Ron Hagell Writer, Director, Co-Producer
Ron has a Master of Fine Art in Film Directing and Screenwriting from Columbia University (NYC) and also studied art and photography at the University of North Carolina, American University (Washington DC.) and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Ron is now a media artist and media practice lecturer having had several former careers including a television producer/director with the television networks PBS and Lifetime (USA), a narrative filmmaker and a US Army officer in Vietnam. Most recently Ron has been teaching film and video practice at Royal Holloway - University of London and at RISD. Over the years he has created and taught various tracks of courses in screenwriting, studio video and contemporary art. Ron’s current practice is in installation art with large screen projections, digital prints and documentary film centered on topics related to Diasporas and family. But, as a photographer and filmmaker, various narrative related projects continue to be a part of his practice.
Shirley Smith Co-Producer
Shirley began her career as a elementary teacher over 30 years ago. Over the course of her career she has created and produced many technology based mathematics and science resources for teachers and students including online courses, teleconferences, video modules, and virtual field trips. She has also been a NASA Fellow at Langley Research Center creating distance learning modules for informal education centers. One of the highlights of her career has been the development of Math in the Middle. She created and produced this series of five instructional units for grades 6-9 integrating mathematics with other subject areas. Each unit contains 12, 20-minute videos, comprehensive teacher guides, online support, and NCTM and NSTA curriculum standards alignment. It is distributed globally and is in the United Streaming digital catalogue. Currently she serves as the technology integration consultant for the Getting To Outcomes research team studying 1:1 implementation. She is a Fulbright Specialist awardee in the area of technology integration for 2012-2017 and holds a Ph.D. In Education from the University of South Carolina. Living the Dream is her first art film production.
Joe has spent the last 25 years as a Director of Photography at SC Educational Television, a PBS affiliate. During that time he has worked with some well known directors including Kirk Browning, considered by many as the premier director bringing the stage to screen. In the beginning of his career, the majority of the shows he shot were dramatic presentations. However, in the last ten to fifteen years, his work has been primarily with shooting documentaries all over the world. He has won a regional Emmy for the documentary SC Burning and nominated for a national Emmy. Among his numerous awards are three CINE Golden Eagle awards including the documentary Sacred Places, a show about churches and cemeteries in Charleston, SC. In Joe's words, "The best way to describe my whole work experience is that I never went to work since 1973. "
Alex graduated in 2011 with a BA in Media Arts and Theater and in May 2013 with a Master's in Media Arts. She has sixteen years of dance training and has performed with the Columbia City Ballet in Cinderella. Her nine film credits prior to acting in Living the Dream were all student films while pursuing her degree as well as three theatre productions. She has also appeared in a handful of music videos and PSA videos.
Aris was born in Athens, Greece and holds a Master's of Science degree from RIT, NY. His appearances include an extra in Sleepy Hollow Pilot on Fox; supporting role in Bloated Minds, Army Wives S7 Ep 9 & S5 Ep 4; extra in Desert Storm, principal in It's Supernatural; extra in Scammed History Channel, Iron Man 3, and Homeland. Living the Dream is his first supporting role in a short film.
Eileen has been a model and sales professional acting in musicals and performances in her local community. She has been an extra in Supernatural, a TV series and in Leatherheads, a feature film. Living the Dream is her first supporting role in a short film.