Creative Production Team On The Film

Here’s a quick look behind the scenes of the making of Trouble Is My Business:

Film is by its very nature a highly collaborative medium.

Many people have come together to create the first part of our film, Trouble Is My Business. But collaboration doesn’t just occur when the cameras are rolling.  For us, this project began when Tom and Brittney put their creative heads together and began working out the story.  The collaboration continued with the people who helped us raise the money to shoot the opening of the film and amped up with all of the people in production, cast and crew, who helped make what we have shot so far.  And so, it will continue….


But for now, here are those who have been key in the creative process of making this film noir project a reality.



Tom Konkle as noir detective, Roland DrakeTOM KONKLE, Writer,  Director, Roland Drake

Tom is a partner in Lumen Actus, LLC and has over 20 years of experience directing as well as being a professional actor and writer.   Currently, staff writer at Warner Brothers working on Be Cool Scooby Doo. Tom’s thesis project in film school, Infestation, won Best Short Feature with The American Film Institute (AFI) as well as the American University film festival in Washington D.C. where he received degrees in film, television and theater which brought him to Los Angeles.  In LA, Tom has directed and edited specialty films, television, such as Writer’s Block, Gabby’s Choice, The Making of The Arrival, Lifestyles of the Dull and Tasteless as well as numerous industrial films, PSAs and short films.   He has worked 2nd unit on many productions as a director as well.   Over the years, Tom has had the opportunity to learn on the job with directors like Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), James Burrows (Friends, Frasier, Cheers!), Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, The Field, The Name of the Father), and producer Graham Ford  (Time Bandits, Brazil, Gandhi).  Tom has directed nearly hundred original live shows around the country over ten years as well as having completed the television pilot, McFwap!  and its spin off film, The Archaeology of Comedy. His stage career is extensive with shows including The Real Inspector Hound, Beyond The Fringe, Clare and Tom: A One Woman Show, Loot, Nevermore: The Black Cat, Good Night, Britcom, Double Act, Dave & Tom: a Tribute to Dave & Tom and many others.  The remaining Monty Python members asked him to direct, perform and taint their never before seen sketches live in a show called Owl-Stretching Time. Tom was a series regular on NBC’s Spy TV, Sci-Fi Channel’s Scare Tactics and numerous guest star roles on Community, Luck, The Game, Fox’s The Orlando Jones Show and Arrested Development, The Office, and Back To You.  Tom wrote for and starred in a two man television sketch show with John Cleese called The Art of Football.   Tom is also in  development to  direct the sci-fi horror feature, Animus.


Brittney Powell as the blonde femme fatale, Jennifer


BRITTNEY POWELL, Writer, Associate Producer, Katherine & Jennifer Montemar

After being trotted around the globe with her military family, at the tender age of nineteen Brittney moved to Hollywood to pursue acting. Almost immediately, Brittney caught the attention of Icon Entertainment and was cast as their leading actress in the ever popular coming of age film, “Airborne”, alongside Jack Black and Seth Green.  As she blossomed as an actress, she began working with such accomplished Directors as Tom Hanks, Oliver Stone, and Rob Bowman.  Brittney has been woo-ed by the likes of “Chandler” at “The Central Perk” in “Friends”.  She caught the eye of “Charlie” on “Two and a Half Men”.  She has addressed both James Brolin and Robert Conrad as “Daddy”… While playing Mr. Brolin’s daughter on “Pensacola Wings of Gold”, and Mr. Conrad’s daughter on “High Sierra Search and Rescue”.  After working with television Icon Aaron Spelling as a series regular on “Pacific Palisades”, he began repeatedly casting her as main characters on his other hit shows “Beverly Hills Brittney Powell plays the dark femme fatale, Catherine90210”,  and “Titans”, until she was asked by the show’s producer, Chuck Pratt, to join him over on “General Hospital” for the contract role of “Summer”, playing on camera with Multi Daytime Emmy Winner Tony Geary.  She teamed with the Lumen Actus principals for their off it’s rocker series, “Safety Geeks: SVI,” which has not only garnered awards throughout the web, amassed well over 14 million aggregate views worldwide, and enjoyed being touted the first live action 3D comedy series in the world, but was just released on 3D Blu-ray.

Brittney believes that she works in the toy department of life… and that unicorns are real.






