Director, Co-writer, Producer, Editor, Visual Effects:
DEN SERRAS is a journeyman in the entertainment, art, and commercial worlds. He has directed over a dozen short films in the past five years, as well as industrial videos for corporate clients in the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. He has also directed numerous theatre productions, and since graduation from UC Berkeley in 1993, has been involved with internationally recognized theaters including the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and the Royal Court Theatre in London. Den has a solid professional digital background, having worked in art, design and photography since the mid-80's. As an independent designer and with his company, Matterworks, he has created award-winning websites, print material, interactive kiosks, advertising, and live trade show presentations since 1990. Some of his design clients have included Adobe Systems, Novell, and Time Warner. Den has attended USC's School of Cinema/Television since January 2000 and received his MFA in Production when Seven Swans was completed, fall 2004. This project is the result of many years of work as both a technical pioneer and as an artist, and he thanks his family and friends for all the wonderful support they have given.

Writer, Associate Producer, Elise
NIKA SERRAS, Den's wife and partner, wears more hats than perhaps anyone else on the crew. She is co-writer on the project, the lead of the film, and shares credits for diverse tasks such as casting, producing, and on-set yoga instructor. She is a recent graduate of the California Institute of the Arts' Masters in Acting program, where she distinguished herself as the lead in numerous productions. Other experience includes five years as a lead actor with a repertory Shakespeare company (where she met Den), and a BA in Theatre from the University of New Hampshire. She also occasionally designs and constructs masks for professional theatre companies. This project marks her debut as a screenwriter, but she has written two full-length plays and is a sought-after editor by her friends and colleagues. Her one-woman show,
Visions and Inquisitions, has been seen in Valencia and Los Angeles to rave audience reviews.

After completing her degree in Dramatic Art at U.C. Berkeley, Kate Kelsey moved to Los Angeles and became active member of the West Coast Ensemble theatre company. She also worked at USC during this time frame and began attending film classes there. Her interest in filmmaking soon surpassed that of the theater and she began attending school full time as an MFA student in USC's School of Cinema/Television's Production degree program in 1999. While attending the school, Kate wrote and directed numerous short films. She did the production sound and sound edit for the student Emmy award-winning film, Desertopia and co-produced Echo with Dennis Serras. She began work on Seven Swans with Den in the fall of 2002. The project became a long, and rewarding journey. Kate thanks Den, Nika, and the cast and crew of this film for devoting their energy and creativity to this project.

Director of Photography:
PYONG YIM. Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Boston, Pyong Yim has always loved poetry and photography. Her filmmaking journey began when she was awarded a grant from Wellesley College to produce a video on Zapotec women in Oaxaca, Mexico. Since then, Pyong has pursued filmmaking full time. As a graduate student at the USC School of Cinema-Television, she wrote and directed a short film entitled Stone. Currently, she works as a freelance cinematographer and camera/lighting assistant in Los Angeles.

Visual Effects:

Sound Designer, Co-Composer:
LEON ROTHENBERG is a Sound Designer and Composer, currently working as the resident Assistant Sound Designer for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas and Montreal.  Film Credits with Den Serras also include Dominion and Duel. Other film credits include Valiant, set for 2005 release by Walt Disney/Vanguard, Things Fall Apart, Bride in Black, Ultima Thule with Puppetry Artist Janie Geiser, The Projects Lumière (which won a Student Academy Award) and Living to be 100. Recent theatrical designs include Beckett's Eh Joe/Play directed by Brett Jacobs and The Sandman directed by Josh Moyse. With director Matthew Wilder, Leon designed American Magic both Off-Broadway and in LA, Charles L. Mee Jr.'s Songs of Joy and Destitution at the Open Fist Theater and Trojan Women: A Love Story at CalArts Ensemble Theater. Recent Musical Theater credits include the critically acclaimed Jesus' Kid Brother at The Hudson Mainstage, Babes In Arms (designed by Phillip G. Allen) for which he was the production sound engineer, and I Sing at the Powerhouse Theater. This past summer he designed King Lear at The Frictions Festival 2003 in Dijon, France, produced by the Center for New Theater at California Institute of the Arts. Leon has also designed Bad Behavior with Richard Foreman and Listen to Me by Gertrude Stein directed by Michael Counts. Leon was nominated for a 2002 LA Ovation Award and a NAACP Theater Award for the production of King Lear in LA.  He is a founding member of Blank the Dog, a theater company in LA formed to produce new works. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theater from California Institute of the Arts where he is also on faculty, a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Oberlin Conservatory and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Oberlin College.

T.J. Troy combines an ecclectic knowledge of percussion from around the world with his innate musicality to create a distinct and powerful voice in the contemporary music world. Known for his high energy performance and broad range of disciplines, T.J. regularly appears with groups such as MESTO, Freshly Squeezed, Youm It Talaata, and the Elvis Schoenburg Orchestra Surreal. His compositions have been performed by such groups as the University of Michigan Creative Arts Orchestra, OK Composer, and Condensation. Score credits include the percussion score to Jack Glisson's Living to be 100, in addition to the recent Blank the Dog production of Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, directed by Nataki Garrett. His piece Great Western Railway for five percussionists was performed at the inauguration of the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in November of 2003. He has performed on numerous film and television soundtracks, including Desperate Housewives, 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story, and the upcoming Control. T.J. received his Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Michigan, studying with Michael Udow, Michael Gould, Julie Spencer, and Salvatore Rabbio. In 1999, he relocated to California to pursue his Master of Fine Arts degree, specializing in Percussion, from the California Institute of the Arts. There and beyond, his instructors have been David Johnson, John Bergamo, Randy Gloss, and Swapan Chaudhuri. Currently stationed in Los Angeles, T.J. has performed extensively throughout the United States, and maintains a rigourous performance schedule throughout the year.

Production Designer:

Costume Designer, Concept Writer:
PASCALE NYBY has an MFA from The California Institute of the Arts. She's currently working on the HBO series Black Tie as the costume designer, and recently finished working on  Emmanuelle (series of feature films), and the Cinemax series Blue Hotel II. Her theater projects include Henry V, directed by CalArts professor Mary Lou Rosato, and MacBeth. Thanks very much to her parents, Kirk and Ines Nyby, and her grandparents Gunther and Anita Haehn.

Puppet Master:
BETH PETERSON has been puppeteering and creating puppets, masks and parades for over a decade at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT). She has travelled to China, South Korea and the Dominican Republic with tiny suitcase shows and with giant HOBT pageants. Most recently, she created public art with LA Commons in Los Angeles and designed and directed a puppet and mask version of "Wild Swans" at HOBT in Minneapolis.

Cast Crew 10.2 Cinewave 75th Anniversary USC Cinema-Televsion Return to Matterworks
Director's Notes