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Movie Producer creates video game animation with real-time 3D software

Myles Sorensen

Writer/Director Myles Sorensen holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinema- Television, where his thesis film, THE ARSONIST, premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

In 2006 he relocated to New York, where he earns both bread and butter working as a television editor. PLATO'S REALITY MACHINE is his first feature film.

iClone Feature Film Production

Q: Tell us a bit about Poison Door Productions. Who is your team, and what do you specialize in?

I formed Poison Door as a company to back up the film, basically. So Plato's Reality Machine is our first project.

Q: Plato's Reality Machine is a feature film that combines the use of real video footage with iClone animations. Tell us about this project and its filmmakers.

I started writing Plato's Reality Machine about five years ago. I had this idea to do a film about 6 single New Yorkers and their interlocking relationships. And I also knew that part of the film would be interviews with these characters, in a reality-show format. But I knew I needed a third part to the film, as the first two parts were so dialogue driven and talky. I wanted the third part to be something visual, exciting. So eventually I came up with the idea of having the third element be a video-game, and to have the story in the video-game be another one of the "relationships" we see in the film. Once I had that idea, I finished the script and we were ready to go.

I signed on four producers here in New York: Clifford Fields, Padmini Narumanchi, Christopher Vitale and Owen Cooper, and they started helping me put the project together. Our first crew member was cinematographer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen, who won the ASC Heritage award coming out of UCLA Film School and was able to secure an amazing camera package from Arriflex for us. Then we started casting. I had seen Trieste Kelly Dunn in a film called Cold Weather, and offered here the role of Zoe. She has since gone on to become a series regular on the Cinemax hit series Banshee. And Mackenzie Davis, who plays the video-game character Sophia, is now a big star on AMC's hot new show Halt and Catch Fire. All of our cast, including Doug Roland, Carolina Bartczak, Ed Renninger, Heather Shisler and Nathan Spiteri were really great. We shot the film in 2011 over 11 days here in New York, and the post-production process took a long time. We commissioned an amazing original soundrack from industrial music legend Raymond Watts (KMFDM) and I think his electronic synth-based score really jives well with our video-game themes. We had our world premiere at the Oaxaca Film Festival in Mexico in September and have been on the festival circuit since. We are especially excited about our upcoming screenings at the Manhattan Film Festival on July 1st and the big Gen Con video-game conference in August.

Q: Is there any particular reason why you chose to use iClone in this movie? What can you say about iClone?

As I was researching how to create the video-game animation, I learned about Machinima and the community of people who make Machinima. That led me to iClone and I immediately saw it would be the perfect tool to create the kind of animation I needed. iClone just has a huge amount of sets and characters and overall ability to customize, so I thought it would be great fit.

Q: Could you also explain how iClone enhanced your movie, and how the production process went?

Initially I thought I would do the animations myself, as I work as a television editor on Avid and thought I could master the technology. But I quickly saw that would be too much on my plate on top of everything else I was doing with the film. That's when I found James C. Martin, who is an amazing iClone animator. So I basically gave him a script, told him what I wanted the animations to be, and he went to work. And we went back and forth working on it for over a year. He did a spectacular job and I was thrilled with the way the video-game sequences in the film turned out, thanks to him and iClone. We mixed the film at Wildfire Studios in Los Angeles, and I think the sound design really complemented the animation.

Q: Are there any future plans for Poison Door Productions that you can share with us?

Yes, I have a script about a fashion designer in New York called Far Rockaway that we are developing, and also another idea for a film centered on a video-game, but that is still in the early stages of writing. If people would like to be added to our mailing list so we can let them know when the film is available to watch, they can email


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