Archive for the ‘Meet the Crew’ Category

Nicole Sweeney is one of the F/X makeup artists working on Predatory Moon.

She’s a self-taught makeup artist who got her start by practicing on friends and family. Last year she began working makeup F/X for film and video, including doing work for “Horrorscapes” which will be coming out on DVD in 2013.

She has also worked on live zombie events such as the “Run For Your Lives” 5k race.

Nicole’s web page can be found here: FX Makeup by Nicole

Nicole Sweeney

Troy Durrett will be the Editor for Predatory Moon.

He got his start in 1989 by creating music videos from footage he shot during live shows and concerts. He then went on to study film and visual communication at Florida State University and the University of South Florida.

In 2000 he started working as a professional editor for The Golf Channel and was the main editor for the show The Big Break for five seasons. Later on he went to Hawaii for several months to edit a fishing sport show for ESPN.

In 2006 he returned to Tampa and began his company Eye Splice Creative, LLC.

Recently he produced, directed, and edited “The Bro Bowl: 30 years of Tampa Concrete” skateboard documentary. He also did the editing for Warpaint’s music video “Elephants”.

Eye Splice Creative with the skateboard documentary:

Warpaint “Elephants” video:

Troy Durrett on IMDB:

Troy Durrett

MTCOM essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez

Devin came out to play with us while we were shooting the “Blood Drive” for our fund-raising campaign back in November, and he will be part of our Grip team as we go into production on Predatory Moon.

While he is fairly new to film-making, he’s quite dedicated to learning the craft. He’s always willing to help out in any way that he can and is very quick to pick up new skills. I’m really looking forward to working with him on set again.

Recently he’s been involved in music video work and was a grip on the film Pharmboy.

Devin Payne

(MTCOM essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez)

Normally I introduce a crew person on Mondays and periodically Spotlight a member of the cast, but this week I’m combining the two in honor of a good friend and very talented actor – Michael J. Cornell.

Michael will be playing the role of “Frank” in Predatory Moon.

I met Michael a few years ago when he auditioned for a film that my husband was directing. It was his first time auditioning, but his great personality and natural acting ability won him the role. He also co-starred in a short film that our Director of Photography spear-headed later that year.

Asides from being a fun person to work with in front of the camera, he’s also been known to lend a hand behind-the-scenes on the productions he works on. During projects we’ve worked on together, he’s always been quick to lend a hand with set dressing, organizing, and even helping me wrangle a huge spiked tree trunk prop!

Last week he jumped in to assist us during the two very long days of auditions for Predatory Moon.

Michael is also very dedicated to his work in the Coalition for the Homeless as a Veteran Community Support Coordinator.


(Meet the Crew essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez)

Robert is a member of our Grip team.

I first met Robert when he volunteered to come out and lend a hand with shooting our Blood Drive back in November, and he’s someone that I’m really looking forward to working with on the set of Predatory Moon. He’s very enthusiastic about the project and (as you can see from his photo) he’s got a great sense of humor.

He’s also one of the busiest people I know. Asides from his job as a nuclear field manager, he’s been working on a lot of film and video projects including the short film Jonathan Simon: The Exchange, and the feature Pharmboy.

Robert is the drummer for the Florida eclectic hard rock/metal band Catalyst: He started Monument: Productions with co-founder Scott Keene initially as the recording enterprise for the band, which grew to providing photography, music, video, and production aid for other musicians, bands, and others in need of visual or musical production. For Monument: he does most of the principal photography, recording engineering, directing, and producing. You can learn more about Monument: here

Recently he recorded and produced the band Black Towers’ 4 song EP, and he also produced, directed, and filmed a video for the catalyst: song “A Ghost Unknown”.

Robert M. Coggin III

(MTCOM essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez)

Oh no! I’m doing a werewolf film and I can’t draw a decent stick figure! Enter Daniel Byrd, our Creature Designer.

I’ve known Daniel for a long time, and he’s designed a lot of great logos for me over the years. We’re even got a graphic novel pet project in the works together. But what he is best-known for, and very deservingly so, is his graphic work in the horror genre.

So when I knew that I would need some designs for a very unique and complicated werewolf creature, Daniel was the first person I called.

He’s never thought about designing for F/X before, so this is a very interesting challenge for him. Not only is he creating the overall look for the creature, but he is also deeply involved in working with me on designing the sequential stages of the human-to-creature transformation. And I have to tell you, he has been coming up with some extremely creative and twisted ideas for that!

Then he went and surprised the crew by offering up three original art pieces inspired by Predatory Moon to help us raise funds for the film! (You can see them on our indiegogo campaign page.)

Daniel has a formal education in sequential art, and his work has been featured on the covers of albums and movies, as well as logos. His horrifyingly brilliant pieces been shown in many art shows around the country, and he has the distinction of being a two-time winner for “Best Horror” in the Dragon*Con Art Show.

To learn more about Daniel and his amazing work, visit his official website at

Daniel Byrd

(MtCoM essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez)


Duckie is our stunt coordinator for Predatory Moon.

Oh, where do I begin…

First of all, Duckie and I have worked together for the better part of  20 years. We met while acting in one production, re-connected several years later while working for another production, got married and started producing stage shows together, then eventually got into doing film work together.

Yes, our marriage is a partnership made in heaven… he gets actors to beat each other up (as a stunt/fight coordinator ) and then I come in and kill them (as an FX artist ).

We also used to fight in a live combat show that we produced. One of his favorite stories is about how one performance fell on my birthday so during our fight he let me pluck out his eyeballs. See… that’s love.

