Meet The Crew

Derek Braasch
Owner/Director

Derek grew up in South Holland, IL and lived there for most of his life. He gained a love for films at an early age, particularly films containing gore and nudity. Late night HBO & Cinemax provided for Derek's very early film education. At age 10, Derek picked up his first camcorder (his Dad's VHS Sears brand camera) and began making short films. 

 

Derek took his first film class as a Junior in High School, Mass Media, which was the class that inspired him to make films. His instructor, Bernie Jablonski taught Derek the fundamentals of what goes into making a film. He learned the basics in lighting, shot composition, music and score. 

 

Derek went on to attend Community College for his Associates Degree, and later attended film school at Columbia College, Chicago. Film school gave Derek the tools and knowledge to make films, but he gained most of his hands-on knowledge and experience by creating his own films. 

 

Derek received his first on-set experience working for Cool Movies Productions under director Tom Vollmann. Under Tom's guidance, Derek was able to experience acting, writing, directing, lighting, sound, and cinematography. Derek will never forget this experience, or Tom. May he rest in peace.

 

The second filmmaker and mentor Derek worked for was Kevin Mukherji of Magnum Independent Pictures. Derek as well, learned the fundamentals of filmmaking and is grateful that he continues to learn from Kevin today.

Nina Trader-Braasch
Owner/Makeup Artist/Actress/Singer/Production Manager

Nina has always been a theatre kid and started singing and performing at an early age. She began working on film sets when she met her now husband, Derek, and has worked many jobs on set including Unit Production Manager, Makeup Artist, Special FX Makeup Artist, Producer, Script Supervisor, Writer, Boom Operator, Sound Recordist and more.

In her free time, Nina loves to sing and act. She has been in countless theatre productions and concerts and recently has added some on camera roles to her repertoire including roles in Mutilation Massacre, Eyes of Deception and the upcoming drama Guardian Angel.

Nina is also a freelance Makeup Artist, specializing in weddings, events and photo shoots. Find her on Facebook to book her for your upcoming wedding or event: www.facebook.com/ninatradermakeup or email her at ntmakeup12@gmail.com

Anthony Pellizzeri
Producer/Assistant Director/Writer/Actor 

Anthony Michael Pellizzeri was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 5, 1988, to Helen Lewis Heyza and Alessandro James Pellizzeri. He attended Prospect High School which is where he began writing. In 2008 his father introduced him to Derek Braasch an independent filmmaker. In 2013 he wrote, directed, and produced his first short film (Last Day of Your Life) with the help of Derek Braasch. Together along with Mike Miller; they wrote the feature film Murder for Pleasure (2015). With a number of projects under his belt he continues to push forward with the horror genre with plans to write and direct a feature of his own. 

Anthony Cooney
Producer/Assistant Director/Writer/Actor 

Anthony Cooney is the writer and director of horror/comedy films, Leaf Blower Massacre 1 (2013), Leaf Blower Massacre 2 (2017) and Dirty Sanchez (2013). Anthony also worked as producer and actor on the Faux Pas Films production, Candie's Harem. Most recently, Anthony has teamed up with Cheevies Film Productions on their films, The Clown Dies @ Midnight, Mutilation Massacre, The Lazy Werewolf and Eyes of Deception. Anthony is also teaming up with Cheevies on their upcoming projects in 2018, Redder and Guardian Angel.

Chris Smith
Editor

Chris Smith is a freelance editor and motion graphics artist. He has been working with Cheevies Film Productions since 2015, which is around the same time he first began doing freelance editing work.  Since then he's worked on countless projects with Cheevies such as Mentis and The Lazy Werewolf.

If you’d like to know more about his film services, please reach out to him via email at (crsfilm@gmail.com) and check out his website (crsfilm.com). Chris loves helping people put the finishing touches on their projects.

 

Sean Czaja
Cinematographer/Editor

Sean Czaja is known for co-producing InSpectres (2013), cinematography for Mutilation Massacre (2017), Hellraiser: What’s Your Pleasure (2015), Betrayal: The Blackwood Project (2012).

