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Denise Monteiro Is Jenny Nines In Super Duper Alien Hunters

The Super Duper Team has a new member. She’s totally bad ass and totally blind. She is easily the most anticipated, new character in the sequel to Super Duper Heist Squad.

Her name is Jenny Nines.

Jenny is a character who doesn’t let her disability prevent her from achieving her goals. The idea was to instill some of the spirit and values of Aaron Vnuk, owner of Blind River Studios, into the Jenny character. “Jenny Nines is meaningful to me. I want to incorporate some aspect of blindness into everything we do as a team and this character, being one of the principal cast, represents everything I want in Super duper Alien Hunters, Vnuk Said.”

The next step was to find the actress. Vnuk and Director, mark Foley, knew this would be a major undertaking for the team. “We needed someone with the talent to play a realistic blind person and to be athletic at the same time. She needed to have martial arts skills because the character brings the comedic contrast to the movie. Jenny is blind, but she’s the one who ends up being the most capable at kicking some serious alien buttocks, said Vnuk.”

The search was on for the actress to play Jenny Nines. Foley browsed through many casting agencies, websites and call boards. He reviewed hundreds of actor profiles until he landed on one that got his attention.

Her name is Denise Monteiro.

The team at Blind River studios loved her first audition. It was then up to Vnuk to make the final decision. Aaron recalled his first phone call with Denise, “She is a woman with many layers. She had a story of her own that gave her a strength of spirit that I immediately connected with. In her own life, she has overcome many obstacles to find her way in the world. She spoke to me through resilience, discipline, fortitude and strength; the values I most cherish. After our conversation, I knew that she had what was needed inside herself to play a character who was blind. Denise was a blessing. I offered her the role in that first conversation.”

Denise Monteiro was born in Brazil. She grew up with many family struggles and hardships. She left her family at a young age to pursue a career in modeling and acting. She vowed to find success and take care of her family one day. While on a job in England, she met dan Thomas, who became her future husband and a well known soccer host and analyst for ESPN. They relocated to the United states and made a home in Connecticut. Denise prided herself on being able to take care of her family and to give them a good life. She never gave up on her dreams of being an actress so when she felt her family was safe, secure and provided for, she knew it was now her time. She focused on improving as an actress. She dedicated herself to her work with an acting coach, mixed martial arts instructor and a personal trainer. She trained hard and strengthened her mind, body and spirit. As fate would unveil, Denise was training for her role as Jenny Nines.

Blind River Studios is proud to present Denise Monteiro in her feature film debut. The exciting costar of Super Duper Alien Hunters will take on the challenging role of a blind woman. The time has come for our leading actress, the lady in black, to bring to life, Jenny “The Harkener” Nines! Please welcome Denise Monteiro to the team!

Denise Monteiro SDAH
Denise Monteiro

Bradley Rhodes Is An Inspiration To Super Duper Alien Hunters

Actor, Bradley Rhodes, will return to the movie set for the first time since suffering a stroke in late 2021. Aaron Vnuk, Owner & Executive Producer at Blind River Studios, said, “He’s scheduled to be in the scene we’re filming at Camp Shalom in Windsor, CT on Saturday, June 25. That’s going to be a big day for us all. When I contacted Bradley back in December 2021 and asked him if he would return to the cast of super Duper Alien Hunters, I never expected what he would tell me. First, he said he would love to be in the sequel and to work with us on another production. Then he told me about the stroke and how he was in the process of learning how to walk and talk again. I felt so bad because I knew the timing wouldn’t work since we would be filming his scene less than six months later. Bradley assured me he would be ready and he would use the movie as one of his motivators to progress through his rehab. We’re now a little over a month away and he told me he’s not going to be 100%, but if we give him breaks and shorten the shooting time, he promises to deliver a performance to remember. Bradley is an inspiration for this movie. People say I’m a walking inspiration by doing what I do while being blind. But on that day (June 25, 2022), Bradley takes center stage.”

Rhodes first joined the Blind River Team on the production of the original movie, Super Duper Heist Squad. He portrayed the bold and boisterous, Donald Ziebowicz, who expressed his frustration to the audacity of the Super Duper Team closing the bowling alley to plan their next mission. Donald didn’t care what the misfit superheroes were up to. He and his wife wanted to bowl! In the scene, Bradley got to perform alongside his longtime friend, Marsha Howard Karp. The highlight of the scene occurred when Marsha (Margaret Ziebowicz), accused The Commander (Matt Stevens) of rough handling her like she was some sort of floozy. Donald knew it was time to come to the rescue of his wife and to defend her honor. He squared up to The Commander, put up his fists and challenged him to a full out brawl right inside the bowling alley. Aaron Vnuk stated, “When we think back to that scene, it’s no surprise that Bradley still had plenty of fight left in him to overcome the trauma of the stroke. He showed so much vigor and strength in his performance of Donald Ziebowicz. That’s truly who he is. Bradley is a fighter.”

When development began on Super Duper Alien Hunters, Vnuk and Director/Screenwriter, Mark Foley, knew the Donald Ziebowicz character couldn’t return in the sequel so the duo worked on creating some new characters that would add to the wild and zany adventure. They came up with quite a treat when they unveiled one of their new favorites to the Blind River Team. The production team approved of the new, cooky, ultra quirky, absurd and perhaps what could be best described as a straight up nut job of a character. And so, the infamous, salty seaman, Captain Otis T. Spickenhauser was born.

Vnuk recalled, “When Captain Otis came to life, Mark and I knew there was only one actor we wanted to play the part. There were two reasons for this. The first was that we knew what Bradley did with his portrayal of Donald Ziebowicz in the original movie. The other reason was Matt Stevens. We all know that Matt is the lead character and the
reason for the Super duper franchise. It’s not easy to find an actor who can go toe to toe with Matt’s acting chops. The scene with Otis and Nelson Munkhouse (Matt Stevens) is a significant scene, there’s a lot of dialogue and it’s just the two of them. We needed an actor who could hold up to being on screen with Matt for that long and Bradly was our top choice.”