Duckie is a bit of a maniac when it comes to planning out a fight sequence, but he’s also an even bigger nut about safety than I am. When I told him that I was going to need a big fight, he immediately started working on various contraptions he could use to give me “Crouching Tiger Hidden Werewolf”.

(He’s hoping that we do well with our fund-raising so that he can build some even more  interesting mechanisms for the werewolves.)

Duckie has also done quite a bit of directing for both stage and screen, and the many years of watching him in action and working beside him has taught me an awful lot about what to expect.


(MTCOM essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez)

Garo is a Co-Producer for Predatory Moon, lending the production his experience and skills in marketing, distribution, and getting the production put together.

I first met Garo in 2011 when he hired me to do the practical FX gags for his film Dangerous People. I didn’t really get a chance to get to know him until a month or so later when he asked me to come back because he had to re-shoot most of his film due to a couple of problems that were real doozies. That’s what really got my attention. Here was a Director-Producer who had spent most of his budget shooting the film once and was faced with his project completely collapsing, but he had the determination to get out and film it a second time.

This was a guy that I figured I could learn a thing or two from, and ever since then I’ve learned quite a lot from him. In fact, he tries to make sure that I avoid making mistakes as a fledgling director by offering his advice and suggestions every step of the way. He also seems to have this uncanny habit of getting in touch with me right when I’m about to pull my hair out over something and talk me down off of a virtual ledge.

He has been involved in film distribution since the age of 18 when he began acquiring and distributing Asian action films. He began his own film series at the Coolidge Corner Theater and was awarded with two Boston Film Critic Awards for Film Programming. He also worked for Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder Films by researching and acquiring the original Hong Kong marketing materials for films such as Fists of Legend and Chung King Express to be used to create a US marketing campaign.

Garo co-wrote, produced, and co-starred in the low-budget film Actress Apocalypse which was carried by major retailers. He is currently living in Boston and is in post-production on Dangerous People.

garo 3

(MTCoM essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez)

Garith is the Director of Photography for Predatory Moon.

Garith and I have a long history of working together. In fact, he’s the one who grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and dragged me into the moving pictures medium back in 2008. Coincidently, he was also the first person to approach me about directing Predatory Moon.

I know it’s important for a director and a cinematographer to be able to communicate well, so I have full confidence that this film will be amazing simply because Garith has the uncanny ability to read my mind. I’m not kidding. He’s been my assistant with FX for numerous projects and it has astonished people how we can work together with almost surgical precision without ever having to complete a sentence.

As a cinematographer, Garith has a very professional attitude combined with a great eye for all the little technical details. He’s also one of those people who will literally bend over backwards to get you the shot that you want, so I’m sure he’ll be in traction by the time we are finished filming Predatory Moon.

Garith is one of those people who makes it a point to learn everything he can about film-making, and I’m hard-pressed to think of any crew position that he hasn’t filled at one time or another… often juggling a few simultaneously. He’s also produced and shot many short films and a feature length over the last several years.

Garith Pettibone

Garith Pettibone

(MtCM essays are written by director Shiva Rodriguez)

Over the Thanksgiving weekend the crew of Predatory Moon went out into the middle of nowhere in the freezing cold to shoot a series of promotional videos that we’ll be showing next month. We took the opportunity to invite some other local film crew members to come out and play with us, and the experience was nothing short of amazing.

This week I am taking a moment to gush over the extremely talented and ambitious people who braved both the weather and the wildlife to help us out.

So, in no particular order, I would like to thank the following people:

Richard Anasky, who came out with his camera to shoot all the behind-the-scenes photos. I’ve worked with Rich on a couple film sets before, and I was thrilled to have him there. Asides from being a very talented director himself, he has an amazing way about him and you just can’t help but feel happy and energized about the craft when he’s around.

Robert Coggin, who volunteered to help out with the camera crew and easily shuffled between several crew positions as each member took their 15 minutes in front of the camera. He was a lot of fun to work with and I look forward to being on a set with him again.

Dee Dee Seruga, who really blew me away with her makeup designs. I gave her a list of characters I needed and throughout the day I was stunned by these amazing creatures walking onto the set. It was a very tall order, but she tackled it with a smile and really pulled off an incredible job!

Mar’Keyth Powell, who came out to help with the wardrobe and also ended up being the “blood wrangler” while on set. I already knew that he was a great actor, but he really stepped up to the plate to keep the process running smoothly. One minute he’d be getting someone in costume, the next he’d be spooning out the blood and then gathering up all the messy props to hose off. I really couldn’t have gotten things done so fast without him!

Wayne Burgess, who jumped in as a sound mixer for us. Despite being scheduled for an overnight shift at his “day” job, he stayed with us from beginning to end with an incredible amount of professionalism. He also volunteered for an on-screen role, and really did a great job at adding those special little touches to the character. I’m really looking forward to working with him in the future.

Pat McSherry, who took up the script supervisor position. He was always ready to lend a hand with anything, and worked with a great deal of diligence. He was an absolute joy to have on set, and really helped keep our spirits up as the temperature started dropping!

Mary Dutcher, a very cheerful actress who came out to act as a PA. She was happy to take on one of the character roles, and was also quick to lend a hand whenever she wasn’t on camera or in the makeup chair. It’s always a pleasure to have her in a production!

Devin Payne, who volunteered as a PA. He is relatively new to the craft, but really showed the dedication and drive is so important. He ended up being all over the place as the crew played “musical chairs” with production roles throughout the day, and met the challenge with enthusiasm.

“Big Lou”, who got up before the sun and brought his camper out to the set. In all honesty, this shoot just couldn’t have happened without his generosity in providing and maintaining a portable unit for us to transport supplies, provide necessary facilities, and give the crew someplace comfortable to get out of the cold!

On the set of the “Blood Drive” for Predatory Moon.