Chicago-based production company Tessa Films offers something for everyone in a season greeting that premiered yesterday on YouTube.
Titled, A Holiday Wish, the cozy and humorous minute-long film shows how social media can disrupt even the warmest of family gatherings.
Flawless visuals and smart camera work establish a mood that is not only believable but also fun to watch. The story brings it all home.
Referring to politics without actually stating a position, the wish should please anyone with uncles and cousins who don’t know when to stop offering opinions.
A Holiday Wish represents some of the first work to come out of Tessa Films, which was launched with offices in Chicago and LA this month by Reid Brody and Lisa Masseur.
The partners are known throughout the industry, especially in the Windy City.
Masseur spent time at Ebel Productions and Radar Studios before becoming Executive Producer for One at Optimus, the most recent position she held before co-launching Tessa.
Brody has founded, co-founded, and built a number of Chicago businesses. Last January, he resigned from Filmworkers Club, a move that kept him under a non-compete for nearly two years.
Regarding the new venture, he says, “it just made sense.”
“I was looking to be involved in the business again,” he explains, “and Lisa happened to be agreeable.”
Masseur and Brody have teamed up on projects in various client/vendor type capacities over the years. The most memorable they recall was a shoot downstate in weather that Brody describes as “hundred degree temperatures in hundred percent humidity.”
The script for A Holiday Wish was written by Tim Mason, one of the three directors on Tessa’s roster, which also includes the stop-motion animation collective called Uptime.
Besides directing, Mason also boasts experience as a writer and an actor. The disciplines help him create comedy that Masseur describes as “impeccable.”
“He has great insight into where a project should go,” she says. “His comedy captures real life moments as well as the absurdity of real life moments.”
The other two directors — Sam Macon and Duncan Wolfe — are both documentary and lifestyle shooters. But Masseur, who has worked directly with all three on the roster, prefers to describe their abilities in terms other than genre.
“Directors hate to be pigeonholed,” she adds. “Sam is a former Art Director who specializes in live stunt and comedy, and Duncan designs every frame he shoots in a cinematic fashion. What really matters is the care and passion they put into the project.”
CREDITS for A HOLIDAY WISH
Written and Directed by Tim Mason
Starring – Erin McEvoy Mason, Paul Grondy, Megan Kellie, Butch Jerinic, Lori McClain, Abby McEnany, Pat McKenna, Becky Eldridge, Finn Mason, Caroline Asplund, Sarah Mason, Mick Marsh, Lindsey Harrington, Lynn Gilbertsen, Laura Asplund
Executive Producer – Lisa Masseur
Executive Producer – Reid Brody
Producer – Mary Langenfeld
Director of Photography – Michael Ognisanti
The Colonie | Editor – Tom Pastorelle
The Colonie | Executive Producer – Mary Caddy
Mix Kitchen | Audio Mixer/Producer – Sam Fishkin
Special thanks to:
Essanay Studio & Lighting