Not many people take chances with career changes. However, Brice Budke was one of the few who has been successful.
Budke, a former Bellevue resident and Bellevue Christian High School alum, went from being a consultant for Loft9 to becoming a local film producer.
During his time at Seattle Pacific University, he said he became good friends with Zeek Earl and Christopher Caldwell who are now the creators of Shep Films.
Shep Films began as a Washington-based film company producing short commercials. It wasn’t until 2014 that Earl and Caldwell produced a short film called “Prospect.”
“Prospect” is a science fiction-western film. The film tells the story of a teenage girl and her father who travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to become wealthy. While they’ve secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon’s toxic forest, others are roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest’s other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own father’s greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.
“Prospect,” filmed in Washington, did very well, according to Budke, earning awards from SXSW. The short film was received so well, in fact, the creators decided to develop it into a feature film.
It was then, Budke said, that he was offered the opportunity to become a co-producer for the film.
“I was at a point in my career at Loft9 where I was doing well and really enjoying my job, but when this opportunity came along, I didn’t want to look back on my life and always wonder what it would’ve been like if I had taken the chance,” he said. “It was kind of a now or never kind of thing.”
After working five years as a consultant or at Loft9, he resigned and became a co-producer of “Prospect” for the next three years.
In the role, Budke said he used his project management skills to manage the film’s budget, scheduling and other logistics.
“It was hard to leave but it definitely paid off. Working in film can be really risky when you’re trying to convince financiers to trust you to do something like this,” he said. “It was so much fun even if it felt like being on a rollercoaster… there was a lot of hoping and praying.”
Now the film is complete. Budke said it is being featured in theaters around the U.S. “Prospect” made its appearance in Seattle at the Regal Meridian earlier this month, and then in Everett and Auburn. For a full schedule of showtimes, visit www.prospectthefilm.com/tickets/.
“It’s been really rewarding to see it all come together and see all the hard work that went into this,” he said. “I wouldn’t have changed anything for the world.”