The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Thursday, May 25th, 2017

The DigiFest - Co-Sponsored by Women in Film - HollyShort - NALIP

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Herscher Hall, Guerin C

Scripted & Fiction

1. MY BFF (teaser) - Created by April Wright, Sarah Agor

2. ONE HALLOWEEN (short) - Created by Rebecca Murga and Karen Kraft

3. Sweet Dream (short) - Created by Maya Cryor, Melissa Eno Effa, Brett Takeshita

4. FAUK MY LIFE (pilot) - Created by Stephanie Neroes, Rick Telles, Monique Sypkens


1. Sweet Dream (short) - Created by Maya Cryor, Melissa Eno Effa, Brett Takeshita

Melissa En Effa ia a LA-based writer/producer who received her B.A. in Film/TV production degree from Loyola Marymount University. She is the creator of two web series, a mockumentary Hard Medicine and a sketch comedy show #Noshade. Melissa is passionate about creating content that inspires, uplifts and educates others as well as showcasing people of color in lead roles. Melissa is proud of the success of Sweet Dream and plans to continue to create alongside Maya and Brett.

BRETT TAKESHITA: Brett Takeshita is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who received his B.A in Film & Television Production, and a minor in Film, Television, and Media Studies from Loyola Marymount University in 2015. In the past 6 years, he has worked on over 80 short films, web series, music videos, commercials and features, primarily as a producer and casting director of comedic content. He currently serves as a producer of the award-winning, critically acclaimed YouTube series, Bloomers. Brett is thrilled to have produced Sweet Dream with Maya and Melissa, and is looking forward to much more collaboration with them down the line.


MAYA CRYOR: Maya Cryor helms from the suburbs of Pennsylvania. Receiving her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communications Media from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Maya decided to move to Los Angeles to begin her career in entertainment. It was not long before she knew her passion lied writing and producing. Creating stories that are impactful and thought-provoking is what Maya aims to achieve in every project she puts forth. This summer, she plans on directing a television series she wrote called “The Hype.”


2. MY BFF (teaser) - Created by April Wright, Sarah Agor

SARAH AGOR: Sarah Agor graduated from The University of Chicago with a BA in International Studies and minor in Spanish. She completed NYU's Stella Adler Conservatory Program and came into the entertainment industry as an actress, garnering an international fan base for her work as a series regular on the hit Vh1 TV show Scream Queens (directed by James Gunn). As an avid reader and film enthusiast she soon discovered the development and producing side of movie making. Since then, she’s been working as independent finance finder for star-studded feature films and she is the Founder and host of the LA Horror Fest (at Raleigh Studios). In 2012 she joined 59th street films overseeing acquisitions and marketing, and in 2014 she started her own production company, Emissary Entertainment. She is currently in pre-production on two feature films; and has two feature films, that she has leading roles in, coming out this year.


APRIL WRIGHT: April Wright loves drive-in movies, documentaries, genre and dark character material, especially stories rooted in history or real events that involve elements of politics, conspiracy, technology, sci-fi, government or exploring the dark side of human nature.

April was recently selected to direct a documentary based on the best-selling book STUNTWOMEN: THE UNTOLD HOLLYWOOD STORY. In late 2016, April set up a project with Lionsgate, and was tapped by the El Rey Network to create original network branding spots.

April is in post-production on her 2nd documentary GOING ATTRACTIONS: THE DEFINITIVE STORY OF THE MOVIE PALACE featuring Leonard Maltin, which will have a preview screening at the Grauman’s Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles this June, hosted by the Theatre Historical Society. April’s script HUCKMAN’S HEART is in development with producer Theresa Won (Myriad Pictures) and cinematographer Sandra Valde-Hansen (Greg Araki’s WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD) attached. The script was supported by the WIF/Sundance Institute Financing Initiative in 2015. April’s first narrative feature LAYOVER premiered at Cinequest in 2009 and Rotten Tomatoes called it “a lovely little gem.” April’s first documentary GOING ATTRACTIONS: THE DEFINITIVE STORY OF THE AMERICAN DRIVE-IN MOVIE featuring legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, enjoyed a theatrical release and was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and Passion River. April has been a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival and AFI Fest. She has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern. April is a member of AWD, FIND, IDA, WIF, Film Fatales, and is an alumni of the Sundance Institute.


