The Ox

Master craftsmen and Vietnam veteran Eric Hollenbeck keeps ancient crafts alive in Eureka, California.


Dinner with Fred

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a brilliant young poultry scientist in WWII Canada


"Did you ever hear the story of how the chickens saved my life?" Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a brilliant young poultry scientist in WWII Canada, Dinner with Fred stars Adam John Harrington in the title role in this visually lush, ambitious, and sweepingly hopeful short film. At the cusp of the Invasion of Normandy, devoted artillery lieutenant Fred Conrad's train comes to a screeching halt when he is ripped from the sides of his brothers and sent home to lead the Canadian push to cope with a massive wartime food shortage.

Though devastated at first, Fred, with the help of his loving but no-nonsense wife Hilda (Austin Highsmith), turns a misfortunate change-of-plans into a career in humane poultry science that proves to hold meaning and purpose heyond his wildest dreams, With sparkling supporting performances by Scott Lowell, Ron Orbach and Scott Laufer, Dinner with Fred is a captivating tale of what it means to serve one's country even in unexpected ways.


Qualified for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film
Winner. Best Director of a Short Film, 2011 Tulsa International Film Festerval (Ben Proudfoot)
Winner. Best Short Film, 2011 Tulsa International Film Festival
Winner. Best Short Film, 2011 Flint Film Festival
Winner. Best Picture, 2011 Souther California Business Film Festival
Winner. Best Actor, 2011 Souther California Business Film Festival (Adam J. Harrington)
Winner. Best Director, 2011 Southern California Business Film Festival (Ben Proudfoot)
Winner. Best Score, 2011 Van Wert Film Festival (Kyle Malkin)
Winner. Best Student Short Film, 2011 Redemptive Film Festival
Semi-Finalist. 2011 Angelus Student Film Festival
Official Selection. 2011 Los Angeles Shorts Fest
Official Selection. 2011 Rome International Film Festival
Official Selection. 2011 Rumschrpinge Film Festival
Official Selection. 2011 Film Stories Student Film Festival


PhotoCine News: How "Dinner With Fred" Got John Williams' Players for the Music
Tulsa World: Tulsa International Film Festival Winners Announced

Cast & Crew

Adam J. HarringtonOld/Young Fred Conrad
Austin HighsmithHilda Conrad
Scott LowellHeywood Flannigan
Ron OrbachMitch Corkum
Scott LauferJack Conrad
Ben ProudfootDirector, Writer
Alex KefalosProducer
Matthew QuandtProducer
Aaron RabkinProducer
Dillon BrownAssociate Producer
John DeaneAssociate Producer
Kyle MalkinComposer
Josh LiptonCinematographer
Nicole DeaneFilm Editor
Scott David C.S.ACasting Director

Ben Proudfoot | Director & Founder

Director and producer Ben Proudfoot was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His father is a trial lawyer and his mother is a sociology professor.

At the age of 15, Proudfoot began studying sleight-of-hand magic and over the next three years, won both the Canadian and International Championships for legerdemain. At 16, he joined the Magic Castle Junior Program in Los Angeles.

Proudfoot's passions shifted to filmmaking, and he was subsequently accepted to the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. In 2011, Proudfoot wrote and directed the short film Dinner with Fred which garnered dozens of festival awards worldwide and won him two Best Director awards and a qualification for the 2012 Academy Awards© for Best Live Action Short Film. In May 2012, Proudfoot directed a short documentary entitled ink&paper that found an international audience of over one million people on Vimeo, triggering Sony Pictures Television to option the property.

In 2012, Proudfoot founded Breakwater Studios Ltd. and established a production office in Los Angeles in the building where Walt Disney first started his company in 1923.

In 2013, Proudfoot released another short craftspeople documentary called The Ox which garnered even more views than ink&paper did.

Proudfoot is in post production on his first feature film, a documentary about a Shakespeare scholar mounting Romeo & Juliet in Rwanda with local high school kids 20 years after the genocide.

David Bolen | Cinematographer

David Bolen is an award-winning Canadian cinematographer and director based out of Los Angeles, California. Born in Toronto to a family of filmmakers and journalists, David was exposed to cameras at a very young age.

An alumnus of the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts, David has worked consistently as a cinematographer and director since graduating in 2013. In addition to shooting feature documentaries such as the award-winning feature documentary The Dropbox, which will be released in Fall 2014, David has filmed over 30 short films, 20 music videos, 15 commercials, and numerous behind-the-scenes for several hit shows, including It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Glee. David is also experienced as a director, selected at USC to direct a 480 thesis film entitled Hotel Vernonia (2013).

