Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016
Colab Studios launches feature production arm
JJ Englert
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In-demand production company Colab Studios, primarily known for its music videos, has officially launched its feature film production arm with the debut project on its growing slate, Salton Sea, which is set to begin shooting on August 10.
The move to expand the company to include feature film production marks a natural progression for Colab Studios whose founder, JJ Englert, is already an accomplished producer and recipient of a 2016 College Emmy Award for “Best Producing in a Children’s Category”.
“I am committed to being a media influencer, focusing on crafting videos for up-and-coming brands, artists, and storytellers,” said Englert who has produced content in assorted countries, receiving more than 60 million online views this past year alone.  Englert recently served as producer on the music video for Major Lazer’s “Be Together” as well as produced music videos for the likes of Alex Marshall, Dawin and rappers Dizzy Wright and Marty Grimes. On the feature film front, Englert most recently served as a line producer on the feature film For The Love Of George, starring Nadia Jordan, Tate Donovan, Roseanna Arquette and Kristin Johnston.
A contemporary Western featuring an ensemble cast, led by veteran actor Joel Bissonnette (Fight Club, The Invisible Man, 24, Zodiac), Salton Sea is based on a collection of short stories written by the inspired George McCormick. Keylor Leigh (Night Shades, The Gospel According to Bart) and Olivia May (Faking it, Masters of Sex, 2 Broke Girls) also star in the film that is shooting throughout Los Angeles, Salton Sea and Yucca Valley. Michael Stevantoni is the director.  

Taking place in a small desert town during the 2002 Beltway Sniper shootings, a conflicted 45-year-old Brian has been offered a job in Washington DC. His wife is reluctant to make such a move, straining their relationship. This ultimately leads them to take a desperate trip to the Salton Sea, a tattered seaside resort destination, where only a year ago they honeymooned.
Throughout the film, parallels are made between Brian’s relationship with his wife and the Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea, in its heyday, was filled with love, excitement, adventure and unlimited possibilities similar to the relationship Brian once shared with his wife. Sadly, the promise of what was and could be, faded from both.
“Salton Sea is a living ghost town in the California desert. It is strange and bizarre in the most fantastic ways,” said Stavantoni. “A once thriving resort community turned desolate and depressed; a relationship which once filled with love, now empty; and a country whose fate has yet to be determined; are also main characters in this emotional, visually stunning and masterfully written story.”