David Beeler as noir investigator, Lew MacDonaldDAVID BEELER, Associate Producer, Lew MacDonald

David was a partner in Lumen Actus, LLC.  Born and raised in Kerrville Texas, David went to school in London and trained at The Central School of Speech & Drama while Laurence Olivier was the President of the school.  Ironically, David funded his UK training by writing and producing plays in Texas. In essence, he paid for school by doing what he was going to school to learn to do. David was “over there” for 10 years and highlights include: playing Hamlet in both Kenilworth Castle and London, Ritchie Valens in Buddy, Puck, Edmund, and being directed in “The Scottish Play” by Dame Judi Dench. David helmed two theatre production companies while in the UK.  Booth, a one man show (written and performed by David), won a Fringe 1st at the Edinburgh Festival, as did an ensemble piece about John Wilkes Booth entitled Our Brutus which transferred to London and led to a writing commission from a West End producer.  In LA, David has been in Beyond the Fringe (LA Weekly Comedy Pick of The Week), as well as The Real Inspector Hound, Good Evening, Owl-Stretching Time, the world premier of unseen Monty Python sketches. With comedy partner, Tom Konkle, he co-wrote for the stage Good Night, Double Act and Dave & Tom: a Tribute to Dave & Tom.  Feature length films includ Red Skies, LA Twister (winner, Best Ensemble, Monte Carlo Film Festival) and Jack the Reaper (winner for Best Independent Horror Film at Cannes).  David was a member of the sketch troupe, Lester McFwap, with numerous live performances in LA and across the country. The McFwap members also produced the eponymous, TV pilot, McFwap!  Aside from numerous short films online, Dave and Tom produced the feature length comedy, The Archaeology of Comedy. Dave and Tom also wrote the feature film, Rescue U, and the television pilots,  Rebel D & The Pacemakers and The Apple Falls Far.  David stars as Brian Forbes in Invention with Brian Forbes, co-wrote and produced with Tom the award winning, Safety Geeks: 3D.  He has appeared in over 60 national commercials, several of which aired in various Super Bowls.  He and his wife, Marieke, are busy with their latest productions, their two sons, Chayim (“Kai”) and Ryder.


THOR MELSTED, DIT, Digital God of Thunder

Thor is an authentic Viking, born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland. A film fanatic almost from birth, Thor was certified in mechanics and engineering, but realized he had a deeper calling– his love of film.  He moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to go to film school and pursue his dreams. Since then, his experiences have been varied, both in and out of the film industry. He has directed, produced, shot, edited and created visual effects for various projects, and has written software for several industries including custom post production workflow tools. Thor has collaborated with Dave Beeler and Tom Konkle on numerous film projects, including the award winning Safety Geeks SVI and Invention with Brian Forbes, among others. With a background mixed with technical and artistic endeavors and his extensive knowledge of both – being perfectly at home discussing story arcs, character motivation and camera moves as well as the inner workings of an iPad – he’s a strong liaison between the technical and artistic departments of the filmmaking process from concept to post-production.  Thor has collaborated with Lumen Actus, LLC on a number of projects.




JESSE ARNOLD, Cinematographer/Camera

P.J. GAYNARD, Cinematographer

PJ and Tom have collaborated on four film projects and PJ will DP the upcoming Lumen Actus feature, Animus, directed by Tom. They share a simpatico and short-hand that is not only vital for the creative process, but essential when working with tightly resourced films.  “I know when to be fast. My shooting style augments what is already at a location; being creative with the tools at hand.”

PJ was born in the San Diego. Before he was a year old his family moved back to South Western Pennsylvania. After high school, PJ moved to Rochester, New York to pursue a degree in industrial engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.  While in his freshman year he found himself helping film students make their projects and eventually began making his own.

PJ quickly changed majors to Film/Video/Animation.  When not busy at school, he found time to be a writer and editor of the student magazine, work as a bar/club/event DJ, work as a dinner theater actor, work as a crew member on local independent films, become a published poet several times over, and work at Instructional Television at The National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

PJ also spent a summer interning at Nickelodeon’s On-Air promos department in New York City. Before PJ left New York City, Nickelodeon had hired him as a freelance producers assistant.

After graduating from RIT with a Bachelor of fine arts, PJ AD-ed several shorts and one feature. He worked as a broadcast engineer for the local PBS affiliate.  PJ was given a chance to work as an apprentice to a Gaffer in Boston. He spent a year and half honing his lighting skills in Boston. While there he gaffed his first feature, Dance By Design.

After marrying Cindy Carle, PJ moved to LA and joined IATSE Local 728 as a set lighting technician. He formed a cohesive LA team and made two short films, Love Sick Love, and Rooftop which have won multiple awards. PJ was the cinematographer on Syfy’s Mercury Men.

Director of Photography Jesse Arnold.

Additional DP and Camera Joey Rassol.

RALPH KING, Co-Lighting Supervisor

We are very fortunate to have this master of light and shadow working with us to capture the feel and style of classic noir.

Ralph is a well respected industry veteran commercial photographer,  film and video director, cameraman, producer, post production supervisor, editor and high definition specialist.  He has vast experience in  film production –  pre-production through post to final content in all media forms.

Ralph’s work with DP’s to facilitate their vision, assist their needs and keep the technical needs in line without interruption to the creative process is well known in the industry.






