Carving a Life


“Carving A Life” gives us a vivid insight into the undaunting world of love, marriage, and second chances. The story follows the life of Mitch, a 25-year-old wood carving artist, who falls for Lauren, an elementary school teacher. Their newlywed bliss takes a quick downward turn when Lauren discovers she’s pregnant and Mitch struggles with haunting memories, addiction, and health issues.

Cast & Crew

Tyler Bruhn (Mitch in Carving a Life) – First inspired by Daniel Ratcliff in the first Harry Potter movie, Tyler embarked on his journey to discover the art of acting in films. At age thirteen, after writing a paper in school on how to become an actor, Tyler signed up for acting classes at Acting Professionally in San Diego and landed a few featured background roles in TV and film including TV show “The OC” (starring Adam Brody) and feature film “Rebound” (starring Martin Lawrence). Tyler then took a step back from acting to focus on high school and sports – participating in Junior Lifeguards, earning MVP in volleyball as a freshman, and attending the award-winning Carlsbad High School TV (CHSTV) broadcast journalism program for six years.  After graduation Tyler continued his passion for acting and attended workshops with Terry Ross (San Diego) and Anthony Meindl (Los Angeles) and also signed with Elegance Talent Agency.  Tyler has had various roles in short independent films including one he co-wrote, produced, and co-starred – “Night Terrors” (January 2016 release).  Tyler was involved with the development of the story for this feature film “Carving A Life,” and is co-owner of Life in Reels Productions, the production company that produced “Carving A Life” and “Night Terrors“.


Karenssa LeGear (Lauren in Carving a Life) is a Meisner-trained actress and classically-trained singer of both stage and screen. Daughter to an Australian artist and an Officer of the United States Marine Corps, Karenssa holds both American and Australian citizenship.

Highlighted screen credits include: Warner Bros.’ “Veronica Mars,” Lifetime’s “Christmas Harmony”, and Lifetime Movie Network’s “Killer Caregiver”.  On stage Karenssa is best known for iconic classical soprano roles such as Cosette in “Les Miserables” (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera” (Conducted by Carmen Dominguez), and Antonia in “Man of La Mancha” (Musical Theatre West).  As an Entertainment Correspondent Karenssa has interviewed Academy Award Winners Adrien Brodie, Geena Davis, and Star Wars’ John Boyega among many others.

Karenssa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from UCLA.  When her work does not take her far and away, she splits her time between San Diego and Los Angeles.


Sandi Todorovic (Eric in Carving a Life) is an actor known for Lovely Lies (2012).


Aaron Landon Bornstein (Stephen in Carving a Life) is an actor at Hinges Improv (San Diego), and is known for Lore: Deadly Obsession.


Lisa Winans (Rebecca in Carving a Life) won a San Diego film award for best Actress and is known for Untouchable (2011).


Featuring Navid Negahban (Dr. Kasem in Carving a Life) known for Showtime’s HomelandAmerican SniperBrothers, and Charlie Wilson’s War.


Directed By

Terry Ross is an award-winning director of feature films as well as several short films, and produces actor showcases for agents and managers through her company Acting Professionally. Terry is an Advisory Board Member of the San Diego Film Consortium, an organization with the mission of stimulating film and television production in San Diego and co-founder of the Julian Wild and Scenic Film Festival.


Cinematography By

Oscar Velasquez has been interested in arts and technology since he was a child and was building computers by the age of 14. Before he became a cinematographer, he was a tattoo artist, muralist and photographer. At the age of 18, he filmed his first short film, Runaway, which won the Grand Recognition Prize at the IVIE awards through the San Diego County Office of Education. It was then that his love for cinematography began. He works as a cinematographer, and director of fiction films and has been involved heavily in the San Diego film community. As a visionary director, he strives to extract the emotional aspects of storytelling to captivate his audiences. He is driven to ultimately be a world-renowned cinematographer/director.

Sound Design By

Peter K. Flynn has a smiling face that’s a welcome sight to our production team on set. He draws upon a wealth of experience in editorial, picture, audio, and sound production and is a resourceful problem solver. Peter has a BA & MA in Communication Arts from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and MS in Computer Science from SDSU. Peter has produced and directed a few short films himself, and has been involved in industrial, video, and a few feature films. He specializes in audio recording, sound engineering and live audio dramas, and developed video applications in the early days of the Internet.

