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Bitter Ground Broken

Our Team

Ben Pierson, Co Writer/Director
Benjamin Pierson writes and directs short films with his partner Sascha Montgomery in Los Angeles, CA. Raised on a farm in eastern Colorado, Benjamin made war and monster movies with his brothers in the woods near their home and took that hands on, big vision/little means approach with him to the University of Colorado where his work received the Grillo award three times. Most recently he and Sascha directed Mouth Sounds, a short film that is part of the Interconnected anthology series. He also works with clients such as Sony, Frontline, PBS, the Windward School and musical artists Nice Ghost and Mike Merchant. 
Currently Benjamin, Sascha and their team are developing a limited series Bitter Ground Broken and the proof of concept short Ekelbrode.
Sascha Montgomery, Co Writer/Co Director/Production Designer
Sascha Montgomery is a filmmaker in Los Angeles working with creative partner Benjamin Pierson to visualize and build unique worlds and stories. Practiced in pre-vis, production design, prop creation and color grading, her passion is worldbuilding. She has developed a variety of artistic skills so that she can be present in the filmmaking process from start to finish and ensure that the look and feel of every project is cohesive, unique and meaningful.
Sascha and Benjamin recently wrapped short film Mouth Sounds, which is part of the Interconnected anthology series. She also recently completed production design on poetic documentary God is a Black Woman and short film Odd Job. Her past projects include Garden Heart, A Savage Reminder, Empire, Saving Grace, and Chevy & Caprice. Sascha and Benjamin are now hard at work on a limited series titled Bitter Ground Broken and its proof of concept short Ekelbrode.
Salem Daniel, Executive Producer
Salem Daniel is an Ethiopian American director and producer based in Los Angeles, CA. She specializes in short-form content that points the lens at Black and female-centered narratives. Somewhere between growing up first-generation American and moving to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she found film to be a universal language that could transcend language barriers and cultural idioms.
Salem’s film career started at VICELAND where she worked in production on the award-winning docuseries My House. She most recently co-directed the poetic documentary God is A Black Woman, a multimedia feature-length piece that showcases the journey of eleven Black women in their realization of the divinity of self.
She continues to cultivate partnerships and produce content under the banner of Cushy Films. She has since produced with companies in the documentary space such as XTR, HBO and HOORAE.
Bri Fish, Line Producer
Brianna Fish is a producer, writer, and special effects makeup artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She specializes in horror and film noir. Authenticity in all facets of film is the drive behind her passion, which is why she combines her talents of production and SFX makeup. She strives to bring stories and fears to life to provide the audience with the most visceral reactions.
Upon graduating from CU Boulder, Brianna’s feminist documentary Using the F-Word was an official selection in a New Filmmaker’s Festival in Colorado in 2016. She has been the key special effects makeup artist for award-winning short films such as Sonant and The Day Never Dreams in 2020 and 2021. She also wrote and produced the short horror film, Once Inside, under the umbrella of her production company, BriMutations, due to release in 2022. 
Sam Bear, 1st Assistant Director
Samuel Bear is a writer, director, and assistant director from Los Angeles, CA. Being raised in a tumultuous and impoverished environment, Samuel learned to escape with the help of his trusty camcorder; processing his thoughts and feelings through nonlinear visual clusters turbulently clashing with one another, Samuel didn’t realize at the early age of 6 that he was creating experimental films. Being taken from his original home by child protective services and placed in a highschool film academy allowed him to understand and reconnoiter the art of filmmaking. It was here that Samuel began to refine his thematic habits with politically ambitious horror films. As a screenwriter and director, Samuel was awarded a Presidential Scholarship in pursuit of his film BFA. In college, Samuel found a passion for the role of assistant director, which he would later explore as a production assistant for Netflix, Paramount+, and Nickelodeon projects. 
Daniel Kleen, Cinematographer
Daniel Kleen has always been wholeheartedly addicted to the pursuit of knowledge and incredible experiences that only media Creation provides. Over the last 15 years, He has had the privilege of being involved with several studios including Sony, Universal Studios, and Paramount, in multiple aspects and roles of film production. Upon enrolling at the California Institute of the Arts, He shifted his focus entirely to cinematography and is now CEO of Model 05 Productions and Black Axe Media.  Creating new media in both narrative and commercial fields with the goal of offering high-quality media to everyone who is passionate about what they set out to create.