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Here's how Tim describes this episode:

"I’m delighted to welcome Chelese Belmont and Shannan Leigh Reeve. They’re the founders of Beleeve Entertainment and this interview ties in perfectly with yesterday’s theme of women making their mark in today’s Hollywood. Chelese and Shannan are currently campaigning on indiegogo to finish their new feature “Penumbra” which takes an honest and unapologetic look at the struggles of addiction from several sides.

PENUMBRA tells the story of Erin Jacobs, a gifted artist who’s harboring a destructive cocaine addiction. She has a run-in with a police officer Valerie, who has a past scarred by her own addiction. Erin struggles to find sobriety but Valerie shows us how hard sobriety is to maintain.

Shannan and Chelese are two women who wear many hats on a movie set and they’re trailblazing their way across the indie scene making the movies they believe should be made. They’re setting a tremendous example to all of us who want to make films but are sometimes intimidated by the complexity of the studio system. The work they’re doing reminds us that if you truly want to achieve something, there’s really nothing stopping you. This a great conversation about believing in yourself and making your own path, especially in the face of glass ceilings and preconceived notions. I’m really proud that they took time out of their busy schedule to appear on my podcast."

Comment on this episode here or by writing john@chronicrift.com.


 


Chelese Belmont graduated with honors in three years from UC Berkeley with her B.A. in History while concurrently studying acting in the American Conservatory Theatre’s Professional Development program in San Francisco. After graduation, she began working as an actress in independent shorts and features in the Bay Area before being accepted into an MFA program at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City.
 
While completing her MFA in Acting, Chelese continued to act in both shorts and features in New York and Los Angeles, and began to pick up some skills for work behind the camera as well. She soon began offering feedback and collaboration on scripts written by writers whom she met while working as an actress, and learned about lighting, sound, and continuity during her acting endeavors.
 
After graduating from ASDS, Chelese moved to Los Angeles and continued to work in theater, film, commercials, and television while simultaneously learning more about filmmaking and storytelling. She soon began to learn to edit with the programs in Adobe CS6 and has served as an Assistant Director on various projects. She has also served as a collaborator on numerous scripts and is often known as the idea girl when a new project is sought. She has been referred to as a “muse” by numerous fellow artists who like to bounce ideas off of her for feedback and development. While Shannan is the technical master of Beleeve Entertainment, Chelese is often the story shaper/fine tuner.
 
Chelese made her foray into directing with her short, The Red Haired Lady, which was shot in New York City this summer, and is now in post-production.  She is also in post-production on Penumbra, which she developed, produced, and is starring in. She is also in development on another short and two features, which will mark the inaugural slate of films for Beleeve Entertainment.

 

Shannan Leigh Reeve was born into a military family and spent most of her life moving from city to city, which proved to be the best acting training she could get since she had to constantly adapt to her new surroundings. While a sophomore in college, she accepted a contract to play Helen in the Water World Stunt Show in Osaka, Japan, while continuing to pursue her Psychology degree through online courses. While there, she also produced, directed, and performed as Columbia in a multi-media production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

After Japan, Shannan lived and performed in NYC for a few years, at which time it became clear that if she was to truly follow her dreams and aspirations, she needed to move to Los Angeles, where film opportunities far outnumbered those in New York. It has been here, in Los Angeles, where Shannan was able to prove her ability to multi-task, to approach situations from an unbiased perspective, to demonstrate efficient time-management skills as well as attention to finite details and continuity, and to utilize her extremely effective skills as a communicator. She has obtained not only acting jobs, but also behind-the-camera production jobs as well thanks to this varied and useful skill set.

In the last two years, Shannan has produced two features, two short films, and various web series. Shannan was 1st AD on the indie feature, Crossroads, which included wrangling a cast of sixty-five, keeping production on task, and wrapping on time. She also kept detailed notes and filled in as needed in other areas of production including wardrobe, locking locations, props, and craft services.

Shannan’s most accomplished work thus far is the indie horror-thriller, Into the Equinox, which shot in and around Anchorage, Alaska. Not only was she the 2nd Unit Director, she was also the writer, producer, script supervisor, and lead actress. The shoot was on location in various inclement weather situations, with a cast of six; the team managed to shoot fifty-six pages in five and a half days. The film is currently in post-production, with Shannan serving as the editor as well.

Shannan also spearheaded the creation of the “Atlantis” music video for Chicago based singer/songwriter Sami Grisafe, as well as numerous IndieGoGo and Kickstarter campaign videos, shot various theater performances, and served as the stunt coordinator on the web series, Cowgirl Up, Montecito Heights, and Diary of a Black Widow.

Her most recent work has been as Stunt Coordinator and 1st AD on the pilot, Niki and Nora, and as director, writer, producer, and actress for Beleeve’s first narrative feature, Penumbra.


Links

Penumbra Indiegogo Campaign
Penumbra website
Beleeve Entertainment

Direct download: HTD_EXPRESS_105_BELEEVE_ENTERTAINMENT.mp3
Category:The HTD Express -- posted at: 4:40pm EST
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