Director Biography – Jake Hart (VOICES)

After performing with Blue Man Group for 5 years, Jake started his screenwriting career by working with Kurt Vonnegut on multiple adaptations of his work. This led to partnerships with Dean Koontz, Stan Lee, and the Flaming Lips adapting their work for film and television. He is currently developing projects with Lex & Otis animation, Panay films, Cosmos-Maya Studios in India, Bon Voyage films in Germany, and Narratively podcasts.

Director Statement

After experiencing development hell a few times with various networks and studios, I met the founders of a micro-production company in Los Angeles called Some Assembly Required. We make little slates of short films and one-act plays a few times a year. We make what we want, with our friends, on tight schedules and budgets. I love all the members very much, and I’ve gotten to make three short films with them. The only restriction for making the shorts is that you have to abide by a challenge, a central idea you must write around. For Voices, my challenge was to make a film about two people who don’t speak the same language talking to each other. I decided to make the main character deaf, speaking sign language. Working with the actress and her on-set interpreter was one of the best professional experiences I’ve had. Also, I got to work in my childhood imaginary friend into the story, which made my parents’ day.

Director Biography – Alex Wroten (ENDANGERED)

Alex Wroten is a North Carolina-based, award-winning writer-director-composer. His diverse portfolio of projects includes original films, musical scores and documentaries that have gained international acclaim.

Alex owns and operates Well Dang! Productions, serving as creator and producer on more than 20 short films, three feature-length films and several web series. The full-service production company’s films have been screened in festivals across the United States.

Equal parts storyteller and creative initiator, Alex executes the end-to-end ownership of large-scale writing and directing projects. He is skilled in developing authentic, inventive narratives while driving budgets, removing roadblocks, managing talent and facilitating complex production schedules. Among his most recent writer/director work, Alex directed and produced the feature film, “God Bless New Dixie,” which was selected for the Tryon International Film Festival in 2016.

As a composer, Alex’s expertise spans various styles, instruments, outboard gear and creative technology platforms. The New York Times called his “Mosaic” percussion duet, which was commissioned and performed by Meehan/Perkins Duo at Constellation Chicago in 2016, an “absorbing premiere” that “glistens as it seems to rotate, less developing than slowly revealing more of its secrets.”

Director Statement

With “Endangered,” I wanted to make a dark comedy film that audiences could enjoy as either a harrowing tale of a boy (and his insect) vs. society, or, I don’t know, as an allegorical comment on women’s rights. Y’know… if they’re into that kind of “deep read”, or whatever.

Fortunately, with the dream team of my wife Lindsay and our friend, industry veteran Harry Victor producing, I think we were able to achieve that goal.

Thanks to them, the pains of casting, contracting, scouting, permitting, and, of course, SAG-AFTRA-ing have faded. Now we just have the film, a testament to all the work of everyone who dedicated their time, love, and scrutiny to become what it is.

Short Film: ENDANGERED, 18min., USA, Fantasy/Comedy

The world of easy-going teenager Roger Burns flips upside-down after he’s seduced into a late night swim with his girlfriend and contracts a rare, endangered parasite.

All Roger wants to do is get back to adolescent frivolities and basketball, but everyone from his parents, to his doctors, to animal rights groups, have their own opinions about what he needs to do with his life.

Project Links

Director Biography – Ben Hansford (UPRISING!)

Ben is an award-winning director born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised on a steady diet of film, fine arts, music, and Dungeons & Dragons. Given his not-so-hidden passions of robots, film-making, and more robots — Ben taught himself 3D software, and started filming everything he could. He now lives in Los Angeles, but don’t hold that against him.

Director Statement

As a chubby, introverted, Cajun kid, I used to love science fiction as a means of escape. I was always running off into the strange dystonia of BladeRunner, the haunting foliage of Tepper’s Grass, the emotional coldness of 2001: A Space Odyssee… But as I grew older, I realized sci-fi wasn’t just an escape pod — it was a tool to talk about what was happening in our present lives. By extending out into the worlds of the future, I found the creative liberty to talk about the problems of today and where they were heading.

Enter Uprising! A post-apocalyptic robot comedy abouta chubby introvert who’s lonely in a sea of humanity. His only super-powers: a commitment to his friends and countless hours playing video games. (Ha! Part autobiography, part wish fulfillment!)

The making of this film was a true labor of love. (And a little madness.) I learned 9 new pieces of software, spent years animating, rendering, and rotoscoping. And made incredible friends along the way.

UPRISING! really could not have existed without the extended-family I have around me now. Some donated Kickstarter funds, others animated for hours “on the box”, others re-textured robots, actors came on board just because they loved the idea of supporting ‘the little guy’, and our friend Alex even spent months in his garage building a real-life robot puppet named Terry the Trashbot.

I had the greatest, most talented, supportive team to lean on. When things went wrong on the shoot (getting kicked out of a major locations, art dept truck got impounded, lost 50% of crew the first day) Everyone stepped up and fought like hell to get us back up and rolling. It was both awe-inspiring and humbling.

In short, I’d be nowhere without my friends and family.

So I hope you love Uprising as much as I do. There are so many awesome moments in this film, and so many awesome memories behind it.

Thanks you.

Director Biography – Kenneth Ma (HERE CUT SALON)

Kenneth Ma is a creative storyteller using unique perspectives to connect with people emotionally. He is a Hong Kong filmmaker who currently studies in NYFA in LA. He actively participates in many student’s productions of his community and is looking for a chance to step into the film industry.

Director Statement

Driven and passionate with a year and a half of experience, he has a strong focus on directing and lighting. He is open-minded in creativity, communication, workflow, and maintaining a high standard on the quality of his productions is his first priority.