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Film SynopsisAbout the ProductionLetter from the DirectorFAQCast & Crew


Deep within a mythological world of autumn landscapes and wondrous creatures, a heartbroken young Romantic swears an oath to free his race from the omnipotent control of the otherworldly gods. But as he ventures forth on his long and lascivious path, other forces conspire with their own agendas. For when all the gods are dead, who will sit upon their empty thrones? A fantastical satire on religion, responsibility, and romance, The Romantic bends genres into a haunting tale filled with humor and horror.

For an extended synopsis, see our DIGITAL PRESS KIT


The Romantic is the first animated feature film by award winning animator/director Michael P. Heneghan. The film showcases an original score from New York composer Nathan Terry and special effects work by Daniel Gauthier.

There was no budget.

It took three years.

It came out weird.

It is unlike any animated feature film ever made.

The Romantic is available to screen at festivals and cinemas near you. Check the SCREENINGS section to see if the film is playing in your area. We are currently considering offers for DVD distribution. If you are interested or simply would like more information and a screener copy of the film, Michael can be contacted at:

Michael P. Heneghan
1452 Wilt St.
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(610) 724-4678


To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Michael P. Heneghan. I am a writer, animator, and artist living in North Philadelphia. The Romantic is my first animated feature film.

I began to conceive this film during my final years in college, while plotting out my senior thesis film. At the time I was planning on making a ten minute short film with cut-out paper and stop motion 'doll' puppets. The story was to be about a man who sought out ultimate reality and died in the process. It was going to be mythological, horrific, and very surreal. As my imagination explored the spiritual realm I was fabricating, the world expanded and soon I had more character and more story than I could cram into a ten minute piece. I thought of doing a feature; and absurd idea, at first.... but the more I tossed around the notion the more I knew it was the right way to go. I loved telling stories, not animating short films. I wanted to tell a big story. I also considered the following:

1) There weren't too many independent animated feature films being made each year (the number has gone up considerably since 2004).

2) Of the animated features that are made every year, there weren't too many being made for an adult audience. I have always been envious of the comic book medium's ability to tell fantastical, mature, sophisticated narratives successfully, financial and otherwise. I was reading a lot of Moore, Gaiman, Morrison, and Azzarello, and wanted to see the kind of stories that were appearing on the pages of Vertigo comics appearing in animated cinema. I was tired of films about talking toasters. I had grown weary of anime's visual redundancies, and I just flat out felt unsatisfied with everything else out there. I wanted to see something that I could not find.

3) My brain channels imagination through character, first and formost. It is difficult (but not impossible) to go deep with characters in the short film genre. In this respect, making a feature film was easier to tell the sort of story I wanted to tell.

4) Technology had evolved to a point where I could easily access the tools to make this happen for very little money. Look at the price vs capacity for external hard drives over the past 10 years and you will understand what I mean.

And so I got to work. By graduation, the screenplay had been completed and I had animated the first twelve minutes of the film for my senior thesis (some of this animation you can see in the final feature). I enlisted the help of my friends - fellow animators/artists/actors form around the Philadelphia region who agreed to work without pay to bring the film into fruition (an entire list of the cast and crew can be seen here).

This was a complete DIY effort. We operated with absolutely no budget to speak of. All the crew, including myself, worked other jobs simultaneously to make ends meet during production.

This went on for three years, during which we worked endlessly on home computers and laptops, trying to achieve professional results with consumer level equipment. New York composer/sound editor/friend Nathan Terry recorded the epic score for The Romantic almost entirely by himself in his bedroom, layering his own vocals and instrumentals track by track. The dialogue was recorded in a bathroom-turned-sound-studio that Nate setup, much to the chagrin of our patient actors.

Daniel Gauthier worked the special effects angle of the film, and anything flashy/magical you see over The Romantic's 96 minutes belongs to him. In the end I animated about 90% of the film, something I am very proud of. I never really thought of myself as an animator. I hope it doesn't show too much.

We completed a rough cut of the film in August 2009 and began to send it off to festivals with mixed success. We were accepted by few, rejected by many. Along the way we recieved a lot of great feedback and enthusiastic support. Eventually, however, I had to retire from this process. The 'recession' had hit me hard and I flat out no longer had the money to pay for the steep festival submission costs. I left The Romantic for a little while. My imagation explored new avenues and projects. My time was drawn elsewhere and slowly but surely the days passed by. Eventually, I settled back down in front of the film and became resolute to finish what I had started. I dusted off the timeline and began tightening up the film; adding new music cues, cleaning up some editing, and refining some earlier choices. I began preparing to release the film online, for free.

