David Hewlett Joins the Red Giant Universe in New Short Film

Portland, OR – November 8, 2017 – Red Giant today released “Hewlogram,” the newest Red Giant film starring David Hewlett, best known for his role as Dr. Rodney McKay in “Stargate: Atlantis.” The new film comes out alongside the release of Red Giant Universe 2.2, the latest update to Red Giant’s ever-expanding collection of GPU-accelerated plugins for editors and motion graphics artists.

Watch “Hewlogram” now.

“Hewlogram”: A Completely Believable Plot Line for a 1980s Sci-Fi Buddy Cop TV Show

Known for fun and clever short films that manage to entertain while showing off Red Giant visual effects and motion graphics tools, Red Giant’s newest film is no different from classics like “Old/New” and “Plot Device.” Written and directed by Aharon Rabinowitz, in his directorial debut, “Hewlogram” was born out of both Aharon’s love for holograms and David Hewlett’s love of visual effects tutorials. Hewlett, who is part of the all-star cast of Guillermo Del Toro’s forthcoming film, “The Shape of Water,” discovered Red Giant software through a bit of internet sleuthing.

Watch the Making of Hewlogram.

“I was blown away by a number of really cool HUD and particle effects that I’d seen online and on television and the movies that I was watching with my son,” says Hewlett. “As a bit of a nerd (okay a huge nerd), I traced them back to Red Giant and was stunned by their products and the brilliance of their short films. I couldn’t believe that what were essentially product showcases had stuck with me as works of art unto themselves, unlike most of the VFX-driven shorts I’d seen. I geeked out and tweeted about loving everything they were doing. Aharon immediately responded and, after geeking out together, we decided to collaborate on a short.”

“Hewlogram” also includes an appearance by Chuck Wagner, who played the title character in Automan, the 80s sci-fi TV series that inspired Aharon’s obsession with holograms.

“Hewlogram,” which was created to showcase tools from Red Giant Universe, tells the story of a current day animator who accidentally brings to life a 1980s holographic TV superhero. The idea behind the film was to create a film that felt truly authentic to the Saturday night sci-fi action dramas of the 80s Aharon watched as a kid.

Using Universe stylization effects, such as VHS and Retrograde, as well as Magic Bullet Colorista IV, Aharon created a process for emulating an authentic 80s look. He relied heavily on the robust Universe toolset. In all, the Red Giant Films team used Magic Bullet Suite in Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC for color correction, PluralEyes for AV sync, Red Giant Keying Suite in Adobe® After Effects® CC for keying and compositing – crucial to create David’s holographic suit – and Trapcode Suite for the visual effects.

“As the centerpiece for the film, the hologram effect needed to look like it came out of the 80s; but they were using completely different tools back then, and it’s hard to recreate those analog effects with digital tools,” comments Aharon Rabinowitz. “Thankfully, Industrial Light and Magic veteran and Red Giant Creative Director Stu Maschwitz did some 80s special effects research and sent me a video of a holographic boot that felt 80s legit. Once I saw it, I knew we could apply the same principles he used to a bodysuit and make this work. Among many other techniques, I applied Universe’s Holomatrix to create the old-school holographic look – such as the scan lines and flickering distortions – and to top it off, I added the most 80s blue glow ever.”

What the Media is Saying About “Hewlogram”

“[Red Giant] could have created a standard commercial to promote the release of its Red Giant Universe 2.2 tools for filmmakers and visual effects producers. Instead, it gave us a wacky short for a 1980s television show you’ve never seen but recognize in your geeky fiber, a buddy cop show spliced together with Tron and folded into 21st century reality—a self-aware Automan.” – Carol Pinchefsky, Syfy Wire

“OMG, for five minutes and 14 seconds you transported me back to my childhood and the awesome cheesiness of 80s Saturday night superhero TV! I love ‘Hewlogram’!!” – Steve Eramo, SciFiAndTvTalk

Red Giant Universe 2.2 Delivers Fast, Easy Transitions that Look Awesome

Along with “Hewlogram,” Red Giant has released a bevy of new transitions in Universe 2.2, making it possible for filmmakers, editors and motion graphics artists to apply unique looks to their own works of art. The update includes 11 new transitions – including classic 80s aberrations and transitions like RGB channel blurs and clock wipe – bringing Universe to a total of 76 tools. Universe 2.2 also features updates to two existing effects, VHS and Retrograde, which were both used heavily in “Hewlogram,” and support for Avid Media Composer.

As Seen on TV

Red Giant Universe has been used on “Saturday Night Live,” “Portlandia,” “Documentary Now,” “Kung Fury,” and much more.

How to Purchase Universe 2.2

Universe is available as an annual subscription ($99/year) or as a monthly subscription ($20/month). New Red Giant Universe customers can purchase a subscription or download a free trial at

To learn more about Red Giant products, please visit

Available in the Red Giant Volume Program

Red Giant Universe is available in Red Giant’s Volume Program, the flexible and affordable solution for customers who need 5 or more floating licenses. Learn more at

The Red Pledge

Red Pledge is Red Giant’s commitment to customer happiness, with no purchasing hassles. Learn about the Red Pledge guarantee at

Request a Product Review Kit or Press Interview

Members of the media are invited to speak with Aharon Rabinowitz or any member of the Red Giant Film team, or review any products or suites from Red Giant. For more information or to request an interview or product review kit, please contact Alexis Isaacs at [email protected].

About Red Giant

Red Giant is a software company made up of talented artists and technologists who collaborate to create unique tools for filmmakers, editors, VFX artists, and motion designers. Our company culture is focused on finding balance between work and life – we call it “the double bottom line” – this philosophy helps us ignore complexity in favor of building simple tools that yield giant results. Over the last decade, our products (like Magic Bullet, Trapcode, Universe and PluralEyes) have become the standard in film and broadcast post-production. With over 200,000 users, it’s nearly impossible to watch 20 minutes of TV without seeing our software in use. From our experiences as artists and filmmakers, we aspire to not only provide tools for artists, but inspiration as well. Watch our films, learn from over 200 free tutorials, or try our software at

Press Contact

Alexis Isaacs

Zazil Media Group

(e) [email protected]

(p) +1 (773) 816-7944


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