In the summer of 2000, a college student by the name of Anthony Thurman, created a documentary film based on a class trip to a computer show that he and several of his classmates attended. He edited it on a VCR and created his own production company logo to air before and after the film as sort of a joke. This is when the name ALT Key Productions was born. The name comes from a combination of Anthony’s initials (A.L.T.) and a reference to an actual ALT Key on a keyboard since his major in college was Computer Information Systems.
The film was such a surprise hit with the people at his college, that he realized he should start taking filmmaking seriously. About a year later, Anthony decided that it might be best to further his college education by fulfilling his dream of going to an art school. After being accepted, it wasn’t soon after that Anthony understood that the cost of classes would be too high for him to enroll. One of the advisors at the art school even insisted that he would amount to very little if he let his lack of money stop him from attending.
That same week, Anthony used his frustration towards his unfortunate financial situation, and at what the advisor said, to move him into another positive direction. He decided to go back to work on a short animated project that he had earlier abandoned due to the cancellation of a contest he wanted to enter. He rewrote many aspects of the story and decided to make it 22 minutes and 30 seconds longer than it was originally intended to be. The short was about two explorers in the future who go in search of a lost 20th Century artifact. The name of the short film was “Tomb Hackers.” It was the first official film, since his playful stint at documentary filmmaking, to use the name ALT Key Productions.
From then on, Anthony has continued to use his natural artistic abilities and his skills on a computer to create short films that not only entertain, but that often invoke serious thought and conversation.
I decided to direct this film because of my own struggles with depression; and also the fact that the first ‘Detective Downs’ film seemed to be my most well-received film. I wanted to explore the character of Rolando Downs further and explain this time around what caused his depression. This film is very special to me because I was able to get help from very talented actors and production members because they saw how much work I put into the films and they believed in my vision. The goal was to explore mental health in a way that not many films do today. Often times, the depressed person is the bad guy in the film and he’s the one taking hostages or you’re rooting for something bad to happen to him. In this film, it was important to show how capable Downs is as a person and detective. He’s a normal and likeable guy who does his job well. It’s just harder for him to get it done with the everyday problems he faces and his difficulty coping with them. At the end of the day, I’m very proud of this film because it not only entertains people, but helps them to understand themselves better and also those around them.