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Help Me First!

An asylum, haunted by an evil demon, tries to capture the souls of three ghost hunters, bent on being famous.

  • Mike Gasaway
    The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Back at the Barnyard, Planet Sheen
  • Mike Gasaway
  • Tim League
    Greasy Strangler
  • Mike Gasaway
    Planet Sheen
  • Marty Schiff
    Deadtime Stories
  • Lori Cardille
    Key Cast
    Day of the Dead
  • Maggie Carr
    Key Cast
  • Luke Halferty
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 5, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mike Gasaway

Mike Gasaway is an award winning Director with over 8 years of directing/producing experience, specializing in computer animation. He’s directed on three award winning shows and has helped build 2 animation studios - one with a traditional production approach and another with international partners.

After dropping out of the University of Cincinnati's Architecture program in 1993, Mike decided to take life more seriously. Instead, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and entered the field computer animation.

A spattering of commercials and some medical animations later, he decided to do a short film. Television Monster was created and it landed in film festivals including Siggraph 1996. Walt Disney Imagineering saw the film and offered him a job.

During his 3 years with Disney, he animated on virtual attractions including Hercules and The Pirates of the Caribbean. He also worked on a television pilot concept along with animation that was shown at Epcot in Orlando, FL.

Following a brief stint working with Naughty Dog, Inc on the video game, Jak and Daxter, he moved to Dallas, Texas, to work for DNA Productions as an animator on the film, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. After 2 weeks as an animator, he was promoted to Animation Supervisor. After production wrapped, DNA made Mike one of two directors for the Nickelodeon television series: The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius.

While at DNA, Mike directed more than 16 hours of television, including 3 one-hour shows and 1 hour and a half special. During that time, he won an Annie Award for Best Children’s Animated Series and was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Directing in an Animated Series. Development of potential series and features was also a part of Mike's duties at DNA.

In 2006, Mike left DNA Productions and began working for Steve Oedekerk's company, O Entertainment. From 2006-2009, while at O Entertainment, Mike served as Supervising Director on Back at the Barnyard, directing 14 episodes and supervising 33 episodes.

In 2008, Mike's team of directors was nominated for an Emmy Award® in two categories. One for Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program and the other for Outstanding Animated Program Special Class. The following year, Back at the Barnyard earned an Emmy Award® for Outstanding Animated Program Special Class.

That same year, Nickelodeon premiered Mike's hour long special, Cowman: The Uddered Avenger to the largest Nickelodeon audience ever.

In 2010, Mike brought the show Planet Sheen to O Entertainment, a show he had co-created at DNA Productions, and acted as Co-Producer and Supervising Director. As co-producer, Mike was responsible for helping to build the studio as far as hiring personnel and equipment needs. He also worked closely with the Show Runner and Executive Producers, coming up with the look of the show and the direction of the characters.

Mike directed the pilot and supervised most of the first season before deciding to venture into the field of writing and directing live action.

In 2012, Mike moved to Pittsburgh, PA, close to where he grew up, where he began writing and directing live action features. His first feature, Help Me!, written and directed by Gasaway, is produced by Tolin FX and Drafthouse Films. The prequel to the feature, a short film titled, Help Me First.

In addition to Help Me, Mike has written various other screenplays in different genres - from drama to animation. He's also been mentoring fledgling animation students to make their work better. In his spare time, he wrote a middle grade novel, the first of a trilogy.

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Director Statement

This short is a little different than most shorts. Although it can be thought of as a stand alone, it is intended to be a prequel to the feature film, Help Me. The feature is about a girl who tries to find her friends who have gone missing at a ghost shoot at an insane asylum. This short is what happened to those friends.