It’s funny how history works sometimes. Nearly seven years ago, on the set of the original Super Duper Heist squad, Matt Stevens and Bradley Rhodes appeared together in a scene. Vnuk discussed, “That was a small, fun, cutaway scene and Bradley had Marsha to work off from. In the sequel, the scene is bigger and much more integral to the storyline of the movie. We’re all looking forward to getting Bradley and Matt together on set again.” The scene unfolds when Nelson and his Super Duper Team need a boat to take them to Flat Rock Island (the place where the aliens have landed). The only way to get a boat and to Flat Rock is through Captain Otis. When Nelson arrives at the boat house to meet Captain Otis, get ready to laugh and watch the magic happen. Blind river Studios is proud to celebrate the return of Bradly Rhodes to the set on Saturday, June 25, on location at Camp shalom for the filming of Nelson Meets Captain Otis T. Spickenhauser in Super Duper Alien Hunters.

Bradley Rhodes SDHS
Bradley Rhodes

Donna Crowe Is A Super Duper Mom

Kids these days. Most parents struggle with disconnecting their children from their cell phones and engaging in the real world. What if your forty something year old son can’t connect with reality at all? What if your son thinks he’s a ninja who must save the world from an alien invasion? How do you handle that conversation as a parent? Well, actress, Donna Crowe, makes it look easy as the mom of Mikey Lee in Super Duper Alien Hunters.

Donna Crowe appeared in the original, Super Duper Heist Squad, as everyone’s favorite mom, Mrs. Lee. She truly was a fan favorite. Aaron Vnuk, Executive Producer & Owner of Blind River Studios, remembers from the premiere screening, “I couldn’t believe how many people commented on the character of Mrs. Lee. After our screening at the Holiday Cinemas in Wallingford, CT, there were several people raving about Donna’s performance and then when the movie was released on seven streaming platforms, the positive reviews kept on coming for Mrs. Lee. This was a huge surprise for us because we wrote Mrs. Lee as such a minor role, but Donna delivered a performance that made people connect with the character in ways we never anticipated.”

When it was time to write the sequel, Super Duper Alien Hunters, Vnuk and Director/Screenwriter, Mark Foley, knew they needed to enhance the character and give Donna more to work with. The creative team developed a separate storyline for Mrs. Lee where she now appears in two major scenes. Vnuk said, “We wanted to build off the fact that she’s such a likable character that you can identify with at some level. We also learned how talented Donna is as an actress and how much screen presence she has so we wrote to those strengths in the sequel.”

So, what is it about Mrs. Lee that gets the fans talking? Is it her no nonsense approach with her son? Is it how she basically calls him out as a loser, a couch potato and doesn’t care about humiliating Mikey in public? Perhaps it’s how she continues to live her own life, in spite of many troubles with men, and lets Mikey live his in spite of how ridiculous his life truly is? Or maybe it’s how she brings a sense of normalcy to the Super Duper world of fantastical misfits? Vnuk comments, “Actually, Mrs. Lee is just as crazy as the rest of the colorful characters in the movies. She just does it in a way where you can empathize with her and laugh along with her. And that’s all Donna. She took the character to another level. We can’t take credit for what she brings to Mrs. Lee.”

Donna Crowe returns to the set on May 29, 2022 to film a scene at Lessard Lanes in Plainville, CT. Director, mark Foley, gave her a new look in the sequel. When she first appeared in super duper Heist Squad, her hair was full of rollers. Her look brought immediate laughs and became sort of the trademark for the character. Vnuk reflected, “We couldn’t continue the hair rollers. It’s sad and we’re going to miss them, but they just couldn’t work in Super Duper alien Hunters. Mrs. Lee has to get right down to business and send a message to her son, Mikey. She’s transformed from the rollers to a woman who’s on the move, has a hot date and needs to make sure her weirdo son doesn’t get in the way.” The team at Blind River Studios is happy to have Donna return in the sequel. She was a discovery of Producer, Dennis Broderick. When Aaron told the team, he needed a mom for Mikey Lee, it was Broderick who said he knew the perfect woman who could handle a ninja for a son. The team was so pleased with the casting decision. Vnuk concluded, “Donna Crowe is a natural talent in front of the camera. You can’t teach the presence she has on screen. She has an exciting personality, enthusiasm and passion that somehow hits you across the face when you watch her in the original movie. As an actress, she has the ability to make you connect with her. She brings you into her world. She knows how to make you laugh. These are rare talents, which made her one of Super Duper’s most pleasant surprises. My entire team is looking forward to what she’s going to do with her character and how she’s going to embarrass her son, Mikey, in the sequel, Super Duper Alien Hunters. Get ready for Donna, on the set, in May!”

Donna Crowe SDHS
Donna Crowe

Rick Broderick Goes Ape in super Duper Alien Hunters

Does anyone need a famous birthday party entertainer? His fee is nearly as big as his ego, but make no mistake, Lefty “The Ape” Carmichael, will bring tears to every child’s eyes. It’s all good fun as long as you keep convincing yourself they are tears of joy. It’s not because Lefty just stole their ice cream cones or snatched the candy from their little hands. Lefty is smug, conceited and is out to make sure every kids birthday party is a “memorable” event.

In the original, super Duper Heist Squad, Broderick first appears on screen leaving a bathroom, wearing his gorilla suit without the head and is carrying a folded newspaper under his arm. He makes it clear to the Super Duper team that he’s the main act at the birthday party and they should feel lucky to just open for him. There’s no monkey business when it comes to Lefty Carmichael. He’s the show, it’s all about him and if you don’t like it, you can kiss his banana.

Aaron Vnuk, Executive Producer, commented on the character, “When we had our in-house team read the screenplay for the sequel, Super Duper Alien Hunters, we intended that the aliens would be the villains, but almost all of our readers told us they found Lefty more distasteful, more disliked and more horrifying than the flesh eating aliens themselves!”

Vnuk and Broderick first met in 2000 when Aaron was producing his first series of short films. Rick was a huge movie lover and a collector of memorabilia. Aaron fondly remembers the days they would spend in Rick’s museum (his basement) admiring all of his movie, sports and toy collectibles. Vnuk said, “Rick was a huge fan of the Universal monster movies. He had hordes of stuff from Boris Karloff, Don Chaney and all of their big classic movies about mummies, werewolves and vampires. His collection was so extravagant that he and I both knew we somehow needed to get it into a movie one day. It wasn’t until many years later that we wrote a scene for Super Duper Heist Squad that featured Rick’s basement of rare collectibles and artifacts.” Broderick joined Vnuk in 2005 as one of his key producers and collaborators and in 2008, he introduced Aaron to his brother Dennis who joined the team and have continued producing movies together for over a decade later.

