Rush Process 2016 came together through the collaboration of a diverse group of organizations and creatives hailing from the worlds of handcrafted animation, improvisational theater, and DIY independent filmmaking. You can read about our current team here.

2016 FESTIVAL CO-PRESENTER: Aurora Picture Show
2016 PARTNERS: OOF Collective, The Waughford, and DIY Animation Club
2016 FESTIVAL DIRECTOR: Dave Merson Hess
2016 WORKSHOP COORDINATOR: Traci Lavois Thiebaud
2016 JURY: Jennifer Levonian, Adam Parrish King, Ash Kramer, Bryan Kramer, Kelly Gallagher
2016 PROMOTIONS TEAM: Janine Waranowicz, Flora Larrabee, Charlie Larrabee

Dave Merson Hess

Festival Director Dave Merson Hess is an animator, film programmer and media arts educator who grew up on a hill overlooking the American Zoetrope building in San Francisco’s North Beach. His films combine stop-motion with hand-drawn, direct animation and found footage, while drawing equally from documentary and narrative traditions, and have screened at festivals like Cutout Fest, Cucalorus, TIFF, and Animation Block Party. He spent two years planning the first edition of Rush Process, leading up to the festival’s launch, in 2016.

Dave teaches DIY animation & media production workshops via DIY Animation Club, and in collaboration with organizations including Aurora Picture Show, Beta Theater, Texas Childrens’ Hospital, and MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Arts in Medicine.

Traci Lavois Thiebaud

Workshop Coordinator Traci Lavois Thiebaud is a poetess, zinestress, and more who you’ve probably seen on the streets banging out poems on an old fashioned typewriter for barter or helping run Beta Theater. Traci earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theater Performance from the University of Houston, was a troupe member at Comedy Sportz for 3 years before a stint on the West Coast, where she completed the improv training program at Upright Citizens Brigade.

Traci is the founder of whatever, mom publications, a DIY publisher specializing in literary consumables for local weirdos. She is a member of Beta’s house improv troupe, MAx, and creator and producer of the wildly popular monthly head-to-head improv show, Vice Squad.

Dax Norman

Dax works at the junction of handcrafted and digital, often using paintings on canvas as a starting point for CG and 2D digital work.

Resident Animator Dax Norman teaches animation, game design and drawing at the University of Texas and the Art Institute of Austin. His work has been featured on Adult Swim and Cartoon Brew, and his short films have screened at dozens of festivals and museums, including the Guggeinheim Bilbao.

2016 Jury

Jennifer Levonian

Jennifer Levonian makes animations and paintings in Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been exhibited across the United States, including at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC; and the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD. She has attended residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Her work has been featured as a “Critic’s Pick” in ARTnews and as “Editor’s Choice” in BOMB magazine. In 2009, she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. In 2010, her work was included in “Women to Watch,” an exhibition at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Adam Parrish King

Adam Parrish King grew up the son of two scientists in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. He now works as a sound designer and re-recording mixer for television and film in Los Angeles, occasionally paints and nightly plays the piano.

His favorite distractions are soccer, chess, learning Spanish, drawing with his 9-year-old daughter, and having long conversations with his wife over delicious vegan grub. His short, “The Wraith of Cobble Hill”, won the Jury Prize for Short Filmmaking at Sundance 2006.

Ash Kramer

Ash Kramer is an independent producer and PhD candidate living in Los Angeles, CA. She received her B.A. from the film school at the University of Southern California in 2001. Since then, she has produced numerous short films and the feature film Presence (2007) through Drifter Pictures, the production company she runs with her partner, Bryan Kramer.

More recently, she directed the music video “Wild Heart” for the country band Geronimo Getty. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English Literature at USC; her dissertation project considers the role of water in both eighteenth-century literature and early scientific discourse. When not teaching college writing or creating curriculum, she’s watching as many art films as possible.

Bryan Kramer

Bryan Kramer is an independent filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Through Drifter Pictures, the production company he runs with his partner, Ash Kramer, he has produced, edited, photographed, written and directed a number of short films, documentaries, music videos and features.

Currently, Bryan is in post-production on his latest feature film, Two on the Lam. He believes strongly in making films with whatever resources are available and not asking for permission from anyone.

Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Gallagher is an experimental animator, filmmaker, and professor currently based in Ohio. She is primarily interested in handcrafted filmmaking and exploring the ways in which experimental and handcrafted animations make labor visible, aesthetically gesturing towards the human relations of their production. Her films have been translated and screened internationally in film festivals, community workshops, museums, and universities including:

Ann Arbor Film Festival, Experiments in Cinema, Anthology Film Archives, ICA Artists’ Film Biennial, Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris, London’s Hackney Picturehouse, Berlin Mobile Kino, and the Lucca Film Festival.