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Lincoln Theater Will Host DeFrancis And His Films

By Staff | Jun 9, 2010

Local filmmaker, Preston DeFrancis, will present and discuss his work at the Lincoln Theater on June 11 at 7 p.m.

An area filmmaker who has found success in Los Angeles will bring his early works to New Martinsville for a one-night showing June 11. “The Films of Preston DeFrancis (to date)” will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Theater by ArtsLink, the arts council of Wetzel and Tyler counties. This event is sponsored by HBO. Tickets at the door will be $5.

Preston DeFrancis, son of Robert and Pat DeFrancis of Wheeling, will bring three short films that will chart his development as a filmmaker, culminating in his award-winning thesis film, “The Big Production.”

The first film to be shown is “Weiner” (2003), about Michael, a precocious 12-year-old, who tries to cope with his father’s impending death by recalling a legend about the infamously logical mathematician Norbert Wiener. The second film is “Making Space Nazi” from 2005. In this mockumentary, set in 1984, filmmaker T.P. Rollstein and his misfit crew try to make their magnum opus, “Space Nazi.”

The third film is DeFrancis’ master’s thesis film entitled “The Big Production”, from 2007. When the engagement ring goes missing during Bryce’s proposal, he must piece together clues from divergent accounts of the evening’s events-a sitcom, a musical, an arthouse film, and more-to expose the culprit.

DeFrancis once believed that a career in the film and television industry was out of reach. Raised in Wheeling, W.Va., he left home to study Electrical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. There he connected with a small but active filmmaking community and was encouraged to pursue graduate work in film.

He moved to Los Angeles to attend the MFA Film Directing program at the University of Southern California School Of Cinematic Arts. His award-winning short film “The Big Production” has screened at film festivals around the globe and has been honored by the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Caucus Foundation for Television Directors, and USC’s First Look Film Festival.

Since graduating from USC, Preston has been working at HBO and contributed to such programs as “John Adams,” “Into the Storm,” and the fourth-coming series “Games of Thrones.” He also teaches a course in cinematic sound at USC, previously taught by one of Preston’s mentors, THX creator Tomlinson Holman. Preston is developing multiple feature film screenplays and his romantic comedy, “The Do-Over”, is currently seeking talent attachments.

Bart Cannizzaro will serve as projectionist and West Virginia Northern Community College will provide refreshments. Preston will be on hand to talk with the audience about his films and his current projects. Support for this ArtsLink activity and others is provided by West Virginia Northern Community College, the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Department, Chesapeake Energy, WETZ/WYMJ Radio, and Ohio Valley Online.