MICHAEL J. SMITH,  Executive Producer and Visual Effects Supervisor

Michael is a partner in Lumen Actus, LLC and has been fusing artistry and technology in media for over a decade on screens ranging from iPods to 100 foot dome theaters.  Bringing a wizard-like mastery of film, digital media, theme park attractions and ground-breaking stereoscopic R&D to his various pursuits, Michael has lead technical and visual effects work on the award winning Safety Geeks 3D, the VES nominated Firebirds Across America and Flight of the Dragon, two large-format ride-films for Chinese theme park developer OCT, Ben 10: Race Against Time, for Cartoon Network, Journey to Madagascar for Universal Studio’s Singapore, Curse of the Darkastle for Busch Gardens, Who Killed the Idea for BMW Films Europe, title sequence work for CBS Television and Warner Brothers Television, NBC Sports, post/VFX work on commercials for clients like ESPN, Toyota, Disney Interactive, Nintendo, Sega, InDemand, and the Discovery Channel, in addition music videos, broadcast graphics packages, and short films. Michael Smith holds an animation degree from the Art Institute of Seattle.


KIMBERLY STRONG,  Associate Producer



REED JOHNS, Production Designer


RAE DESLICH,  Production Designer

Rae Deslich comes from a diverse background, studying history, culture, computer science, fashion, metalworking, and other crafts, before finally settling into film and earning her degree from Columbia College Chicago and focusing on Production Design. She worked for three years in Chicago’s indie film scene, doing everything from in the art department from production designing indie music videos, to set decorating major features and running props on national TV movies. After working in Atlanta, Iowa, Louisiana, and Central America, Rae now lives and works in Los Angeles.








CHANTAL FILSON,  Wardrobe Consultant

Her website

ERIC SHANE JOHNSON, Costume Designer

Eric’s inate sense of design, and costuming began  early when, at age 6, he made new clothes for his threadbare Winnie the Pooh.  Spending most of his childhood in theater, prepared him for studying drama at San Francisco State University.  Since moving to LA, 16 years ago, Eric has worked on various projects as designer, dressmaker, and on-set costumer.  These include the popular series Ask Grim, and the Webbie Award winning short, Death Inc.  He designed and built the mascot costume for The Good Virus, a documentary about kindness.  Recently, Eric worked on the sets of a feature film with Elijah Wood and a pilot for Fox; both to be released in the fall.








Sabrina Sweet born in Los Angeles California, comes from a family active in the Motion picture & television industry since the 1920’s.  She became a professional hair & makeup artist at the age of 19. Some of her television and feature film credits include Survivor, Thanks for a Greatful Nation, Dance Revolution and Dean Quixote. She has also lent her talents to Advertising, editorial, commercials and music videos. Sabrina has worked with celebrities and musicians including Denzel Washington, Jane Seymour, Bob Saget, Kenny G, Train and KISS.  Please visit her portfolio on line at .





TRIP BROCK, Sound Designer/Mixer

Trip Brock owns Monkeyland Audio, an award winning sound design company. For over 15 years, Monkeyland has become a leader in the world of audio post production. In the last year, they have successfully completed full sound editorial and mix on over 30 feature films and documentaries, including  Toronto favorites Dirty Girl and Everything Must Go, starring Will Ferrell, both of which were picked up for distribution by the Weinstein Company and Lionsgate, respectively.  His full sound editorial and final mix for Lost Boys: The Thirst, garnered an MPSE Golden Reel nomination for sound editing in the straight-to-video category, as well as a CAS Award nod in the field of mixing. Space Chimps was also nominated for a CAS Award for mixing. The Monkeyland ADR stages were employed for a number of feature, television, and commercial projects, most notably Piranha 3-D, Faster, Easy Rider 2, Secret Life of Dorks and Columbus Circle. Their facilities in Burbank features 5 Mixing Stages, 2 ADR Stages, Foley Stage and full in house editorial.


YANCEY “PON” FRANCO, On Set Sound Mixer

As a sound mixer, ‘Pon’ as he is sometimes called, has no photographs.  Sound mixers tend to be elusive to the eye, even when involved in the action as they must work to cast no shadow.  This ‘Pon’ has been rumored to have been lurking on sets for three years and an urban legend within the film community is that ‘Pon’ is actually a ninja.  With a boom pole. And a really nice guy.


1st Assistant Director
Victor Solis

Second Assistant Director
Michelle Sugihara

Camera Operator, A-camera
Jesse Arnold

1st Assistant Camera, A-camera
Jordan Lanham

Camera Operator, B-camera
Seth Johnson

1st Assistant Camera, B-Camera
Rogelio Mosqueda

2nd Assistant Camera
Alex Keeme

Key Grip
Bobby Crocket

Best Boy Grip
Isabelo Pascual

Benjamin Smythe

Rigging Best Boy Electric
Michael Shanman

Best Boy Electrician
Jack Alexander

David Lech

Set Dresser
Alexx Bonovich

Set Dresser
Alissa Giacona

Set Dresser (Swing)
Ryan Stanley

Assistant Make-Up Artist/Set Production Assistant
Stephanie Unguez

Set Production Assistant
Karlos “KC” Cortez