Tad is a Senior Producer-Writer with extensive management background in motion picture and television production and has a passion for educational development though implementation of converging digital media technologies. He has strong experience in computer technology, digital media, and managing large groups of creative artists and technicians within an international business environment.
He grew up in Dayton, Ohio and upon graduating from the University of Dayton served in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery Officer and worked as writer, producer, and director for the U.S. Fourth Army Educational Television Network. After honorable discharge, Mr. Devlin worked as a writer, producer, and cinematographer for clients such as IBM, Standard Register Company, Cincinnati Zoo, Pontiac, Schoenling Beer, IBM, and Frigidaire.
He entered the motion picture industry as one of five selected out of three thousand applicants to the Director’s Guild of America Training Program. Since completing the program, Mr. Devlin has worked on over fifty major studio and network television projects as an assistant director, production manager, and producer.
He has taught screenplay writing, media literacy, photography, and film making at community colleges and continuing-ed in Los Angeles and Washington State. Mr. Devlin’s Hollywood film credits include: My Last Love, George of the Jungle, D3: The Mighty Ducks, When a Man Loves a Woman, Sleeping With the Enemy, Crazy People, TV101,The Morning After, The Judds – Love Can Build a Bridge, The Switch, For Their Own Good, As Summer Dies, The Bates Motel, Sizzle, Not In Front Of the Children, Roseland, Hide In Plain in Sight, Norma Rae, Day the Bubble Burst, Annie Hall, and Jessica Novak.
Member DGA, WGA ASSOCIATE
Filmmaker Passionate About Storytelling – The Chonicle December 27, 2000
By Brian Mittge
Local film aficionados continue to find mentor, educator and sometimes boss in Hollywood transplant C. Tad Devlin and his Chehalis company, Northwest Film Projects. Since coming to Lewis County in 1988, Devlin has been busy encouraging local people to tell their stories about living in rural America. He has done so through film, community television and college classes. The year 2000 saw the release of the United Way fundraising video his company created. If things go according to plan, Devlin hopes to see two full-length film productions finished soon.
Devlin and his company are wrapping up post-production on their first feature film, “The Immigrant Garden” and hope to release the movie by Mother’s Day. The process has taken a little longer than normal. Devlin attributes the delay on the complexities of filming and producing every aspect of the film digitally. “It’s taken a little longer than normal, but we’re dealing with new technology.” he said. “causing software bugs, technical blockades, and steep learning curves. We’re behind six months.” After sound work and picture editing are finished, the world premiere of the movie will be at the Chehalis Theater, just two blocks from the six room office where the film was edited. Proceeds from the film will go to the Southwest Washington Dance Center.
Although filming and editing “The Immigrant Garden” has been a main focus for Northwest Film Projects, Devlin and Centralia physician Dr. Floyd Smith have been moving foreword on another major project, a documentary about the B-17 bomber. When finished the two hope to sell the five-part series to the History Channel. The movie will focus on Americans who flew the mighty plane known as the “Flying Fortress,” as well as German pilots who had to face them during World War II. Seeking to interview “ordinary people living in extraordinary times,” Smith traveled throughout America and Europe to interview those who flew the planes and those who had to face them.
To illustrate the sort of stories he found, Smith eagerly related a story of a German pilot who was sent to shoot down a crippled B-17 during the height of World War II. After flying to within 13 feet of the B-17 and seeing the crew faces inside, the German decided to escort the plane back to England, where it landed safely. “He looked at them and said to himself, “I’m not going to take these people out”. “So he escorted them back,” Smith said. After the war, he established contact with the (American) pilot of the B-17. The German and American later had a reunion in Atlanta.
In crafting the documentary, Smith looked for human kind of stories, to show similar backgrounds and humanity of the individuals on both sides who were somehow connected to the B-17. During filming Smith and Devlin traveled to a private air museum in Oregon, where they were able to film one of only 12 operational B-17s left in the world. That footage will be combined with archival film and photographs for the final five-part documentary.
In addition to supervising more than a dozen mostly teen-aged full and part-time workers at Northwest Film Projects, Devlin continues to teach film class at Centralia College. His upcoming class, Film Production Techniques Using Home Video, begins in January. The class explores visual literacy, storytelling, and video production using a home video camera. A Centralia College class two year ago included two students, Caroline Wood and Dr. Smith, who’s class projects blossomed into a script for “The Immigrant Garden”, and a B-17 documentary. Devlin’s Centralia College classes are open to the public. To register for Devlin’s $42 class, telephone the Continuing Education Department at 736-9391, Ext. 331.
