The Creative Team!
Available on Soundcoud.
Melissa Birks has written several features and pilots. A short mockumentary she wrote and produced, called "The True Story of Hammond VanOchre and His Amazing Flying Steampig," was screened at the Southern Shorts Film Festival in Roswell, Georgia, in 2017 and at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The film can be viewed on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/169244580) with the password HVOSEP017. Melissa earned her MFA in screenwriting from DePaul University in Chicago in 2019 and then moved to Los Angeles, where she resides today. She is a Michigan native and former journalist.
Vera J. Brooks
Vera J. Brooks is a Chicago native whose twin sister says, “Most people have ‘light bulb’ big ideas, but Vera’s are chandeliers.” One of them was a not-for-profit called CHICAGO SCRIPTWORKS, which allowed screenwriters to hear their stories come to life via staged readings. After forty readings over 7 years, it ended, but not Vera’s desire to tell stories and collaborate. Her company, ROATAN FILM PRODUCTION, has created webseries (KHALI’S HOMESCHOOL HIJINX and ALL THINGS EGOT), and several shorts, most notably AMERICANA NOIR VIGNETTES, four stories about an African American family circa 1968. Vera directed one, which was accepted into The BLACK HARVEST FILM FESTIVAL (2013). Her international political thriller screenplay INSPECTOR 19 was a finalist at the 2011 American Black Film Festival and her immigration screenplay IMMUNITY, was a finalist at the OAXACA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (2017) Vera has a Liberal Arts Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Screenwriting Certificate from UCLA. www.roatanfilmproduction.com
Jamie Johnson wrote and directed Episode 4, "Estelle & Harry". She's a middle school English teacher living in West Virginia. Jamie graduated from Hollins University with an MFA in Screenwriting and Film. She's also the creator of ART 26201, a young filmmakers camp that ran from 2016 thru 2019. Along with writing two Vaccine Vignettes episodes, Jamie recently completed a TV drama pilot.
Roman Jones graduated from Howard University with a degree in African-American Studies. For the past several years, she has taught elementary students how to express themselves through creative writing. In 2018, Roman was a semi-finalist in the Film Empire Screenwriting Competition for her television pilot Closure. Closure tells the story of a college professor who travels back in time to prevent her younger brother's kidnapping. When not creating stories, Roman enjoys globetrotting with her 16 year-old daughter.
David Bell (EPISODE 2) is not only a director, but has graced the stage as a performer many times in his career. He’s an arts enthusiast, who watches hundreds of films and enjoys dozens of plays and concerts every year (or did until “you know what”). His knowledge of film was on full display in the webseries ALL THINGS EGOT in 2019, where he made Oscar predictions-- and his film review project AT THE SHOW. David has been searching for the lost magic yeti for most of his adult life to no avail, but will not give up.
Chloe Caudillo (EPISODE 5) is a Mexican American writer, director, and producer. A graduate of The Second City Film School, she is compelled to amplify stories about unconventional BIPOC protagonists who must fight for their unique place in their worlds. Her short films have been Official Selections at the Latino Film Market, Portland Film Festival, Chicago International Genre Film Festival, CineSol Film Festival, Official Latino Short Film Festival, Cleveland Concoction, and Brownsville Latino Comics Expo Film Festival. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and dog. She is repped by Schulman Management.
Laura Fielder (EPISODE 6) is a writer, director and producer. Her award winning projects have screened at the Hip Hop Film Festival, the Toronto Black Film Festival, The Katra Film Series, and the American Black Film Festival. Laura’s screenplays have placed in numerous competitions including the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. Laura is a working member of The Gotham’s Expanding Communities Summit - a cohort of diverse Independent film professionals. She is also a member of NYWIFT. Laura is a graduate of UCLA TFT Professional Screenwriting Program. A classically trained violinist, Laura is an alum of The CUNY Graduate Center (MA, Ethnomusicology).
Dina Kagan (Episode 7) was born and grew up in Moscow, Russia. She made her first film after an inspiring internship at Les Cahiers du Cinéma in Paris. Following her passion of directing actors, she studied directing with the legendary Wynn Handman in New York City. Her award-winning film BEILA WAS A BABA-KAZAK… was nominated for a regional finalist for Academy Awards. She has received support for her films from the Brooklyn Arts Council, Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund, Arizona Commission on the Arts, as well as Women In Film and the Liberace Foundation. She has taught filmmaking to Pascua Yaqui teens with the help of the NYCF grant. She is the founder of She Films, a women filmmaker collective in South Eastern Arizona.