In Super Duper Alien Hunters (filming in April 2022), the creative team at Blind River Studios wanted the character of Lefty “The Ape” Carmichael to be a complete loser in reality, but in Lefty’s mind, he’s deserving of his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Vnuk said, “We knew Rick could pull off the role. Rick has a story for everything, he’s so imaginative in his own life and he loves movies that blur the fantasy from the reality. We knew he could play the absurd side of Lefty (where he takes himself seriously) and the gorilla side (where he’s a nobody without his furry pelt). When it comes down to it, we have a guy who sees himself as Tom Cruise in a gorilla suit.”

Lefty’s character was enhanced and given his own storyline in comparison to the cameo role in the original, super Duper Heist Squad. Lefty now has a sidekick, the mystical Madam Fifi (played by actress, Nika Shakhmuradova). The infamous party entertainers first appear together on screen when they charm, tease and intimidate Mikey Lee “The Ninja” played by actor, Matthew Cary. Vnuk commented, “Rick Broderick is a natural entertainer in real life. All you have to do is listen and you’ll hear one of many of Rick’s wild stories about everything from his Red Sox to the most obscure facts about monsters, aliens and anything else that creeps along at night. He loves playing offbeat cameo roles in our movies. One of my favorites was when he portrayed Herman, the zany hot dog salesman. Lefty is his biggest role to date. It will be fun to find out what he does with this super, hairy fellow. I can tell you that he makes a big impact in the movie’s third act. We give him the chance to be both the villain and a sort of hero, but that will be for the audience to determine. Rick is such an oddball and comedic person in real life. All we had to do was give him a gorilla suit and we had our Lefty and best of all it gave us another excuse to work with this unique and talented man.”

Rick Broderick SDHS
Rick Broderick

Miranda Morgan Scott Hunts Aliens & Yells Like Xena

When you are facing a horde of flesh eating aliens, you need a warrior on your team. Thankfully, our “Super Duper” squad has actress, Miranda Morgan Scott to take care of the ugly business. She boldly portrays Nightstar “The Warrior” in Super Duper Alien Hunters. Even though the movie is a jolly, fun comedy, when Miranda appears on screen, the laughing ends and the pain begins. “She’s brutal, says Executive Producer, Aaron Vnuk.” When Nightstar isn’t wandering around at a cosplay convention, you’ll find her fearless attitude making short work of the most dangerous opponents facing the “Super Duper” squad. The only question remains, “Can she battle with aliens?”

Vnuk recalls from the audition for the original, Super Duper Heist Squad, “We knew we needed an actress who could be both a total geek and a total bad ass at the same time. When Miranda read for the role, we could easily tell she had the nerd style going for her. Then Producer, Rick Broderick, read her resume and asked her about one of her special talents, the famous Xena call from the popular television series, Xena:Warriour Princess. Miranda, without hesitation, went from the quirky, milk toast of a girl to belting out the most perfect, high pitched warrior shriek we ever heard. It sent a chill down my spine and I could hear the jaws dropping from my producers. It was at that moment we knew we found our warrior, Nightstar.”

It’s rare to discover an actress with the range of Miranda Morgan Scott. When she puts on her colorful wig, hikes up her knee-high boots and grabs her battle axe, she transforms from the friendly Vermont native to a woman with the thirst for Ork blood. “Even her voice changes, said Vnuk. Being blind, I can tell you she threw me off a few times on the set of the original, Super Duper Heist Squad. I would hear this husky, female voice and it took me a bit to realize it was Miranda, in character, with her battle axe, ready to kick my ass if I didn’t get out of her way.”

Blind River Studios is pleased to announce that Miranda Morgan Scott will return as Nightstar in Super Duper Alien Hunters. In the sequel, her character has her own storyline and the creative team gave her a sidekick, Goldwing, played by Chalita Lewis. The duo first appears on screen in one of Director, Mark Foley’s most anticipated scenes: an action packed, back alley brawl against a gang of mischievous porch pirates, coordinated by Fight & Stunt Coordinator, Michael O’Connor. Vnuk said, “We’re so glad to have Miranda back. She is the type of talent that makes everything we do better. She’s so easy to admire with her work ethic, engaging personality and her insanely, rare talent as an artist. I’m also proud to say she’s a business woman herself. She and her awesome, creative partner, Amanda Nilsson, run their own production company, Look At them Trying. Miranda and Amanda are the type of people I hope to always have the opportunity to work with and collaborate with on every project I’m involved with.”

Miranda Morgan Scott SDHS
Miranda Morgan Scott

Dennis Broderick: The Fonz or The Beast?

Producer/Actor, Dennis Broderick, not only shares a likeness with Henry Winkler (The Fonz from Happy Days) but he also shares the same attitude when he becomes “The Beast” in Super Duper Alien Hunters. Broderick, a show runner producer for Blind River Studios, made his acting debut when he did a cameo role in Super Duper Heist Squad. He portrayed the bowling bad ass who made every pin in the alley shake. Aaron Vnuk, Executive Producer, said, “When Dennis does something he goes all in. He took a small role and made it into one of the most memorable characters in the original movie. Dennis showed up to the set with a custom bowling shirt with “The Beast” embroidered on the back, a custom bowling bag, a set of flashy headbands and wristbands, pants that were too tight and too short to show off his long, white socks with colored rings on the top and some slick, sparkling bowling shoes. I heard he looked like the biggest dork. He then added some signature moves just like “The Fonz” made famous in Happy Days. He even did this weird lip curl accompanied by an animal-like growl. And then there was the celebration. When he rolled a strike, wow! Dennis did the most nerdy, geeky looking dance. We then knew he was a perfect fit for the Super Duper team. So much in fact, that we had to make “The Beast” one of the central characters in the sequel.”

