Short 'Shasta Stories' films make everyday Siskiyou County people into celebrities

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
Autie Carlsile features Siskiyiou County people just doing their thing in a short film series called “Shasta Stories.”

A local film artist turns regular Siskiyou County people into celebrities. 

Autie Carlisle followed her dreams, traveled around the world to find her true passion, and settled back down in her hometown of Mount Shasta to become a filmmaker. 

Carlisle creates a web series that highlights and celebrates the humanity, humor, fortitude, and magic of Siskiyou County locals. In snippets, she captures the essence of the feelings that her subjects go through bringing the viewer right into the scene sharing the experience in her series called “Shasta Stories.” 

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"I found an excuse to live the life I wanted, Carlisle said, which she found through filming. 

The dream she followed first was a decade-long career as a fashion designer. But, she says, "I got tired of making a product I didn't believe in. It wasn't satisfying. The better I got, the less appreciated I felt. I wanted to spend time with interesting people. So I went to Ireland to document a friend's story.” 

Her friend, Ross Edmonds, broke his neck bull riding in Texas when he was in his 20s. "He was told he can never ride bulls again. So he decided to go to Ireland to surf, which is contrast, but also similar to bull riding. I wanted to film his story so I followed him to Ireland in 2019." 

Autie Carlsile features Siskiyiou County people just doing their thing in a short film series called “Shasta Stories.”

From there, Carlisle continued to travel and made a short film called “Eight Countries.” It highlights the similarities and contrasts between strangers, places, and activities with a subtle focus on grandfathers. She describes the film as a "fly on the wall journey of how people live in different countries."  Flowing from one visual into the next, the observer travels between the eight countries with a dream-like syntax.  The eight countries are Ireland, England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, and the United States.

“Eight Countries” has been featured in small film festivals around the world this year including the Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF). 

Using a Sony A7III video camera with a 40mm manual prime lens, and some audio gear, she is building her portfolio. After making a TV show in New York and a seven-minute profile of a salty man salvaging his burned debris while discussing his experiences of the September 2020 wildfire in Southern Oregon, Carlisle is back in Siskiyou County. 

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“Shasta Stories” are short films between 8 and 20 minutes that profile regular people just doing their thing. From a man in a Santa suit with his dog painting store windows in Mount Shasta to a logger or a gold panner, the series shows a variety of different people living dynamic lives and finding out their story and why they end up coming to Siskiyou County. 

"I make people fall in love with themselves,” Carlisle said. “Telling people's stories makes them semi-famous and connects people. It unites us, making our lives common yet so different. It makes us appreciate each other more. I gain a lot from this."

There is humor, fortitude, humanity, even criminal aspects found in “Shasta Stories.” 

"I get incredible things on film. People give up their secrets. Pair it with action, it isn't just an interview." 

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Some of “Shasta Stories” subjects include James Cannon of Couch Critics, spiritual teacher and local author Peter Mt. Shasta, Weed Mercantile owner Joyce Oliver who built the Weed Skate Park, and gold panner John "Scruff" Case from the Eagles Lodge in Dunsmuir. 

You can find “Shasta Stories” at www.autiecarlisle.com/shastastories. They are also found on Facebook @ShastaStoriesSeries or online through Siskiyou Media Council at Videos On Demand.