Filmmaker Christopher Adams of Impakt Studio in Roseland is in the process of finishing “Paradigm Grey,” a collection of sci-fi shorts by six local African American, by the end of December.
“Our focus is to spotlight African Americans in genre-defying roles in sci-fi, horror and fantasy films,” Adams, whose Impakt Studio has been producing mainly corporate and music video projects for 25 years.
The six films, ranging in length from two-to-20 minutes, are “Reset,” which Adams wrote and directed; “Axis Mundi,” co-directed by Jonathan Woods and Ted Crowder of BrightSeed Collaborative; “Bloodlines,” an SEI Studios production directed by David Johnson; “Outer Layers,” from writer/director Lomai; “Dead Profile” by Darrin Deshazer and “Cat Eggs,” also by Chris Adams and Impakt Studio.
Among the topics covered in the “Paradigm Grey” shorts are reunions between family members, survival on a planet with no sun, and the dire consequences that occur as a result of childlike curiosity.
“We all kind of chipped in to help produce the stories,” says Adams. “It’s a very organic process because almost everyone involved has known each other at least 10 years.” Which was why Adams was able to assemble the filmmakers within three days.
Nearly 30 local African American actors perform in the collective shorts. “We’re currently in talks with a couple of name actors to play our Rod Serling-esque host character,” Adams notes.
In Adams’ 20-minute “Reset,” a lone solider (Harold Dennis) with limited resources must maintain his sanity while battling an unstoppable enemy (a killer robot) in order to reunite with his wife (Nicole Reed).
“It’s a role we don’t see offered to many African Americans. It’s very introspective but also very physical,” he says.
Dennis, who has so far performed in more than 100 films, did his own stunts in “Reset,” with the help of stunt coordinator and physical effects supervisor Gabriel Marroquin of Asylum Stunts.
Marroquin was also the puppeteer of the robot that Adams built.
Adams’ Impakt Studio partner of 15 years, editor Hana Mitchell, cut “Reset” and is assembling the “Paradigm Grey” reel.
“Paradigm Grey’s” trailer was screened at last August’s Global Mix Film and Music Forum in Chicago, Adams says, “which resulted in five distributors contacting us with a variety of options, from DVD/Blu-ray, VOD and limited theatrical release.”
No distribution decision has been made as yet. “We want to develop a relationship with a distributor that will align with our long-term goals,” Adams says.
“Those goals are to produce culturally-diverse features and TV shows with a focus on spotlighting the African Diaspora in roles you don’t typically see African Americans portraying.”