Framed through his therapy sessions, Xerxes Hughes must uncover the cause of his random blackouts to stop his depression demon–a physical manifestation of all his deep-seated insecurities in order to save his city and himself.
Captain Zero: Into the Abyss Part II is a direct follow-up to the Short Film “Captain Zero: Into the Abyss“, a deeper dive into the world and psyche of Xerxes Hughes. We meet his best friend and crime-fighting partner Daisy aka Buttafly Girl, learn more about his blackouts, see him face off with one of his strongest adversaries, Oblivion, and duke it out with his Depression Demon in an epic battle of both the body and the mind! This stars Angelica Ross as Dr. Niobe & Oblivion, Keith David as The Depression Demon, Zolee Griggs as Buttafly Girl, and Coty Galloway as The Newscaster/Police Chef/Student and Marion Toroas Vivica Tate/Mrs.Singh.
After fighting tooth and nail to get this show into production for over half a decade, in 2022 I met and Attached Angelica Ross to the project. Through her, I was able to secure an agent and begin pitching the series to various production companies and networks. After a few rounds of meetings, everything came to screeching a halt when the WGA and SAG-AFTRA went on strike. (Which is ultimately GOOD because they are fighting for my future as a Filmmaker ensuring being creative is still a valued profession)
But because of the strikes, this meant that the show was back in limbo. HOWEVER! SAG announced that they would allow independent production companies who met their demands an interim agreement that would allow actors and writers to work!
And on October 6th, 2023 we secured a New Media Interim Animation Agreement from SAG-AFTRA clearing this project for promotion and production!
We’ve already managed to raise $15,000 to hire our extremely talented Voice Actors, but we still need to raise funds for our animation team so they can bring this vision to life! And to do so, we’re gonna need YOUR help!
Voice Actor (He/Him) Keith David is a classically trained actor, winning 3 Emmys out of 6 nominations as well as being nominated for a Tony award. Keith’s work as a voice actor has made him a household name. His rich and powerful voice has been featured in national commercials, award shows, documentaries, video games, and animation. His work in narration has earned him three Emmys for Ken Burns’ “Jackie Robinson“, “The War“, and “Unforgivable Blackness – The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson“. Some of his other voice-acting credits include countless fan favorites such as “Adventure Time“, “Bojack Horseman,” “Rick & Morty“, “Spawn“, and “Gargoyles“. Keith voices the Depression Demon, the personification of all of Xerxes’ worst fears and insecurities.
EP/Actress/Founder of TransTech & Human Rights Advocate (She/Her) From the board room to film and TV sets to Capitol Hill to the music studio, Angelica Ross is a leading figure of success and strength in the movement for human rights advocacy focused on Transgender and racial equality. A fan favorite on FX’s award-winning hit POSE plus both the ninth season of Ryan Murphy’s FX hit American Horror Story: 1984 and the double feature tenth season as The Chemist in part 1 and Theta in part 2. Angelica also returned to her love for music with her debut music video and single, “ONLY YOU” followed by “Purrr” and fans love the visual for FIERCE – her club anthem with songstress, Mila Jam, and legendary Ultra Naté. Angelica also announced her forthcoming untitled book and anticipated return to her original podcast as she continues to blaze a trail, kick open doors, and build her own table with ample open seats. She voices both Dr.Niobe, Xerxes’s therapist and confidant, and Oblivion, Captain Zero’s strongest and most deadly adversary.
EP/Voice Actor (He/Him) Coty Galloway is an Actor from the southern United States. He is known for his role as Avocato on TBS’s sci-fi dramedy television series Final Space. Galloway has also starred in independent award-winning shorts and feature films and has done New Media projects with online creators that have gained millions of views. He voices The Newscaster, Police Chief, and student in the Short Film.
Marion N. Toro
Voice Actress (She/Her) Marion Toro is a professional voice actress who has a fun and creative voice suitable for video games, animations, and podcasts. She provides a variety of voices ranging from young children to the elderly and alien/monster-like sounds. Marion is known for her work as Mimi Tortellini on The Adventures of Prada Enchilada; The Seven Continents & Their Animal Friends (2017) and side-quest characters on Interesting NPCs (2015-2016). She wholeheartedly believes that the inclusion of POC in the world of voice-over is important. Representation matters as it’s best to be seen and heard.
