Southeast Produces 3D Animated Short Film


Film Premieres May 5

Photo of "Death to the Different" producers Death to the Different” producers Kirk Lohmann, Chris Northcutt, Peter Chanthanakone, Michael Freezeland and Osby Tomlin.

From left are “Death to the Different” producers Kirk Lohmann, Chris Northcutt, Peter Chanthanakone, Michael Freezeland and Osby Tomlin.


May 3, 2010 – Southeast Missouri State University will host the premiere of its first and only 3D animated short film, “Death to the Different,” at 7:30 p.m. May 5 in Rose Theatre in Grauel Building. 

Southeast assistant professor of graphics and multimedia and award-winning Director Peter Chanthanakone will give a short presentation of the film and the work that went into the production of it before the viewing.  Chanthanakone chose the story and began outlining the film in April 2008.  He and a team of students began creating the film in January 2009 after receiving financial support from Southeast’s Grants and Research Funding.  He says his students were invaluable to the process.

“The film could not have been completed without the help of some very dedicated and talented students.  I chose to do this film for them because the experience they received will help them infinitely,” Chanthanakone said.  “They would often put in 10- or 20-hour weeks, so it was a long but beneficial process.”

The students involved in the production of “Death to the Different” are in the Southeast computer and multimedia graphics option in the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology, and they include senior Michael Freezeland, junior Kirk Lohmann and junior Chris Northcutt.  Tyler Paneitz, who graduated from Southeast in December with an associate’s degree and now attends University of Advancing Technology, also assisted in the film’s production.

“Working on a 3D film [has been]really amazing.  There’s so much that goes in to the process, and there’s so much to think about every step of the way.  I’ve really enjoyed the experience, and I’m thankful that I’ve had the chance to do this,” Freezeland said of his participation in the production of “Death to the Different.”

The film is based on “The Last Dragon,” a story by David Hayes.  Chanthanakone said he chose Hayes’ story for his film because provides a good, heart-felt storyline that teaches people about the greater good as well as an idea of differences in people.  

Although the film lasts only last a little under nine minutes, it packs within the story several complex themes including a coming-of-age situation.  Gabriel, the protagonist of the story, must overcome a difficult task given to each son in the family when he reaches the age of 14 in order to enter manhood.  Gabriel’s father, Connor, tells him his task is to slay the ferocious neighborhood dragon, but Gabriel might not be ready to become a man.  The plot also has issues of overcoming diversity and the gap between the youth and the elderly brought on especially by technology and the lasting effects of a leader’s decisions. 

Southeast senior Osby Tomlin is the voice of the dragon; David Hayes, who provided the story concept for the film, plays the voice of Connor; Olivia Nguyen, daughter of Southeast’s Crisp Museum Director Peter Nguyen, and Jacob Dudley, son of Southeast’s industrial and engineering technology faculty member John Dudley, are the voices of the story’s hero, Gabriel.   

As a short film director specializing in 3D animated films, Chanthanakone has won several awards from various film festivals including Top Emerging Artist in 2004 and Best Animation Short Film in 2006.  He received his bachelor of fine arts degree with a major in fine arts/multimedia from McMaster University and his masters of fine arts degree with a specialization in 3D animation from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.  He taught at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz., and Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., before coming to Southeast in August 2008.

For more information about “Death to the Different,” visit Chanthanakone’s website,  

  Southeast students in the lab, working on the 3D animated short film, “Death to the Different,” are clockwise from left, Osby Tomlin, Chris Northcutt, Michael Freezeland and Kirk Lohmann