“I love movies. The recession in ‘08 hit us hard so we watched a lot of VHS and DVDs,” said Myles Ross, 23, a filmmaker local to Kent who frequented the AMC theater at Kent Station in his youth. “I want to work in film, but I wanted to do an indie movie and try to do the Spike Lee/Kevin Smith thing.”
And after a long post-production thanks to COVID-19, Ross’ ambitions, hard work and money have finally come to fruition as his directorial debut, “The House,” made its L.A. premiere during the Silicon Beach Film Festival at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.
“You put your life savings into a film and a global pandemic begins,” Ross said with a laugh. “It’s been the last two or three years of my life.”
“The House” is a sci-fi film about a group of teenagers thrown together after a car accident leaves two on the brink of death — and the rest struggling to decide their fates.
“A big inspiration for ‘The House’ is Kinji Fukasaku’s ‘Battle Royale,’ since it has teens in this situation where they have to make these tough decisions and ‘La Haine,’ which takes place over one night,” said Ross, who attended the Seattle Film Institute for a year after graduating from Kent-Meridian High School in 2017. “When ‘The House’ was bubbling in my mind, I asked, ‘what does a Seattle film look like?’”
Though not specifically set in the Pacific Northwest, “The House” was filmed on location in West Seattle. Ross said the cast’s six actors are all local to the area: Sagar Surana, who plays Jason, studied at University of Washington, C.J. Bussey (Jerome) is Ross’ cousin, Eric Lane (Nathan) is one of Ross’ buddies from SFI, and Gavin Michaels (Carl) is also from Kent.
“It was fun collaborating with friends,” Ross said of the cast and crew, which includes Melynda Myrvang, Ross’ producer and friend from SFI. “I really should be sitting here talking with Melynda. The movie wouldn’t have gotten made without her.”
Among the small cast is another local actor named Emily Gateley, who plays Wendy. Filming for “The House” wasn’t able to begin until November 2020, and during the film’s post-production, Gateley joined the cast of the Disney+ 2022 series “The Quest.”
“She is killing it right now,” Ross said of Gateley, who was able to attend a screening of “The House” at the most recent festival in Hollywood, where the film won an award for Best Ensemble Cast.s
“The House” has also won an award for Best Supporting Actor for Surana’s portrayal of Jason at the 2022 Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival.
“Festivals feel like the good cherry on top,” Ross said. “I feel really good about winning. Especially as a kid from Seattle, it feels good.”
Along with directing, Ross was the film’s co-writer and co-editor, and when he’s not doing personal film projects, Ross is a freelance videographer and editor.
As for his future, Ross is optimistic and already coming up with ideas for a script. While he admits that moving to L.A. would probably be a good idea for his directing career, Ross also said that he would be interested in working with video game companies in the Seattle area.
“I’m in the mix of figuring out working as an editor, but I want to direct more features,” said Ross, who has created a documentary on alopecia and has worked with the King County Fire District. “I love being on set, but some part of me will always be an editor.”