Aaron Vnuk (Executive Producer) met Dennis in 2007 on the set of the company’s first feature film. Broderick’s passion for movies and his love of anything exciting quickly made him a valuable member of the team. Vnuk leaned on Broderick to help him produce the next challenging, film installment. He brought over $100,000 in resources to the production and helped to organize the largest movie project to date. Dennis lead a team of 30 crew members over a ten day shooting schedule and “nobody got killed” as Dennis would often say himself to poke some fun. When the pressure rises and things get crazy on location, he has a peculiar tendency to tell more jokes and becomes sort of a hybrid between the serious “big boss” producer and the set jester. Vnuk said, “Dennis has a knack of getting people excited about making a movie. That excitement translates into locations, volunteers on the set, extras, food, vehicles, contacts and all sorts of other resources that enhances the production value of our movies. My favorite part is that he gets nearly everything for free or at minimal cost. I hope to produce every movie I make with him. There was a time when Dennis had to take a step away from the company and we all felt his absence. It was awful. We struggled with getting anything off the ground. I needed my “go to” guy. Dennis then called me one day and wanted back in. I told him the door was never closed and now, thanks to him, we’re soon back on the set of another big movie for us.”

Dennis makes things happen and he often makes them happen out of nothing. His “magical genie” qualities came into question one evening on the set. Vnuk remembered fondly, “It was day seven of a grueling ten day shoot. Everyone was exhausted and it was well past midnight when Director, Mark Foley, called for the apple. It was time to shoot the scene where the lead actress sliced an apple. The call went out over the walkie talkies for the apple. I heard Dennis saying to give him a minute and I heard a bunch of rummaging around. Now, keep in mind, Dennis was responsible and came through for hundreds of tasks over the ten day shoot. I then heard some curses over the walkie talkie and then I heard Dennis’s voice loud and clear. He shouted that someone ate the damn apple! We were all so tired but we couldn’t help but to laugh. We really tested Dennis’s magical abilities that night as somehow he and his right hand man, Erik Schwartz, conjured an apple less than fifteen minutes later.”

Dennis Broderick is back at home as a BRS Producer and film family member. It’s also a lot of fun to have him in front of the camera as well. We hear rumors that he is giving “The Beast” an even flashier look with some new attire and accessories for the sequel, Super Duper Alien Hunters. Vnuk knows Dennis loves the show, “We took him to a convention once and he makes friends with everyone. He somehow got into this group called Steam Punk, something I’ve never heard of before, but Dennis loved them and they loved Dennis. Then, a couple of years later, I hear all this laughing on the set and I knew Dennis had to be up to something. I learned that he was hopping around in a fully decked out, Mad Hatter, Steam Punk style outfit. The Steam Punkers made it especially for him. Of course, true to his nature, Dennis went all in, as he usually does, and added in some creepy looking, “blind eye” contact lenses as a tribute to me. I had to give him credit for that one.”

Dennis Broderick SDHS
Dennis Broderick

Augie De La Noval Hits The Gas In SDAH

Augie De La Noval made his acting debut as Angelo Locatelli “The Wheel Man” in the original, Super Duper Heist Squad (now streaming on seven platforms including Tubi TV & Amazon Prime). The loveable, Muumuu wearing, “Giddy Up” video game-cowboy, is slated to return in the sequel, Super Duper Alien Hunters (begins filming April 2022). Angelo’s mission is to use his highly specialized, tactical driving skills to transport the “Super Duper” team to safety. The best part is that he learned all of his driving artistry from his addiction to playing Grand Theft auto.

In the opening scene of Super Duper Alien Hunters, Angelo must save his buddy Herman Paul (portrayed by John Sheppard) from a terrifying alien encounter. It’s a petal to the metal, full horsepower, hit the gas, type of scene. We come to find out that car gasoline isn’t the only type of gas that Angelo takes pride in. As we remember from the original movie (SDHS), Angelo can make quite a stink after eating Clyde Cooper’s (Moses Beckett) famous chili. Could Angelo’s “natural gas” be the secret weapon the team so desperately needs?

Augie joined the BRS family when Producer, Dennis Broderick, introduced Augie to the team during the development of Super Duper Heist Squad in 2013. Aaron Vnuk (Executive Producer) remembered Augie’s impact, “We were going through a difficult time where we were forced to stop production on a movie, our company, Third Life Cinema, was closing and here comes this guy with the biggest and most positive personality. We were all picking up the pieces back then and we couldn’t have done it without Augie. In fact, I credit him the most for the origination of Blind River Studios. He was such a great cheerleader for the company and when things got going it became clear how much we needed him.” Augie expresses his talents both in front and behind the camera. When he wasn’t acting as Angelo Locatelli in Super Duper Heist Squad, he would grab the camera slate and help with the crew with whatever was needed. He’ll soon be taking on a new role as the team’s Director of Information Transfer (DIT). He’s earned his way to being one of the company’s top Producers. He is perhaps best known for his social media marketing magic. Vnuk said, “Augie creates the most engaging graphics and social media posts. He is so great at spreading the word and getting people excited around our work. As a team, we are terrible with social media, but Augie is a superstar. I know when he’s made a post because of how many people will tell me about it and how much they loved it”

Augie is a true family man. His uplifting spirit never falters even when he is going through his own personal challenges. Vnuk said, “He’s been through a lot over the past few years, which is one of my biggest motivators to bring the BRS family back to the film set. It means so much to me to hear the joy in his voice that we are back making another movie. Augie is a member of our film family and has become a friend to the entire team. His personality warms our hearts and he always has some interesting stories to share.” In fact, Director & Screenwriter, Mark Foley, is always keen to include Augie’s life outside of BRS into his character and the company promotions. Augie is an avid collector and fan of GI Joe, Match Box Cars, Star Trek & Star Wars paraphernalia. He even has a successful Ebay business selling his toys. Can anyone say GI Augie? Vnuk and Foley enjoy throwing ideas around doing a sort of documentary on Augie’s basement where he stores all of his collectibles before they go on auction. He has the most elaborate display cases, Star Trek ships hanging from the ceiling as if they are in hot pursuit of the Klingons and just loads of toys from all different time periods. It’s like being back in the good old days when Toys R Us was in business.

