K. Rocco Shields
K. Rocco Shieldsis an award-winning young director with a demonstrated passion for pushing the envelope through provocative projects.
In 2011, with school shootings and teen suicide stories flooding the media, Shields was inspired to create a 19-minute short film entitled “Love is All You Need?” The goal was to help mainstream viewers understand what it feels like to be persecuted for being different. The result was explosive. Since the short leaked on the Internet in 2013, it has organically garnered over 50 million views internationally and has been self-translated into over a dozen languages. The short screened at over 20 festivals worldwide and received many "Best Short" and "Best Director" accolades.
The feature version of the short, supported by a versatile celebrity cast including Briana Evigan, Tyler Blackburn, Emily Osment, Elisabeth Röhm and Jeremy Sisto, was rolled out theatrically in a national tour in the Fall of 2016 before being released digitally on Thanksgiving Day. It is the first of a diverse slate of projects under development by Shields, each crafted with the intention of lensing socially conscious subjects in a new light.
A Film Theory major at UC Santa Barbara, Shields cut her teeth editing before transitioning into script supervising and working her way up the ladder. She quickly became a highly coveted script supervisor in the industry, working with directors including J.J. Abrams and Gore Verbinski, before moving on to direct and produce her own projects. She went on to form her own production company, Wingspan Pictures, in 2008, before starting her current venture, Genius Pictures - creating award-winning commercials, music videos, and shorts at both.
Shields is involved with numerous educational and nonprofit programs. With support from educators of the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education, she is working to produce an anti-bullying lesson plan centered on the short, which will be available for free download online. The feature film is supported by numerous nonprofit partner organizations including The Matthew Shepard Foundation, The Tyler Clementi Foundation, and Boo2Bullying among others.
David Tillman: co-writer. David and K Rocco Shields first joined forces to write the award winning short film version of Love Is All You Need? that went on to be a viral sensation. Since then they have worked on multiple projects including the feature film version of Love Is All You Need?
The concept of the film really struck a personal chord with me. Having been a victim of bullying I know first hand the pain, suffering and self-hate it caused me. I was honored to be asked by Rocco to help bring a story to life onscreen that could potentially help thousands of young people - gay or straight - to either realize they are not alone and that their struggle is being heard or, even more importantly, that the young people who are actually doing the bullying will wake up to the harm and long term effects they are inflicting on their victims.
If even one person is saved from self harm or from inflicting pain on another, then I believe we will have succeeded in our mission.
In addition to LIAYN, you can see David's feature film debut Hansel and Gretel Get Baked starring Lara Flynn Boyle and Carey Elwes on Chiller Channel, Netflix and iTunes. He has two other features films Kryptic –a psychological thriller and a romantic comedy Finding Mr. Wright slated for production in 2017.