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Starting as my Senior Thesis film for my final year at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), "Bill & Maggie" is the culmination of all of my filmmaking knowledge and skills up to that point. It combines my love for animation, including comedic timing and exaggerated performances, with my love for the fantastical films of Terry Gilliam and Wes Anderson. The short ended up taking a full two years to complete, beginning with the first story notes in September, 2014, and ending with the final post-production edits in August, 2016. Precisely 100 shots make up the ten minute short, all of which involved some form of compositing and digital elements. The entire film was also shot on a sound-stage, more than half of which was against green screen, requiring fully digital environments, including the interior of the smaller shuttle craft, which is completely fake.
This is the longest single project I have embarked upon. It is my proudest accomplishment, especially with all the support I got both on stage with my crew, and from friends and family during post. That cast was also the most wonderful bunch of actors I could have ever hoped for. Each actor brought exactly what I wanted to each role. Each step in the process was not easy, and it never got easier. Stress was always a factor. However, each step was also a perfect storm that allowed everything to turn out alright in the end, because while everyone wanted to see this film made, many many people thought it couldn't get made, it was just too big, to complex, too confusing (especially during preproduction), but it did. Against all odds, it got done. And I just want other filmmakers to know that a film isn't done until you say it's done.
WRITTEN, PRODUCED, and DIRECTED by: Jonathan Leiter
CO-PRODUCED by: Martin Robertson
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED by: Pamela Dewey and George Dewey
STARRING: Timothy Gibson, Courtney Fortner, Nora Laidman, Tyler Linke, Michael Bunch, and Aric Bunch
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Leiston Gaddis
COSTUMES: Leiston Gaddis and Brenna McCarthy
MAKE-UP: Gigi Roman
ORIGINAL MUSIC: Ricardo Ochoa
VISUAL FX and ANIMATION: Jonathan Leiter