Filmmaker with local roots premieres series

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — An Aroostook County native has directed a series featured on the comedy video website Funny or Die.

Director, writer and filmmaker Billy Hanson, born in Presque Isle in 1984 and a former Madawaska resident, directed the five-episode series “Lightning Dogs,” created by Brett Elam and Joshua Logan. The first episode debuted on Wednesday, April 18, and the second episode on April 25. The show is available on  

The website combines user-generated content with original material. Viewers can watch a film or article and rate it with either a “funny” or “die” vote. The more “funny” votes it gets, the better chance it has to move towards movie or television production.

“Lightning Dogs” follows a dog-obsessed workaholic played by Khara Campbell, whose beloved canines are struck by lightning and suddenly turned into full-grown men. Her life is quickly complicated by the two slobbering dudes who constantly try to make sense of their new world and do right by the master they adore.

Hanson attended elementary school in Madawaska. He is the son of Brenda (Pelletier) Pollock of Saco, formerly of Madawaska, and Alan Hanson of Saco. His grandparents are Roland and Theresa Pelletier of Madawaska.

A graduate of The Film School at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Hanson founded Dirigo Entertainment in 2015 and lives in Los Angeles. He has produced several projects, including two music videos for the artist Coach Hop and the popular short film, “Earworm.”

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