Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Member Spotlight: Creative Maxims

Creative Maxims, owned by Charlie & Mary Cunliffe in Dubuque, have had a very busy year. In March 2009, the two decided to learn how things work behind the scenes.  First, the Cunliffes enrolled in IMPA’s Grip 101 workshop. After their training, the duo received a call to work on “Megafault.”  This opportunity allowed the Cunliffes to see, first hand, how things were done on set.
Charlie and Mary then applied the multiple lessons learned through their training and real-life set experience while shooting their first short film, “Doo Doo Unto Others.” In this humorous story written by Mary,  a man gets fed up with a neighbor that will not keep his dog leashed and returns the gifts the dog leaves behind. Shortly after “Doo Doo” was shot Charles directed a 48 Hour Film Project for the Great River Film Initiative team.  The GRIFFIN entry, "Striking Out" won the award for best acting in the Madison, WI competition.

Following this success, Mary answered the call from the Great River Film Initiative for short scripts and wrote a horror spoof called “The Arbor Ate Em.”  The group selected the script, which focuses on a group of pine trees that are eating pesky kids at a botanical garden. Charles was also selected as the director of this project.

While working on editing “Arbor,” Charles wrote and filmed a politically charged short about health care reform from the perspective of a terminally ill father and his daughter. The film, “Hope & Change” is one of eight projects the couple has worked on in the last 12 months.

This spring, Charles won the an Iowa Motion Picture Award of Excellence for his script "Rolling Back the Clouds" in the Screenplay-Unproduced category.  Then last month, the Creative Maxim team won a "Best Use of Genre" award  at 48 Hour Film Project in Madison, WI for their film "Special Delivery."

Charlie and Mary are thoroughly enjoying their new hobby of writing scripts and making films. Creative Maxims continues to build toward their goal of shooting a feature length film. Visit Creative Maxims web site at to follow what they are doing and to view trailers of their work.

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