Principals: Jerry and Mike Thompson
What they’ve done: Indie feature Thor at the Bus Stop, video pieces and commercials for the V Theater, a video for new stage show Pawn Shop Live!
What’s next: Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West, an indie comedy about the titular circus talent who becomes a struggling Las Vegas street performer and must protect his junkyard full of stray animals with the animals’ help. It’s in postproduction.
Why Vegas: Jerry: “LA doesn’t need us. Here the filmmaking community is big enough where there’s a lot going on, but it’s small enough where everyone still cares about you.” lightforgestudios.com
(Note: Writer Jason Harris acted in Thor at the Bus Stop.)
Principal: Adan Van Dam
What they’ve done: Crewed many positions for History’s Counting Cars, as well as a Bruno Mars music video.
What’s next: Bionic Cholo, a stoner action film that involves the first Mexican astronaut, a Wookiee/chupacabra hybrid and crime-fighting on the U.S.-Mexico border. Big Daddy, Big World, a docuseries focusing on local impresario Big Daddy Carlos.
What it’s like being a Vegas filmmaker: “It’s been tough running a production company in a city that’s still evolving. Filmmaking is a lifestyle. You really have to apply yourself completely.” hypefactorfilms.com
Principal: Chris Ramirez
What they’ve done: Partner company Downtown Films did a lot of video work for Life Is Beautiful. Partner company Silver State Production Services crewed parts of The Hangover Part III and Heat starring Jason Statham.
What’s next: Lola Pictures’ feature Frank & Lola, set in the culinary world of Las Vegas, to be produced with Parts & Labor. Downtown Films’ untitled coming-of-age drama starring Dakota Fanning, with funding from the Downtown Project.
Why Vegas: “Being from here, I’ve always known how easy Las Vegas is to navigate for locals. I knew that I had a better chance of growing in my industry being here than going out to LA.” facebook.com/lolapictures
Principals: Charles Akin and Wesley Hirni
What they’ve done: Commercials for UNLV basketball, football and baseball along with pregame video packages. Media packages for Paul Mitchell and Cricket Communications.
What’s next: Ride Report, a documentary feature about two guys who ride their motorcycles from Las Vegas to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival. It is currently playing the festival circuit.
Why Vegas: Akin: “We felt that we were strong enough creatively to be a small fish in a small pond and grow with the pond versus being a minnow in the ocean and not being seen and heard.” oogoog.com
The strain for respectability can be felt in virtually every moment of David Dobkin’s hokey dramedy.
This clueless movie feels like the work of a perplexed octogenarian who’s just signed up for his first AOL account.
And this is supposed to launch a franchise? Good luck, guys.
- Get More Film Stories