.m.