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Monday, September 10, 2012

Q&A with "Here is St. Louis" Filmmakers

Posted By on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 7:00 AM

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. And high-res footage of our under-appreciated hometown set to music? Well sometimes there are no words, only love and wonder.

Last week St. Louis transplants John Pa and Matt Seilback of Anastasis Films released a neat little video about the city they love. If you haven't seen it yet, prepare to tingle with StL pride.

Here is St. Louis from Anastasis Films on Vimeo.

Read on for a Q&A with John and Matt about the journeys that led them from Korea and religious seminary and onto the Gateway City.

How did you two end up in St. Louis? John Pa: I grew up in St. Louis. My parents moved me here from Korea when I was 2 months old, and I didn't have much say in the matter. In my mid 20's, I moved to NYC. I said either God or my mother would pull me back to St. Louis. After several years, I'm back, and I'm grateful to be here.

Matt Seilback: My wife and I moved out here in the summer of 2005 for me to attend graduate school. Living here in the St. Louis area, I have fallen in love with the city of St. Louis. It's a great place that our whole family has grown to love and call home in a way we never expected to when we first moved here.

Was it tough to narrow down some of your favorite places? Were there any shots you missed? JP/MS: It was a bit of a challenge. We wanted to capture some of the most compelling places in our city. Those places that make it great. There were certainly others, but we also wanted to capture those who don't get as much exposure, especially on film. I know, I know, the Cardinals and the Arch aren't exactly lacking exposure, but this is called "Here is St. Louis". It would be difficult to leave out those two St. Louis icons in a video like this.

Can you tell me a bit about Anastasis? How did it form? What kind of films do you specialize in? JP: We love to tell stories and capture beauty in moving images. That's what we dream about everyday. I had experience starting businesses and love films and TV. Our mentor asked a few of his mentees to get together to help Matt brainstorm about next steps from his expiring job. It was in that meeting I thought that we could possibly work together. Matt certainly is gifted and hardworking, and several weeks after that meeting I asked him if he would be willing to partner with me to create films. We specialize in storytelling. We film in a documentary style with a cinematic feel. Most of our business at this point comes from producing promotional videos for companies and products, like an online t-shirt company.

MS: I earned my graduate degree at Covenant Seminary. After that, I worked at the seminary for a couple of years producing films and working on a few other media related things. While in seminary, I had the opportunity to work on the now Emmy nominated documentary, Joe's Place. John has a great eye and sense of timing and, in particular, he has a great business sense. As we discussed the idea, it became clear that by joining forces we would be better together.

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