News

‘Hashtag’ Hits 500,000 Total Views

‘Hashtag’ Hits 500,000 Total Views

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Runic Films and Little Empire Productions are honored to announce that Hashtag, their prescient science fiction short film, has exceeded a total of 500,000 views. Hashtag premiered May 28th exclusively on DUST, and is now available anytime on their online channels including YouTube:

 

 

Alpi says, “It’s quite a journey to go from a concept all the way to completing a film. It’s another to have half a million people see it! 500,000 views is fantastic. We have had a great festival run, meeting film goers and filmmakers from around the world, so this is icing on the cake. DUST has done a wonderful job and it would not have been possible without a great cast and crew, the support of our Kickstarter Backers, our families, friends, and fans. I like to think with the upheaval we’re all experiencing right now, Hashtag is a nice get-away.”

 

Hashtag is a short science fiction thriller that examines a looming future where social media dominates our lives and “X” (Gigi Edgley), the supreme online celebrity, finds the true cost of her popularity. It also stars Erryn Arkin and Juliet Landau as the voice of “Te’a”.

 

Edgley adds, “We had a wonderful time chatting with viewers on launch day back in May. It’s always lovely to speak to audience members to hear not only what they think about the film, but what they think about the questions Hashtag is asking. I think a lot of us feel like “X” as we work from home and try to stay connected on social media. I’m glad we have movies to keep us company, too!”

 

Hashtag has been honored with four festival awards including the top shorts prize “Best Short Film” at Gen Con Film Fest, “Best Sci-Fi Short” at FilmQuest, “Best International Sci-Fi Short” at New Renaissance Film Fest, “Best Social Media Story” at Sydney Indie Fest, an “Honorable Mention” at Dragon Con Film festival, and has been nominated for another 14 awards. Hashtag has been accepted to 17 film festivals and has screened on 4 continents at some of the most prestigious festivals including HollyShorts, LA Shorts, Comic-Con International, Sci-Fi-London, and Blue Planet Science Fiction Film Festival in Nanjing, China.

 

A co-production of Runic Films and Little Empire Productions, Hashtag is an ambitious vision of our possible future in the tradition of classic science fiction storytelling. For more about the project, please visit https://runicfilms.com/hashtag.

 

 

ABOUT DUST
DUST presents thought-provoking science fiction content, exploring the future of humanity through the lens of science and technology. From timeless classics to cutting-edge movies, series, short films, and podcasts, DUST acquires, produces and distributes all content types.

ABOUT RUNIC FILMS
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.

 

https://runicfilms.com/
@runicfilms
https://www.facebook.com/runicfilms

 

ABOUT LITTLE EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
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.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:
Jyotika Virmani
Runic Films
email
Ph: 747-245-5559

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‘Hashtag’ to Premiere Online on DUST May 28

‘Hashtag’ to Premiere Online on DUST May 28

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Runic Films and Little Empire Productions are proud to announce that Hashtag, their prescient science fiction short film, will premiere Thursday, May 28th at 7AM PT exclusively on DUST, the premium science fiction brand. Director/co-writer Ben Alpi, star Gigi Edgely and producer Jyotika Virmani will be on hand to chat with viewers in the comments on YouTube.com/WatchDUST from 10-11AM PT.
 

UPDATE: Watch it right here:
 

 

Alpi says, “It is fantastic to be releasing Hashtag into the world and we are honored to be a partnering with DUST to do it. I’m dedicated to unlocking perspectives and provoking thought with my work. So, we are thrilled to be launching on DUST because their global reputation is built on that same concept of exploration. I intended Hashtag to be a conversation starter about social media and DUST is the perfect place to expand that discussion. Their audience is an amazing, vibrant community and we’re delighted to be sharing Hashtag with them and the rest of the world.”

 

Hashtag is a short science fiction thriller that examines a looming future where social media dominates our lives and “X” (Gigi Edgley), the supreme online celebrity, finds the true cost of her popularity. It also stars Erryn Arkin and Juliet Landau as the voice of “Te’a”.

 

Edgley adds, “Hashtag is very near and dear to me. Ben has put so much of himself into it, as have many others in the cast and crew, and it was so great to see it getting the recognition it deserves at film festivals. And it’s just phenomenal that now it’s going to be available on DUST for anyone to see. It was lovely to play beautiful “X”, such a complex and troubled soul, I can’t wait for more people to meet her and the world of Hashtag.”