David's most recent collaborations have been with director Ben Proudfoot of Breakwater Studios. Working for Breakwater as a cinematographer and director, he has shot several live-action opening title sequences for Warner Bros. and Darkwoods Productions. David recently traveled to Africa to capture Proudfoot’s Kigali/Verona, a feature length documentary chronicling a Shakespeare scholar mounting Romeo and Juliet in Rwanda 20 years after the genocide. David is currently directing two pilot episodes of Haven: Origins, a origin story spinoff series for Stephen King’s Haven, which airs on Syfy.

David Nieman | Head of Post

David Nieman is an Ohio-born, New Hampshire-raised, artistic problem solver. A high school internship with a Hollywood visual effects artist led David from an early interest in architecture, science, and all things technical, to a path toward the film industry.

From the beginning of his journey into filmmaking, David has had a passion for the creative workflow of post production. He left the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire to study film production at Emerson College in Boston. Here, he followed his interest in post as a manager of Emerson’s Digital Production Lab, and pursued his love for documentary filmmaking as the president of the school’s documentary club, Captured Emotion. David graduated from Emerson after producing his honors thesis documentary, Ravine, centered on a unique backcountry skiing community in rural New Hampshire.

David joins Breakwater as Head of Post-Production, overseeing all technical elements of picture editing, sound, color, visual effects and finishing - shaping a seamless delivery pipeline in the ever-accelerating world of post. As the last set of eyes and ears on any outgoing project, David ensures the highest technical integrity of all projects that pass through Breakwater Studios.

Emily Bon | Head of Development

A native of artistically vibrant Santa Monica, Emily Bon developed her passions for film, literature, and vocal studies at a young age. Her further investment in the cultural studies of gender, ethnicity, and media led her to the prestigious Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, with a minor in Cinematic Arts from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She graduated with honors in the Spring of 2012.

Emily’s previous positions at major agencies in the film and digital media industries led her to Breakwater Studios in early 2014, where she works daily with Ben Proudfoot as his Head of Development.

Gary Swim | Head of Field Operations

Born and raised in a quaint fishing community on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Gary brings 31 years of film and television experience to Breakwater Studios. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Gary has been an important ambassador for the region, serving as a location scout and manager for hundreds of productions, learning every epic landscape, period fishing village and hidden cove of Atlantic Canada.

With degrees in anthropology and ancient history, Gary started as coordinator of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP) in Halifax, studied administration at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and contributed as a founding member of the Directors Guild of Canada - Atlantic Regional Council. With dozens of credits like Dolores Claiborne, Amelia, and The Weight of Water, Gary has worked extensively with local production companies as well as some of the largest in the world, including Walt Disney Pictures and Sony Pictures, his work earning the Nova Scotia Film Crew Excellence Award in 2014.

As Breakwater's Head of Field Operations, Gary not only brings his extensive talent and cranial database as a seasoned location manager, but also the attention-to-detail and production experience required on Breakwater Studios' myriad international ventures around the world. Gary is not only thrilled to be part of the talented creative team at Breakwater Studios, but also welcomes the opportunity continue to build the regional industry he helped to found.

Mary-Dan Johnston | Head of Research

Mary-Dan Johnston was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. Always immersed in stories as a child, her love of narrative shaped the way she looks at the world. After spending her college years at St. Thomas University, a small liberal arts school in New Brunswick, Mary-Dan moved to the UK to pursue a Master's degree in Economic and Social History at the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. After finishing her postgraduate work, Mary-Dan has been putting her credentials to use in progressive policy research and advocacy in Halifax, while continuing her historical research and literary non-fiction work.

Joining Breakwater Studios in 2016 as Head of Research, Mary-Dan dives deep into the archives to color, calibrate and inform the often historical stories told by Breakwater Studios.

Nicholas Jacobson-Larson | Composer

Nicholas Jacobson-Larson is a Los Angeles-based composer, conductor, and orchestrator who has written music for feature films, television, theater and the concert hall.

In 2014, Nicholas composed the score for the feature documentary Rwanda & Juliet, recorded at Warner Bros. Eastwood Stage. He also provided concert orchestrations for composer Michael Giacchino's Star Trek Into Darkness: Live In Concert, which premiered at Royal Albert Hall, as well as score preparation for the feature film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. In 2013, Nicholas wrote the score for the award-winning documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, and in 2012 was selected to participate in the ASCAP Film/TV Scoring Workshop with Richard Bellis, winning the Michelle and Dean Kay Award from The ASCAP Foundation.

Nicholas remains active writing music for the concert hall, having recently completed two commissions for the Naples Philharmonic: “Fantasia for Four Harps and Orchestra” (a quadruple harp concerto), and “The Snow Queen” (an educational piece for children, with narration by Dalton Leeb).

As a conductor, Nicholas has led several concerts, revues, recording sessions, and theatrical productions, including the musicals The Light in the Piazza, Les Miserables, and West Side Story. He was recently named Principal Conductor of the Contemporary Performance Collective.

