Hailing originally from Columbia, Missouri, Caullen is an award-winning filmmaker, activist, and social entrepreneur living in Chicago. Before earning a BA in Digital Cinema at DePaul University in 2013, he spent some time in Los Angeles learning the development and business side of the film industry. After graduating, Caullen joined his love of cinema and social justice to create SoapBox Productions and Organizing. In 2017, he earned a masters in sociology to gain a better understanding in the ways in which to explore issues through social research and creative pathways, thus connecting the creative to the academic to the activist for a more equitable world. Now with nearly a decade of film, commercial, and television/web experience, years of community-based organizing work, and SoapBox’s ever-evolving efforts, Caullen directs, produces, writes, and educates, and acts to bring about participatory, authentic structures and alliances to transform narratives and abolish oppressive systems to work towards liberation.
David Alfonso Moran is a first-generation Chicano from the West Side of Chicago. Born to Mexican immigrants in the early 90’s, David uses his experience and education as a writer, producer, filmmaker, and facilitator to name, resist, and challenge issues ranging from "crimmigration" to PIC abolition. After receiving his BA from Columbia College Chicago, David joined SoapBox in December 2016, expanding it to its multimedia state and establishing it as a 501c3 in 2018. Since then, David has been directing, organizing and engaging in the day-to-day operations of both the 501c3 and the culture.
James is a Chicago-based all-around filmmaker and visual storyteller specializing in documentary, scripted films, and live event photography. After years in commercial video production after college, he now primarily works independently as a cinematographer and editor. When deepening his political education and sense of international struggle within the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement for Palestinian liberation and later in the 2020 summer uprisings against police violence and white supremacy, he transitioned his creative focus to uplifting movements, telling important stories, and calling audiences to action.
C’airra Cortez is a passionate, expressive cinematographer, digital content creator, and documentarian that seeks to use her skills to express her creativity while consciously stimulating the mind though her pieces of art. She is the Creator and Owner of Blue Lotus Media, a Chicago-based media production dedicated to the representation and shaping of narratives in media that illustrates the principles of humanity. BLM provides creative storytelling structures to its clients to capture memorable, relevant and documentary style content that influences thought provoking conversations and change. She hopes to continue to grow and become a very prominent figure in the media industry while expressing her light and creativity through her different works of art.
Dakota is a photographer, director, cinematographer, editor, and writer based in the Chicago area. His passion for stories started from a young age and continues to grow everyday. He has collaborated with creatives from all over the country on projects ranging from documentaries and news stories to music videos and television commercials. His work has been featured in publications like; Product Design Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and the front page of NBC News. He hopes his work will effectively tell the stories that deserve to be told and he strives to elicit emotion and thought from his audience. He wants to encourage new and unseen perspectives and feelings, using art to make the world a better more empathetic place. He is a passionate advocate for mental healthcare; curating a charity music compilation to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness and creating the forthcoming Cope Radio Podcast.
Kiera Battles has always been into music ever since starting the violin in the 4th grade and joining a choir in high school. She began her audio journey her junior year of high school and has enjoyed it ever since. Kiera graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2022 with an Interdisciplinary degree in Audio Arts and Music Business and is currently pursuing a masters in the field. Within these departments, she hopes to break into the music industry through both the audio and the business world!
Pam has a versatile post-production skill set that is primarily focused on video editing and motion graphics. As a freelance editor, her work includes events such as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and events featuring Logic and Jesse McCartney; she also has experience editing in various topics, ranging from narrative work to advertisements to training videos for companies such as Salesforce. She recently joined Soapbox in order to find more meaningful post-work, in order to ameliorate the cognitive dissonance between experiencing and understanding the issues in modern-day society while simultaneously doing relatively little to help rectify the problems. Pam brings her talents to SoapBox as an editor, colorist, motion graphics artist -- if it's post, she can handle it. See more at pamatadero.com.
Jamie Price is a visual artist by day, and data conversion specialist by night. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and obtained her BFA in Photography at NIU, focusing on documentation of life in the Midwest and finding meaning in critical thought and analysis. Providing accessibility through transcription work with SoapBox is one seemingly small and yet crucial gesture through which Jamie hopes to help build a more just society.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Genta Tamashiro is a creative devotee of the artistic community. He attended the specialized magnet school Denver School of the Arts for middle and high school, which gave him a solid foundation in musical performance and theory as well as an introduction into audio engineering. After spending some time at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Genta moved to Chicago to pursue a career in audio engineering where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Audio Design and Production from Columbia College in 2015. Through his freelance audio work, he has traveled around the country and the world with notable artists such as the Becca Kaufman Orchestra, The Way Down Wanderers, and Masego. When he is not running the sound for a band somewhere, you can find him producing his own music or editing podcasts for SoapBox and other creative organizations.
Photos with yellow background by Sean Kelly. Kiera and James' photo by Aidan Kranz.