Movie poster for “Shade of Music” featuring KP resident William Michael Paul, seated, with co-star Malcolm J. West. Courtesy KCTS

When Theatre Puget Sound placed a call for auditions, Lake Minterwood resident William Michael Paul showed up with a smile. Casting began for a movie, “Shade of Music,” July 23, 2015.

To prepare for the role, Paul said he spent “two hard weeks studying stroke victims on You Tube, listening to classical music, reading Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and watching ‘Schindler’s List’ and Mel Brooks movies.” He returned to audition two or three times.

Nearly a year later, Paul traveled to watch himself co-star at the movie’s premiere at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, June 16 to 19.

Dmitry Gelfand (known as D. Mitry) wrote the script, the musical score and the screenplay. He also directed and produced the 27-minute short film. It will air on KCTS public television July 18 and 24, and will stream online at kcts9.org/reelnw. The REEL NW series features independent films by Northwest filmmakers.

KCTS Senior Producer Laila Kazmi told the KP News, “It was selected as one of our top shorts. It is very beautifully shot in Seattle, with vibrant colors. We’re very excited to have it [in our program lineup].”

This is the second film produced by D.Mitry, and he said it was shot on location in Tukwila and West Seattle over “four long days.” It grew from an idea his mother gave him about two grandmothers who never got along, but he changed the genders for his movie. “These two old men are geometrically opposite: one white, one black, as different as they could possibly be,” he said, describing the film’s characters.

Paul said it’s “A friendship story like I’ve never seen in my life.”

Malcolm J. West played the other main character in the movie. “The chemistry with William was instant,” he said. “He walked in smiling a big sunshine smile. The way he entered the room, I felt attached. We had already connected. At the audition, we talked for an hour, until we felt the role.”

“My relationship with Malcolm is the best friendship on and off the set I’ve had,” Paul said. “We are true brothers.”

The acting careers of both men bloomed later in life. West has “performed in live theater, one production after another, for the past five years,” he said.

Paul has 30 movies, a television series and commercials in his credits. “For the last 15 years, the KP has embraced me. I want to give back that ‘community feel’ to everyone who screens this movie,” he said.

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