Devlin describes the challenges of filmmaking as healthy for everyone involved.. “People are alot more generous when they get to work at what they want and need,” he said. It’s not just for youths. As far as Smith’s work on the B-17 project goes, “putting his neck on the line with a camera … is going to make him a better doctor,” Devlin said. According to Jamie Kline, a Centralia College graduate who is one of four full-time employees at Northwest Film Projects, Devlin is a patient teacher. “He cares about the community and his employees, but he demands alot of us at the same time. People give him a lot of flak because he speaks his mind. He’s very honest,” Kline said. “I’d rather be exhausted at the end of the day and know that I’ve grown as a person,” she said. “Even the worst days here are good. I wake up and I’m excited to come in.” Kline believes the stories Devlin tells through the company’s projects are important, and need to be told. “He (Devlin) wants to do films that promote morality, and contribute to society,” she said. ” They’re stories of heart, stories of growth.”
Brian Mittge covers municipal government for The Cronicle. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by telephoning 807-8237
CCTV will work with Tad Devlin’s proposal
Chehalis resident Tad Devlin has stepped forward with a sound proposal to essentially replace the area’s foundering cable-access station, CCTV.
Devlin proposes forming an enterprise dubbed Lewis County Television (LCTV), which would feature a mix of public access, educational and government programming_ The eventual goal would be to make the station self-sufficient, rather than having to depend on government subsidies.
The latter system didn’t work for CCTV With the city of Centralia as the lone sponsor, CCTV has not been able to make a go of it financially.
Details of Devlin’s proposal, of course, have yet to be worked out. Efforts are underway to start the process by appointing a executive director and a citizens’ board of director to steer the enterprise. He is seeking grants to help underwrite station costs and is working to secure free educational programming, which he contends will help improve literacy among county residents and possibly address chronic problems with unemployment and under employment.
But some naysayers have stepped forward to grump. Last Tuesday, some producers and guests of CCTV talk shows grumped that Devlin’s LCTV would take away their ability to do what they want on such shows. Let’s face it: What they want is for the government to foot the bill for their anti-government diatribes.
The problem – as Devlin and Centralia City Manager Tom Reber have pointed out – is CCTV has gained a reputation of being dominated by such content, which has driven away public support and interest, plus other potential programmers who don’t want to be associated with that reputation.
Yes, there’s a place for such talk, and nothing says that LCTV can’t be such a place – while also providing quality, diver
se and educational programming designed to appeal to a broader spectrum of viewers and potential financial supporters. LCTV is no more guaranteed of success than was CCTV. But it deserves a chance to work, and now is not the time to derail it before it even has such an opportunity.
The Immigrant Garden Student Film
Daffodils and Dahlias are not the only things that blossom in “The Immigrant Garden. ” Self-discovery, tolerance, friendship, knowledge, and respect for others grow out of the correspondence betweeneen the gentle drama’s two main characters; young Cecily Barnes and 80-year-old Louise Beauchamp. the elderly woman with whom she exchanges letters. – Judy Panteleef, The Chronicle Premiere Review
The Immigrant Garden student movie was the outgrowth of media-literacy classes mentored by C. Tad Devlin. It all started in 1998 as a continuing education media-literacy class project at Centralia, College, located in rural Lewis County, WA where lack of work and poor economy force many young people into depression and dispair. Mr. Devlin, and his wife Diana decided to do something positive to help young people find hope. Thus began Northwest Film Projects, Inc.
The purpose of first $42 classes in 1999, which were held two hour lectures twice a week for eight weeks, was to teach young people how to utilize emerging media, the Internet, and web technologies to develop greater self-esteem and proper job skills from filmmaking. The mentoring program, open to all interested, allowed poorer students to attend the class for free. For the next six months NFP helped students make free promotional films for non-proficts like the United Way, the library, the local hospital, and child care centers. As the students emotional security grew, so did their filmmaking skills.
After nine months of producing short films in the area and a demo reel to present their talents to community access televisionn, the students decided to make a no budget movie using off the shelf digital consumer camera, a PC, with lights and grip gear found off the shelf of a local hardware store. From this humble start, the NFP media literacy program eventually evolved into a community project involving more than 350 local people who had never worked on a movie before.