WELCOME TO UNREEL FILMS
Film is an incredibly versatile medium and can have profound effect on the human experience. There are virtually no limitations. Anything you imagine, anything you dream of can come to life with film. Because this medium is so incredibly powerful, the stories we tell and the means in which we tell them is unbelievably important. What is the saying..."with great power, comes great responsibility." Well, this is exactly what Unreel Films is about.
Hello, my name is Eric Mann and I founded Unreel Films, LLC back in 2013. The joy of creating work that not only inspires me and my team, but also can help transcend the watcher to a place where they themselves feel inspired to create, and explore the very essence of their truest self, is the lifeblood of this company. It's about integrity, it's about getting to the heart, it's about passion, free play, creativity, beauty, and fun. All the work that is put into film comes out in the wash for the viewer and their experience. When we let go of the ego, we are free to play from a place that is much deeper than thinking, much deeper than the ups and downs of our emotions - there is a divinity in our creative spirit, and when you trust that, all the boundaries fall away. Film acts as a conduit to express this very spirit.
It's about telling the best stories we can tell, and coming out for the better through the experience. Thank you for visiting this website and being a part of the Unreel family.
- Eric Mann, Unreel Films
"By tolerance he means that you need to be open to unconventional ideas and unconventional people. Talent—it doesn’t just achieve results, it attracts other gifted people and helps create an environment that people want to be in. And all these talents have to form a team."
- David Lagercrantz -
PRESIDENT & FOUNDER
DIRECTOR | PRODUCTION | CAMERA | EDITOR
Eric is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. Since founding Unreel back in 2013, he has directed, produced, written, filmed, and edited over 300 projects and videos. Works include the SAG short film Alistair's Wednesday, Sizemic, the feature-length documentary Just Go, the TV pilot "Looking Up," the documentary Climate Countdown, and other short films Finish Her, Bristles, and Defunkt. As an actor, he has toured with the national tour of A Chorus Line, and performed across the country and New York. He graduated from Elon University, and has studied at the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio, Upright Citizens Brigade, Broadway Theatre Project, and Ballet Arkansas. He also gets to talk about life, love, philosophy with his dear friend Daniel J. Self and their podcast - Self Made Mann. Check out more at www.eric-mann.com & www.selftalknetwork.com.
"The arts build bridges for society. It creates human empathy, which allows you to say, 'Hey look, I am able for a brief moment to step into their shoes and see their point of view.' This is why the power of film and storytelling is so important. It connects us and expands our universe." - Eric Mann
CAMERA | EDITOR | PRODUCTION
Shayla Benoit is a videographer, director, choreographer, producer, and actor who currently resides in New York City. She has appeared at Radio City Music Hall, 54 Below, and in regional theaters across the country. She also can be seen and heard on television, film, and radio.
Shayla is a co-founder of Shady Theatrics, a creative video production company that has produced works for The Tony Awards, Clear Channel, Transcendent Endeavors, Wagner College, and many other commercial and corporate entities. Shady has had the honor of working with incredible talents such as Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, Chita Rivera, and Brian D'Arcy James.
Shayla is a collaborator and director for "Striving," which is an artistic collaborative video series currently in production with Eric Mann, Gina Duci, and On Point Dance. She has also worked closely with Unreel Films on a flashmob at Lincoln Center for Lululemon Athletica and on promotional videos for The Juilliard School.
Shayla holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Florida State University.See more of Shayla and her work on the Shady Theatrics website.
CAMERA | EDITOR | PRODUCTION
Michele (mee-KHE-leh) grew up in Rome, Italy, and graduated from the Civica Scuola di Cinema Luchino Visconti in 2010. He is a filmmaker who has worked as an assistant director in filming operas live broadcast in Italy and abroad, including at the La Scala Theater (Milan), La Fenice Theater (Venice) and at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence). He has produced, shot and edited commercial videos for Pioneer Italy, Milan’s City Council, KURV TV, Montblanc, and Toshiba, among others. He has recently been focusing on documentary filmmaking, and directed “Attori o Corsari”, a documentary produced and aired nationally by Sky Arte HD.
Since relocating to New York in 2017, he has co-edited “Power to Heal,” a PBS documentary directed by Oscar-winning director Charles Burnett and Daniel Loewenthal. He is a professor of film studies at the Civica Scuola di Cinema e Televisione di Milano and since 2013 has been teaching a yearly course on the live transmission of opera and musical concerts.
EDITOR | PRODUCTION
A man who does everything from producing his own videos like “Royals Tap” on YouTube, to showing you the occasional card trick, to holding a boom, The Noonz does it all.
EDITOR | CAMERA | PRODUCTION
Kaia has a funny accent due to living in England for seven years where she graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Theatre & Film and then worked as a producer for the BAFTA-winning production company ArthurCox. Because she likes being too busy for her own good (don’t we all), she took on lots of side projects during that time, such as: teaching editing and producing at the university, directing ‘making of’ videos for feature films, and doing silly things like filming something every day for a year and then editing it all together into an epic ‘365 days/ 365 videos’ project. Kaia is passionate about curious and meaningful filmmaking and she moved to New York because this seemed like the best place to pursue such things. To see more of the work with which she has kept herself busy check out www.kaiarose.com.
CAMERA | GAFFER | PHOTOGRAPHER
Hands on the lens, eyes on the lights. Motion or still, my work is based on three words. “Get the shot!”
Evan was raised a musician, studying a number of instruments, music theory, and playing in bands. He went on to study Music Technology at NYU, focusing more on film sound as he progressed. Since graduating, work has taken him around the globe, from Trinidad to Singapore. Evan works on everything from independent shorts to branded corporate content to feature films, and loves the excitement of working on a new project every day.
Chris is an actor and a choreographer residing in New York City, in the wonderful Washington Heights. He was born in NYC, but grew up just outside the city in Westport, Connecticut. He also attended Elon University for Music Theatre, but not at the same time as Eric; they got to know each other during ELF at the Arkansas Repertory Theater in the Winter of 2014.
Chris has also performed on a national tour, at multiple regional theaters, and in New York. He is a freelance choreographer, and has done so at school as well as a few regional theaters. He grew up with and primarily wants to stay in theatre, but is loving getting to know the film industry while also getting to work with Eric. Happy to be on board as "the sound guy"! www.chrismcniff.com
EDITOR | ASSISTANT
Gina morphs to whatever is needed for that day. She is sometimes caught dancing and singing a happy tune. She also likes to laugh a lot, eat Italian food, and give a sarcastic remark. “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
WARDROBE | SOCIAL MEDIA
Mikita is a costume designer and wardrobe stylist with affinity for organization, research, and strategy. Her recent collaborations include Climate Countdown, Striving, a dance project with On Point Dance and UNREEL Films LLC., currently in preproduction, God's Not Dead 2 (Key Costumer, GND 2 Movie Productions LLC.,) Hairspray! (Resident Costume Designer 2013-2015, Murry's Dinner Playhouse,) The Whipping Man (Assistant Costume Designer & FX Makeup Artist, Arkansas Repertory Theatre,) Scotland Road (FX Makeup Artist, UALR Theatre,) and Mary Poppins (Craft Technician & Dresser, Arkansas Repertory Theatre.) When she's not adorning robing, and re-facing the players and persons beyond the lens and the legs she's researching and smithing strategy for UNREEL.