Blake Elder started his career in New York city in 2008, working for HBO and A & E as well as an Associate Producer, Director of Photography and Editor for Oktane Media Ventures. Blake has directed, produced, written, edited, and shot numerous award-winning films, promotional videos, and commercials. Recognizing the need for a quality production studio, Blake established Rockhill Studios in 2016 to serve as a “Production Hub” allowing the development of its own content as well as acting as a resource center for other productions.
OWNER/PRESIDENT & C.E.O
Kerri Elder, a native of Arkansas, is an accomplished business-woman with over 30 years of experience in real estate development, finance and investment advising. Kerri expanded into the film industry through a partnership with her son Blake, a film maker, by profession. They created Rockhill Studios and Rockhill Media for the purpose of developing and producing high quality, diverse, and significant content for the entertainment and corporate industries. Kerri Elder has Executive Produced a number of feature films, including narratives, shorts and documentaries.
Over 30 years of business development experience in Los Angeles, New York and Northwest Arkansas. An advocate for Arkansas arts and film for 15 years with an emphasis on building a creative community and philanthropy. Demara started working with Rockhill Studios in 2017, during the FREDI film production in Bentonville, AR,coordinating city planning resources and location consulting. Her role was expanded to business development with a focus on expanding Rockhill Studio projects within the Northwest Arkansas business and nonprofit communities.
VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Shelley Needham hails from North Little Rock, AR with extensive experience in marketing, advertising, PR, and film/video production. After graduating from Remington University, she spent 10 years in marketing and advertising. The next 7 years were spent working at Dempsey Film Group as Post Producer then Producer. Her experience in video production while in advertising led her seamlessly into television and film. She has spent the last 7 years working as a producer, production manager and production coordinator. She has produced on seven feature films and recently worked on the HBO series True Detective Season 3. As a producer at Rockhill she works on any size shoot to ensure expectations are met from pre to post-production.
Cassie Self, a NWA native, has used her BA in theater from the University of Arkansas to work in theater, film and commercial production for over 20 years, as an actress, educator, writer and producer. She recently hosted the daily news and information show Power Today and Sam’s Club Kitchen. As founder of what is now known as the Fayetteville Film Fest, she has been passionate about bringing regional filmmakers together to collaborate and instrumental in leading outside filmmakers to experience the benefits of shooting their projects in Arkansas. Returning to NWA to join Rockhill, she loves that it is a studio that works in concert with clients and creatives to make concepts come alive.
Matt Martens, originally from Bentonville, AR, earned a Digital Filmmaking degree from the University of Central Arkansas and is a former Assistant Director for Arkansas films such as Greater, Antiquities, God’s Not Dead 2, and Valley Inn. He moved to Portland, OR to work on Portlandia, Documentary Now!, and Angie Tribeca. Matt joined Rockhill in 2018 to manage the sound stage and help support the growing film/television/commercial industry in Northwest Arkansas.
Rockhill Studios brought Kerri Norman to NWA from her lifelong residence in Hot Springs, AR. Her 20-year career in banking included infancies managing, national training initiatives, project budgeting, and human resources. She then made the transition into the Digital Media Industry by working on the features God’s Not Dead, A Light in the Darkness and Sweet Inspirations as well as the HBO series True Detective 3. At Rockhill, she is able to use her extensive background in finance and marry it with her love for the entertainment industry.
Mitchell Crisp has worked in the film industry since 1998, primarily in the Art Department for television, commercials, and feature film. She has Production Designed 8 feature films and 2 television pilots in the U.S. and South Africa. She has designed sets for television and Art Directed national commercials for clients such as Home Depot, Walmart, Intel, Dow Chemical, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and more. Her extensive experience in commercial tabletop styling, wardrobe, props, and set decorating has been used for everything from still photography to long-form video. She has written copy, produced, production coordinated and has directed 3 music videos. She is a published author and featured journalist, painter, and has designed exhibits for the Little Rock Zoo.
MARKETING/PR/PRODUCTION DESIGNER – ART DIRECTOR
Kris Katrosh has had a 30-year career as a musician, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, with a life-long passion for history and culture. After a stint as a touring musician, he began freelancing in the film industry, working his way up to gaffer, and eventually joining Dempsey Film Group in Little Rock as a producer. He has served on the boards of the Arkansas Humanities Council and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute. Katrosh was the first director of The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History at the University of Arkansas. He is now a Media Production Manager. Outside of his educational role, Katrosh helped design and supervise the building of the studio facility for Rockhill Studios. He also works with local filmmakers on commercials, narrative films, and documentary projects.
Mark Landon Smith has been involved in the film industry as actor, producer, writer and casting for over 30 years. Founder and Director of Actors Casting Agency, boutique actors and casting agency whose mission is to empower actors and clients, he has cast feature films, web series, commercials and industrials. As writer he has seventeen scripts published, which are produced throughout the world. The feature film ‘Parker’s Anchor’, for which he served as producer and local casting director, was the winner of the 2017 Bentonville Film Festival and the short, ‘The Date’, which he co-wrote, was one of the winners of the ’10 Brands 10 Stories’ division at the 2016 Bentonville Film Festival. He also locally cast the feature film ‘Door in the Woods’, produced by Rockhill Studios.