Dale Hlaves – writer, producer James Hiatt – director, producer Alfred Griffin – producer, director Steve Saunders – producer, actor
Mr. Griffin’s artistic journey started with his acceptance to the Cleveland School of the Arts, where he majored in Visual Art. He changed his minor every year in order to sample the many fields available to him, including Dance (modern, jazz and tap) and Music (vocals, piano, guitar and drums). Soon he and his classmates were performing at Cleveland institutions such as the Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland Music Settlement, The Karamu House, The Great Lakes Theater Festival, The Cleveland Shakespearian Festival and Local Heritage Festivals.
Mr. Griffin was able to utilize all of the skills he was learning in school when he studied Theater. He helped organize and participated in such shows as Madam Butterfly, To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and The King and I. Mr. Griffin’s first love was Visual Art and Design and he quickly gained a reputation as being an innovator and a quick thinker. He won art contests and winning presentations from The Cleveland Historical Society, NAACP, The AAA Art Company, National Scholastic Competition, National Vehicle Association, MADD and The National Black History Art competition.
Mr. Griffin left Cleveland and studied at a number of different institutions, including The Art Institute of Pittsburgh: Industrial Design Technology and Film Making; The Hollywood School of Film: Producing & Financing; and The New York Institute of Art & Design: Comic Design & Animation. While attending these institutions he had the opportunity to work with experts in many different fields; gaining hands-on experience as well as book knowledge.
Out of all of the fields Mr. Griffin studied, his favorite has always been Film, especially special effects. He began working as an intern on movie sets to gain practical experience. He worked in many different fields, including catering, grip, gaffer, rigger, sound, boom, special effects, stunts, scriptwriting, shooting, storyboarding, pre- and post-production. As a special effects artist he worked on projects including The Night of the Living Dead, The Dark Half, Innocent Blood, Striking Distance, House Guest and Sudden Death.
Mr. Griffin returned to Cleveland and began working with local indie film makers on projects including The Human Zoo, The Pact, Forced Vengeance, Hell Week 1 and 2, Ghost Story, My Soul to Take 1 and 2 and Dreaming on Christmas, a joint effort between Waterstreet Productions Ltd. and Pinpoint Productions Ltd., his own production company. It was while working on Dreaming on Christmas that Mr. Griffin met David Gutter, another local artist. Mr. Griffin and Mr. Gutter began working with Dale Hlaves, a Cleveland independent filmmaker in the summer of 2008 and the three are active filmmakers in the Cleveland independent film community.
In 1999 Mr. Hlaves began a one-year stint as a screenwriter and sound man for a small local independent film production company called Guerrilla Productions. The company produced three feature lengths motion pictures in which Mr. Hlaves served as the sound man. The third movie, Venus, was produced from a script that he wrote.
In the spring of 2008 Mr. Hlaves began to work on a screenplay based on his years as a student at Kent State University. He worked with Jay Wallace to set up the production of a trailer in support of the screenplay. In the summer of 2008 Mr. Hlaves and Mr. Wallace met David Gutter and Alfred Griffin. The four men produced half of the trailer in 2008 and the other half in 2009.
In 2011 Mr. Hlaves began working on the screenplay for Mainteneance
Man, a low-budget, independent film shot entirely on location in northeast Ohio. Mr. Hlaves joined forces with Griffin and Jay Wallace to form 35mm Pictures, LLC, a film production company based in northeast Ohio.
In mid-2012 Mr. Hlaves began pre-production on Dark Force. In 2013, 35mm Pictures secured distribution of Venus through Anton Pictures Distribution in Beverly Hills, CA.
James R.W. Hiatt spins soap bubble universes in and out of being in a whimsical world of wonder and imagination. He is a critically-acclaimed and award-winning Director in Los Angeles. James has worked on over 150 projects as Director, Producer, or First A.D. including helming nine feature films as the First A.D. On his journeys, he has had the pleasure of working with many film and music legends. A Director of focused vision and expansive imagination, James is a classically trained artist and a dynamic leader. James hopes that his work will continue to tickle audiences fancy, whilst contemplating intriguing ideas, and exploring the human condition.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Steve Saunders is motivated by one purpose, to bring joy, laughter and entertainment to his fellow inhabitants of that wonderful floating ball we call Earth. His ambitions led him to the city of Angels where he has been sharpening his professional and performance talents for the past five years working on many web, television and film projects and studying with the famed Groundlings Theatre Company. Amongst his ambitions is to put the city of Cleveland back on the moviemaking map by working with 35mm Pictures to create entertaining, thought-provoking and impactful films at a level of excellence he hopes will become synonymous with the city herself. No one-trick pony, Steve is also a musician, athlete and all-around stand-up guy. When he is not entertaining the masses, he can be found on coaching youth soccer and women’s basketball in the parks, schools, courts and pitches of Southern California.