Adam Mantoan
Editor/Actor

Adam Mantoan graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2006 with a bachelors degree in Film/Video and a concentration in Directing. Soon after graduating Adam produced, wrote, directed, and edited numerous short films. This eventually branched out into Adam becoming a freelance editor, which he has been doing since. He has edited multiple short films, features and music videos. In 2012 Adam began freelancing as a production assistant, helping the production on commercials throughout the Chicagoland area. In 2017 he transitioned from PA to Assistant Director for numerous commercials in Chicago. Adam has also acted as an extra in multiple commercials that have been shown nationwide. Adam continues to help out in numerous ways within the film media and loves expanding his horizons and learning new aspects of film.

Brian Broscoe
Editor/Composer/DVD Artwork/Actor

Brian has been a "jack of all trades" for Cheevies since day one. He has been involved with Cheevies since the very beginning, starring in several films and editing/scoring and coming up with the dvd artwork for countless projects. Brian's most recent work for Cheevies can be seen in The Clown Dies @ Midnight, in which he scored, voiced, and created the dvd artwork. Brian has worked on Right in Front of Your Eyes, The Icing, Murder For Pleasure, Hernandez, Tentacles, Mentis & The Clown Dies @ Midnight, to name a few.

Becky Crawford
Casting Director/Assistant Director/Actor

Becky has previously worked with Cheevies Films on Murder for Pleasure as Casting Director, as well as playing Victors Mom. Becky has a background in theatre, and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from Elmhurst College.  She has done many community theatre shows and is currently a member of Grove Players Theatre in Downers Grove.  She is excited to be working on some of Cheevies' upcoming projects:

  • Teenage rom-com, Chasing The One, as Casting Director and First Assistant Director

  • Short drama, Guardian Angel, playing the Nurse

Becky Lange
Grip/Gaffer/Assistant Director

Becky has been a part of the Cheevies family since 2007. Her film debut was as Art Director and Gaffer for Murder for Pleasure. Past lighting credits include Hernandez, T is for Tentacles, The Clown Dies @ Midnight, Mentis and Mutilation Massacre. Whenever she is not working on films, Becky is active backstage in her local theatre.

Frances Mullozzi
Special FX Artist / Props and Prosthetics Artist

Frances Mullozzi has been in the makeup industry for seven years. Her background includes 4 years of

beauty and SFX education and is certified in beauty artistry. She is a beauty educator and freelance

artist. Fields of work include weddings, photo shoots, runway, film, television, music video, theater and

haunt attractions. Some of her accomplishments include, Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, Chicago Fire,

Lyric Opera of Chicago, and partnered with fellow artist Brandon Borgman for their Cheevies Film Productions debut, Mutilation Massacre. She has also been chosen to be Midnight Syndicates artist of the month in 2015.

Her favorite genre is horror and loves to create realistic and stylized makeups. She also enjoys creating

fantasy and beauty looks. Frances is a huge fan of Fangoria magazine, Rob Zombie, Tom Savini, and the legend Rick Baker, who is her inspiration for becoming an SFX artist. Her favorite horror movies include An American Werewolf in London, Halloween, The Evil Dead, The Lost Boys, and Day of The Dead.

Frances considers herself to be a well rounded artist who loves to work on different types of artistry projects.

Brandon Borgman
Special FX Artist / Props and Prosthetics Artist

Demons, Orcs, Alien Armor, Dragon Heads, Mechanical Skulls, Steampunk Weaponry, Zombies, and Severed Heads/Limbs are just a few of Brandon’s favorite projects from recent years.

Before creating Special FX and Props for use on film, Brandon’s background was primarily in Fine Arts Sculpting, 2D Drawing and Print Making, and 3D Metal and Wood Working. His love of movies goes back to his early childhood where he was fortunate enough to have parents who introduced him to movies like Willow, Star Wars, and the Dark Crystal. Brandon’s absolute favorite movies growing up were Predator and Aliens. He remembers watching with his best friends, pretending to be Hicks or Dutch, hiding behind couches, and pretending nerf guns were pulse rifles. As he grew up watching Horror Movies like The Thing, Hellraiser, Lost Boys, and Interview with the Vampire, Brandon’s interest in the Special FX industry grew. 

