North Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) July 25, 2013
Writer/Director, Jim Ojala, President of Ojala Productions is set to direct Strange Nature. The Eco-Horror feature film is based on a true unsolved ecological mystery, where thousands of hideously deformed frogs have turned up in the waters of Minnesota and beyond.
Ojala, a Duluth, Minnesota native said that he was intrigued by the Minnesota mutant frog outbreak when he saw the news story on ABC Nightline in 1996. (See Story). After watching the newscast, Jim’s first thought was what if the mutations went beyond the frogs?
Ojala followed the story over the next few years, as the outbreak continued to grow and in some areas. Over 70% of the frog population showed severe signs of deformity. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency investigated the mutation problem and derived several possible theories for the cause, but no conclusion was determined. In 2001, the U.S. Government pulled research funding. The malformations have since spread to other states and even other countries-- most recently, reports from Argentina, China, and India.
The true events are the basis for "Strange Nature." “It's a horror film and a drama of sorts,” explains Ojala, “the horror as seen through the eyes of a single-mother and her 11-year old son as the drama unfolds on a small Minnesota town which struggles to survive when the deadly mutations move beyond the ponds.” Ojala passionately believes now is the time for this film to be made, “it exposes a true environmental issue that has been swept under the carpet far too long.”
After contacting several leading U.S. Ecological scientists involved in the deformed frog cases, Ojala remarks, “they truly feel let-down by the government for not taking this matter more seriously.” The scientists are in full support of "Strange Nature" to the extent that they have provided live severely deformed frogs to be featured in the film.
Ojala’s goal by making this film is two-fold: 1) to bring the story to the public attention after eighteen years and 2) to trigger further research funding which could lead to finding the cause and prevent the mutations from spreading to other species.
Once production funding is secured for "Strange Nature," Ojala will move forward with principal photography which will shoot in Minnesota. Currently, a fundraising campaign for the film is on Kickstarter until August 8th, 2013 4:49pm EDT.
About Jim Ojala and Ojala Productions
Ojala discovered his passion for directing when he joined the Duluth Public Access Station where he was given the opportunity to learn all aspects of video production. He collaborated with friends to create and direct a local cable-TV series, "My Three Scums," a notorious horror/comedy series revolving around a family of misfits, and monsters which continued for 3 years and garnered a large local following.
The success of "My Three Scums" opened the door to Ojala’s first film job with Troma Studios in New York on the film, "Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger 4."
Following "Citizen Toxie," Ojala went on to work with Tim Considine of Direct Effects in the special makeup effects department. While in New York, Jim also attended the Millennium Film Program under the mentorship of experimental filmmaking pioneer, Michael Kuchar.
In 2001, Ojala made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles. One of his first jobs in LA, was working on the makeup/creature effects for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "The Shield." Subsequently, he has also worked on numerous commercials, and features including "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Hellboy 2 The Golden Army." Ojala’s makeup/creature effects' skills continue to be a strong force in the independent film world providing makeup effects for the critically hailed, "Deadgirl," as well as working with Legacy Studios on the eagerly anticipated "Pacific Rim."
Ojala's directing credits range from short films, and TV Pilots, to music videos including: The viral hit fan film, "Marvel Zombies the Movie", "Harvest"- a TV pilot based on a one hour TV series, and "Deviled Egg", a music video for the popular Los Angeles Band, The Radioactive Chicken Heads to name a few.