The People Who Tell Our Stories.

Since 2013, we’ve been teaming up with some really talented filmmakers.

  • Andy Greskoviak

    From the moment that Andy Greskoviak began telling stories for The Slate, we knew that he’d be an invaluable addition to our team. As the Slate’s Creative Director, and the screenwriter for hilarious dark-comedy/horror thriller Black Friday starring Bruce Campbell, Michael Jai White, Devon Sawa, and Ivana Baquero, Andy brings a level of storytelling originality to The Slate that is unparalleled by most screenwriters working in the industry today.

    Drawing upon his comedic training at places like The Groundlings and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Andy is able to create stories for The Slate that are both playful and polished, and his work often makes everyone on The Slate team wish we were already on set, telling his stories!

    After spending years writing specs, and paying his creative dues, Andy is inspired to serve as The Slate’s chief storyteller, as well as an artist that consistently thinks about helping other artists break into the industry.

  • Leilani Downer

    Leilani Downer

    As The Slate’s Head of Career Development, as well as a frequent creative contributor, Leilani Downer is who The Slate relies upon to ensure that the stories we’re telling can impact the careers of the actors, writers, and directors who work on them. Whether she’s collaborating with WGA screenwriters to tell our stories or creating an original narrative herself, Leilani is always trying to advance the careers of other artists.   

    After breaking into the industry the hard way- knocking on doors and sending spec scripts to executives- Leilani began her professional career by writing, producing, and story-editing for popular TV comedies such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Growing Pains, Sister Sister, and Hangin’; with Mr. Cooper.  Since then, Leilani has been working steadily in Hollywood for a wide variety of networks including Netflix and the Hallmark Channel, and most recently wrote for the Netflix original production Julie and the Phantoms starring Madison Reyes, Charlie Gillespie, and Owen Patrick Joyner.

    Despite experiencing industry success, Leilani never strayed from her ultimate mission of creating opportunities for all types of artists.  Her unique ability to spot other talented writers in our industry, coupled with her tendency to create opportunities for deserving artists makes her the ideal person to develop the stories we create.  

    Because Leilani’s writing often allows audiences to connect with ordinary people in extraordinary ways, she penned two shorts for the slate in 2020 which were exclusively cast with our actors:  7-11, the story of a COVID nurse visited during the pandemic by the spirit of a former patient, and Mixtape, a short film about starting over romantically late in life.  

    Currently, Leilani is finding more amazing writers for the Slate, while continuing to write for film and TV.

  • Hanelle Culpepper

    Hanelle Culpepper

    In 2013 and 2015, The Slate teamed up with visionary TV director Hanelle Culpepper (90210, Parenthood, Criminal Minds, Revenge, Grimm, and Star Trek: Discovery) to shoot two short films.  These creative engagements marked the very first time that we worked with a visionary artist to tell a story, and laid the inspirational groundwork for The Slate.  

    By working with Hanelle, we learned that finding the right creative partners could immediately elevate our filmmaking and lead to better career opportunities for the actors who pursued roles in our films.  

    For instance, while Hanelle’s experience directing character-driven TV dramas like Parenthood and 90210 made her a formidable creative force on the set of The Slate’s 2013 production The Bride (the story of a woman who’s about to be married, but then suffers an emotional crisis on her wedding day,) Hanelle’s experiences getting actors to diffuse bombs on the set of Criminal Minds gave her an entirely different set of skills to employ on the set of the action-packed short film Hide (2015), just two years later.    

    After shooting The Bride, Hanelle was tapped to direct the first episode of Star Trek Picard, while Bride star Tiffany Daniels recently starred in 13 episodes as Trish Alexander in the current series, The Girl that Lay Lay, now streaming on Netflix.  

    Our engagement with Hanelle Culpepper was not only creatively rewarding, it also provided The Slate with the broader inspiration to make great films and push narrative boundaries. 

  • Mairin Hart

    Mairin Hart

    Mairin Hart is the type of filmmaker that people start creative development programs for: She’s smart, funny, and speaks in an incredibly original narrative voice that moves audiences.  That’s why when Mairin came to us with this highly original idea for a movie called “Life Partner,” (the story of a romantically jilted wife, who waits for her husband to grow old and incapacitated so that she can commit adultery right in her “Life Partner’s” presence…) we weren’t surprised or taken aback by the creativity of the logline.  

    Like so many of the stories we’ve told over the years, our twin sources of gratification always came from a) providing artists with new opportunities, and b) telling stories that have never been told before. And through Mairin and her work, we were able to create another original narrative that the cast and the crew were incredibly proud of. 

    As for what Mairin is up to these days, she recently shot a digital, Behind the Scenes promo package for the Netflix series Thunderforce starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer.

    Thunder Force: Behind the Scenes
  • Eion Bailey

    Eion Bailey

    Our partnership with well-known actor Eion Bailey came about when one of The Slate’s premium members, Adele Rene, recommended that we team up with Eion to produce a short film.  

    A mover and a shaker in her own right, Adele always seemed to be working with creative folks in Hollywood, and so after Adele introduced us to Eion, The Slate agreed to produce Hero. Traitor. Patriot, Eion’s stylish thriller weaving the biographies of real-world figures journalist Michael Hastings, expat Edward Snowden, and (then) soldier Bradley Manning.  

    Throughout the shooting of this short film, we remained in a state of creative excitement for two big reasons:  First, the film we were making was visually stunning, and there was a sense among the cast and crew that the narrative would have legs once we’d wrapped.  Equally important, Eion Bailey starred in the film, meaning that the actors we’d cast got to work side-by-side with a seasoned actor who could, in one minute relate to them as co-stars and colleagues, and then the next minute, provide a valuable piece of mentorship, an acting tip, or career advice that could impact their careers.  

    Since shooting Hero. Traitor. Patriot, Eion went on to become a regular on Ray Donovan, while Adele got cast in Showtime’s Twin Peaks reboot, in 2017.

  • Sofia Garza Barba

    Sofia Garza Barba

    The second sentence in Sofia Garza Barba’s filmmaker biography simply reads:  “My imagination is my best friend,” and boy- she’s not kidding!  After all, Sofia’s vibrant imagination is precisely the reason why we wanted to work with her in the first place.  As a self-described “director with a whimsical imagination” Sofia has lent her unique visual gifts to some of the TV/Film industry’s biggest brands, media companies, and musical acts including Grammy award winning musical acts like Kinky, Natalia Lafourcade & Aleks Syntek, and clients like Sony Music, Nickelodeon, Universal, Coca-Cola and Carl’s Jr.

    Through our collaboration with Sofia, The Slate shot an imaginative film called Death After Pancakes, a story filled with meaning and heart about an eight-year-old boy who witnesses a grim personification of death on the morning that his grandfather dies, starring Michael Keeley, Denis Leski, Natalie Waldrip, Roger Rignack, and Tyler Mezzai.

    After filming, Death After Pancakes took home the “Best Family Short Film award at the IFS Film Festival, actor Michael Keeley won Best Actor at the Malibu Film Festival in 2016, and these days Slate actor Roger Rignack, who portrayed “Uncle Mooch” in Pancakes can be seen streaming on Netflix in Operation Varsity Blues, The College Admissions Scandal. 

At The Slate, we never get tired of collaborating with storytellers. And because we feel this way, we also feel lucky to do what we do.
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