Art Direction By

Faelynn Paterson studied at Miracosta College, Southwest Texas State, and Palomar College. She is owner and creative Art Director for Faegination Studios and for Life in Reels Productions films. Faelynn has a keen eye for color and design that she utilizes in her film set dressing. She is also an expert at creating props – she even brought her own table and antique sword from her personal collection to the set of “June 17th”.

Composer of Original Music

Edna Alejandra Longoria (b.1988) is a Latin American composer born in Mcallen, Texas and raised in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, México. Edna has a Masters Degree in Music Composition from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University in Long Beach, and a Bachelors Degree in Music Composition from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has studied composition with Dr. Alan Shockley, Dr. Carolyn Bremer, Dr. Adriana Verdie, Perry LaMarca, James Syler, Dr. James Balentine, and Dr. David Heuser. Edna’s music scores are featured in films premiering at several major film festivals. Edna has also written concert music pieces and participated in composition workshops with several professional ensembles and musicians such as the Kronos Quartet, Elixir Piano Trio, Iwona Glinka, Vicki Ray and Eric Clark from the E.A.R Unit, and Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.

Edited By

Janna Resnik was born in Kiev, Ukraine. Janna Reznik’s early years were filled with athletic achievements as her love for photography grew. She won a number of city and state championships in swimming and a second place in Ukraine in Modern Pentathlon in 1991. Janna graduated from Ukrainian State University with a Bachelors degree in Physical Education and Sports Science and worked as a journalist for Student News TV Station. In 1996, she moved to the United States to follow her dream of becoming a photographer, video editor, and cinematographer. Janna produced, shot, and edited a number of short films, commercials, and documentaries for individual clients and corporations. She is currently working as lead editor for the Life in Reels feature film Carving a Life.

Jackie Bainto is an editing Samurai, Graphic Designer, and Assistant Director for Life In Reels. On set, she is upbeat and devoted to delivering a quality product, and is capable of filling a variety of roles, earning the name “Jackie of All Trades”. The fun-sized “Swiss-Army knife” is a videographer who shoots commercials for San Diego businesses and works with Film Consortium San Diego. She has experience in short and feature films, commercials and documentaries.

Written and Executive Produced By

Lisa Bruhn is an award-winning screenwriter, and producer of several shorts as well as the feature film “Carving A Life”. Lisa is a member of Sundance Institute, Women In Film, Film Independent, San Diego Film Consortium, FilmSpecific, and volunteers for the San Diego Film Festival. Lisa draws upon her business background as a high tech sales and marketing executive for producing in the film industry. Lisa studied screenwriting and independent film producing at UCLA Extension.

Assistant Director

Gabe Pan jumped from the semiconductor industry to film-making in 2005 and has worked on a number of independent features, TV serials and commercials, and at latest count, around 30 short films. Along the way he’s written, directed, produced and been Assistant Director for both feature-length and short films, as well as writing and voice-acting in radio dramas.

Line Producer

Evette Betancourt is a graduate of Chapman University with a B.A. degree in Screenwriting and has earned multiple awards for her screenplays. Prior to attending Chapman, Evette also earned two Associate degrees, completed various production courses, and earned a Certificate of Achievement in Accounting. Evette is co-founder of Gemini Pictures alongside her twin sister Cassandra. Evette has produced and written multiple short films and digital media content including her own digital series, “Between Bullets” (2015) starring James Kyson of “Heroes”. She is also active in the San Diego film community.

Contributing Artists

Faelynn Paterson (Art Direction, artist, & props)

Don Madison (woodcarvings)

Pat Brymer (puppet)

Conner Kollenda (ocean photography)

Kris Markovich (skater/artist)

Nick Edwards-Johnson (Ento t-shirt design)

Tony Richards (artist)

Carolina Bruhn (paintings)

Josh Benz (paintings)

Lizet Benrey (paintings)

Joe Biden (drawings)

Cecelia Grant (paintings)

  • Life In Reels Productions
  • 3rd September 2014
  • Feature Films
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