Computer Upbringing: Sophie Leclerc talks about Happy Downloadday

Following in the footsteps of Tron [1982] where human beings become entwined with software programs is the science fiction tale Happy Downloadday; the short film depicts a dystopian society where computer generated children are not allowed a human body until the age of 18 at which time they are expected to become productive citizens. Family conflict arises when a virtual teenager portrayed by Nick Eversman (The Runaways) defies his parents’ wishes for him to download into a physical body. “First of all, I believe each film has its own unique voice because each director has his/her own vision,’ states Emmy Award-winning VFX Producer Sophie Leclerc (The Grey) who helmed the project. “Secondly, I think this short film in particular deals with the subject of virtual reality that has not been seen before thanks to the original script by Phil Ferriere [Crazy Beats Strong Every Time].” The story by the former software developer for Microsoft Xbox turned screenwriter and producer was rewarded first place at the Creative World Awards Screenplay Contest and the California Film Awards Screenplay Competition. “It is very difficult to do visual effects on a tight budget but thanks to my experience as a Visual Effects Producer I have discovered techniques that will allow me to incorporate visual effects within a reasonable budget,’ says Leclerc who had to scale back the amount of visual effects envisioned by Ferriere. “I also work with a few brilliant artists who can do very beautiful work even when they are challenged financially.” Key members of the production crew are Cinematographer Elie Smolkin, Production Designer Alberto Gonzalez-Reyna (Amar a Morir), Costume Designer Suzanne Barnes (Intruders), Casting Director Diana Buglione (Wick), Makeup Artist Dawn Subhasiriwatana (God Bless America) and Line Producer Rebecca Hu (40 Is the New Dead).

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