CREATOR, DIRECTOR, WRITER, editor
Since 2008, Zappa has been directing and producing short films independently. His work has been screened at festivals for 2 years in a row, including the thriller Whisper starring Kip Bennett and Greg Agnew, and the chamber drama The Last Checkmate featuring Bob Elkins and Ernie Rowland. He is in development now on a short titled The Ladies Next Door, adapted from Sheila Mudd Baker's short stage farce.
COMPOSER, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
With roots in theatre and a family of classical musicians, Bennett is a formidable talent in front of the camera and atop the ivories. His film debut came with long-time friend Joe Zappa's sophomore short A Seat at Milo's. He went on to continuously collaborate with Zappa, co-writing and starring in Zappa's thriller short Whisper and serving as executive producer on The Last Checkmate. He recently appeared in David James' Vinyl. Bennett has spent 20 years teaching piano professionally. He is slated to score, produce and appear in several upcoming feature films and co-owns Brand Old Productions with Zappa, James and Sahil Sharma.
director of photography, producer
Having lensed the claustrophobic short drama The Last Checkmate and the visually striking thriller Wells and Mary, James is, first and foremost, a stylish writer-director of dark, modern dramas such as Conscious and Jacob's Paradox, whose upcoming feature debut Signs of Life is slated for production in fall 2015 with Afroman and Joe Estevez attached.
A graduate of Xavier University's Electronic Media, Television and Film Arts program, Sharma has honed many on-set skills on his way to writing, producing and directing many independent shorts such as Tough Talk and Bandit's Gone, as well as working professionally on feature films, national spots, local commercials and educational videos.
MYRA ZIMMERMAN GRUBBS
producer, production manager
With a background in local and national commercial spots, she at one time was co-director of a drama group, performing on-stage productions and gathering experience coordinating and organizing ensembles and various facets of production. Myra was later cast in various Cincinnati-based shorts including Mute and Foster Home. She plays Melanie McFlame in William Lee's spoof Bad Fellaz.
STEPHONIKA W. KAYE
Not long after her move to Ohio from her native West Virginia, Stephonika was wrapping principal photography on her own sci-fi feature The Nameless Cryst in which she began a tradition of casting herself in cameo role in her own projects. She formed her own production company Bleeding Edge, for which she directed the shorts Should've Gone to the Concert and The Coughing Dead. She is writing, producing and directing Legacy, a Legend of Zelda fan film focusing on the series' Defeated Hero timeline, slated for an online release in 2017.
SPECIAL MAKEUP EFFECTS
Based in Northern Kentucky, "Jim Gantor" is highly regarded for his life-like creations of gore, mayhem and creature nightmares. Since his transition from music, serving as drummer in the punk band My Two Cents, Ervin's effects work can be seen in Jacob's Paradox and Team Necro's Cannibilies: Prelude as well as Clever Girl.
Not only is Jim a guru of sound, having mixed, recorded and edited the soundtracks on countless short films as well as Ryan Michael's Josephine Doe and John Zanardelli's Haven Hill, he is also an accomplished writer-director, whose feature Home has been a regional festival favorite. He recently completed work as editor on young adult novelist E.E. Charlton-Trujillo's challenging documentary At-Risk Summer, which traces the author's unconventional three-month book tour across America to workshop writing with abused and economically vulnerable youth.