JOSHUA BUTLER is an award-winning independent filmmaker and one of the most prolific writers and directors of his generation, with over 60 hours of content to his name.
Joshua wrote and directed the cult horror feature VLOG for the producers of SAW, which premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival and played 21 more film festivals before its release by Lionsgate/Starz. With his production company Iceblink Films, Joshua produced and directed acclaimed LGBTQ+ short films HOUSE NOT HOME (Official Selection at Outfest, NewFest and Inside Out Film Festival) and DOGHOUSE (Official Selection at Dances With Films and winner of Best Short Film at ITVFest/Catalyst); multiple movies-for-television (including Young Artists Award-winning Christmas classic PRANCER RETURNS and International Horror Guild Nominee CLIVE BARKER’S SAINT SINNER); as well as numerous music videos, including festival-favorites BABY YOU’RE LIKE A DRUG starring Joshua Jackson and BULLET by reality-sensation and BMI-award winner Ryan Star. Joshua was also an executive producer on ESPN's first original film A SEASON ON THE BRINK, the MTV hit trilogy MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16, PBS documentary CARE, horror features EVEN LAMBS HAVE TEETH and INFAMOUS SIX and most recently FAR FROM HOME: THE STEVE DALKOWSKI STORY.
Among his directing credits are 6 episodes of Syfy's THE MAGICIANS, 5 episodes of FOX's THE FOLLOWING starring Kevin Bacon, 11 episodes of the CW phenomenon THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and multiple episodes of Disney/Freeform's PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, SHADOWHUNTERS, RAVENSWOOD and TWISTED. Joshua also directed the CBS series LIMITLESS produced by and starring Bradley Cooper; MATADOR for Robert Rodriguez and El Rey Network; TALES for BET starring hip-hop superstar Scarface of Geto Boys; STATE OF AFFAIRS for NBC starring Katherine Heigl and Alfre Woodard; THE SECRET CIRCLE and THE ORIGINALS for the CW; as well as action classic NIKITA, starring Maggie Q. Joshua was profiled by MTV News, Emmy Magazine, Wetpaint, Parade, and ExtraTV, and was named a Shorty Awards finalist as "Best Director in Social Media."
In recognition of his humanitarian and activist work, Joshua was awarded the Scenarios Real Deal Award and The Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians' Director's Award. Most recently, he has created, written and directed the streaming horror series RED ROOMS, which will premiere in 2022.
GRETL CLAGGETT is a writer, director, and producer committed to telling female-forward, diverse, cinematic stories that entertain and catalyze transformation in individual lives and shared cultures.
Gretl’s first film HAPPY HOUR — narrated by Julianne Moore — is based on true events and a poem from her book, Monsoon Solo: Voices Once Submerged. The film screened as an official selection at more than 18 festivals, winning awards, and garnering praise from Oscar-winning Writer/Director Robert Benton: “Happy Hour is a lush, elegiac film about an extremely difficult subject and Ms. Claggett handles it masterfully.”
Gretl’s second film/proof-of-concept pilot, STORMCHASER, is a female-forward satire that allegorizes this era in “Merica.” STORMCHASER has been selected to screen at more than 60 festivals worldwide — winning AMC Network’s Inaugural “Best Female Creator” Award at Stareable Fest 2020, plus “Best Writer and Director” Awards at the 2021 New York Women in Film & Television Festival. Other awards include multiple wins for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film, Best Pilot, Best Cinematography, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Original Score/Soundtrack, and Best VFX.
Another passion of Gretl’s is pioneering the use of innovative technologies to shape brand stories. She wrote and directed Sony’s first 360° 4K cinematic music video, and she leads award-winning creative on high-profile events for clients such as Entertainment Weekly, IBM, AT&T, SHRM, and SC Johnson, among others — frequently merging live, theatrical performances with filmic, state-of-the-art multimedia.
Through her company, Culture Catalyst, she’s currently developing several projects, including a 1990’s nostalgic black comedy, a cross-continental love story, and a feminist metaphysical thriller.
I founded Culture Catalyst to create, develop and produce female-forward, diverse, cinematic stories that entertain and catalyze transformation in individual lives and shared cultures.
Our small, diverse team shot the short film/proof-of-concept, BOY, ALONE IN WOODS, during the 2021 Delta surge in Upstate New York, as studies were revealing the extreme financial and emotional toll that the pandemic was and still is wreaking on single, working moms.
BOY, ALONE IN WOODS is a perfect Culture Catalyst project: a socially-relevant, genre-bender that grapples with the horrors of childhood — and how kids often deal with real-world traumas by escaping into virtual gaming worlds, where dangers also lurk.
I couldn’t ask for a better “partner in creative crime” than my colleague and close friend, the multitalented Joshua Butler, with whom I’m developing the feature length version of this film, as well as other stories.
For more information about CULTURE CATALYST, our award-winning work, plus our slate of projects in development, please click HERE.
BOY, ALONE IN WOODS is both a young boy’s dream and a single, working mom’s nightmare. It’s a story about losing oneself in fantasy to escape the brutality of an abusive world. At the same time, it is a dark fairy tale that speaks to a new generation who have grown up in virtual realities.
I've always wanted to make a movie about the horrors of childhood — from my own experience with real demons and imagined ones. With my co-creator Gretl Claggett, we're turning genre conventions on their heads to find the creepiest scares where they so frequently occur: in real life.
BOY, ALONE IN WOODS is a standalone short and a proof-of-concept for the feature that Gretl and I are currently co-developing.