lauren neal: editor, Story, role of lex
Lauren Neal is a biracial multi-hyphenate from Aurora, Colorado, and a graduate of Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies, but she is probably best known for (1) an uncanny resemblance to Prince when dressed in drag, or (2) her rapper alter ego Licki Ucroj's X-rated rhymes.
At Outfest Fusion 2020, Lauren won the Hyundai Emerging Director Award for her short film Healing Me, a foray into a mind at once propagated and plagued by bipolar disorder. Hyundai enlisted Lauren to direct an LGBTQ-centric commercial to be featured during the 2021 GLAAD Awards, The OutFronts, Outfest LA, and Newfest.
In May 2022, Lauren completed a Master's degree in data science—with an emphasis on machine & deep learning as applied to filmmaking. Her writing and directing often interface directly with nascent technologies and mental health matters: where neural networks meet neurodivergence meets NFTs.
Lauren was nominated for Best Lead Actress at IFF London for her work in The Lovely Rejects, which she also co-produced. Her acting credits include Westworld, FOX’s unaired pilot Delirium, and indie feature The Sympathy Card. Lauren won Best Guest Actor (Comedy) at the Hollyweb Festival for her turn in the web series Those With Class.
Notoriously obsessed with the discipline of acting, Lauren is the resident data scientist at Castability, a start-up devoted to providing actors with actionable feedback and quantitative analysis of their work.
jill bennett: producer & Story
Jill found her first success in Hollywood as the creator of the viral hit WE'RE GETTING NOWHERE regarded by the press as “the video blog that started it all” for LGBTQ new media.
The enormous popularity of the series, hosted by the Viacom-owned Afterellen.com, led to a development deal with Logo and a string of roles in television and film.
Her activism led to a seat on the Screen Actor’s Guild LGBTQ National Board and she has been invited to speak about LGBTQ media issues in over two dozen cities worldwide, including on the mainstages at San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Munich Gay Pride.
Her comedy series SECOND SHOT won picture of the year at London’s LFest. She was nominated in four categories and won two Audience Choice Awards at Logo's NewNowNext Awards. Curve Magazine has nominated her in four separate categories over the years, with three wins going to her self-produced, award-winning comedy WE HAVE TO STOP NOW.
She has produced three award-winning micro-budget projects that played in the international film festival circuit and went on to acquire distribution.
skye emerson: writer
Skye Emerson is an award-winning screenwriter who was recently named to the International Screenwriters Association Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch list.
She was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Fellowship at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, and is a 2019 Sundance Screenwriters Intensive fellow.
Skye is the grand prize winner of the 2019 Fresh Voices Screenwriting Competition, and the 2018 Emerging Screenwriters Competition through ISA.
Skye was honored by UCLA with the Best Drama Feature Award, the TFT Sloan Fellowship Grant, and with the Carl David Memorial Screenwriting Fellowship for Positive Portrayals of the LGBTQ+ Community in Film.
She holds an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television.
bryn woznicki: director
Bryn has been directing films for 12 years.
She's helmed dozens of projects, and her first feature film, HER SIDE OF THE BED, was accepted into several festivals and is being distributed in North America and overseas.
JUST DESSERTS, a short she wrote, directed and produced, was screened in the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and she's taken home awards from the LA Webfest, the Accolade Competition, and the SMC Film Festival.
She's currently filming a documentary about her experiences being a survivor of the troubled teen industry, and is shopping two pilots and a feature.
katie hall: producer & Script supervisor
Following a long-term career in the UK voluntary sector, Katie shifted focus to writing. She was a freelance contributor to LGBTQ+ media publications, and a creative writing practitioner across many forms: poetry, short and long fiction, and audio and TV drama.
She was longlisted for the 2020 Primadonna Award and shortlisted for the Lichfield Cathedral 'The Word' inaugural poetry award (2019). Currently, she is editing her debut novel, the coming-of-age tale To Autumn. She created and wrote the UK's first lesbian web series, She's in London.
rob ness: executive producer
Ness' academic trajectory alone pronounces his versatility, from a BA in Economics, Math, and Interdisciplinary Child Health from UC Berkeley, to an MPS in Development & Finance from Georgetown University, to an MPA in Development Economics from Harvard University.
