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Votimo – That’s a wrap!

Production wrapped this week on Digital Hydra’s forthcoming launch advertisement for Votimo–an innovative social media platform for non-profits to come together with their supporters.

The project was filmed on location in, around and all over Chicago. We had the pleasure of exploring the city and events to the fullest visiting sites like Millenium Park, the Adler Planetarium, the Guerilla Truck Art Show, and the Green Music Fest in Wicker Park.

The ad focuses on charitable acts and everyday philanthropy between people of all walks of life. It was captured on the RED Scarlet in 4K and is currently in post-production, slated for an early August debut.  As a company, we enjoy lending our efforts to worthy causes and helping promote positive values. It is our hope that we are able to accurately capture this spirit through the advertisement and that the video helps to realize the altruistic and holistic goals of Votimo and it’s founders.




Huna Silicon Valley launch!

After languishing in a quagmire of post-production for some time, the first Digital Hydra produced episode of the Saudi Arabian to tech series “Huna Silicon Valley” (Here’s the Silicon Valley) has hit YouTube and has already climbed over 65,000 views in just two weeks.

Digital Hydra shot the episode as well as the forthcoming 4th and 5th episodes of the series last summer on location in San Francisco and San Jose. Production visited booming tech companies like YouTube, Tesla and the Apple campus.

Driven by U-Turn, one of the premiere YouTube content creators in the Middle East, the series will continue to roll out episodes in the coming months.

Check out our AMAZING title sequence created by DH creative directors Hamzah and Patrick! First episode is in Arabic and available here.


“Toy Car” World Premiere at Chicago Festival of Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film

After wrapping just last week, the Bosnian short film “Toy Car” directed by Muamer Celik is set to debut at this weekend’s Chicago Festival of Bosnian-Herzgovinian Film.

Digital Hydra’s team of rotating cinematographers–Hamzah Jamjoom, Ross Heran and Patrick Wimp–shot the film on location this past March in Chicago. The film tells the story of a Bosnian family who moves to Chicago in hopes of finding a better life, only to find their struggles are not far behind.

“Toy Car” was captured in 4K digital capture on Digital Hydra’s Red Scarlet-MX with Red Pro Prime lenses. The film will screen this Saturday, April 5th at 8:15PM. The Festival will take place at Loyola University’s Sullivan Center and runs from Friday evening through Saturday night.
April 5th, 2015
8:15 PM

Loyola University
Sullivan Center
6339 N. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660

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Happy Meal®

It has been a big couple of months on the motion graphics/visual effects front. After helping to launch Facebook paper, Digital Hydra has teamed up with Chicago post-production house Utopic to lend our CG talents to another amazing international brand–the McDonald’s Happy Meal®.

We worked in Autodesk’s Maya to help texture, light and animate the world famous Happy Meal® box. It is an honor to work with the exceptionally talented folks at Utopic and with beloved brand like McDonald’s.

You can see the render here, and at the end of a variety of TV spots.




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Digital Hydra helps introduce “Facebook Paper”


Digital Hydra lent the company’s visual effects expertise to this week’s launch advertisement for Facebook’s “Paper.” The app is a standalone iOS experience that delivers human and algorithm-curated full-screen articles and photos in categories of your own choosing.

Our company and a team of motion graphics artists across the United States spent the past week or so working to mask, track and composite the on-screen demonstration of the app in Facebook’s launch video found here. Click the play button to see that advertisement and our work. We are extremely honored to have had the opportunity to collaborate with one of the biggest companies in the world for a monumental product launch.

More information about the app can be found on a recent Tech Crunch news post.

Be sure to “Like” us on Facebook at:


Digital Hydra teams with CAIR-Chicago for 10th Anniversary Documentary

We are proud to start production on a tenth anniversary documentary film for Chicago-based civil rights organization CAIR-Chicago. CAIR-Chicago and Ahmed Rehab have become a driving force for Islamic and global civil rights in the United States. They have also become the go to organization for media discussion on Arab American and Islamic issues appearing on shows such as Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and a variety of local and national news programs. The film will chronicle’s CAIR-Chicago’s ten year journey to where they are today.



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“Remote Viewing” moves into final phases of post

In the summer of 2012 we had the privilege of photographing the forthcoming short film “Remote Viewing” starring renowned actor/filmmaker Joe Swanberg and directed by Robert Puccinelli. A “romantic thriller” of sorts, the film focuses on the devolution of a relationship between John, played by Swanberg, and Sissy portrayed by Callie Stephens’. The focus is on perspective and how when relationships get scary, things might not always be as they seem.

The film was shot in August of 2012 with some pickups in late 2012 and early 2013. Digital Hydra provided our camera and a rotating crew of Cinematographers to keep a stylized but consistent look throughout the movie. Patrick Wimp, Hamzah Jamjoom and Ross Heran all acted as DP’s on various days of the shoot based on scheduling constraints. The three DP’s felt they could work in this fashion due to similar sensibilities about what makes a strong image. The film was shot on Digital Hydra’s RED Scarlet in 4K digital capture.

Pat sat in on the final color correction session this past week with acclaimed colorist Bob Sliga. Bob was one of the key developers of Apple’s now defunct Color and has been a colorist on a variety of major motion pictures and TV series. Bob worked in our color session on an off day from working on the TV show “Mind Games” starring Steve Zahn and Christian Slater, currently in production at Chicago’s Cinespace Studios.

With the picture now locked, director Robert Puccinelli has enlisted the capable hands of Rob Davis–one of Digital Hydra’s most beloved collaborators–to bring the mood of the film to life through sound.

With so many incredible pieces in place we are truly excited to see this project move into it’s final steps. As working filmmakers we have trended towards a lot of commercial and music video projects over the past year and it is a treat to see a piece of narrative fiction come to life that we were able to become an instrumental part of. The film has already been submitted to several film festivals and looks to premiere sometime in early 2014.

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“Long Night” moves into VFX

Thanks to the combined efforts of editor Christopher Oliva and director Hamzah Jamjoom, Digital Hydra’s 2013 music video for Chicago-based recording artist Ashkur is moving into the final phases of post production. The duo spent the last week of August putting in the final touches on the editing portion. Going forward, Jamjoom and cinematographer Patrick Wimp will begin overseeing an extensive Visual Effects process to build the unique world of the video.

The video was shot on location at Cinespace Studios in Chicago and on DePaul University’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media green screen stage. The project employs heavy use of blacklight, UV and reflective technology to create a stylized sci-fi backdrop.

Producer Jacquelyn Chenger put together an all-star team of local crew in terms of Production, Art and G and E departments and we are looking forward to delivering an exceptional product in the coming months.