MHS graduate filmmaker's documentary to be shown at film festival
The moment she met Clovis artist Wade Krause and saw his work, Porterville native Ann Newman said she knew she had to make a film about him.
The end product — “Wade Krause: Pinball Artist,” a short documentary about the artist’s struggle to reinvent pinball — will be shown at Cinequest Film Festival, one of the top film festivals in the United States slated for March 8 and 9 in San Jose.
“When I found out my film was accepted into Cinequest, I was thrilled because this film was my first time directing — rather than just producing,” Newman said. “The number of women directing films, especially indie films, is starting to increase and I’m really proud to be part of that group.”
Krause gives old pinball machines a second life by re-creating them as interactive artworks shown in galleries and purchased by museums across the country.
“Wade’s talent, unknown to many locals, has international recognition in the world of pinball. His story needed to be told,” said Newman.
The documentary — which took a year and a half to film — was produced with a professional film crew from Fresno and San Francisco. It follows Krause as he pursues his craft in his Clovis studio and on expeditions to San Francisco and Philadelphia in search of rare pinball machines. His work is shown being enjoyed by people of all ages at San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum and at pinball shows and tournaments around the country.
“I like looking at paintings, but pinball gives you something back. It’s never the same twice,” Krause said.
Daughter of Porterville resident Richard Newman, she did not start filmmaking until 2008 when she was in her 40s, when she took a class on cinematography at work on a whim.
“The technical aspects of filmmaking in combination with the art really appealed to me. After the class ended, I contacted the cinematographer teaching the class, Don Starnes, and I did an 18-month apprenticeship with him. I never went to film school.”
Newman also learned Starnes home town was Merced.
“We still work together when we can. He is the cinematographer on ‘Wade Krause: Pinball Artist,’” she said.
A 1985 Monache High School graduate, she is a freelance film producer and director, working as a software engineering manager at DreamWorks Animation in the San Francisco area.
Newman also has family in Fresno, including her cousin, Lisa Kao, who has written and performed music for some of her films.
In addition to showing Newman’s film, the festival will also honor actor Harrison Ford with a Maverick Spirit award during a live presentation.
Visit www.cinequest.org for tickets or more information.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DON STARNES
Anna Newman is a Porterville native and filmmaker. Her documentary, “Wade Krause: Pinball Artist” will be shown at Cinequest Film Festival, slated for March 8 and 9 in San Jose. Newman is a graduate of Monache High School.