Augie De La Noval returns to the set on April 24 for the opening day of filming for super duper Alien Hunters. He’s coming back in full force, with some super nasty “home brewed” juice. Angelo ain’t playing around with these aliens. His character does much more than drive the Super Duper team around in the sequel. Angelo Locatelli comes to life like an unstoppable juggernaut; a real GI Joe bad ass. And to his fans, there might even be a new Muumuu to admire! Vnuk laughed at the memory, “At the premiere screening of Super Duper Heist Squad, I had several people asking me in the lobby if they could wear Angelo’s Muumuu and take a picture with Augie. We weren’t prepared for that and of course, we didn’t have the Muumuu. Thankfully, people settled for an autograph and photo with Augie. I think we even gave some free movie posters away to make up for the lack of Muumuu. This was one of those things you just don’t forget, especially since I didn’t even know what a Muumuu was at the time. I still really don’t. I guess, Augie will have to let me feel it next time we’re on set. As Hercules McNally (Phil Godeck) said in the original SDHS, I hear they can be quite liberating!”

Augie De La Noval SDHS
Augie De La Noval

John Sheppard Delivers The Gross Factor In Super Duper Alien Hunters

Imagine dropping your open chapstick on a dirty floor, picking it up to find it covered with dirt and lint, then slathering it all over your lips? How about clipping your toenails and tasting each one? Ever consider sticking a q tip in your ear, getting it loaded with earwax, then giving it a lick and sticking the q tip up your nose? If these scenarios didn’t completely gross you out, then how about drinking warm breast milk purchased online from a pregnant woman?

Actor, John Sheppard, may not have known what he was getting himself into when he agreed to portray the oddball, socially awkward, totally disgusting and completely oblivious character, Herman Paul “The Translator” in Super Duper Heist Squad & Super Duper Alien Hunters. Executive Producer, Aaron Vnuk, of Blind River Studios said, “I contacted John about a new feature film we were developing back in 2015. I told him we wanted him to be one of the leads and he agreed without knowing anything about the character. So, I told the team, let’s have some fun with this.” Screenwriter and Director, Mark Foley made it his mission to come up with the most disgusting scenarios to put Sheppard through, including drinking the warm breast milk, which became the trademark for the Herman Paul character. Vnuk commented, “We wrote Herman specifically for John. We made the character extremely quirky and bizarre with a lot of physical acting and facial expressions. John is one of the best physical actors we have ever worked with and when it comes to telling everything with one look, there’s nobody better than John Sheppard.”

The Herman Paul character worked like magic, in a sort of nauseating and disgusting way. Vnuk remembers the audience reaction at the premiere screening of Super Duper Heist Squad at the Holiday Cinemas in Wallingford, CT. He recalled, “Herman Paul was the clear audience favorite. We sold out a 250 seat theater for the premiere. I always sit in the very first row since I don’t need to see the screen and I can hear the entire audience behind me. I remember how well they reacted to Herman and this was even more evident after the screening when people would come up to me to let me know how much they enjoyed the movie and especially Herman Paul. There’s just something about John and what be brings to a character like this. When Herman would appear on the screen, the audience started chuckling before he even said a word.”

Vnuk and Sheppard first met on the set of A Mean Man’s War nearly two decades ago with actor, Moses Beckett. To this day, John still feels the WWI short film (A Mean Man’s War) was one of his favorite acting experiences. Vnuk said, “We cast John as a machine gunner. He appeared on screen for only a minute before a missel strike abruptly ended his character, but the way he delivered his lines with those characteristic facial expressions made me cast him in all of my later films.” It didn’t stop there, as Blind River studios cast John as the lead in a short film in 2000 called Beach sightings where he co-starred alongside Aaron’s wife, Lauren. John then became a reoccurring character in Aaron’s YouTube series, Living The Blind Life. Vnuk said, “We just can’t get enough of John. He has something inside of him that just blows up when “action” is called. He also has an amazing memory, comes prepared, never forgets a line and when he brings the physical acting and facial expressions, you feel like you’re watching a true artist at work.”

John Sheppard has become one of the established actors of the BRS film family. He is a “go to” talent who delivers quality performances from one movie project to the next. John is developing into a screenwriter, a script supervisor on the BRS crew and perhaps may direct his own movie in the future. Vnuk concluded, “My favorite memory about John is the card he gave me at my wedding. The card was like a walk through history of all of the movies we have done together. My wife Lauren, loves history and she got a real kick out of the card, which came complete with photos and captions from the movies. The card said everything about John as a man, performer and as a friend. I am fortunate to have him in my life and I get to work with him again on Super Duper Alien Hunters. Lauren and I just hope John doesn’t make anyone vomit at the Premiere with all of the new, nasty stuff he’ll be doing in the sequel. Herman is going to need plenty of milk when it comes time to battle with the aliens!”

John Sheppard SDHS
John Sheppard

Moses Beckett Geeks Out As Clyde Cooper

Zombies vs Vampires? Yeti vs Sasquatch? How about Norway Rats vs Jackals? If you want to know who would win in a full out, steel cage, battle royal, all you need to do is ask actor, Moses Beckett. You might first want to wait until he’s in costume as Clyde Cooper, “The Analyst” in the original Super Duper Heist Squad. Give Clyde a scenario and just sit back as he geeks out over the results. He loves to spew his nerdy techno-babble of useless knowledge. We wish Clyde could use his analytical talents with NFL football games and predict the final scores. This way, we would have higher budgets for our indie films!

Aaron Vnuk met Moses in 2005, on the set of A Mean Man’s War. Aaron was Executive Producer on the World War I period piece that became one of his favorite short films created under the banner of Legion Films. Aaron remembered, “We cast Moses as one of the grave diggers. Their scene opens with the four men singing one of the songs that was authentic to the time period of 1917. They called me over to listen to their rehearsal and Moses was clearly the best singer as he took the lead as the others harmonized. His voice was beautiful. I asked him if he was a professional singer and he said no, but he might end up one day singing on cruise ships.” Vnuk cast Moses in his first feature film in 2009 and when the team at Blind River Studios needed a dynamic lead actor to portray Clyde Cooper in Super Duper Heist Squad, Vnuk reached out once again and the two teamed up for one zany adventure. Vnuk said, “We’ve worked together so many times that we’ve become friends. It makes the projects that we do together that much more meaningful.”

