‘Hashtag’ Anibrain Visual Effects Featurette Released


A chance meeting between director Ben Alpi and Anibrain, Los Angeles’ Executive Producer Mark de Sousa has led to some beautiful imagery for Runic Films’ short science fiction film Hashtag.


“Mark and I met on a plane, [laughs]” says Ben Alpi, the director and co-writer of Hashtag, a science fiction short film about “X”, played by Gigi Edgley, a celebrity in the darkening future of social media. The film also stars Ethan Arkin, and Juliet Landau. “I was traveling to Montreal and just happened to sit next to two eminent visual effects artists; one of them was Mark.”


Mark de Sousa is the Los Angeles-based Executive Producer for Anibrain, an award winning visual effects and creative studio specializing in creating stunning visuals for Film, TV, and Mobile.


Mark adds, “What Ben didn’t know was that the flight was filled with attendees for a Visual Effects and Animation conference. [laughs] He told me about Hashtag, which had just finished physical production, and I was immediately drawn to the story. And he said it was full of futuristic visuals so I wanted to see how Anibrain might get involved.”


When they returned to the U.S., the two met with visual effects supervisor Deke Kincaid. “When Ben introduced me to Deke,” says Mark, “we immediately felt a connection and quickly formed a clear understanding about the needs of the film. I was thrilled that Ben had envisioned such a key role for visual effects and that he did not limit himself in order to bring his vision to life.”


Ben adds, “We were impressed with the work Anibrain was doing in feature films and we were hoping they might be interested in tackling one of the more complex sequences in the film.”


Specializing in everything from animals to environmental effects like digital fire, Anibrain was up to the challenge. In less than a decade, the studio has gathered visual effects credits in over 100 international blockbusters, ranging from North American to Asian cinema. Founded in 2006 by leading VFX Supervisor Jesh Krishna Murthy, Anibrain has become a leading destination for high-end global VFX in India.


Jesh, Anibrain’s founder, recalls, “When Mark and I reviewed the various sequences in Hashtag, one sequence popped out as particularly interesting and different where floating robots spray clothing and jewelry onto X. We worked with Ben to flesh out the look of the robots and the effects of all the elements building out.”


And the spectacular results speak for themselves. Check out this visual effects demo put together by Anibrain and Runic Films.



“We could not be happier that Ben invited us to collaborate and help realize his vision for Hashtag,” notes Mark. “He has a great artistic sense and clearly explains his directions. We are looking forward to working with him for many years to come.”


“Anibrain did amazing, detailed work,” Ben says. “These effects help make this film something special for our Kickstarter Backers and viewers around the world. I’m really glad Mark and I sat next to each other. I definitely recommend Anibrain to anyone in need of sophisticated, photo-realistic visual effects.”


A co-production of Runic Films and Little Empire Productions, Hashtag is an ambitious vision of the future and is currently in post-production. For more about the project, visit https://runicfilms.com//hashtag.



Runic Films is a Los Angeles-based film production and entertainment company developing original properties for film and television. Runic was founded in 2001 to return visual storytelling to its roots and uphold the traditions of myth and legend. Today, Runic Films harnesses cutting-edge technology and visual effects to create amazing worlds for dramatic tales grounded in humanity.


Little Empire Productions is the creative partnership of Gigi and Jake Edgley to create and promote music, comic books, and films that enlighten, intrigue, and rock your world. Spanning the Pacific between Australia and Los Angeles, Calif., Little Empire Productions’ mission is to create great art straight from the heart and soul.


Anibrain is an award winning visual and creative studio specializing in creating stunning visuals for Film, TV, Apps, VR, AR and Mobile. No matter how complex the work, we get it done! With credits in over 100 international blockbusters, we are passionate about telling your story through breathtaking visuals that dazzle audiences the world over.


Robert Alpi
Runic Films
Ph: 810-771-8065





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