The Sinister Dream Team
Nick Kizina is founder and President of Sinister Dream Productions, he graduated from Point Park University, and Pittsburgh Filmmakers media school in 2008 with a BA in Film and Video Production. Nick has written, directed and produced all of Sinister Dream's short films and music videos to date, as well as producing all of Sinister Dream Internet TV programs, hosting Sinister Dream's podcast, Sinister DreamCast, and co-hosting The [Insert Movie Reference Here!] Podcast. With the influences from filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Tim Burton, Mel Brooks, and Rian Johnson, Nick brings a dark but mostly funny look at human interaction.
Justin Pappalardo is Vice President of Sinister Dream, and the host of the podcast Pappiness is a Warm Gun. There is nothing else interesting about him.
Melissa Beall is the VP of Financial, Treasurer (or as we like to say, "Master of Coin"), and Social Media Maven for Sinister Dream, but she shows up on screen when someone needs to get bloody. Her theatrical background is in opera and classical voice as well as acting. She majored in English with a concentration in creative writing at Point Park University. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading, physics, playing and listening to music, and being famous on the internet.
Katie Funaki joined Sinister Dream as Head of Post-Production in the fall of 2012. As Head of Post-Production, her duties entail cataloging, organizing, and editing Sinister Dream's projects. Katie graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2009 with a BA in Digital Media Production. Upon graduating, Katie has worked with an array of clients in the Pittsburgh area and bases her work ethic on a quote, '"When you're doing something you love, sleep can wait." Some of Katie's activities in her spare of time include watching movies and television shows, whistling, people watching, and playing music.
Julianna Hawke serves Sinister Dream as Head of Merchandise, webmaster, Booth Babe, secretary, and co-host of Scenario Store News. She frequently appears on other podcasts and in films, as well, and enjoys generally helping out the team whenever and however possible. Julianna is also an unapologetic fangirl, cat lover, internet connoisseur, enthusiastic karaoke singer, fic writer, and artist.
Samantha Swope is the head of Public Relations as well as an acting staple for Sinister Dream Productions. However, like Justin Pappalardo, there is nothing else interesting about her.
Scott Drobnoek graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a BA in Digital Media Production. Joined Sinister Dream in the summer 2010 as Camera Operator/Director of Photography. Has mostly an independent background in several short comedies, documentaries and experimental pieces. Scott enjoys playing music, riding bikes and friendly competition.
He adds "I will kill you in Mario Kart 64!"
Megan Hedges graduated from Chatham University in 2009 with a BA in Film/Digital Video Production and from University of Pittsburgh in 2014 with a Masters in Library and Information Science. She joined Sinister Dream for the 48 Hour Film Project in Summer 2014 and they haven't been able to get rid of her since. When she isn't working, Megan spends her time glued to Netflix, reading, and crafting.
Leah Rae showed a strong interest in theater acting at 12 years old. It was from that point forward acting has been the way she expressed her true self. Leah joined Sinister Dream after working on "Shade of Black" with Sinister Dreamer Justin Pappalardo, and through her work, was asked to join the Sinister Dream Team for the Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project. She clicked with the team immediately. Though her main focus in Sinister Dream at the moment is lending her acting skills and hosting a podcast on the Sinister DreamCast Network, That's the Spirit, she plans on training in editing and to help out in post-production.
Nicole Conniff graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in December of 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in Entertainment Design. She studied Cosmetology at Empire Beauty School. She has worked with Sinister Dream Productions since the very beginning as Key Makeup Artist, overseeing on-set Special Effects, Hair and Makeup Design, and Costuming.
You can check out her business, Nyx's Masks & Mischief, on Facebook.
Elena Dee graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a BS in Photography in 2009. In 2013, she worked on Sinister Dream's pin-up calendar, transitioning into behind-the-scenes and still photographer for other projects as well. She owns her own small business, elena dee photography, and has had images in the Beaver County Times and galleries in Sewickley. When not taking pictures, she works as a bowling mechanic and obsesses over knitting.
You can check out elena dee photography on Facebook.