Co-Founder / Writer / Director / Producer
After graduating from Columbia College Chicago, Ben Hicks co-founded Elephant Dreams Pictures with business partner Jon Pauss. This unique production company self finances and screens its films while distributing exclusively through its website and through local business' across the United States.
In 2007 Elephant Dreams Pictures released its first two short films both written and directed by Ben Hicks; the award winning Square Pegs and pea vs. carrot.
Ben currently lives in Tokyo and is doing pre-production for his first feature film, Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time, which will begin shooting in 2009.
Denise Hradecky grew up in the Chicago area and started playing organ and piano in grade school.
She left home to move to Boston in 1996, taught herself guitar, and began developing her own musical style as an independent artist, while also learning how to record her own music.
In 2000, Denise moved to Raleigh, NC, recording and performing along the east coast. In 2004, she moved back to Chicago to go to school, but still performs in the area. In 2007 her music was featured in the short film, pea vs. carrot.
She says she will always be writing and recording, and mostly giving it away for free.
Co-founder / Producer
Although a proud product of Chicago, René Jermal finds her deepest passions in filmmaking and traveling. With her work background in event planning and fundraising, René helped co-found Elephant Dreams Pictures with Ben Hicks and Jon Pauss. Her dual relationship between business and the creative process turned her interests to producing films.
After graduating with a focus on Weimar cinema at the University of Illinois at Chicago, René Jermal developed a strong connection for the grainy, black-and-white quality of Super-8 film. She devoted herself to it for the next few years in short, experimental, and dark-humored films that explored the power, abuse and self-esteem issues involved with overindulgence. Her passion of music led her to make music videos for Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Dark Dark Dark. René is also the founder of Me Productions, a division of Elephant Dreams Pictures, showcasing her own projects.
René currently resides in Tokyo, Japan in pre-production for Elephant Dreams Pictures’ first feature film.
Jon grew up in the Chicago area, but also spent a couple of his early years in Houston, Texas.
In June of 2003, he graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BachelorŐs Degree in Marketing.
Since graduation, he has worked for a print media agency, while residing in Chicago's Ukranian Village neighborhood. His interests include traveling, the ongoing journey of attempting to listen to every note of music ever created, playing/watching sports, and striving to be a part of something that is bigger than he is. While watching a great deal of movies is not a main activity/interest in his life, creating and working on something with talented friends is. It is for this reason that you are reading about him on this particular website.
Actor - Square Pegs
BriAnna Weaver, a Kansas City native, has studied acting in Chicago and London, and is about to make Los Angeles her new home.
She recently received a BFA in Acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and just finished shooting the feature film FAREWELL DARKNESS. BriAnna loved being a part of this crazy-creative production!
Born in Warsaw, Poland, 1979 -- At the early age of nearly three, Kuba Zelazek was forced to flee his native country because of Communism.
After spending only 7 months in Austria a dramatic event occurred that would alter his life forever. He was to move to South Africa.
There he spent his childhood years. The experiences gathered there have stimulated his creative nature. Eventually, events led him to the U.S. where he attended Columbia College Chicago.
Film School opened him up to a new way of expression, because this is where he discovered his love and passion for cinematography. Throughout college he would shoot many projects and begin to develop his own personal style.
Soon after graduating, Kuba was offered films to shoot throughout the U.S., mostly concentrating on the east coast. His experiences range from feature films, short narratives, experimental, commercial work and shooting for T.V. productions such as the B.B.C. He is the founder and president of Severed Head Entertainment, LTD. This production company supplies camera, lights, crew and even editing options for other filmmakers.