It has been almost six years since I drew the first illustration of Romance, based loosely on my friend Josh, as we sat together in the courtyard of a Catholic hostel in Annecy, France, where we were attending the festival held there yearly. Time certainly has flown by. I am entirely unsure of what the future holds; for The Romantic, and for myself. It is a scary feeling but I am optomistic. I hope this 'freemiere' will help the film find a loving audience and that those that should see it will find it. Currently I am trying to find funding for my next feature film while I work full time at a church in North Philly and experiment with writing/illustrating my first graphic novel. There is, as always, much to do. I am keeping busy and waiting.

To all those that lent me your support over the years, you have my deepest gratitude. It has been a beautiful process. I have learned a lot. Now, I give it to you.

With love,
Michael P. Heneghan


-How long did it take you to make this film?
-When was it finished?
-How much did it cost to make?
-Who worked on the film?
-How did earn money during production?
-How did you find the time to make this?
-How do you feel about the finished product?

-Where can I buy the film on DVD?
-Will they be available in the future?
-Do you have any T-Shirt/Posters/Merchandise for sale?
-But I really want to own something from this film!

-Where can I see The Romantic screen live?
-Can I show The Romantic at my school/university/friend's house/local arthouse cinema/etc?

-How do I donate?
-Why should I donate?
-What will you use the donations for?
-I loved this film and want you to make an even better one that I'll love even more! How can I help?

-Where can I see your other films or artwork?
-What other projects are you working on?


How long did it take you to make this film?

Three years, two of which I was actively working on the film. The last year was spent slowly moving through post production with Dan Gauthier and Nate Terry. During that time I pursued other artistic endeavors, though a good portion of my 'free' time was still consumed by this project.

When was it finished? Hard to pinpoint, exactly. August of 2009 was when we had a solid copy of the film and started submitting to festivals. We stopped actively submitting to festivals in early summer 2010 and began refining the August 2009 edit. At this point I was a bit burned out on the film, so the re-edit was a long time coming. By the end of 2010 I had a cut I was pleased with, and we began to make plans to "freemiere" the film. On February 14th, 2011, we published the new cut online. So, depending on your perspective, we either finished in August 2009 or February 2011.

How much did it cost to make? Again, hard to pinpoint, depending on what you mean by cost. It took years of our lives. That is a pretty hefty cost. But it didn't cost much money, if you do not include the desktop computers and laptops that we already posessed. Money was spent on index cards, pencils, sketchbooks, pizza and beer for meetings, etc. Altogether, before film festival entry fees, I probably dropped around $500 on the film. The greatest cost was taken on by Dan, Nate, and I, who gave up countless evenings and weekends in order to carry this project over the finished line.

Who worked on the film? A full list of the cast and crew can be found here.

How did you earn money during production? While working on The Romantic I freelanced doing motion graphics and video editing, colored and flatted comic books, worked as a photobooth attendant at weddings and baht mitzvahs, and finally wound up as a pastor's assistant at Circle of Hope in Kensington, where I am still employed.

How did you find the time to make this? We were disciplined, and we hustled.

How do you feel about the finished product? I am proud of it. Overall I wish the craft was stronger. Doing this for the first time was, of course, a learning experience. I had little experience with After Effects before I began. I am a much better craftsmen now, and I wish this film reflected what I can do now, not what I could do five years ago. But so it goes. I am pleased with it.

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Where can I buy the film on DVD? Unfortunately, as of right now (2.14.11) The Romantic is not available for sale on DVD. DVD authoring and manufacturing requires a lot of money to get started. I currently don�t have a pocket book deep enough to fund such a production myself.

Will they be available in the future? Most likely, but not now. If you'd like to help us along, I encourage you to donate money via our paypal account. If you're really serious and want to invest a large some of money into this process then send me an email at and we will start talking.

Do you have any T-Shirt/Posters/Merchandise for sale? At the moment, no, for the same reasons we don't have DVDs. We need a principle investment to make the products before we sell them. We currently do not have that investment.

