Exxodus Pictures is growing from its base in downtown Detroit thanks to more work in both film and commercials.
The [email protected]
Building-based company released the movie "Jinn" last year. It has also made three commercials and is gearing up to make the first of a slate of three movies later this year.
"Our main thing is movies," says Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, co-owner of Exxodus Pictures
. "But if we get contacted for a commercial job, we don't turn it down."
The 5-year-old firm's first theatrical release, "Jinn," came out last spring. The movie is about an elite class of warriors/monsters who are ancient, supernatural, and made of fire. (Check out the trailer for the film here
.) The film was released in 210 theaters in North America. It is set to release across multiple channels like Dish Network and Amazon this week.
Exxodus Pictures employs a core staff of 10 people after hiring two editors and two graphic designers. The company will also crew up to 30 people when it shoots commercials and up to 50 people while shooting a movie.
Exxodus Pictures recently received $1.3 million in tax incentives from the state of Michigan to film three made-in-Michigan movies. Those include "My Soul to Keep," "Swish Master," and "Golem." "Swish Master" is a story about Max Sheffield, a boy who unleashes black magic to put a stop to the bullying he is experiencing at school, but realizes along the way he may not be the one in control after all.
"Golem" centers around Adina Akhavan, who witnesses the annihilation of her village by Nazi soldiers. But then an otherworldly beast emerges and decimates the barbarous soldiers and Adina escapes into the forest. Weeks later, she is befriended by Captain Jaeger and his elite team of SS relic hunters who were sent to investigate the disappearance of the brigade and to secure the ancient beast. Adina has no choice but to hide her true identity, help Captain Jaeger secure the beast, and wait for the perfect moment to enact her revenge.
"My Soul to Keep" follows 9-year-old Eli Braverman, who is terrified of his basement and the evil that he thinks is living there. When his older sister Emily abandons her babysitting duties, Eli is left home alone to confront the darkness and the creature that may be lurking in it.
"We're looking to start shooting that in the spring," Ahmad says.
Source: Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, co-owner of Exxodus Pictures
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.