Monetary policy would be so much sexier if there was a car chase every now and then. Or so thought Pasha Roberts, founder of Two Lanterns Media in Cambridge, Mass., which will premier the new action-adventure animated film Silver Circle in New York next week. In the story, the all-powerful Federal Reserve turns evil. Then a group of rebels sets out to destroy the Fed and right the universe. There are explosions, guns, even romance. (The studio hopes it will catch on with the V for Vendetta crowd.)
Bloomberg Businessweek spoke with director Pasha Roberts, a former computer programmer who got his masters in financial engineering at MIT, about the film, which has attracted 16,000 fans on Facebook so far.
An action film about monetary policy? Really?
It sounds unlikely, but the Federal Reserve is the ultimate James Bond bad guy. They are this secret society that controls the world’s currency for the last 100 years almost undetected.
What are the benefits of using animation for this story?
We wanted to get a little separation from the current world a little bit. We’re an animation studio, so we have the resources to do this, and it allows us to do things we couldn’t do without a huge budget you’d need for a live film, like helicopter shots, and blowing things up, and a car chase in D.C.
Are you hoping for it to be a cult classic or a blockbuster?
Something in between. I don’t think we’re going to compete with Avatar. There’s an underserved audience out there for people who care about liberty-oriented issues.
No offense, but do you have to be a nerd to enjoy this?
No. The other area we market this to is comic book conventions and animation festivals. [These viewers] don’t know anything about monetary policy, but it’s just a fun story. A lot of people enjoy it on that level.
What’s your target audience?
Seventeen to 35-year-olds. Maybe kids, if they can stand the kissing part of it—I’ve talked to a lot of parents at comic conventions about it, and it’s a clean movie, PG-13, so there’s nothing crazy.
So there’s kissing but no sex.
Sex in animation is kind of creepy, I think.