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Little did land-based Seattleites realize Wednesday afternoon that musical and cinematic history was being made high over their heads as rocker Duff McKagan and his band Loaded flew overhead on a de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter 10-seater Kenmore Air seaplane for one of the final scenes in their film, “The Loaded Project”.

Because of the band’s busy touring schedule, the film has taken 387 days, collectively, to shoot. It follows a fictional story line featuring songs from the band’s album, The Taking. In one vignette of the movie, band members are being chased by a crazed taxi driver, portrayed by White Center musician Joe Dredd of the band Gunn and the Damage Done, a West Seattle band.

Duff McKagan, or simply “Duff'” as he is best known, was strapped into the passenger seat in the cockpit next to the pilot, Chris Jacob. Band members Mike Squires and West Seattle’s Jeff Rouse sat behind Duff. (Drummer Isaac Carpenter was not in this scene.)

West Seattle filmmaker Jamie Chamberlin, armed with a video camera fastened to a pocket dolly, was seated behind the pilot. Also shooting were Steve Haverly who owns Triple ONE Productions, and West Seattle’s Jeff White, a well-known photographer who has been following the Loaded Project with Chamberlin.

In addition to Chamberlin, Haverly and White, West Seattle filmmaker Gevin Booth was stationed on a South Lake Union dock to capture the seaplane’s take-off and landing. Before the 45-minute flight, Chamberlin suction mounted a mini Go Pro video camera to one of the airplane’s struts below the front door to capture arial footage. Kenmore Air’s Craig O’Neil facilitated the flight and helped jockey the seaplane into position for the perfect shot.

Jamie Chamberlin

“Generally, feature films take about 30 days to shoot,” said Chamberlin, who toured with Loaded in Europe last June and shot many of their concerts. “Working with bands is a whole different ball of wax. The whole film has been an organic process. Although the script was 90-percent improvised, it still ended up very close to what we had in mind when we first started filming.

“We got some amazing ariel shots of West Seattle and downtown,” said Chamberlin. “From day one Duff said that he wanted to use all different forms of transportation and geography Seattle had to offer. Thanks to everyone at Kenmore air for rolling out the red carpet to make it all happen.”

Duff weighs in

“I’m a big fan of West Seattle,” Duff told the West Seattle Herald. “Of course we filmed a few scenes at Easy Street (Records), and also West 5 and the Feedback Lounge. The first thing we filmed was Jeff and I riding our motorcycles over to the Fauntleroy ferry and going across.

“West Seattle is where all the talent kind of lives, except for me of course,” Duff quipped. He owns a house near UW.

He said he has spent time on Alki, but only recently rode his motorcycle to Alki Point.

He explained, When “I was in (the band) the Fartz in, like 1982, we rehearsed on Harbor Avenue, I rode the bus there and never got further. Alki Point was for the rock dudes. If you were a punk rock guy you’d probably get your ass handed to you up there.”

Duff said that Chamberlin, who filmed ZZ Top n 2008 for his documentary Double Down Live on that band’s double DVD of the same name, turned the Loaded film concept into a reality.

“The original idea was hatched one morning while we were recording our record with a lot of caffeine involved,” Duff recalled. “We had made all these webisodes for our last project, and we said, ‘Let’s make a really long webisode and include all our songs, like a movie!’ The caffeine had worn off for us but Jamie really locked into the thing and he got our sharp, quirky sense of humor.” West Seattle’s Jeff Rouse

“I’m stoked,” said Loaded’s bass player Rouse, who lives near 35th Ave. SW and Fauntleroy, referring to winding up the film. “I’m tired of wearing the same clothes. It’s all supposed to take place the same day,” he said of the story line.

He had mixed feelings before hopping into the seaplane.

“I’m never freaked out about this stuff, but not really super into it at the moment,” Rouse said. “But it will be fun. We’re in the hands of professionals. Duff is the guy who is usually a little freaky with the flying.”

Duff overheard this remark, and quickly retorted, “I’m not freaky flying like the plane’s going to go down, it’s just not being able to tell the pilot, when, like, I’m done.”

He had a positive experience on a similar plane before.

Duff recalled, “My wife and I have gone on Kenmore Air on this very dock to Victoria for one of our anniversaries. It was awesome.”

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