 

Hashtag has been honored with 17 film festival acceptances and won the top shorts prize “Best Short Film” at Gen Con Film Fest, “Best Sci-Fi Short” at FilmQuest, “Best International Sci-Fi Short” at New Renaissance Film Fest, “Best Social Media Story” at Sydney Indie Fest, an “Honorable Mention” at Dragon Con Film festival, and has been nominated for another 14 awards. ‘Hashtag’ has screened on 4 continents at some of the most prestigious festivals including HollyShorts, LA Shorts, Comic-Con International, Sci-Fi-London, and Blue Planet Science Fiction Film Festival in Nanjing, China.

 

Hashtag premieres exclusively on DUST Thursday, May 28th at 7AM PT across their YouTube, Facebook, and IGTV.

 

A co-production of Runic Films and Little Empire Productions, Hashtag is an ambitious vision of our possible future in the tradition of classic science fiction storytelling. For more about the project, please visit https://runicfilms.com/hashtag.

 

 

ABOUT DUST
DUST presents thought-provoking science fiction content, exploring the future of humanity through the lens of science and technology. From timeless classics to cutting-edge movies, series, short films, and podcasts, DUST acquires, produces and distributes all content types.

ABOUT RUNIC FILMS
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.

 

https://runicfilms.com/
@runicfilms
https://www.facebook.com/runicfilms

 

ABOUT LITTLE EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
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.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:
Jyotika Virmani
Runic Films
email
Ph: 747-245-5559

###

 

‘Hashtag’ Anibrain Visual Effects Featurette Released

‘Hashtag’ Anibrain Visual Effects Featurette Released

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

 

 

ABOUT RUNIC FILMS
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.
https://runicfilms.com/
@runicfilms
https://www.facebook.com/runicfilms

 

ABOUT LITTLE EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
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.

 

ABOUT ANIBRAIN
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.
http://anibrain.com/
@anibrainVFX

 

Contact:
Robert Alpi
Runic Films
email
Ph: 810-771-8065

 

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Juliet Landau Joins the Cast of ‘Hashtag’

Juliet Landau Joins the Cast of ‘Hashtag’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

LOS ANGELES, Calif.,  Runic Films and Little Empire Productions are very happy to announce that Juliet Landau has joined the cast of their forthcoming science fiction short film Hashtag. Juliet will be the voice of “T’ea”, the omnipresent computer system in the Hashtag world. A superlative actress on screen, on stage, and in animation, video games, and audio dramas, Juliet has appeared in some of the biggest films, series, and franchises.

 

“Juliet is a truly fantastic addition or our already excellent cast. A few years ago, I saw Juliet in a staged reading of A Streetcar Named Desire and was struck by her Blanche”, says Ben Alpi, director and co-writer of the film. “Fate would have it that I was listening to her voice-over demo reel one day and introducing her to Hashtag the next. Itss quite incredible!”

 

Juliet is known for many roles including “Drusilla” in Joss Whedon’s Emmy and Saturn award-winning series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and “Loretta” in Tim Burton’s Oscar winning Ed Wood. She has also supplied the voices for numerous animated films including several in the DC Comics universe, and TV series including Ben 10, Justice League, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and more. Juliet also voiced several memorable video game characters including the “Little Sisters” from the award-winning Bioshock series. Doctor Who and audio drama fans will also know Juliet as “Romana” from Big Finish’s The Companion Chronicles and Gallifrey ranges.

 

Juliet shares, “I am very excited about working with Ben and joining the Hashtag universe. The film is a wonderful comment on our times and the use of social media. T’ea should be a lot of fun to voice!”

 

 

As a director and producer, Miss Landau has been working on a duo of feature documentaries about vampires, A Place Among the Undead and A Place Among the Dead. She is currently gearing up an IndieGoGo campaign for Undead, a “first of its kind” gathering the Who’s Who of the genre. With an impressive list of interviewees never seen together in one film, you can sign up to be notified about the campaign at http://www.aplaceamongtheundead.com/.

 

Ben remarks, “Juliet has a unique voice and builds such indelible characters. I can’t wait to hear her breathe life into T’ea!”

 

Neither can I enthuses Juliet.

