ABOUT LUNACY

At Lunacy Productions, we feel the best ideas are always a little crazy. An independent production company with offices in Los Angeles, CA and Louisville, KY, we aim to discover emerging storytellers, collaborate with established filmmakers, and create content that resonates with audiences for years to come.

Stu Pollard

Stu Pollard

CEO / Producer / Director

Biography

Harris McCabe

Harris McCabe

Director of Development

Biography

Dan LeVine

Dan LeVine

Post-Production Supervisor

Biography

Alexandra Reinnoldt

Alexandra Reinnoldt

Producer

Biography

Derek Sepe

Derek Sepe

Sound Designer / Producer

Biography

Michelle Jaha

Michelle Jaha

Production Coordinator

Biography

Brian Zager

Brian Zager

Producer (Podcasts, Features) / Videographer

Biography

Lilla Spanyi

Lilla Spanyi

Intern Coordinator / Development

Biography

Clay Ostrom

Clay Ostrom

Strategist (Map & Fire)

Biography

Brandon Sparks

Brandon Sparks

Social Media Coordinator

Biography

Naomi Shroff-Mehta

Naomi Shroff-Mehta

Editor / Development

Biography

Taylor Ellis

Taylor Ellis

Editor

Biography

Ben Cunis

Ben Cunis

Consultant, Trunacy

Biography

Nash

Nash

Director of Doggy Business

Charlie

Charlie

Director of Sleepy Time

The Lunacy Team

 

Stu Pollard

CEO / Producer / Director

RUST CREEK marks the ninth feature film Stu Pollard has produced, in whole or part, in his home state of Kentucky. But he’s produced plenty outside the bluegrass as well, including Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer’s uproarious rom-com PLUS ONE (Winner of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award), Alexandra Shiva’s Syrian refugee documentary THIS IS HOME (produced in partnership with Blumhouse, Winner of 2018 Sundance Audience Award), Ani Simon-Kennedy’s coming of age drama THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD (2019 Tribeca Film Festival) and the marijuana docu-drama FREELAND from Kate McLean and Mario Furloni (World Premiere, SXSW 2020).

Pollard founded Lunacy Productions in 2015 to expand his storytelling horizons and break free of the “one-at-a-time” indie filmmaking model. This has sparked numerous new collaborations with both emerging talent and established creators. Lunacy’s current development slate includes the riveting two-hander THE MAN WHO KNEW BELLE STARR (based on the award-winning Richard Bausch short story and adapted by RUST CREEK writer Julie Lipson); THE TRESTLE, a supernatural thriller revolving around an infamous Kentucky legend; BEGIN RIVER ROAD, a family drama based on a Chris Bohjalian best-seller; and ALAS, BABYLON, a post-apocalyptic survival parable based on Pat Frank’s classic Cold War-era novel.

Television projects in the works include the dark comedy series KAREN CORMIER: DISCOUNT MEDIUM FOR HIRE (written by Ryan Gilmour and Ashley Ellis), and the southern comedy WONDERDOG, based on the novel by Inman Majors. 

Lunacy also has two documentaries in the early stages of production. THE PAUSE GENERATION focuses on 2020 graduates and the unique challenges they are facing in a rapidly-changing world & REDUCTION follows a group of womxn who are considering breast reduction surgery.

Stu has also directed two features: NICE GUYS SLEEP ALONE and KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. In his spare time, he teaches at both Film Independent and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and recently launched LunacyU, an online learning platform, where he teaches his renowned “Indie Film Financing” course. He holds a degree in business from Georgetown and an MFA in film from USC, is a member of the DGA and PGA, and serves on the boards of the Louisville Film Society and GU’s Alumni Board of Regents.

Harris McCabe

Director of Development

A Connecticut native, Harris earned BA’s in English and Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University while working as a film critic for the New Haven Register. He relocated to Los Angeles to earn his MFA in Film and Television Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he focused on writing, directing, and editing. Harris currently serves as Lunacy Productions’ Director of Development, working with writers and producers to strengthen Lunacy’s slate and discover exciting new content.

At Lunacy, Harris oversees numerous projects in development, including the riveting two-hander THE MAN WHO KNEW BELLE STARR (based on the award-winning Richard Bausch short story and adapted by RUST CREEK writer Julie Lipson), the bourbon-soaked caper comedy THE BARNABY LEGACY (written by David McCraken and David Haskell), BEGIN RIVER ROAD, a family drama based on a Chris Bohjalian best-seller, and ALAS, BABYLON, a post-apocalyptic survival parable based on Pat Frank’s classic Cold War era novel.