A few of his diverse career highlights include a senior consultancy at Booze Allen Hamilton - a firm at the forefront of strategy and technology, managing at the multinational IT conglomerate Capgemini, and serving in the US Army - Civil Affairs Branch (for the past 18 years).
haviland stillwell: executive producer
Haviland Stillwell is an Actor, Singer, Director, and Producer with a range of work that spans Broadway, TV, Film, and Voiceover. Credits include Broadway's Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof, Ava Duvernay's Selma, Magic Mike XXL, Crime Story opposite Mira Sorvino, UnREAL, Single Ladies, Baywatch, and Syfy's Santa Jaws.
She has voiced dozens of commercials, videogames, and animated projects, including Raquelle in Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse, The Mariner in Fallout4, and Triffany in Bugsnax. She has performed live on The Academy Awards and The Tonys and has produced two solo albums.
She grew up in Georgia and graduated with Honors from NYU with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, with a concentration in Musical Theatre. Haviland has been an equal rights activist and performing artist's advocate since birth, works everywhere, and is based in Los Angeles with her wife and business partner, Reed, and together, they make up Team Stillwell. Their passion is in the collaborative creation and support of provocative work that inspires change, connectivity, and belonging.
reed stillwell: executive producer
Reed Stillwell is a queer, non-binary Writer/Director/Producer whose passion for storytelling lies in the under-told stories of Otherness in the LGBTQIA community, as well as Female-centered stories of empowerment, no matter the age.
Reed grew up in a small town in Oklahoma that you've probably not heard of, attended the University of Oklahoma and Circle in the Square Theatre School in NYC.
Reed's past accomplishments include the title of COO for Giada De Laurentiis' food empire, Director of Development at Linguine Pictures, and producing partner of Harry Rose Productions with longtime mentor, Bruce Dern. Reed currently lives in Los Angeles with their wife and two dogs.
erin matthews: andrea
Erin Matthews has done a little bit of everything in her acting career. From starring in cult classic musicals Reefer Madness and Debbie Does Dallas, to a voice-over career ranging from national advertising campaigns to animation, to voicing iconic roles in global hit video games like Final Fantasy XV and Mafia 3, among many others.
Onscreen, she’s best known for roles in Valentine’s Day and Hannah Montana, but can also be found on CSI, Criminal Minds, The Good Doctor, The Young and the Restless, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Superstore, Rizzoli and Isles, and others.
joy sunday: rachel
Joy Sunday was born in Staten Island, New York to Nigerian parents. She completed theatre training at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, graduating from USC's School of Cinematic Arts with an honors degree in Critical Studies. Joy has since made multiple TV and movie appearances, produced a number of short films, and ventured into audiobook narration.
Sunday stars as the popular student and siren Bianca Barclay in the upcoming Tim Burton-directed Netflix comedy horror series Wednesday.
pam trotter: margo
Pam has become known for her versatility in all aspects of entertainment, from a soul-stirring blues, gospel, and jazz singer to making a significant mark as an actress, playing character roles ranging from a precocious 10-year-old to a spunky 60-year-old in film, television, radio, stage, and recording.
Originally from St. Louis, Mo, now residing in Los Angeles, CA, she has toured across the United States & Canada with the Broadway National Tour of The Color Purple in her dream role of Sofia.
pat towne: ray
Pat Towne has been working in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. But really he's a guy who loves theatre... A LOT. And he likes to do that more than anything, but he moved to Hollywood from Chicago because he heard that's where all the money is.
So he moved to Hollywood and promptly devoted most of his time and energies to the theatre community of Los Angeles having grossly misunderstood that the money of Hollywood doesn't flow through the small, 99-seat theaters of LA.
Undeterred, Mr. Towne continued to build his reputation and experience in both the professional theatre community of LA and the delicious landscape of Hollywood and is now falling in love with the sound of his own voice as he expands his career into voiceovers, animation, and books on tape.
jenelle riley: jade
Jenelle Riley is the Deputy Awards and Features Editor at Variety.