 

Juliet joins Hashtag stars Gigi Edgley, Erryn Arkin, and Simone Alex in The Twilight Zone-like short film about a future dominated by social media and technology. Hashtag, from co-writer/director Ben Alpi, producer Jyotika Virmani and co-writer Kevin Rubio, was successfully funded on Kickstarter.com in December 2014 and is currently in post-production. Hashtag is a co-production of Runic Films and Little Empire Productions.

 

For more information visit:
https://runicfilms.com/
http://www.gigiedgley.com

 

ABOUT RUNIC FILMS
Runic Films is a Los Angeles-based film production and entertainment company developing original properties for film and television. Runic was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to upholding the traditions of mythic storytelling. Runic Films harnesses cutting-edge technology and visual effects to create amazing worlds for dramatic tales grounded in humanity.

 

ABOUT LITTLE EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
Gigi and Jake Edgley are the co-founders of Little Empire Productions. They have been certain every step of the way to create music, comic books and films that enlighten, intrigue and rock your world. They are internationally based as Jake is currently located in Australia and Gigi resides in Los Angeles. Little Empire Productions mission is to devise creations straight from the heart and soul.

 

Contact:
Robert Alpi
Runic Films
email
Ph: 810-771-8065

 

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Kevin Rubio’s New ‘Star Wars’ Parody

Now with over 100,000 views! Hashtag co-writer and Star Wars parody master Kevin Rubio with the help of Shant Jordan and Synaptic Studios have released a mash-up of two films you wouldn’t expect. Star Wars and…

 

I helped out in the effort by creating the new title crawl and blended it into the visual effects footage. It’s probably the best known opening titles in cinema, so I was glad to pitch in. Waste no time, check out the video below!

 

This isn’t the first time Kevin and Shant joined up to poke some fun at the venerable Star Wars franchise. If you didn’t know, Kevin Rubio and a small band of rebels created one of the first fan films ever to go viral, the Star Wars/COPS mash-up TROOPS. Complete with Fargo-accented Stormtroopers and full visual effects, the pre-Youtube mockumentary was shared via files around the world. I was at college for visual effects at the time and as I collected the four file set, I never thought I’d meet several of the makers ten years later. Please enjoy!

 

“Hashtag” Filming Begins, Simone Alex Joins Cast

“Hashtag” Filming Begins, Simone Alex Joins Cast

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Filming has begun! At an undisclosed location deep in the heart of Hollywood, Runic Films and Little Empire Production’s Hashtag science fiction short film has started filming. The film is being directed and was co-written by Ben Alpi, produced by Jyotika Virmani, and stars Gigi Edgley.

 

“Many thanks to the amazing team there who are working with us to make this happen. Hashtag is beginning to take shape!” says Jyotika Virmani, the producer of Hashtag.

 

Simone AlexThe cast and crew comprise of over 35 individuals including stars Gigi Edgley and Erryn Arkin as well as a new addition. Joining the cast of Hashtag is the lovely and talented Simone Alex. Find out more about Simone on her website, http://www.simonealex.com.

 

“Everything is going very well so far. Everyone is prepped and ready. I’m really excited to finally see all the pieces coming together,” added Ben Alpi, director.

 

All hands on deck! Joining Ben on set will be production designer Meg Savage, cinematographer David Berry, visual effects supervisor Deke Kincaid, art director Steve Karman, editor Jeff Handy, composer Joe Terrana, and line producer Erik “Gooch” Goodrich.

 

Jyotika said, “We’ll also have three of our ‘Invite Level’ Kickstarter Backers join us on Saturday to check out movie-making in action!”

 

Hashtag was successfully funded on Kickstarter.com in December 2014 and begins principle photography later this month. The film is a though-provoking science fiction short starring Gigi Edgley from co-writer/director Ben Alpi, producer Jyotika Virmani and co-writer Kevin Rubio. Hashtag is a co-production of Runic Films and Little Empire Productions.

 

For more information visit:
https://runicfilms.com/
http://www.gigiedgley.com

 

ABOUT RUNIC FILMS
Runic Films is a Los Angeles-based film production and entertainment company developing original properties for film and television. Runic was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to upholding the traditions of mythic storytelling. Runic Films harnesses cutting-edge technology and visual effects to create amazing worlds for dramatic tales grounded in humanity.