3. ONE HALLOWEEN (short) - Created by Rebecca Murga and Karen Kraft

REBECCA MURGA - Writer/DIRECTOR/Soldier/advocate: Rebecca Murga is an award-winning filmmaker who works in Los Angeles as a writer and director. She produces and directs films, commercials, documentaries and branded content in both English and Spanish. Her work has been featured on Mundo Fox, ABC, CBS, A&E, and HBO digital. She served as a U.S. Army Captain and Public Affairs Officer, and has deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. Rebecca was recently selected for the 2016-2018 Disney / ABC Directing Program. The two-year professional directing program, which spans two television seasons based upon ABC’s production calendar, recruits experienced directors on the cusp of making the transition into episodic directing. Those selected to participate in the program become part of the Disney|ABC Directing Program directing talent pool. Rebecca has shadowed director Billy Gierhart (SONS OF ANARCHY, WALKING DEAD) on MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. She has also shadowed director and series star Kevin McKidd on GREY’S ANATOMY. A member of the inaugural class of the Ryan Murphy Television HALF Foundation Director Mentorship Program. Rebecca has shadowed episodic directors on FOX's hit television show SCREAM QUEENS staring Emma Roberts and Jamie Lee Curtis. In 2015, she was selected for the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women. Her short film AMERICAN GIRL showcased at the DGA, the LA International Short Film Festival, the San Diego International Film Festival, and the Catalina Film Festival. Rebecca has been the recipient of several grants including the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) grant announced at Sundance 2015. The program is sponsored by the Time Warner Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts. She has also been the recipient of the Panavision New Filmmakers Grant, The Nancy Malone Directing Award, Indiegogo New Filmmakers Grant, and a grant from the DAV. Rebecca is a passionate advocate for veterans and women's issues with articles published in The New York Times, The Global Journal, The Morning Call, and San Jose Mercury News, to name a few. She has appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," and "The View." Most recently, she was featured on NPR as the director of a short film “War Ink” which tells veteran's war stories through their tattoos. A native of Chicago, Illinois (Go Cubs!) Rebecca earned a BS in Electronic Media from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Rebecca is a member of Film Independent, Veterans in Film and Television and belongs to American Legion Post 43. In 2014, she was selected to participate in the Veterans Writing Project hosted by the Writer's Guild Foundation, where she completed her first feature screenplay with, and under the tutelage of, Hollywood screenwriter Marie Weiss and Saul Turteltaub.  Rebecca is represented by The Gersh Agency.


4. FAUK MY LIFE (pilot) - Created by Stephanie Neroes, Rick Telles, Monique Sypkens

STEPHANIE NEROES: Originally from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Stephanie relocated to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of working in the entertainment industry.  After working on major film productions as a production assistant for a couple of years, she decided to transition into post-productions where she has been ever since.  Having worked as an editor in reality television for a number of years, she felt it was time for her to tell a story of her own, so, Fauk My Life was born.  A first time writer, producer & director, her hope is that the series will make a positive and profound impact in the lives of young women who are still on their road of self-discovery.


MONIQUE SYPKENS: Being born in Sacramento presented opportunities for Monique to work as a young professional in local theatre companies. With a passion for film and acting, she ventured off to Long Beach State where she graduated with a BFA in Performance Theatre in 2015. Since moving to Southern California, Monique has appeared in various commercials, music videos, web series and independent films.


RICK TELLES: This Emmy-nominated director began his career 25 years ago in front of the camera. After finishing his theatrical studies at the World Renowned London Academy of Music and Dramatic arts, he quickly began appearing in various TV shows and feature films. His credits include such films as Colors with Sean Penn and Robert Duval, Fatal Beauty with Whoopi Goldberg and guest starred in Numerous television shows. Upon finishing roles at the Mark Taper Forum and South Coast Rep, Rick landed a 3 year contract on the NYC/ABC Soap “Loving”. Thus his association with reality producer Mary-Ellis Bunim began. While Rick was finishing up his stint on the soap, Mary-Ellis had successfully launched the ground breaking series “The Real World” on MTV. Rick’s acting skills and scripted experience helped in crossing over to reality with strong story sensibilities. Knowing Rick’s technical background as well as his artistic talents, Mary-Ellis promptly hired him to work on one of the first reality shows, NBC’s reality Movie of the Week “High School Reunion”. It was here that he began his transition to reality TV. After discovering Rick’s talents for development, Mary Ellis promptly moved him to the creative side of reality TV and put him in charge of the creative direction of Road Rules for the next 7 seasons. His talents as a creative producer have given Road Rules some of their finest seasons to date. Moving to the director’s chair was an easy and natural transition for Rick, earning an Emmy Nomination for his work on an episode of Road Rules set in South Africa. Rick directed a total of 40 episodes of Road Rules in all. After leaving Road Rules, Rick took the helm of some of MTV’s finest show like the hit-series “Fear,” directing and producing over 16 episodes. He was also the lead Director of such shows as USA’s 1 hour special “Last One standing,” and Endemol’s UPN “Under One Roof.” He began transiting to the scripted world by directing the popular History Channel show “Conquest”. Rick’s production company “Brass Ring Entertainment co-created and produced the popular reality show entitled “The Surreal Life” on VH1 (it has been moved from the WB to VH1). Other Brass Ring Shows include NBC smash hit entitled “Next Action Star” with Joel Silver of Silver Pictures and GRB, airing 10 one hour episodes, the new 13 episode female surfing show for MTV entitled “Surf Girls”, the 10 episode F/X show entitled “Hitch Hiker Chronicles” and finally Rick completed work on the 13 episode season of the hit MTV reality show entitled “Battle for Ozzfest” with Sharon and Ozzie Osborne. Rick Co-EP’d/Directed the Sci Fi Hit Show “Who wants to be a Superhero” with Stan Lee. After showrunning “Chase” for SyFy and “America’s Worst Driver” for the Travel channel, Rick spent most of 2010 as a Network Executive at Syfy (filling in for an executive on Maternity leave). One of Rick’s responsibilities was to launch season one of the now hit-series “Face Off”. After completing the Network Executive gig, Rick went on to Showrun Syfy’s hit series “Haunted Collector” with talent John Zaffis. Rick has recently demonstrated his ability in the scripted area by setting up reality show ideas “Paranormal Housewives” and “Seized” as scripted series (both were based on reality show Ideas/talents). Currently Rick and his producing Partner Actor Benito Martinez are in development with a 1-hr scripted series entitled “American Legal” (with fellow actor John Huertas and his writer-partner Zeus Quibus). Rick is a member of the DGA, SAG, PGA, AFTRA, AEA, NALIP, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is a graduate of UCLA with his degree in Economics.