Moses Beckett is slated to return as Clyde cooper in the sequel, Super Duper Alien Hunters (filming begins April 2022). He’ll join up with his team of weirdo misfits as they attempt to save the world from alien domination. In the movie’s opening scenes, actor, matt Stevens “The Commander” is waiting for another boring hour to pass at his day job when he gets a phone call. Clyde is on the other end, hard at work in his laboratory analyzing the latest data that just came in overnight. His report changes everything. Commander, we got aliens! Vnuk concluded, “Moses is a game changing actor who elevates the character. I feel like I could cast him in any role, but for some reason, I think Clyde somehow resonates with him. Clyde is brilliant, quirky, obscure, extremely nerdy, actually a complete loser, but kind of likeable. He’s sort of like the Dr. Spok of Super Duper Alien Hunters. I have a feeling Moses has some interesting things about him that he’s not sharing with us. I wonder if he’s got some superhero costumes at home, old Star Trek VHS movies, Dungeons & Dragons game boards or stuff like that. Whatever the case, he’s one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with so I hope he truly knows how to battle aliens. These ET’s are going to be super nasty.”

Moses Beckett SDHS
Moses Beckett

Matt Stevens Leads Super Duper Alien Hunters

Blind River Studios is pleased to announce that Matt Stevens will return as Nelson Munkhouse “The Commander” in Super Duper Alien Hunters. Stevens is ready to lead the charge against the extraterrestrial invasion. Only the Super Duper Team can save our world from this insidious, alien domination. All we need to hear are the famous words from The Commander, “Time To Assemble The Team!”

In the original, Super Duper Heist Squad, stevens assembled a team of highly specialized operatives to embark on a mission to save a rare action figure, The Solar Princess, from the clutches of a spoiled child. In the sequel, the stakes are much higher and the entire world is at risk. Thankfully, there’s no better actor to inspire a bunch of couch commandos than Matt stevens. Company President, Aaron Vnuk, has fond memories of Stevens at his first audition, “Matt came in with so much energy, I could hear his fast breathing and all of this excitement in his voice. Then when he started reading for the lead role, he begins having this conversation, like he was talking to a couple of friends. I was confused because I’m blind and I didn’t hear anyone else walking in with him. Then, one of my producers leaned over and whisper to me that he was talking to a couple of pewter Hobbits in his hands. That’s when I knew he was our guy.” The casting decision turned out to be a gem as Stevens, a quirky character in real life, was the perfect choice to turn a group of bizarre, misfits into a tactically capable team focused on a sole mission. As a result, Super Duper Heist Squad, found it’s way onto seven streaming platforms including Amazon Prime, Tubi TV & PLEX.

Matt stevens takes charge once again on Sunday, April 24 when filming begins on the set of Super Duper Alien Hunters. Stevens is a brilliant and dynamic actor who blends his own unique style of nerdy verbiage, a flair for the dramatic and the ability to inspire into the character of Nelson Munkhouse. Now that the stage is set to be much higher, there’s only one man for the job. Stevens will “Assemble The Team” for another adventure of family friendly comedy. This time, Blind River Studios, plans to make a Super Duper impact with this movie with the addition of more action, aliens, bigger locations and a much higher production value. Vnuk stated, “We want to give Matt a larger playground in the sequel. He is such a big presence on screen so to do him justice, we’re amping it all up because we know he most definitely will.”

Matt Stevens SDHS
Matt Stevens

Filming To Begin On Super Duper Alien Hunters

The Super Duper team returns to the set on Sunday, April 24, 2022 in North Haven, CT to kick off the opening weekend of filming for Super Duper Alien Hunters. The feature length, family comedy returns many cast members from the original, Super Duper Heist Squad. Aaron Vnuk happily stated, “This sequel has been a long time in development. It’s both exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time to return to the set with this team and wanting to make a better movie than the original. Having actors like matt stevens, Moses Beckett, Augie De La Noval and John Sheppard coming back takes a lot of the pressure away along with some talented newcomers. We’ll be doing a rollout of cast announcements soon.”   

Blind River studios will be filming some of the interior/exterior “gym scenes” at North Haven Cross Fit. The team is looking forward to using some of their new gear like the Blackmagic 6K Pro, the company’s new cinema camera. Aaron, the blind filmmaker, loves film gear, “I don’t know what it is about filmmaking equipment, but I love touching it, researching it, setting it up, learning how it all works and imagining what it looks like.” Aaron will certainly be talking more about the technical aspects of filmmaking in future posts as Super Duper Alien Hunters moves forward on production during the remainder of 2022.

Casting Call For Super Duper Alien Hunters!!!

Blind River Studios is now casting for the feature film, Super Duper Alien Hunters. This family-friendly, action-comedy, is the sequel to Super Duper Heist Squad, currently streaming on major platforms. The movie can best be described as a Scooby Doo-style adventure. Super Duper Alien Hunters is a non-union, ultra-low budget, independent movie. We are casting for both lead and supporting roles.

Filming begins April 2022 in Connecticut. An open audition will be held at our production headquarters in North Haven, CT on Saturday, January 15, 2022 from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Applicants may submit headshots and resumes to: info@blindriverstudios.com. We also accept video auditions. For more information about the movie, the audition process, times, location and the sides to perform at the audition, please visit the casting page

Blind River Studios Begins Pre Production on Super Duper Alien Hunters

The feature length screenplay for Super Duper Alien Hunters was recently finalized. It was then time for Aaron to bring on Producer, Dennis Broderick, to help with breaking down the script and getting an idea of what the team would be up against. Aaron shared, “Right now, the initial breakdowns is looking like we’ll be around 18.5 days of filming. Dennis started the location list and even got a jump on securing some of the key areas. The early breakdowns are showing me this movie will be a bit bigger of a bite to chew than I anticipated, but it’s early and many details are still being worked out.”

The company has their sites set on a January audition to fill in the new roles. The casting process will hopefully be completed by the end of February. The team is discussing the potential of going after 1-2 recognizable names to play some cameos and enhance the film’s market potential. Aaron talked about this possibility, “Mark and I have been throwing around some ideas for name talent, but we haven’t made any offers at this time. I want to stay focused on getting a good breakdown of the script, securing some of the locations and preparing for our upcoming, open cast audition. I’m happy to say we’re still on track to begin principal photography in April 2022.”

The Story Of How Super Duper Heist Squad Got On Amazon Prime, Tubi TV, PLEX, Vimeo On Demand & Vuuzle

Your favorite misfit commandos of Super Duper Heist Squad can be seen on five major streaming platforms in addition to the XUMO & TCL Networks. “It’s been a surprising run for the first feature film released by Blind River Studios,” says President, Aaron Vnuk. As a blind filmmaker, Aaron knows there is much to learn about the craft and business of independent film production. Aaron explained, “It’s so challenging to get a feature film made for under $5,000, but to make it good enough to be accepted by some of the major streamers and acquired by cable networks, is beyond what I expected for the movie.”

