Bios

Blake Hodges (Writer/Director) The power of movies exploded into Blake’s brain when he watched 2001: A Space Odyssey fort the first time at age 12. It was the closest thing to a religious experience he’s ever had. Forty-Five minutes after the rented VHS tape ran to its end, Blake was still staring at the screen when he realized something significant: Someone had made that. From that point on, his life became clear.

Seven years later, Blake got his first gig as an editor and videographer on the PBS documentary series “Roadtrip Nation.” On the show for 4 seasons, he filmed across the United States and Australia in a big green RV, meeting inspirational people like Walter Murch, Ira Glass, Richard Linklater, and tow-truck drivers.

After Roadtrip Nation, Blake worked for ad-agency M&C Saatchi on a commercial campaign for a Tourism Australia.

With that gig complete, Blake filled up a backpack, scrounged his savings, and took a year off to travel the world. Near the end of this trip he was hired to direct a short documentary about the work of Mumbai-based aid organization ARPHEN. This documentary, “Aiding the Forgotten,” has helped raise money for ARPHEN and screened in multiple film festivals, winning “Best Documentary” at Zero Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Upon arriving back in the States, Blake jumped back into the documentary world, working on a long string of projects for various environmental organizations, especially Greenpeace. His work for Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Rainforest Action Network has clocked hundreds of thousands of views and has been part of major campaigns, including stopping Apple from powering their data centers with coal power, to delaying the disastrous Keystone XL Pipeline.

With the occasional break from the documentary world, Blake directed a handful of music videos for other indie artists, including SoCal indie rock bands Big Moves and The Colourist.

In 2011 Blake was brought on as lead videographer on award-winning documentary director Ondi Timoner’s (We Live in Public, DIG!) new feature film (still in production) about social network startups and the “Web 3.0″ movement.

In mid 2012, Blake directed the narrative short film, “The Desert Encounter,” starring friend and producing partner Leah Johnston. It went on to screen at the No Budget Film Festival at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles.

Currently, Blake is co-editing a feature documentary with former MTV Director/Producer Todd Darling (Real World, Laguna Beach), as well as developing his first narrative feature film which he wrote and is directing: ‘Fallout Shelter.’

 
Leah Johnston (Producer) is primarily an actor, director and photographic artist hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada. She received a BFA from New York University and has since gone on to be featured on such television shows as ‘As the World Turns’ and ‘Gossip Girl’, with her photographic works being shown in galleries such as The Hive, NorbertEllen and Gallery Godo as well as a variety of photography magazines around the world.

In 2010, she produced, directed and starred in ‘American Dollhouse’, a full-scale theatrical exhibit which took place in Gallery Godo. A hybrid of both theatre and fine-art, American Dollhouse brought together actors and emerging fine-artists from around LA into one multimedia production. In the show, audiences were able to interact with a life size dollhouse which was constructed within the gallery. Rebecca Haithcoat of the LA Weekly named American Dollhouse, ‘one of the most innovative shows in L.A.” and went on to say “calling American Dollhouse a play doesn’t do it justice…Johnston may be showing us a glimpse of theater’s future.” (LA Weekly)

Most recently, Johnston produced, directed and starred in the short film ‘Another Man’, which is currently in post-production. She also starred in ‘‘The Desert Encounter’ directed by Blake Hodges, which will premiere at the 2012 No-Budget Film Festival.

 

Mayon Denton (Producer) As a student at UCLA, Mayon started his own production company, DRG Films. Over the past five years he has produced music videos, commercials, documentaries, TV pilots,  and feature films. One of Mayon’s noteworthy projects is the feature length documentary entitled A Love Supreme: U-N-I & Ro Blvd.   It was screened at the MGM Towers in Los Angeles in the International Creative Management Theater (ICM) and was sold at Target and Best Buy.

Mayon also produced the feature film, Against the Grain, which is an official selection of the Hollywood Black Film Festival, San Diego Black Film Festival, and the Pan African Film Festival.  Mayon’s other productions  include the feature film Fingerprints (2012);  the television pilot, How to Succeed at Birth (2012) starring Ed Begley, Jr.; the 1935 period-piece film, Lil Tokyo Reporter (2012) starring academy award winner Chris Tashima; and two action shorts: Vanished starring Mark Rolston, who also appeared in The Shawshank Redemption; and the military film Overwatch.

Mayon is currently producing two other feature films: Primal, a coming of age college film slated to shoot in Canada; and Wait a Minute Mr. Postman, which is a story of the early writers and legends of Motown Records.
 

Raymond Liu (Producer) is an independent producer and still photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. After working on several projects together as a unit stills photographer, producer Mayon Denton liked hearing his production ideas and drew him over to the dark side. They have partnered together for the marketing and distribution of feature film AGAINST THE GRAIN, currently in its festival run, and the development of various projects, in the past including the pilot HOW TO SUCCEED AT BIRTH with Ed Begley Jr. Prior to working in entertainment, he studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley (BS), and Computer Science at UCLA (MS). He worked at private companies in the software industry, traveling to clients to troubleshoot existing systems and assess their needs, writing new project requirements, and supervising the development and deployment of project deliverables.

 

Derek Werthwein (Producer) After graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Business Administration, Derek sidestepped the MBA track to pursue the film industry. Derek’s experience in the entertainment field began through an internship at Capitol Records. After completing his program at Capitol, Derek joined DRG Films. Derek has produced the Documentary “A Love Supreme: U-N-I & Ro Blvd (2010) and the pilot, “How to Succeed at Birth (2012).

He has also served as an associate producer on the movie “Against the Grain” which was awarded the audience award at the 2012 Hollywood Black Film Festival. This feature will also be screening at the San Diego African-American Film Festival, as well as the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. Derek was also an associate producer on the narrative period-piece “Lil Tokyo Reporter (2012)., which has been being screened throughout the Southern California region. In his short career Derek has completed numerous music videos, commercial, shorts and features.