 

ABOUT LITTLE EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
Gigi and Jake Edgley are the co-founders of Little Empire Productions. They have been certain every step of the way to create music, comic books and films that enlighten, intrigue and rock your world. They are internationally based as Jake is currently located in Australia and Gigi resides in Los Angeles. Little Empire Productions mission is to devise creations straight from the heart and soul.

 

Contact:
Robert Alpi
Runic Films
email
Ph: 810-771-8065

 

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Actor Erryn Arkin Joins ‘Hashtag’

Actor Erryn Arkin Joins ‘Hashtag’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Erryn ArkinLOS ANGELES, Calif., Runic Films and Little Empire Productions are thrilled to announce that actor Erryn Arkin will join Gigi Edgley on the cast of Hashtag. A short science fiction drama, Hashtag explores the future of humanity and celebrity in a world dominated by social media and technology.

 

“We’re really excited to have Erryn join the cast. He’s a superior guy and a very nuanced actor,” says Ben Alpi, director and co-writer of the short science fiction film going into production soon. “I can’t wait to work with Erryn, he has a unique job ahead and it will be great to see him bring his character to life.”

 

Erryn has appeared in a number of television series, including Home and Away (in Australia) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (in the US). Erryn got bit by the acting bug performing Shakespeare in local stage plays. He went on to graduate from the University of New South Wales and continued his training at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Also catch Erryn in the upcoming ABC Sci-Fi drama series Stitchers (2015).

 

Erryn adds, “When I first heard about the concept behind Hashtag, it sounded like something I’d really like to dig into. It’s a great opportunity to work with Ben, Gigi and the rest of this awesome team. I’m glad to be a part of bringing this incredibly layered script to life.”

 

Hashtag was successfully funded on Kickstarter.com in December 2014 and begins principle photography later this month. The film is a though-provoking science fiction short starring Gigi Edgley from co-writer/director Ben Alpi, producer Jyotika Virmani and co-writer Kevin Rubio. Hashtag a co-production of Runic Films and Little Empire Productions.

 

For more information visit:
https://runicfilms.com/
http://www.errynarkin.com
http://www.gigiedgley.com

 

ABOUT RUNIC FILMS
Runic Films is a Los Angeles-based film production and entertainment company developing original properties for film and television. Runic was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to upholding the traditions of mythic storytelling. Runic Films harnesses cutting-edge technology and visual effects to create amazing worlds for dramatic tales grounded in humanity.

 

ABOUT LITTLE EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
Gigi and Jake Edgley are the co-founders of Little Empire Productions. They have been certain every step of the way to create music, comic books and films that enlighten, intrigue and rock your world. They are internationally based as Jake is currently located in Australia and Gigi resides in Los Angeles. Little Empire Productions mission is to devise creations straight from the heart and soul.

 

Contact:
Robert Alpi
Runic Films
email
Ph: 810-771-8065

 

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Thank you Backers! Hashtag is a GO!

Thank you Backers! Hashtag is a GO!

Dear Backers and supporters,

 

On behalf of the entire Hashtag cast and crew, we would like to thank you for all the love and support you’ve sent our way over the past 30+ days. To help express our gratitude, here are a pair of thank you messages– one from myself and Jyotika and one from Gigi (who is on top of the world– literally!). You guys are the greatest!

 

Sincerely,
Ben Alpi & Jyotika Virmani
director/co-writer & producer

 


 

 

Thank you Backers!

 

Starburst Magazine Interview: Gigi Edgley, Ben Alpi & Jyotika Virmani

Starburst Magazine Interview: Gigi Edgley, Ben Alpi & Jyotika Virmani

The iconic Starburst Magazine interviews star Gigi Edgley, Director/Co-Writer Ben Alpi, and Producer Jyotika Virmani about  “Hashtag”, our Kickstarter. (now in its final days!)

 

Read the interview here:
http://www.starburstmagazine.com/features/interviews/10427-gigi-edgley-hashtag

Warped Space SciFi Club Sends Up ‘Hashtag’ Kickstarter

Warped Space SciFi Club Sends Up ‘Hashtag’ Kickstarter

The Warped Space SciFi Club writes (very nicely!) about our Hashtag KickstarterHashtag will star Gigi Edgley and will be Directed by Co-Writer Ben Alpi and Produced by Jyotika Virmani.

Check it out here!
http://www.warpedspacescifi.com/#!Hashtag-SciFi-Kickstarter/c1twa/E5E9E283-CE8A-49AB-A28E-04A64DF1846D