Aaron Vnuk told the story of Super Duper Heist Squad, which is very much a story of perseverance – very muck akin to his own life story. “Super Duper Heist Squad found its success because of my belief not to give up and Director, Mark Foley’s obsession over the movie. When Super Duper Heist squad was completed, my plan was to do a premiere screening for the cast, crew and the few fans the movie had at the time and then we would probably put it up on the BRS YouTube Channel and that was it. We were ready to move onto the next project, but Mark and I just had a feeling there was a bit more of an audience for this movie.

So, we took Mark’s obsession to the next level. Mark worked many hours on making some editing improvements and we felt the movie could possibly secure a deal with a distribution company. We decided to take a chance on it. We submitted it for distribution to a company called Indie Rights. I was really hopeful they would accept it, but they didn’t. They passed on it. This was a big disappointment for us, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet and neither was Mark. There were so many great people who worked on this movie, acted in it and supported it, so I wanted to do right by them and give it all we had to get their work seen.

Mark went into overdrive on his editing system and worked on the movie for another two months. He finished with an entirely new edit, rhythm and pacing of the film along with some new music and VFX. It was time to take another chance and put us out there once again. This time, we somehow found a sales agent through Film Hub to represent the film. Within a week, Super Duper Heist Squad debuted on Amazon Prime. We did well enough there to attract the attention of Tubi TV and the other platforms followed. To this date, I’m not even convinced the movie is done. We might squeeze in another couple of platforms. The Super Duper Heist Squad train just keeps on rolling along. Every time we think its finished and had enough, it just picks up some more steam and keeps on chugging forward. I’m grateful we didn’t give up on our $5,000 feature film. The success its had has built momentum and is the reason I agreed to do a sequel when Mark first pitched the idea. I never thought I would be spending so much time in the “Super Duper” world, but I have learned that you never know what is going to come your way in life. You can plan all you want, and even think you know where you’re going, but life has a tendency to bring you many surprises along the way.”

Blind river Studios is currently casting for the sequel, Super Duper Alien Hunters. Open auditions are scheduled for January 15, 2022 and they promise to be “Super Duper!”

Blind River Studios Greenlights New Feature Film

It’s official! Aaron Vnuk and Mark Foley teamed up on co-writing the screenplay and after twelve revisions from the BRS team, the sequel to Super Duper Heist Squad, received the greenlight!

Aaron Vnuk, BRS President, is happy to talk about the new movie these days. Super Duper Alien Hunters will continue the Super Duper franchise and will challenge the team in many new areas. The goal is to create a fun, family comedy with a lot more action, SFX, a higher production value and greater marketability in comparison to the original. Aaron shared some of the early news on the feature film project, “I’m happy to say that all of the original cast members who we asked back have accepted their roles. It’s exciting to work with returning actors: Matt Stevens, Moses Beckett, John Sheppard, Steven Colletti, Miranda Morgan Scott, Augie De La Noval, Dennis Broderick, Rick Broderick and Donna Crowe.”

In terms of the film’s budget, Aaron discussed, “I don’t have a number yet. I do know that most of the money will go towards some desperately needed new filmmaking equipment and the remainder will be spent on food, locations, housing, travel, props and we might pull off some surprises buy securing a name talent or two.”

The BRS team is headed into Pre-Production. There are many new locations, vehicles including, boats and a party bus and there are tons of new action props and wardrobe to acquire, even a high end, custom alien suit! There are also many new roles to fill, with the highlight being a new lead female role for the Super Duper team. Aaron was thrilled to discuss this new leading role, “We decided to add a blind character to the Super Duper team. Her name is Jenny Nines and she is a total bad ass. I can’t wait to hear how people react to her and I’m most looking forward to finding the actress to portray her.”

Super Duper Alien Hunters is now moving forward with the full backing of Blind River Studios. A tentative date for principal photography is set for April 2022.

Aaron Vnuk Says It’s Time To Get Super Duper again

The decision on what would be the next feature film from BRS created many debates amongst the team members. Company President, Aaron Vnuk, listened to the many opinions and directions. Aaron knew he wanted to stay within the family genre and possibly explore more inspirational and faith based themes. The team had some great pitches that may be some of the future projects for BRS. However, a significant problem Aaron knew was the need for some new filmmaking gear. Aaron explained, “We need to make some major equipment upgrades in pretty much every department.” It’s a fun fact among the company members that their last feature film, Super Duper Heist Squad, was shot on a $800 camera (Canon Rebel T4i) and was lit with Home Depot lights that were custom built from Cinematographer, Adam Vnuk, after he took a course with famous Cinematographer, Shane Hurlbut, who taught him how to build the Home Depot lighting arrays.

The need to spend money on new gear was a big factor in Aaron’s decision. “I knew we needed a movie that we would be comfortable with and wouldn’t be too heavy of a lift since we needed to learn and practice with a lot of new filmmaking equipment.” Director, Mark Foley, grabbed the opportunity to share his pitch; a sequel to Super Duper Heist Squad. Aaron commented, “At first, I really didn’t want to go back into the Super Duper world again, but Mark had a pretty good concept and so I decided to challenge him on it.”

Aaron simply smiled and declared, “If we’re going to do another Super Duper movie, I want aliens in it this time! After I shocked him with my unexpected request, I could tell that Mark was staring at me to see if I was serious. I didn’t budge and then he said okay and then I said okay. There was more silence as both of us were processing this crazy thought. I told Mark let’s make it like a Scooby Doo style adventure. That seemed to do the trick and set off his lightbulb. Mark came back at me with the title and the two of us set off to start working on the screenplay for Super Duper Alien Hunters.”

So, just like that, the sequel to the first BRS feature film, was set in motion. Aaron discussed the project with Michael O’Connor, his Director of Development, to get his blessing. Shortly after, the BRS team got on board and a good deal of work was about to begin, but this time, there would be aliens.

