Article from Montgomery Advertiser, Alabama - July 28, 2005
Selma animator thrilled over first movie
"Tugger" is a movie about an animated Jeep with flying ambitions and one of his creators has soaring ambitions of his own -- following in the footsteps of Walt Disney.
Heath Hollingshead, who grew up in Selma, was bowled over by Pixar's "Toy Story" when he saw it a decade ago, and he's focused his attention on the newest film genre ever since.
"I've been drawing since I was a kid entering postcard and poster contests," said Hollingshead, 29. "It's something I've always wanted to do and now I have that chance."Big screen showings represent icing on a very special cake for Hollingshead and other members of his company because the original intent was to go directly to DVD sales.
Distributors and other entertainment entities were so impressed when they saw "Tugger" that it wound up being shown in movie theaters across the country. In addition to Montgomery, it also is being shown in Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa and several cities in Georgia.
"We had sell-outs in Fort Wayne, Ind.," said Hollingshead. "Word-of-mouth has been wonderful. What we have is a family-friendly movie with a "G" rating, and that's important these days."Hollingshead said investors in the Orlando area provided funding for his company and that's how the $5 million budget was raised. It may seem like a lot, he said, but it's a relatively small amount when compared with $100 million epics being produced today.
Genesis Orlando is an independent computer animation studio which also produces commercials and special effects.
Jeffrey Varab and Alex Eissinmann guide the company. The two men have extensive backgrounds in movies and computer animation. Varab is a former Disney animator.
"Tugger" was completed in May and is the first of what Hollingshead expects will be a series of movies featuring the same characters with important messages.
"The message of 'Tugger' is to follow your dream and not to give up," Hollingshead said. "There's even a dream sequence in the movie."