Animus Cross is most definitely delving into unchartered territory. You won’t find any traditional web fare here—no scantily clad teens, silly jokes, or other web one-offs. Instead, in its first episode, Animus Cross begins to unfold a much deeper story. Set in the Northwest after the Civil War, and starring Jerry L. Buxbaum, Harold Phillips, Jeff Hime, Trish Egan, Dave Steen, and Kathryne Bukowski, Animus Cross appears to be the web series worlds’ first historical thriller.
Creator A.L. Steen is fully aware of the unique landscape she’s chosen for the series. “I wanted to make my life as difficult as possible, obviously,” says Steen. “A creature feature set just after the Civil War is not exactly the subject matter most people doing a web series would choose.”
The production value of the series is impressive and the authenticity of the world created within the show is extraordinary. Even more impressive is the fact the first three episodes were shot for a combined budget of ten thousand dollars, and that’s complete with impressive stunts, horses, wagons, and perfectly-costumed actors. Filmed in and around the Lake Pend O’Reille, Idaho area, the cast and crew had to contend with surprise on screen cameos from real life creatures, like a moose.
The sprawling backdrop of the Northern Idaho wilderness is the perfect setting for the post-Civil War era story and Steen has a personal interest in the era. “I had a great-great grandfather and his five brothers who fought in the Civil War. Three of them spent time in two of the worst prisons and all six of them lived through the war. They inspired me to write about the harshness of that time.”
With both the harsh challenges of daily life, and an unknown creature to contend with, we don’t envy these early American settlers—but for the sake of this intriguing series, we do hope at least some of them survive.