The Team

Dave Merlino

Dave Merlino (WriterDirector) is a former federal law enforcement officer with a focus in counterterrorism. He left the government in 2011 to co-found Rainbows and Unicorns Entertainment, LLC with his friend and business partner, Dustin Sweet. Since that time, they have gone on to write several screenplays that have received a great deal of critical success in several well known and highly espected contests. Most notably a Top 10 finish in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest, a Top 10 Finalist placement in the Sheldon Turner round of the Big Break Screenwriting Contest and their screenplay BLOODLINES was named the winner of the Randall Wallace round of the Big Break Screenwriting Contest. Dave spent the last year on the film festival circuit as Co-Writer/Director/Producer of the short film HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD, a story of loss, closure and the positive lessons we learn from our fathers that help us to be better fathers ourselves. It is Dave's relationship with Kregg Jorgenson that has been the driving force in bringing this project to life.
 
Dustin Sweet Dustin Sweet (WriterDirector) is an animation artist with work in the film, television, and music industries. Starting out in Taos as an award winning painter, he picked up photography in college and transitioned easily into cinematography as his work moved into Effects Animation. In 2011, he closed his boutique animation studio in order to co-found Rainbows and Unicorns Entertainment, LLC with his friend and business partner, Dave Merlino. Dustin spent the last year with Dave on the film festival circuit as Co-Writer/Director/Producer of the short film HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD, a story of loss, closure and the positive lessons learned from our fathers that help us to become better parents.
   
Cinematographers
Charles Schaeffer Charles Schaefer (Director of Photography) In love with the process and those he meets along the way, Charles Schaefer has been documenting stories that renew the spirit and capture the unseen. Though his work bleeds through genres, documenting history has always fueled his hungering curiosity. ARMED WITH LOVE, the acclaimed documentary created by Charles won "Best of Show" in the Los Angeles Media Festival and took home awards in 5 other festivals. Since then, he has worked side by side with The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, serving as a mentor to young filmmakers who hope to shape the media sphere with impactful messages and conversations. Charles started working in the Los Angeles film and television industry when he was 15 and has continued to work for various companies such as Ron Hill Imagery, ITV, Juice Media, and as a staff videographer for his university while attending there as a student. He will be graduating with a bachelors degree in Cinema and Television Arts from Cal State Northridge this fall, 2016, at the age of 21. He is currently developing a mini-series about Mendocino County's holistic healing and hemp production culture in Northern California.
Chris Duerkopp Linkedinphoto Chris Duerkopp (Additional Camera) has worked with Dave and Dustin on every project since their beginning and served as Director of Photography on their short HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD. An experienced camera operator, he has worked on studio projects like 21 AND OVER and with corporate clients such as Nordstrom and Microsoft. His last project was serving as a steadicam operator for Macklemore on his 2015 world tour.