USA Network’s Character Project includes preternatural short films

USA Network, in partnership with RSA films and Ridley & Tony Scott commissioned a series of short films representing the next evolution of the Character Project, an ongoing artistic initiative with the mission to explore extraordinary people from all walks of life, including the preternatural. Character Project represents USA’s consistent efforts to cultivate new voices and develop content opportunities.

“As storytellers, it is part of our DNA to share the stories that make people interesting through the lens of our unmatched roster of directors,” said Ridley Scott. “USA is an ideal partner because they also specialize in bringing to light the distinct tales of unique characters.”

One of the eight short films making up the Character Project is Monster Slayer. Every morning, Ben is visited by a motley crew of imaginary playmates, products of his psychiatric disorder. Embodiments of the best and worst in Ben, these playmates create both chaos and comfort. Every day Ben faces the choice embodied in a single pill. Every day he must decide to confront reality or continue living in his fantasy world. This short film by avant-garde director Caskey Eberling blends live-action and animation. Caskey is also currently writing, directing and producing a documentary film about Temptone, LA’s notorious graffiti artist.

Love Without Regret is another of the Character Project short films. Although the theme of this animated short film from Tomas Pena isn’t particularly preternatural the way in which the tale unfolds is. Pena and his employer boolab, the leading production house in audiovisual innovation throughout Spain and Europe, bend time in this animated love story. As the clock ticks backwards, Steve drives desperately through the rainy night — speeding towards his ex-girlfriend and, hopefully, a second chance at love.

The eight Character Project short films range from narrative to animated to documentary formats, from stirring dramas to hilarious comedies. They all have three things in common, however, they focus on progress, connection and passion. The curated films will be housed online in a digital hub at as well as being available via FOD, iTunes, mobile platforms, syndicated widgets, and social media. The digital hub will feature director’s cuts of each film, director commentary, behind the scenes interviews and footage, photo galleries and additional bonus materials.

USA will exhibit the films in select markets in highly designed and custom-built screening pods. Character Project short films will be available to consumers through a multi-day touring exhibition beginning 13 May, 2011 in New York. The exhibition will also visit Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Audiences in these cities will be invited to visit customized screening capsules as unique as the films inspiring them. Creatively adapted from shipping containers into state-of-the-art screening rooms, these 18-seat, fully air-conditioned spaces will offer the comforts pf a mini-theater with the sleek style and spectacle of a contemporary art installation.

USA Network is treating the launch of the Character Project digital hub on 13 May, 2011 like the premiere of an original series. Be on the lookout for promos and sneak peeks!

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