Along with a keen eye for recognizing riveting and pertinent stories, Harris is also a talented artist, frequently contributing his storyboarding skills to the ongoing development process, and overseeing the Lunacy Productions Blog.

Dan LeVine

Post-Production Supervisor

Dan is a writer, editor, improviser & director. Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, Daniel graduated with an MFA in Film & Television Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and has a BS in Advertising from the University of Florida. In addition to serving as Lunacy’s post-production supervisor & social media coordinator, he also works in comedy development, serves as an online marketing consultant, produces videos for the Eighties Emporium and runs the Lunacy Productions Online Shop. He served as the Assistant Editor on Lunacy’s thriller RUST CREEK, and was the Behind-the-Scenes Post Supervisor for that film as well.

His films have won awards at the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival, the National Telly Awards, and the National Mature Media Awards. He also won a Student Emmy while still in high school. In his spare time, Dan performs musical improv comedy around Los Angeles and is a contributor to the online film publication CineNation.

Alexandra Reinnoldt

Producer

Alexandra discovered her passion for filmmaking while studying for her Bachelor and Master of Science in electrical engineering at USC. She took elective courses in film studies and quickly fell in love with the filmmaking process. After working full-time as an engineer, she decided to return for her third degree, an MFA in Film and TV Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

While she no longer works as an engineer, Alexandra still thinks like one in terms of creative problem solving, and it has served her well in handling film projects restricted by time, money and other resources. At Lunacy, she helps to develop projects on their slate including narrative and documentary features. She also helped launch the online learning platform LunacyU and its first class “Indie Film Financing.” She works as a producer, as well as a production sound mixer and post-production sound editor. In 2019, she was chosen as a sound mixer for the Sundance Directors Lab. 

Born and raised in Sacramento, California, Alexandra always participated in track and cross country. Eventually, she completed the Los Angeles Marathon and decided 26.2 miles was more than enough.

Derek Sepe

Sound Designer / Producer

Derek is a production sound mixer, sound designer, and re-recording mixer. Though he hails from Washington state, Derek has lived in Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, and now Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film & TV Production and has a BA in Mass Communication with a Minor in History and Political Science from Northwest Nazarene University. 

Derek’s work spans the gauntlet of formats and projects encompassing network TV, broadcast, podcasts, documentary and narrative films that have played at festivals across the country including Sundance, SXSW, Atlanta, Palm Springs, and New York.

At Lunacy, he focuses primarily on all things sound-related. Derek crewed as the boom operator and additional sound mixer on RUST CREEK, the audio engineer for Lunacy’s online educational platform, and editor for podcast content. But it doesn’t stop there; he is also a producer – currently involved in the development of ALAS, BABYLON, a post-apocalyptic survival parable based on Pat Frank’s classic Cold War-era novel.

As a former NCAA Division II athlete, Derek also fulfills his passion for track and field as an assistant coach at Trinity High School for Boys in Louisville.

Michelle Jaha

Production Coordinator

Michelle is a Production Designer, Art Director, Graphic Designer, and Production Coordinator. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and a graduate of Xavier University, she put her graphic design degree and visual arts skills to work for films like WHERE HOPE GROWS, The Orchard’s IN THE RADIANT CITY, Hallmark’s THE ULTIMATE LEGACY, and commercials for brands such as ROCK BAND and OCULUS.

In 2016, she moved to Los Angeles to coordinate the digitally remastered MARX BROTHERS’ SILVER SCREEN COLLECTION and feature documentary, THE MARX BROTHERS: HOLLYWOOD’S KINGS OF CHAOS. She served as coordinator for projects such as the remastered original SALEM’S LOT, STORKS, feature documentary HAMMER HORROR: THE WARNER BROS YEARS, and an untitled HARRY POTTER project. In addition to coordinating for Lunacy, Michelle production designs and art directs various music videos and films, including the Netflix thriller THE OPEN HOUSE, and is an aspiring writer.

Brian Zager

Producer (Podcasts, Features) / Videographer

Brian is a producer, podcaster, photographer, and videographer. Brian is currently spearheading Lunacy’s podcast division, with the intention of our first production being released in the fall of 2021.

Originally from Glencoe, Illinois, Brian’s first internship in the industry was with renowned writer, director, and actor Harold Ramis. Brian graduated with an MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He also has a BBA in Business and a degree in Film Studies from Emory University. At Lunacy, he primarily focuses on development and production in both the feature and podcast space. He served as an Assistant Producer on Lunacy’s thriller RUST CREEK, where he was also the behind-the-scenes photographer.