But I really want to own something from this film! Great, I appreciate your support. Send me an email at and I'd be happy to custom make you a shirt/poster/whatever if you're okay with paying up front. I also sell drawings and original artwork, if that is more your style.

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Where can I see The Romantic screen live? Check out our screenings page to see if it is playing in your area.

Can I show The Romantic at my school/university/friend's house/local arthouse cinema/etc? Sure! I encourage you to do so. Email me at and I'll help you out to the best of my ability.

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How do I donate? Click on the Paypal button on the left of this page, or just click here. Once you get to the page it will mention All the Friendly Beasts LLC. That's our LLC. We're legit.

Why should I donate? Because you love film & animation and believe in supporting a new generation of craftsmen entering the field.

Because you feel you have taken something from The Romantic, and you wish to give back.

Because you have intregrity, and know that what we spend our money on speaks to our character and values.

Because you are very generous, or very affluent, or both.

Because you are bummed out by the horrific number of inane sequels, prequels, remakes, adapations, and otherwise unimaginative films that are greenlit every minute by souless ball-less corporate culture generators and you want to see a world where new, dangerous, exciting, honest, creative films are made in their sted.

What will you use the donations for? Primarily, your money will be used to create my next film, Burp's Christmas. We feel if you loved this film than you would want to take part in making another film that you could love just as much if not more.

A possibility exists that your donation would be used to help fund the manufacturing of DVDs. But for now, all money goes towards Burp's Christmas. After you donate, I'll send you an eMail letting you know what's up for sure.

I loved this film and want you to make an even better one that I'll love even more! How can I help?
Two ways.

First & formost, tell people. Post the film on your Facebook or Myspace page. Tweet about it. Embed it. Know any film/animation/entertainment bloggers? Tell them about The Romantic. Screen it for people you think will like it. Pass it along. I can't afford a PR person or agent. Your help in this is crucial.

Second, donate or invest. My next project, Burp's Christmas, is on the lookout for serious, passionate people who want to facilitate the creation of what will be one of the best Christmas movie ever.

Visit to find out more, or email me at

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Where can I see your other films or artwork? Go to I've made a few decent short films that you might be interested in. You can see them here.
You can also check out Get Kinetic's website to see Dan Gauthier's online portfolio of effects work.

What other projects are you working on?
I am occupied with many projects at the moment.

First and foremost, I am developing my next film, Burp's Christmas. We are trying to raise $200,000 in order to make the best film we can possibly make.

I am writing the first arch and illustrating the first issue of a comic book entitled The Ghosts of Blackberry Bridge that has been haunting my mind for ages, now. I hope to shop it around fall of 2011.

I am getting married October 7th, 2011 to a wonderful friend of mine. I proposed, approriately, with an animated film.

I hope to buy a house by the start of 2012.

I work for and am a covenant member with Circle of Hope.

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Written and Directed by Michael P. Heneghan
with Assistant Direction by Daniel Gauthier
and original music by Nathan Terry.

Romance - Jason Salerno
Patience - Christopher Magee
Fat Daddy - Peter Stambler
Po - Alee Spadoni
Pjorrc - Ron Blasdell
The Vent Monger - Jacqueline Heneghan
Mr. Gord - Tom Hogan
King Crookie - Tom Hogan
Ludwig - Nathan Terry
Rumpelstiltskin - Roger Taylor
The Apple Man - Ron Blasdell
Young Love - Sarah Vaghari
The Spank - Alex Albrecht
The Butcher - Tom Hogan
The Baker - Nathan Terry
The Candlestick Maker - Nathan Terry
Aveta - Amber Reeves
Old Love - Jacqueline Heneghan
Additional Voices - Jeff Cannata, Conor Gelches, Nathan Terry

Michael P. Heneghan
Christie O'Brien
Sean Dooley
Kayla Halstead

Michael P. Heneghan & Kelly Jones
Storyboard Artists: Thomas Wesier, Sean Adams
Background Artists: Kelly Jones, Tiffany Landis, Kat Hulka

Post Production Director: Daniel Gauthier
Special Effects Animator: Daniel Gauthier
Sound Design: Nathan Terry and Michael P. Heneghan
Score composed and performed by Nathan Terry

Bryan Brinkman
Matt Gaston

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Permission beyond this license are available with Michael P. Heneghan.
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