Inside “The Film Lounge” with Paul Huenemann

    Paul Huenemann.
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    Welcome back to Inside “The Film Lounge,” where we’re meeting the Iowa filmmakers whose work will be featured next month on Iowa Public Television. Take a look back at the artists we’ve featured so far by clicking through our blog.

    And don’t forget: Check out the free preview parties scheduled for Feb. 5 in Iowa City, Feb. 9 in Des Moines and Feb. 11 in Sioux City. Film fans can get an early look at the IPTV series and meet fellow fans and filmmakers.

    So now let’s meet Paul Huenemann, an independent animator in Cedar Rapids. He grew up in Des Moines and attended the University of Iowa, where he majored in film production and theater. He founded Right Purdy Pictures in 1992 while working at the University of Iowa, where he stayed for few more years until jumping into full-time animation, in 1995. Since then, he’s won a pile of awards for his clients and himself, for a range of projects ranging from small web videos to big-screen movies. He produces most of his animations on a computer.

    What type of films do you usually make?
    Animated industrial and commercial films. But with the success of “The Gurgle,” I’m leaning toward more entertainment oriented. (“The Gurgle” is Paul’s contribution to “The Film Lounge.” The 4-and-a-half minute film tells the unsettling tale of a man waiting at a bus stop . . . while something else waits for him.)

    Paul Huenemann working in animation studio.
    Caption Zoom

    What themes does your work deal with?
    My entertainment films and video games are generally more adventure-oriented. The industrials are more, like, industrial.

    What are you currently working on?
    I just finished some Iowa Lottery commercials and am moving into more holiday-themed materials. My next entertainment film promises to be a real pip of a story! Can’t wait to get started on it.

    What do you enjoy about being a filmmaker in Iowa?
    Iowa is filled with great people. Here in eastern Iowa, “the corridor” is populated with a diverse group of artists, rich in talent from writers to actors, painters to sculptors.

    What is one thing you would change about Iowa’s film scene?
    I’d like to see more high-end films, not just coming to Iowa to film, but produced and made here. The other parts of the world have already realized that filmmaking is viable business; I’d like to see Iowa businesses embrace that. At the turn of the century, Iowa was the leading distributor in the world for motion-picture entertainment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to reclaim that title?