Writer/Producer – CEO
Russ was influenced by a love of film and began storytelling, writing and producing at age ten. His first films were shot on a Christmas gift, an 8mm Bell & Howell. Later, after attending the USC School of Television and UCLA screenwriting programs Russ became involved in varied businesses that include founding an international interactive entertainment company that created leading edge games for major airlines.
Today, Russ heads TwinStar joined by a group of talented writers and filmmakers and continues to write and seeks true life inspirational stories for television film.
Judy A. Carbino-Hicks
Judy Carbino-Hicks early career began as a consumer marketing assistant at MCA/Universal Studios. During a fifteen year tenure, Judy devoted additional time to learn the craft of story development and analysis and forged relationships with many creative artists and filmmakers of the time. Judy was later hired by Walt Disney Studios Consumer Products division, however, continued her studies and freelance work in the creative field.
In 2012, Judy returned to MCA/Universal and was hired as a Reader and Script Analyst for an independent production company. Her additional duties included a position as a Publicity Research Coordinator.
As an avid historian, Judy has substantial knowledge of a wide base of produced films that allows her to provide professional script coverage with a keen eye on story and structure. Her work at TwinStar includes story research and development, script coverage and creative input on all feature and television projects.
Pat grew up in the Boston area, working at his family’s roast beef and seafood chain, a Boston staple which is often name dropped in movies like Goodwill Hunting. He headed west to escape a big family of crazy aunts, who provided much of the material for his early stand-up comedy career and writing.
After attending Stanford University for undergrad, Pat came to LA to complete his MFA in screenwriting at UCLA. While there he co-founded a company called Switchblade Comb Productions, focused primarily around family-friendly animation.
His most award winning screenplay was co-written by a 5 year old, who also happens to be one of his two sons.Pat works primarily in development, but engages in all aspects of the creative process from initial concept through production.
Development and Production Associate
Shamola, an Indian from Zambia, is currently a second year graduate student at Chapman University, studying MBA/MFA in Film Producing. She has a Bachelor’s in Film Production, with an emphasis in Directing.
From an early age, she was influenced by legendary and classic filmmakers from both Hollywood and Bollywood, inspiring her to take up theater in high school and eventually filmmaking. She is an individual who seeks different story angles and ideas, and wants to present them in a fresh, creative manner. Coming from a multicultural background, she intends on providing a different perspective towards content and filmmaking. She wants to be an all rounded filmmaker and be able to put different hats on, and be part in any way possible to create great content for viewers.
“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun”- Pablo Picasso
Writer / Director
After graduating with a BFA in film production and minor in studio art, Emily served as VP of Production at Comediva, a website 100% dedicated to creating female-driven comedy. There, she wrote and directed hundreds of sketches, web series, and music videos – many of which you may have seen in HuffPost, NY Times, CNN, Good Morning America, Mashable, and Gizmodo, to name a few.
Emily has also worked with brands such as Pepsi, Univision, The Susan B. Komen Foundation, and NickMom on multiple campaigns and served as a consultant for Univision’s digital platform Flama. She also recently sold a half-hour children’s comedy series to Amazon Studios.
When Emily’s not working as a freelance writer/director for branded digital content and commercials, you can find her developing TV pilots, feature films, and the perfect Old Fashioned recipe to help with all the above.
Joel is a rising star in the animation and art direction community. Aside from his work on numbers of projects for the company and other clients, Joel’s experience includes tenure as an instructor in Character Design and Visual Development at the Animation Academy, Burbank, CA.
Joel is a skilled artist with extensive experience and talent in graphic design, storyboarding, film editing and CG modeling. Joel joined the company in 2015.