Super Duper Heist Squad Is Acquired By Xumo & TCL Networks

We are pleased to announce that our offbeat family comedy will soon air on the XUMO & TCL Networks. Company President, Aaron Vnuk, proudly states, “This little movie we made for under $5,000 continues to amaze us! It’s like the little engine that could. The movie is finding its way onto more streaming platforms than we ever anticipated and now it will enjoy some air time on two separate channels. We hope SDHS keeps on finding its audience, however small, and gets accepted by more streamers and networks as it continues its path of over-achievement.”

XUMO offers a selection of programming content through digital linear channels designed to emulate the experience of traditional television programming with conventional television-styled commercial breaks. Xumo licenses its content directly from various content distributors, and has deals with more than 75 content partners as of 2020. Its content is available via its website and supported apps on mobile devices and
smart TVs.

TCL partnered with Roku and GoLive TV to form the TCL Channel and digital streaming platform that is available to all Smart TVs and all Android & iOS mobile devices. This digital streaming platform combines not only everything you want in a TV, but everything that is on your viewing wish list as well. TCL Android TV provides a smarter viewing experience, designed for today’s audience who want more and are used to fast access to the world’s best entertainment. Viewers of the channel can access the latest live sports events, newest movie releases and it even offers programming for video gamers.

Blind River Studios Releases Eight Episode Series: Living The Blind Life

Ever wonder what it is like to be blind? Our series, Living The Blind Life, offers a glimpse into the life of company President, Aaron Vnuk. While in his twenties, Aaron lost his eyesight to a devastating condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. He has lived the majority of his adult life completely blind. The eight episode series, released on the BRS YouTube Channel, blends humor, skit-style stories and straight forward information on blindness.

Director, Mark Foley, has been wanting Aaron to talk about his blindness for decades. This is a topic Aaron tends to avoid as his mind set is to not let his disability prevent him from living life. However, now in his late forties, and done in an entertaining sort of way, Aaron agreed to step in front of the camera and let people “see” into his experience. Aaron grudgingly talked about the series, “I guess I’m glad we did it even though I knew I still wasn’t that comfortable sharing what it is like to walk in my shoes. I do believe that one day I’ll be more aligned to talking about my experiences and will want to do it. This time around it took Mark a lot of convincing me so I never truly enjoyed doing any of the episodes, but I knew it was important to at least open the door a little. I will say my favorite ones are when I talk about my different white canes and probably the one where I’m at a paint night with my wife and daughter.”

Living The Blind Life can be viewed on the BRS YouTube Channel, beginning with Episode 1: Aaron Goes To CrossFit.

Blind River Studios Releases Short Film: A Mean Man’s War

BRS is proud to present, A Mean Man’s War. This ambitious period piece was set in 1917 WWI France during the battle of the Argonne Forest. The short film depicts authentic WWI uniforms, weapons, vehicles and the language of the time period. Most notably, the film digs into the racial tension and brings to life the black experience during WWI.

Aaron Vnuk talked about his purpose for making the film, “I wanted to tell the story of the black soldier during WWI where racial tensions were prominent back home in America. These beliefs carried onto the battlefield in France where black soldiers were relegated to digging graves and latrines. The story resonated with me as a blind person living in today’s world. Being blind is like everyday having to climb out of a deep hole to overcome the many obstacles in the way. I quickly had to learn the harsh reality that this world is designed for the sighted, not the blind. In A Mean Man’s War, the protagonist, a black soldier, must literally climb out of a grave he is digging to overcome the racial obstacles that constantly keep pushing him down.”

A Mean Man’s War can be viewed on the BRS YouTube Channel. It is our tribute and honor to bring life to stories where the underserved, the unprivileged or the disabled, rise above expectations and break through the barriers that hold them down.

New Production Headquarters!

We got a new home! After some frustrating months of searching, we closed the deal on a 2,000 square foot, professional office space. We’re excited to have this expansive base camp in addition to our office space inside North Haven CrossFit, located less than one mile away.

The two spaces will make filming more efficient for our production teams along the Connecticut shoreline. Our new second floor suite features four offices, breakroom/kitchen, a glass conference room, waiting area, large central meeting room, two bathrooms and it’s decked out with office furniture, cubicles, countless filing cabinets and we’ll be adding in the latest technology for our production team.

Our new headquarters will also be the location of our sister company, The United School of Achievement, a private educational center devoted to parents seeking an alternative to public schools.

The BRS Headquarters is proudly located at:

15 Maiden Lane
Suite 1B
North Haven, CT 06473

Blind River Studios Releases Short Film: Beach Sightings

On a surprisingly warm day in May, the BRS production team, set up on the shores of Branford Point in Branford, Connecticut. An odd looking fellow named Augustus Tiberius III, portrayed by actor, John Sheppard, put on an entertaining show for onlookers. He danced, ran, wiggled, jiggled, did sand worms and other strange gyrations along the sandy beach. The question on everyone’s mind was what this oddball man was doing and why?

Aaron Vnuk laughed as he was interviewed in front of the sea wall, “That is truly the question of Beach Sightings! You get the answer at the end of the movie when Augustus meets a lonely woman up on the rocks, played by my wife, Lauren Wiggins. This movie is a lot of fun for me because it gives John and my wife a little glimpse into my world. Being blind is not something you can easily describe so hopefully this movie will help a bit with that.”

Beach sightings is a short film costarring John Sheppard and Lauren Wiggins. It is a quirky, comedic tale told by Director, Mark Foley, director of Photography, Adam Vnuk, and Producers, Dennis Broderick and Augie De La Noval. Beach Sightings can be seen on the BRS YouTube Channel. Watch here!

Blind River Studios Releases Short Film: Waiting

Blind River Studios Releases Short Film: Waiting Blind filmmaker, Aaron Vnuk, brings you this humble New England story about the power of perspective. The stylistic short film directed by Michael O’Connor and costars Tom Erb and Danielle Lozeau, teaches us about people and the way they interpret the world at a lonely bus stop. Aaron Vnuk knows that people rely on their eyesight to make judgements about their surroundings. Waiting will both surprise and uplift your own vision.

Aaron Vnuk Talks to Inspired Rose Media on the Red Carpet

Aaron Vnuk Honored at Suzanne DeLaurentiis' Oscar Party!

Blind River Studios’s president Aaron Vnukwas honored at Hollywood Producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis’ Oscar Party. Click the button to see carpet interviews and photos.

Super Duper Heist Squad featured on Vuuzle! 

Super Duper Heist Squad was featured on Vuuzle’s homepage!