Private Project

Dead Man's Hand

In a bid to erase cartel debt, a father and son with a deeply troubled past find themselves at the same table in a life or death poker game.

  • Morgan Hammen
  • James Oxyer
    The Long Shower
  • PJ Zaiac
  • Keenan Odenkirk
    Key Cast
  • Gary Soumar
    Key Cast
  • Robert Gutierrez-Spagnoli
    Key Cast
  • Aria Erb
    Key Cast
  • JP McAllister
    Key Cast
    Chicago P.D.
  • Angel Pedraza
    Key Cast
  • Martin Davis
    Key Cast
    Protectors Rebirth: Dawn of Earth Prime
  • D'Andre Davis
    Key Cast
  • Aaron Wheeler
    Additional Cast
    Guard 1
  • Eduardo Iglesias
    Additional Cast
    Guard 2
  • Anne Ruttencutter
    Additional Cast
    Laurel (Photo Double)
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Drama, Action, Western
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 54 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 15, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Columbia College Chicago
  • Manifest Urban Arts Festival
    Chicago, IL
    United States
    December 11, 2020
    Manifest Urban Arts Festival
    Advanced Practicum
Director Biography - Morgan Hammen

Originally from Oshkosh, WI, Morgan Ann Hammen has paved a path for herself with hard work and an upstanding reputation. Actively working to professionally direct, her passion is grounded in historically inspired content. Hammen is a recent but successful alumna of Columbia College Chicago (BA '20) where she excelled in their top tier directing program.

Graduating in only 3 years, Hammen left with not only high honors, several scholarships, and 12 shorts, but also having real industry experience production assisting on many major productions including Shameless, Empire, Utopia and completing a development internship at 87North (Deadpool, John Wick, Hobbs & Shaw).

Now under the mentorship of Emmy-winning director, EP, and showrunner Greg Yaitanes (House, GoT) and TV directors Michael Goi (AHS) and Alonso Alvarez-Barreda (Snowfall), Hammen has gotten off to a running start in the LA scene. Since graduating, she has been staffed on shows like Snowfall, Love Victor, and most recently and notably, Apple TV+’s The Morning Show starring Aniston, Witherspoon, and Carrell.

She's been endorsed by Canon, VoyageLA, and BronxNet, all featuring her work on their platforms in 2020. Her latest short Dead Man’s Hand has been screened by many top award-winning filmmakers giving her name weight and a strong network. The short will soon hit the 2021 festival circuit as Hammen continues to develop her next film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was drawn to Dead Man’s Hand because not only is it an exciting and intense story, but the beats drive the character’s actions. Ultimately, it’s a family story; it’s centralized around a broken relationship that needs to be fixed. With the meat of the film being so urgent, it gives strong motivation for each character, all leading up a to a moment between a father and son that’s powerful. Dead Man’s Hand also gave me the opportunity to direct action and use special effects that, up to that point, I had no experience with. I wanted to graduate with a film that not only delivered emotionally, but also packed more of a literal punch. But, it doesn’t forget that human element: it’s an interpersonal film that’s relatable at the core, it’s not a one-sided story, and everyone has a reason for playing the game that decides their fates. Both PJ (my producer) and I wanted to do something that was deep and engaging, and Dead Man’s Hand was a clear calling for the two of us. It was a challenge that pushed our crew to create an action-drama that was simultaneously soft with its characters and harsh in its action. It’s been a thrilling process to be a part of.