Mike Ott studied under Thom Andersen at Cal Arts where he received his MFA degree in Film/Video. Mike’s films have won numerous awards including an Audience Award at AFI Fest, a Gotham Award, and the Someone to Watch Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. He recently completed his desert trilogy which includes the feature films Littlerock, Pearblossom Hwy, and Lake Los Angeles. His work has screened at over 100 festivals worldwide, including Warsaw, Cairo, Rotterdam, Vienna, AFI, Denmark, San Francisco, Reykjavik, MoMA, Lincoln Center, and Thessaloniki. He recently premiered his latest feature Actor Martinez, which was co-directed with Nathan Silver, at the 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film premiered in the US at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016.
Michael Gioulakis grew up in a musical household, which led him to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts his senior year of high school to pursue his education and training for playing the trumpet. While there, his
passion for filmmaking and photography grew, and after graduating he attended Florida State University to study photography. Mike’s most recent film is Split from N. Night Shyamalan. Mike previously has shot Mike Ott’s Lake Los Angeles ( 2014 Winner Best Cinematography Bend Film Festival and Las Vegas Film Festival ) as well as his Pearblossom Hwy (2012 Vienna Film Festival, 2012 AFI Fest, 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam), Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End (2012 Sundance Film Festival, 2012 Toronto Film Festival, 2012 SXSW), and Dustin Guy Defa’s Bad Fever (2011 SXSW). In between shoots, Mike likes to camp and explore the redwoods of Northern California with his rescue dog, Baxter
Heika Burnison graduated from USC with a BA in Critical Studies and Architecture, and her MA in Specialized Journalism. For the several years Heika worked as a Creative Director and freelance writer before returning to USC for her MFA in Film & TV Production, with an emphasis in Producing. In addition to founding and serving as EP for the creative services collective Number 7 Films and sound studio White Light Audio, Heika produces a variety of independent entertainment media. Heika is a Film Independent Screenwriting Fellow.
Nicole is an independent Casting Director and has casta variety of independent films which have premiered at film festivals in the U.S and abroad. Her most recent film 31, written and directed by Rob Zombie, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In TV she recently finished casting Animals, a new animated show which premiered on HBO in early 2016. She also casts for theater and has an 12 year association with the Ojai Playwrights Conference, working with playwrights and directors in the development of new work. Nicole is also Co-Captain of Narrative Features Programming for the Slamdance Film Festival. She is a graduate of Smith College.
Alex produced the feature film Lake Los Angeles, which premiered at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival. It won best narrative feature at the Las Vegas Int’l Film Festival and UrbanWorld Film Festival. It also stacked up some sweet acting and craft awards at festivals throughout the world. When not following Mike Ott around the desert, she produces music videos, commercials, and writes screenplays.
GERALD D. ROSSINI
Gerald D. Rossini is a sometimes director of photography and editor. Among his most recent credits are the films Red Flag, Marvin Seth and Stanley, Stinking Heaven (Directed by Nathan Silver, 2015), and Tired Moonlight (Slamdance Jury Award Winner, New Directors/New Films) as well as the upcoming 7 Chinese Brothers starring Jason Schwartzman. He also shot Dustin Guy Defa’s award-winning short film, Person to Person (Sundance, SXSW, Berlinale, New Directors/New Films).
Jan Bezouška - Sound Designer
Jan was born in Prague, Czech Republic, at the end of the Communist regime.
He was 4 years old when the Czech Nation experienced the Velvet Revolution and the barbed wire was taken down. He is the first generation of students with the opportunity to study abroad and experience other Western cultures. Jan graduated from FAMO in Czech Republic, West Virginia State University, and USC School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film & TV Production in 2014. For the past few years, Jan followed his passion for sound and worked on numerous short and feature films including Sundance winner Fruitvale Station (2013), Lake Los Angeles (2014), James Franco’s Actor Anonymous (2015), and The Land (2016).