Brian creates content that includes set photography, electronic press kit materials, and behind-the-scenes footage. This has been utilized for film, TV, and digital media properties as well as for companies such as Lunacy, ABC, Super Deluxe, AT&T, and various independent productions. His work has been featured in numerous outlets that include The New York Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Lilla Spanyi

Intern Coordinator / Development

Lilla is a writer, producer, assistant director, and script supervisor. She is currently pursuing an MA in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California, focusing on the study of cultural liminality and liminal spaces in American film. She has also earned a BA in Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies) from USC, in addition to studying Screenwriting and Criminology.

Prior to joining Lunacy, Lilla interned at production and distribution companies such as ShivHans Pictures and Roadside Attractions, and worked as an assistant director on several acclaimed student productions. She also served as the script supervisor on the College Emmy-nominated mini-series CON. 

At Lunacy, Lilla focuses on development and producing, and is one of the lead producers on THE PAUSE GENERATION. She also manages the internship program, and oversees and writes for the Lunacy Productions Blog.

Clay Ostrom

Strategist (Map & Fire)

Clay has over 15 years of experience in brand, marketing, strategy, and research. In addition to helping passionate business leaders grow strong brands , he’s a regular contributor to Foundr Magazine, teaches brand strategy lectures at UCLA, and has worked with companies like Google, Emory University, Sony, and Universal Pictures.

Clay’s primary focus is on brand strategy, customer research, and copywriting. In the past, he’s worn lots of hats from Executive Producer, to Designer, to Head of Product. He’s also enjoyed an unofficial Account Services role where he carefully honed the craft of client therapy.

When not doing mental gymnastics, Clay likes spending time with his amazing wife and son, hiking, surfing, and watching things that make him laugh.

Brandon Sparks

Social Media Coordinator

Brandon is a writer, director, podcaster, and producer. Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Brandon developed his love for storytelling and filmmaking amidst the diverse Southern landscape. He graduated with a BA in Telecommunication and Film from the University of Alabama before attending the University of Southern California where he graduated with an MFA in Film and Television Production. At Lunacy, he primarily focuses on social media and content development, specifically for YouTube.

His films have been shown at various film festivals, including Sidewalk Film Festival, Black Warrior Film Festival, and Austin Film Festival. His screenplays have also placed at such competitions as Screencraft and Shore Scripts. In his spare time, Brandon runs an online media outlet called CineNation. There he hosts and produces a weekly podcast on film genres and film history, while also serving as the head editor of the brand’s online publication.

Naomi Shroff-Mehta

Editor / Development

Naomi Shroff-Mehta is an editor, director, and producer, currently enrolled in USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Film and Television Production MFA program. She is originally from Washington, D.C, and is a graduate of Scripps College, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience and Media Studies. After working in neuroscience research, Naomi realized that storytelling was her true passion, and decided to pursue a production career in film and television.

Since her first semester at USC, she has already worked on a number of advanced productions, and has been loving her career switch ever since. After completing her Lunacy Summer Internship in 2020, Naomi has continued working with the team as a freelance editor. Outside of Lunacy and school, Naomi enjoys hiking, good food, and annoying her family about a film’s editing choices whenever they have movie night.

Taylor Ellis

Editor

Taylor is an editor, writer, and director. He majored in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California, where he took in as much filmmaking knowledge as he could, from the pre- to post-production process. After his intro to Lunacy as an intern in the summer of 2020, he joined the team as a freelance editor. Taylor has worked on the Indie Film Financing course, sizzle reels, social media content, and more while at Lunacy.

During his time at USC, Taylor wrote and directed several short films of his own while managing full course loads and internships. 

In his free time, Taylor can be found making short films, going to the beach, practicing his photography, or obsessively logging films on his Letterboxd.

Ben Cunis

Consultant, Trunacy

Ben Cunis is a director, producer, fundraiser, stunt coordinator, and performer. Prior to moving to LA, he lived in Washington, DC, where he primarily worked as an actor, director, and fight choreographer at the renowned physical theater company Synetic Theater. While in DC he also directed and/or produced several films and a web series, and won multiple Helen Hayes awards for choreography and performance. He graduated with an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and holds a BA in Drama from Catholic University. His films and series have been featured at the ITVfest in Los Angeles, the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival and the Studio City Film Festival. While in DC he also worked as a fundraiser, writing numerous successful grant proposals to private foundations, corporate foundations, and government agencies such as the NEA. 

At Lunacy, he is involved in fundraising and strategy for various projects, as well as assisting in the creation of Trunacy, a non-profit organization benefiting developing filmmakers and families seeking to preserve their family history. 

When he’s not madly working on projects, he enjoys his time at home with his wife Betsy and two cats, Max and Furiosa, whose names are perfect.