Nick Wright | Creative Partner & Editor-in-Chief

Nick Garnham Wright was born and raised in the rolling hills of Northern California. Drawn to the arts at a young age, Nick soon became passionate about storytelling and, in turn, filmmaking. This pursuit led him to New York City where he earned a degree in Film & Television at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Always a California kid at heart, Nick moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an editor and avoid another east coast winter. In addition to editing, Nick is a writer and director, helming a variety of short films and music videos. His comedic short, Breaking the Board, was an official selection at the 2013 Los Angeles Comedy Fest.

Nick has spent time living in England, France, and the Czech Republic with many adventures in-between and many more to come. Stay tuned for what's next.

Sam Sandweiss | Head of Production

Born and raised in sunny Tucson Arizona, Sam Sandweiss is an avid creator and consumer of many different types of media. While only in middle school Sam developed a taste for movie making, and mastered the greatest editing program of all time, which in his opinion is iMovie '06. A few amateur music videos and several Final Cut Pro classes later, Sam had the good fortune to win a $10,000 contest for creating a 30-second commercial for Entertainment Publications. This was followed up by another first place finish in the Natural High PSA contest, and was honored at the Scripps Research Institute for his work.

Sam attended college at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, where he double majored in Film Production and Interactive Media & Games. His film thesis, entitled Takanakuy (2014 dir. Austin Kolodney), is currently touring festivals around the world, and has already won a Student Emmy for Best Comedy.

Besides his education, Sam has had the great fortune to work for a variety of companies and films including Caviar, Blumhouse, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp, The Young Kieslowski (2014 dir. Kerem Sanga), The Last Survivors (2014 dir. Thomas Hammock), and Digital Media Academy.

Sean Higgins | Head of Sound

A native of Marin County, California, Sean Higgins grew up in the video village on Industrial Light & Magic sets watching his Dad, an on-set video assist. Since his childhood, Sean has been passionate about sound production in its many venues, and particularly its application in cinema. He began to apprentice with industry professionals while still in high school. After being accepted to USC, Sean served as the audio director of Bovard Auditorium and all campus performance venues, worked as a teaching assistant in numerous sound production classes, and mixed over 100 student short films. Since graduating, Sean has worked on over 50 short films and a number of features as either supervisor, mixer, or production sound recordist.

Particularly interested in post-production and documentary location recording, Sean excels in collaborative environments where he can help create a soundtrack integral to the story. He has worked with Ben Proudfoot since before the formation of Breakwater Studios, most notably on Ben’s 2011 short, Dinner With Fred, where Sean supervised all sound, from pre-production to mixing the final film on a Warner Bros. stage.

Sean holds a B.A. degree in film production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a minor in music recording from the Thornton School of Music, and currently freelances as a sound re-recording mixer for motion pictures and television.

Stephen Derluguian | Colorist-in-Chief

Stephen Derluguian was born in Krasnodar in the former Soviet Union to professor parents. When he was just a toddler, his family moved to Chicago. Stephen grew up watching classics of international and Soviet Cinema on VHS, gifts his father brought back from his travels.

In 2012, Stephen graduated Magna Cum Laude from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where he met director Ben Proudfoot. He began working on an international production for Breakwater Studios shortly after graduating.

Today Stephen’s passion has become his work, and everyday he strives to bring vital, thoughtful and artistic films to the screen as Director of Special Projects for Breakwater Studios.

Terry Quennell | Designer-in-Chief

Mr. Quennell was born in Guelph, Ontario and graduated from Dalhousie University (formerly the Technical University of Nova Scotia) with a Masters Degree in Architecture in 1990. In a previous life he graduated from Lakehead University with a degree in Forestry in 1980. His dream dinner companions would be designer Jack Fisk, guitarist Keith Richards, actor Jeff Bridges and writer Miriam Toews. He has worked as a designer in the film and television industry for eighteen years, collaborating with such production design talents as Oscar-nominated David Gropman (The Shipping News) and Emmy-nominated Ian Thomas (Reversible Errors) as well as noted directors Kathryn Bigelow, Lasse Hallstrom and David Gordon Green.

Terry has taught production design courses at NSCAD University in Halifax as well as design intensive courses with the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative. He has traveled extensively through all of the major continents (sorry Antarctica) and lives in Timberlea, Nova Scotia with his dog, Hannah, where he continues to do battle with the unpredictable maritime summer and its affects on his vegetable garden.

Mr. Quennell joins Breakwater Studios as its Designer-in-Chief, overseeing all conceptual art, storyboards, production design and graphic design for Breakwater Studios' sundry projects.

Contact Information

Breakwater Studios Ltd. (Los Angeles)
4655 Kingswell Avenue, Suite 201
Los Angeles, California 90027
Main Los Angeles: (323) 522-3870
Facsimile: (323) 552-3871

Breakwater Studios Ltd. (Halifax)
5174 Bishop Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1C9
Main Halifax: (903) 405-4440

General Inquiries:

To contact Ben Proudfoot directly: