We are thrilled to present the second indie film in our new column The 5Ws and How: I Was a Teenage Superhero Sidekick. We spoke to J Hanna, the writer/director of the lighthearted superhero drama.
Directed by J Hanna, I was a Teenage Superhero Sidekick is the story of an ex-sidekick finding his way in the world, post superhero life. Produced by Kathy McCurdy, who made this movie a reality… more on that later. Our cast of characters is as diverse as the actors are. Barrett Mitchell plays Kid Dynamic, aka Larry, the ex-sidekick of the title who has to find his way in the world and find out what makes Larry LARRY. Andre Antwan plays The Frog King, the top-of-his-game superhero whose villain girlfriend, Croc Queen, played by Nicol Razon, breaks his heart and sends him down a spiral of pain and sadness. Milena Mortati plays the shrink trying to help Larry navigate his life. Emily Sandifer is Susie, Larry’s current love interest and the leader of an anti-superheros organization. Bill Ferris and Eryn Joslyn round out the cast as Dynamic Man and Electric Maiden, the people from Larry’s past who drove him out of the business.
We have an incredible group of people behind the camera as well. Hasbro toy designer Vanessa Fung did our poster and flashback comic book-style motion graphic sequences. And the talented composer of My Little Pony, Kelly Davidson, created our fabulous score.
Kid Dynamic, sidekick to Dynamic Man, quits the whole superhero racket and struggles with the transition… and with finding himself. His hippy-dippy headshrinker, who insists on outdoor yoga classes during psychoanalysis, helps him find the courage to go for the simpler life he yearns for. What he comes to understand is that life isn’t so simple, with or without the cape.
Basically the story is about finding out what makes you you and how you can come to see that. Seeing the truth in one’s self is a huge theme of the movie.
This movie takes place in a side reality to our reality. It is a world extremely similar to ours except, Superheroes/Villains/Powered People exist. Everything in this reality factors that in. From product branding, insurance, government employees… everything is affected by the powered entities. Also, LA…. it’s LA. Diverse, fun, sunny, and chock full of an eclectic mix of people, powered or not.
It was made in 2013-2014 by a very dedicated, incredibly talented group of people. It is currently in the festival circuit, having screened at 13 festivals so far, winning awards for Best Comedy at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and Best Fantasy Feature at the Motor City Nightmares International Film Festival. We’ve screened at a wide range of festivals/geek cons reaching a diverse group of people. The feedback has been incredible.
I was on the hunt for my next creative outlet. I was going to do a short film but my producing partner kicked me in the butt and said, “make a feature… now!” So I wrote TSHSK and she and I developed it into the fighting-fit script it became. She and I (mostly she) then recruited the talented folks who helped make the piece that it is.
In the movie itself, the characters are motivated by a need to know themselves. It might sound corny, but everyone is on the hunt, whether they know it or not, to understand their place in the world. The characters stumble and grow and learn something. In the unlikeliest of places sometimes.
Find us on Facebook! Currently we are still festival-ing. We are also on the hunt for the right kind of distribution. So, go to the Facebook page and find out where you can see us next. Know of a festival in your area? DEMAND they screen I was a Teenage Superhero Sidekick and send them our way.
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