Optimus Director Hall Helming Feature
July 27, 2016 by Mike McNamara
Optimus commercial director Logan Hall is leaping to the big screen with his feature film directorial debut ANIMATOR, shooting in Chicago through the end of this month. THE ANIMATOR has been filming in the rich and vibrant communities of Hyde Park, Pilsen, and Evergreen Park, with a crew headed by Unit Production Manager Dana Scott and Co-Line Producers Jason Castle and Mary Munez. Hall is directing a unique and compelling screenplay from Executive Producer and Emmy-winner Roberta Jones, Executive Producer/Writer, here's your first look at this inventive feature...
ANIMATOR is an indie sci-fi drama about an artist who can draw the future and erase the past. Executive Producer Jones’s story is portrayed through a unique juxtaposition of live action and animation. The blend of the two mediums will captivate the minds and hearts of viewers, having them ponder the age-old concepts of love, loss, and what it truly means to live life to the fullest.
"ANIMATOR is unique because it combines live action and animation in an interesting way that isn't really done these days," director Logan Hall told SCREEN. "I wanted to get on board the project because I loved the initial concept that Roberta pitched. It's such a great, unique idea, and the story is an interesting mix of sci-fi and drama. The major technique we're experimenting with is the mix of live action and animation."
Hall's team to bring that mix of live action and animation to the screen is headed by Director of Animation Julian Jones, who hails from the Animation program at Columbia College Chicago. Crew includes DP Tom Ciciura, 1st AD Paul Ruffalo, 2nd AD Larissa Malarek and Associate Producer Cynthia Hines. Casting by Paskal Rudnicke Casting, who brought together the talented cast which includes McKenzie Chinn, Levenix Riddle and Phillip Edward Van Lear.
At the heart of ANIMATOR is Emmy winner, African American screenwriter, cancer survivor and Executive Producer Roberta Jones; click here for an inspiring interview with Ms. Jones earlier this month. "As a minority woman trying to work in this industry, it's so inspiring to see Roberta see her project to fruition," Co-Line Producer Mary Munez told SCREEN. "Not only has she put together an excellent crew, but she takes much care in finding untapped talent among her friends and bringing them along for the ride. And from day one, she's had a strong push to advance woman and people of color into positions that may otherwise not have been available to them."
Last but not least, what can audiences look forward to when they see ANIMATOR in 2017? "I hope people walk away with a feeling of wonder and delight, the kind that comes after watching a special kind of film that grabs your attention and doesn't let go until the credits roll."
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.