With a focus on realism and detail, Brandon constantly strives to create props and prosthetics that are increasingly indistinguishable from the real thing. His belief is that the best Special Effects are the ones that the audience doesn’t realize they’re looking at. Suspending the disbelief of the audience to create truly amazing or terrifying moments is what drives Brandon’s Special FX and Prop making ambitions, and he is honored and excited to be working with Cheevies Film Productions. 

Brandon Borgman, working with fellow Special FX Artist Frances Mullozzi, created the props and special effects used in the Cheevies Short Film: Mutilation Massacre.

Ian Ogdon
Sound Recordist/Boom Operator

Ian is a lifelong musician and film aficionado. He plays the bass guitar in multiple bands and has done cinematography, editing, acting, and sound recording.

 

As a member of the Cheevies Crew he has worked on several projects including The Clown Dies at Midnight, Mentis, Don’t Pull Out, Redder, and most recently Mutilation Massacre.

 

He currently continues to work on new film projects and he also co-created and stars in the Pixelated Reviews video series on YouTube.

Henry Frias Leon
Assistant Director/Editor/Actor

Henry has been working with Cheevies since 2015 and has done numerous projects with them. He has assistant directed, acted, edited & worked sound. A few of the films he has worked on with Cheevies are: Web of Death, The Lazy Werewolf, Mentis, The Clown Dies @ Midnight & Mutilation Massacre. He will be editing Cheevies' upcoming film, Guardian Angel.

Henry also owns his own production company, Death is Coming Productions, where he shoots, directs and produces his own projects such as Egg Nog, Necroplasmosis and his first feature, Stay out of the Woods.

Henry also just started his own web series in collaboration with Ian Ogdon on YouTube, Pixelated Reviews. 

Joey Horist
Writer/Script Supervisor

Joey has been associated with Cheevies Films since mid-2014. His main duties initially were to serve as the team’s script supervisor, noting any changes on the set and making sure that the actors and actresses know their lines.

 

Outside of those immediate duties, he has other talents that are also of good use. Being an aspiring screenwriter, he is familiar with script formatting and can read one with ease. He is always working to come up with new and creative ideas that can be implemented in his writing. Whether it is just brainstorming or some of the more technical aspects of filming, his particular set of talents are nothing to neglect.

 

He wrote his own short film, Mentis, which Cheevies produced, currently making the film festival rounds and available for purchase on DVD.

Pat O'Sullivan
Writer/Assistant Director/Producer

Pat has been working with Cheevies since 2003 on various projects.  He was a production assistant on The Icing, helped produce Murder For Pleasure, The Clown Dies @ Midnight & Mutilation Massacre, wrote Hernandez & Tentacles and has acted in Hernandez, She's a Doll, Web of Death & Mentis. Pat will also be working on our upcoming projects, Chasing The One and Guardian Angel. 

Amber Hajkowicz
Special FX Makeup Artist

Amber is a self-taught Special FX Makeup Artist and Licensed Esthetican. She has helped out with makeup effects for a few of Cheevies Films including Killer Claus, Mentis, Redder, The Clown Dies @ Midnight, Prodigy and The Vampires Codex.

Brian Hennigan
Boom Operator/Sound Recordist

Brian Hennigan is just a typical sound guy, well reserved, slightly off, but full of passion for the right things. He hasn't had the best of luck in the very hard to get into film industry, but Cheevies is helping him change that, which he is super thrilled about.

Brian started working for Cheevies in the middle of last year, and has been very lucky to have been a part of 3 different projects so far. First, he was mixer and sound recordist for the final day of Mutilation Massacre. The next project was the 48 hour film festival. That was a lot of fun to work on! He also was boom operator for one of the final shooting days of The Prodigy, and that shoot was fantastic. Brian really enjoys working with this company, and is very much looking forward to what the future holds, because this kind of work is what he loves to do! 

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