Russell Hasenauer and Brian Smith started Immortal Dog Productions in 2001, upon completion of a short (and bad) movie called Deadly Game. Over the next few months, the two would complete a few more videos, none of which was really all that good. It wasn't until the summer of 2002 that Immortal Dog finally hit its stride. With the addition of Chad Newhall to the group, soon came the series "Talk Back Live With Ze Baron". The show became a local hit, and Immortal Dog started gaining a fan base. With the help of Justin Johnson of onetrick.net, Immortal Dog's first site, immortaldog.net, became a modest hit on the internet. Over a two year period, Immortal Dog would release over 50 short comedy videos online, gaining a bigger following seemingly with each one. They would also begin working on a few projects in conjunction with Corner Pocket Productions, and were the first winners ever at filmfights.com. They also did the first music video for the popular local band, Bind, for their song, "Another Level". In 2004, Immortal Dog Productions became Funk Strand Films, spearheaded by Chad and Russell. Russell attended the New York Film Academy for a year, and during that time, he and Chad made their first short film to be accepted into a film festival, with "Persona" along with "Never Among Friends" directed by their pal Jason Allentoff. 2005-2007 brought some interesting changes to Immortal Dog, mainly the addition of Jonathan Tuckerman and Jason Allentoff as producers. The two helped shape a more professional outlook (even though it may not seem it yet), and helped get Immortal Dog Productions back on track and working harder, faster, and more efficiently than ever.