She has received two Emmy Awards for her work on Variety/PBS’ “Actors on Actors” series. She penned the award-winning plays A Kind of Love Story and Jane Austen’s Emma Frankenstein, and the short films Crazy Love and Warning Labels, starring Karen Gillan. She regularly hosts Q&As on SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s YouTube channel.
babycat Bennett-neal: picasso
BabyCat is thrilled to be making her feature debut after appearing in numerous unpaid viral videos, Youtube features, and her mom's Twitter feed.
She has no formal education to speak of, and she sleeps 18 hours a day. When not curled up next to a human or cat, she spends her time taunting squirrels and chasing bugs.
Her first novel, entitled "Yes, I'm Really THIS Cute" is due out in late 2022.
rachael hastings: director of photography
In the last year alone, Rachael worked as D.P. or camera operator on 12 LGBTQ, female-led, and/or BIPOC short films, and as Gaffer and/or Electric for Gatorade, Adidas, Organific, and Deathwish Coffee. She grew up running the fog machine backstage at the ballet and with an interest in environmental activism. Rachael began apprenticing in a lab at age 11, winning numerous awards in Environmental Science.
She began shooting PSAs with her dad's VHS camera before ultimately attending film school. After following a movie around festivals and moving to LA, in 2004 she focused on cinematography spending the next 15 years as a Producer/Shooter across Africa, India, Asia, Europe & the Americas shooting for non-profits, docs, and TV with the occasional swing-dancing music video.
She shot pilots, 3 seasons of doc-style TV shows for a DirecTV station. 2020 brought narrative and commercials for Official U.S. Navy Gear. As a queer female D.P., Rachael is passionate about projects that promote queer crew and inclusive narratives.
pj joshi: 1st assistant director
Prarthana, also known as PJ, is a filmmaker born and raised in Pune, India, who has a background in design and film production. In 2008, she graduated as an architect with a thesis project, a museum dedicated to the history of Indian Cinema. This started her journey as a filmmaker. In 2008, PJ was awarded a production fellowship from the prestigious National Film Archives of India for a research feature documentary on the Prabhat film company – an Indian film studio founded in 1929.
In 2010, she moved to LA to follow her passion for filmmaking. Her short film The Day He Learned to Fly was screened on national television, NDTV Imagine, and secured worldwide digital distribution. In 2013, she earned her MFA in filmmaking from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. Her thesis short, Handle with Care, was screened at several festivals all around the world and won audience choice for best film at 304 Film Festival.
PJ has extensive hands-on and versatile production experience. She has varied experience working as a line producer/UPM, first AD, and production designer. Her skill set comprises design and production management. The recent project she produced, the TV pilot Vicarious, won the best TV pilot at the Dances with Films 2019 festival, amongst several other awards and screenings.
She is currently based in Los Angeles and works as an independent filmmaker directing and producing, collaborating with directors, and working on her own original content.
tami lane: makeup
Academy Award-winning, Emmy-nominated makeup artist Tami Lane has been a fixture of the special effects makeup community for nearly 20 years. Lane began her career under the tutelage and mentorship of some of the most prolific artists in the industry, including Howard Berger, Greg Nicotero, Bob Kurtzman, and Gino Acevedo.
In 2010, Lane was offered the Prosthetics Supervisor position on the long-anticipated The Hobbit trilogy, which took her back to New Zealand, where she has dual citizenship.
In 2015, Tami was nominated for an Emmy for the Sons of Anarchy episode “Faith and Despondence.”
Lane’s more recent credits include Legion, The Orville, Jupiter's Legacy, and the feature films Deepwater Horizon, Destroyer, Countdown, and Spenser Confidential.
Currently, Lane is both the Key Makeup and Special Effects Artist on the FX series Interview With the Vampire.
jack horkings: dit & assistant editor
dana st amand: 2nd unit Dp & steadycam op
Dana St. Amand grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, developing an interest in film and photography early in life.
By 17, she'd begun a film and photography career. After a short detour studying Mechanical Engineering at Kansas State University where she also worked as a photographer for the Kansas State Collegian, she quickly understood that her passion was film.
She quit KSU, wrote and directed her first short film, and then graduated from the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan with a focus on screenwriting and directing. Dana now works full-time in collaboration with other independent filmmakers across the country, writing and directing films.