MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Science, education and the arts — you say those three words and you probably think of teachers or researchers.
How about comic book writer and sci-fi movie producer? That’s the idea behind local company, FutureDude. But how Jeffrey Morris got to be a writer, film director, and production designer is what makes him a Minnesotan to Meet.
You can see a sparkle within Morris mesmerized by what’s on screen.
“I want to see the movies I wanted to see as a kid and I feel like they never got made,” Morris said.
That’s why he and his wife Kimberly are now in the business of making them through their company FutureDude, with comics and features like “Parallel Man,” “Oceanus” and, soon, “Venus.”
FutureDude has exploded on social media. They were invited to the Cannes Film Festival, premiered “Oceanus” at the London Film Festival and the husband and wife duo will travel to Comic Con next month.
“I wouldn’t accept not getting to this point,” Morris said. “In some ways I just wish it had happened sooner, because it’s taken a lot of years to make it happen.”
Before their Eden Prairie home became a production house, Morris’s dedication to a dream started as a small child in a moonscape backyard in Arizona.
“When I was a little kid, I was really interested in science,” he said.
His biggest decision was made while living in Illinois in 1988.
“At the end of college, I was trying to decide between L.A. and here,” he said.
He picked Minneapolis, working as a graphic designer by day and disc jockey by night. That led to an appearance in a Prince video. He also choreographed a fight scene in “Three Chains o’ Gold.”
It was during that time, he decided to stay behind the camera. Videos for local politicians led to connections at the University of St. Thomas.
“I ended up being the youngest entrepreneur to work with grad students who were helping me write a business plan,” Morris said.
Then came music videos and corporate work. Morris went on to bring Hollywood-style storytelling to educational groups.
“I think in science fiction, you get to see things you don’t normally get to see in everyday life,” Morris said.
He worked with NASA’s Master Teachers Program, the International Space University, and St. Paul Public Schools.
Now he’s combining a love for it all to make high quality projects on low budgets — no big name celebrities, just a staff who believes in their leader and has amazing talent.
“Because of the heart and soul of the group, we were able to make it look like it cost a lot more money,” Morris said.
While it’s all a little bit make-believe, Morris’ visions are finally coming to life on the big screen. He keeps costs low by first releasing graphic novels or comic books before shooting the scripts as movies.
The hope is that more and more people will like and believe in what he’s doing and invest so he can continue making original movies.