Project Manager (They/Them) Jan Martin is a Mi’kmaw Writer and designer who has worked on UNCONQUERED TTRPG, Monster Care Squad, Starfinder Society: Into the Veskarium, Thirsty Sword Lesbians: Advanced Lovers & Lesbians, and many others. After a long day playing games, they enjoy making bleeps and bloops on computers and watching cartoons.
Writer & Associate Producer (He/Him) Andre Engco is a Filipino-American writer and director, who has cultivated a career marked by his collaboration with Lamard Cher-Aimé and Cutting Edge Studios since 2016. Andre typically assumes the role of a writer. However, for the production of ‘Into the Abyss: Part 2,’ he has assumed the role of associate producer, actively contributing to the logistical aspects of the project. Andre’s extensive passion for music, gaming, film/television, and pop culture, serves as a source of inspiration, which he seeks to infuse into all of his projects.
Co-Producer (He/Him) Paul Williams is a close friend of scenes Lamard and also the COO of Cutting Edge Animation. He’s known for playing the role behind the scenes but his presence is felt in every CEA endeavor.
Chris Carthern: Co-Producer (He/Him) Chris Carthern is a movie producer from Atlanta, Georgia. He makes it a point to produce stories focusing on people of color because representation, or the lack thereof, is a very important issue and he wants to see more people of color represented in entertainment. Through his work as a producer, he is devoted to fighting for equality while producing diverse and insightful content. Chris produces high-quality, social justice movies at Mystery Dinner Studios. He intends, to permanently change the world for underrepresented people. As a mental health advocate, Chris loved the concept of Captain Zero being a superhero dealing with his mental issues through therapy. It is because of this he wanted to work with Lamard and the team to bring Captain Zero Into the Abyss: Part II to life.
Storyboards/Concept art/character sheets/Poster art
Noah Dean Houston
Animator/VFX/Clean Up (He/Him) Noah Dean is an artist, animator and Creative Director/Character Designer at Studio Mahō. Born in Nashville, and raised north of Memphis, his father being a world-traveled musician and his mother an inspired cosmetologist, Noah was always encouraged to be creative. At 11, Noah met his brother and Maho’s future lead animator/sakuga, Blake “The Don” Donaldson. They’d fill pages with wild scenes and characters– these moments built Noah’s desire to craft worlds with other creatives. However, in adulthood, his spark was lost, and he moved to San Antonio where he worked in kitchens. Until he reconnected with Blake, his spark returned, pursuing mastery of his fundamentals in art/writing. Together, Blake and Noah were brought on board to build an animation dept at Studio Maho, where they’d meet Lamard.
Blake “The Don” Donaldson
Lead Animator (He/Him) Blake “The Don” Donaldson is an artist, animator, and Animation Director at Studio Mahō. His primary inspiration comes from both Japanese and Western animation. He spent his childhood watching Toonami & Cartoon Network and grew a deep love for the art form. Around the same time, he met Noah and they instantly built a life-long development of each other’s artistic skills. He would later meet Patrick and Ayinde, the founders of Studio Mahō who would invite him to work on their passion project called “God Punch”. They all shared dreams of creating a Black-owned animation studio–so they did just that. They enlisted Noah, who helped bring the art to a whole other level. Then, later added Niyaz, an expertly skilled Background and character artist, and then, Lamard, who helped propel them to unforeseen heights. The rest, as they say, is his history.
Storyboard/Background/Color Key Artist (He/Him)Niyaz is a Canadian-based Background, Storyboard, and Colour key artist at Studio Maho. Having witnessed the unfulfilled artistic interest of his father due to a struggle within their culture, Niyaz felt driven to realize his dreams through the encouragement of his parents. We would later meet Noah who encouraged Niyaz to come outside of his shell to explore more. Shortly after he would be introduced to Blake and join Studio as their primary background artist.