The HARPER FAMILY is having a lousy Christmas. RYAN (10) and KASEY (8) are still struggling to adjust after their mother passed away several years ago. Their father, ERIC, is also trying to start a new chapter in his life when he asks the pretty and charming local butcher, AMY, to join them for Christmas dinner.
But before he can finish his last-minute shopping he is kidnapped by a bumbling gang of thieves. After Kasey makes a wish upon an antique elf doll, a magical Christmas Elf gets left behind by Santa at their family farm. He then encounters the children and their feisty, eccentric GRAMMA.
Soon ELF-MAN is enlisted to help Ryan and Kasey thwart the spies who are trying to steal Eric’s top secret invention for their own nefarious plans. At first Elf-Man fails and gives up on the quest, but after the kids present him with a homemade superhero outfit, he realizes he must don the ridiculous garb and try one last time to save Eric from the kidnappers.
With Elf-Man’s discovery that he can fly, the kids defeat the bad guys and rescue their father. And in the end, Ryan and Kasey get the best Christmas gift anyone could ever dream of: they get their Daddy back! And Elf-Man is born as a superhero!
NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION
ELF-MAN is the first film collaboration between writer-director-producers Richard Jefferies and Ethan Wiley. After their chance meeting on the WGA strike line (Richard came to Ethan’s rescue after a retired producer in a Bentley tried to run Ethan over), they soon agreed to join forces as a creative team. Richard came aboard Wiley’s Wiseacre Films as a full partner in 2011, then moved back to his hometown of Frederick, Maryland.
Although known for their work in such genres as Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller and Fantasy, both writers have experience writing family comedies for the studios, and their first endeavor is the independent family comedy, ELF-MAN. Local Maryland producer Kurt Uebersax joined the team and after putting together the financing through local sources, the Wiseacre team started prepping to shoot the entire production in the Frederick, MD, area. They recruited a talented crew, including Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Stadd and Oscar-winning Special Effects designer Chris Walas (Indiana Jones, Return of the Jedi, Gremlins, The Fly).
After casting was completed, they began filming in January 2012, with a delightful blend of Hollywood and Maryland actors — including eight-year-old newcomer Carly Robell, who came to an open casting call and landed one of the leads. Not bad for her first audition. Also starring in the stellar cast is Mackenzie Astin, Mirelly Taylor, Marty Terry, Dave Coyne and Jeffrey Combs.
Currently in post-production and scheduled for a Christmas 2012 release, this is the 6th Wiseacre Films production since 2006.