Notebook Entertainment: a new local film production company
By Susan Johnson
Wyatt Elliott is a local film producer who started his own company, Notebook Entertainment. He identifies himself as a writer, director and producer of a webseries called Tales From FMyLife on YouTube, which has more than 100 episodes and recently celebrated its second anniversary.
Elliott produced a series called Retail concerning the struggles everyday people face while working at a Best Buy-type store. It has five episodes plus two spin-offs.
Elliott also has two dramatic short films. One is called Son Of A Gun, which has been featured in the On The Waterfront Festival in 2011, and Soul Searchers: Café Despair, which made its debut in January. Both have sequels and additional episodes planned.
Almost everyone who appears in a Notebook production is from or around the Rockford area.
The Rock River Times asked Elliott some questions about his unique venture.
TRRT: How did the company get started?
Wayne Elliott: I wanted to make movies, and my friend and I decided to just do it. I always wanted to make films, and we had an idea for just clowning around called “John Rainbo” back in 2007. The new Rambo film was coming out, and we were talking about it. Somebody had just heard it. They said, “Rainbow,” which began as a joke, but it became the very first film. It was a Rambo parody called John Rainbo. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIsB3loRWE] We put it up on Yahoo’s website, and they put it on their front page. It just blew up from there. Then, I produced a little series called Retail. I did the Retail series for a while and was trying to bring it back, but we lost the location. We shot that from 2007 to 2009.
TRRT: Do you have any local partners in promoting the business?
Elliott: Notebook Entertainment is my production company. There are no official partners, but I work with a lot of people, a lot of filmmakers in town. Tim Stotz is one of my friends. He does a lot of film production work. He was part of the Raymond Did It team last summer. He also co-produced Notebook’s first feature film, which is called Eros Ink.
TRRT: What are your most recent projects?
Elliott: What I’m doing right now is, I have a webseries called Tales From FMyLife. It’s all one life that has over 100 episodes. We’ve been doing it for over two years now. That’s the most successful thing I’ve done. They range from anywhere from over 500 views to 600 views. It has a lot of different participants … all of them under Notebook Entertainment, but every episode has a different actor; they are real-life stories. They are funny things; a lot of them are adult content. I’d say they are PG-13 rated. We bleep the language, and there is no hard-core nudity or violence; it’s all innuendos. I try to produce something that you can see on TV.
I have also recently dabbled into the drama. With such titles as Son of a Gun (http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCTP4s5g_oo&list=PLBB454B14213A6B90&index=1&feature=plpp_video) which has been featured at the OTW Film Festival and Soul Searchers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTm2hES6G6M&feature=watch_response), which I plan on making more episodes of and will eventually become a feature film project.
Notebook’s first produced film is based on the first screenplay I ever wrote, and it’s called Eros Ink Trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTMS6EcXmNE&feature=plcp&context=C389fd3aUDOEgsToPDskKFSfATYHyCxz5GlfDGLkAL). It is in post production now and will soon be making the film festival scene.
Notebook Entertaniment’s official website is http://www.NotebookFilms.com.
From the March 21-27, 2012, issue