Rush Process comes 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. Details on the 2017 edition will be released soon.


Dave Merson Hess

Festival Director & Programming 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.

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.


Jeromy Barber

Festival Producer

Jeromy Barber is a Houston-based producer, director, and educator who creates content and experiences that evoke a sense of playfulness and mystery. Barber’s work includes independent films, commercials, interactive web series, and live events. He is the co-founder of Dinolion, a production company that develops live action and animated content, and immersive experiences.

Barber is also the founder of BETA Theater, and a leader in Houston’s current cultural evolution through his involvement in events such as the Houston Improv Festival (where he served as Producer in 2015 and 2016) and his current role as Festival Producer for Rush Process.


Janine Waranowicz

Development & Promotions Director

Janine Waranowicz is a lawyer focused on intellectual property in the worlds of animation and film exhibition.


Traci Lavois Thiebaud

Workshop Coordinator & Advisory Board lead

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.