[The Film Issue]

Four local production companies you need to know

The crew at Lightforge Studios is preparing to release Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West.
Photo: Nick Coletsos
Jason Harris
    • Lightforge Studios

      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.”

      (Note: Writer Jason Harris acted in Thor at the Bus Stop.)

    • Hypefactor Films

      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.”

    • Lola Pictures

      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.”

    • Oogoog Productions

      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.”

    • From Avengers: Endgame to Toy Story 4 to Tarantino and beyond.

    • The event’s 12th edition runs April 28 through May 4 at the Palms and Downtown’s Inspire Theater.

    • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

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