Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton died May 16th at the age of 54 from a previously undiagnosed blood disorder. Her breakout movie, Humpday won an award at Sundance Film Festival. She also directed for TV on the shows Mad Men, New Girl, and Fresh Off the Boat, among others.
Even after national acclaim, Shelton stayed in Seattle. Tomo Nakayama is a Seattle musician who appeared in Shelton’s 2013 film Touchy Feely.
“Her images are so expressive and so distinctively Northwest. The scenes of Seattle and nature. There’s just something about her that you could recognize,” Nakayama says.
Shelton rarely, if ever, built a set for a movie; she instead filmed her movies in Washington State. Even when she began taking trips to work in L.A, she kept her permanent residence 1,100 miles to the north in Seattle.
Nakayama remembers Shelton for this and her warm and open demeanor. How she would throw her head back and laugh at a joke. Her embrace of others.
“She changed me forever,” Nakayama says. “And in talking with her friends and stuff, we keep saying the same thing — that she made us better.”
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