Meet The Team
At nine years old, 8mm camera in hand, Russ created stories and filmed home movies during summers at the family beach home in Malibu Colony – a hideaway from hectic Hollywood for famous producers, directors, screenwriters, and actors of the time.
With a passion to someday be like those iconic neighbors, Russ attended USC, UCLA, and Hollywood writing and directing schools, while creating original stories and screenplays in multiple genres. Russ continues to create and write today and heads TwinStar, surrounded by a team of amazing talent that cultivates a variety of high-concept, compelling projects.
Michelle began her career at Participant Media as an Executive Assistant. During her time there, she had the privilege to work on respected (and highly nominated) films like Good Night and Good Luck, and documentaries with strength and courage, such as Murderball.
With her passion for creative production, Michelle moved on to work for a film bond company as a Physical Production Coordinator. She was subsequently hired by Paramount Pictures in the Physical Production Management division, starting as a Physical Production Coordinator, then promoted to Sr. Manager.
During Michelle’s eight-plus years at Paramount Pictures, she worked on everything from films under $10M, to exquisite groundbreaking visual effects, characters, and stories brought to life through animation on $200M films. She was actively involved with such features as Benjamin Button, Paranormal Activity, Star Trek, Transformers, Jackass, Flight, The Gambler, and many more.
Media & Development
Kayla is passionate about chasing rich experiences for crafting meaningful stories. With intellectual property, trademark, and copyright research knowledge, Kayla dedicates her energy to fostering authentic voices through visual and written mediums. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of California, San Diego.
While earning her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Theatre Arts and English Literature, Kayla immersed herself in the craft of acting, production, and writing, which led to her debuting a self-published poetry book, "The Unspoken Truth: Words From the Soul."
Kayla continues expanding her reach by managing live productions and events. She also assists in all media initiatives, including branding, marketing, and web development for TwinStar Entertainment.
Jay Lender spent four years as a director on Disney’s hit show, Phineas and Ferb, writing, storyboarding, and composing the occasional song, garnering his second Emmy nomination. Earlier, he did all the same stuff for the classic original three seasons of Nickelodeon’s cultural juggernaut SpongeBob SquarePants (for his first Emmy nod!) Jay also worked on other Nickelodeon shows such as Hey Arnold!, CatDog and The Angry Beavers.
In addition to cartoons, Jay has worked in comics and videogames, on franchises as diverse as Looney Tunes, Destroy All Humans, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Sopranos! His feminist action graphic novel "Duster" was released in 2015, a live-action film "They're Watching" premiered in 2016, and his (scatologically themed) children's book "Poopy McPooFace in The Perilous Journey" is in stores now.
Aaron started his career at MGM Studios designing sell sheets for TV shows and classic films (One-Page Pitch). He hustled “on set” for a few years, then worked with Warner Bros. to refresh DVD key art for home entertainment. With his accurate color sense and advanced Photoshop skills, Warner Bros. approved him to finish their new release posters. Subsequently, he freelanced at Indika Ent., Trailer Park, Midnight Oil, Cimarron Group, and Stun Creative, among others.
Today, he helps new shows and films secure financing by creating compelling pitch decks for actors, producers, and directors. Then, following a successful pitch, Aaron creates theatrical key art for film festivals, film markets, and worldwide distribution.
Judy Carbini - Hicks
Judy’s early career began as a consumer marketing assistant at MCA/Universal Studios. During a fifteen-year tenure, she devoted additional time to learning the craft of story development and analysis and forged relationships with many creative artists and filmmakers of the time. Judy was later hired by Walt Disney Studios Consumer Products division.
As an avid historian, Judy has substantial knowledge of a wide base of produced films, which allows her to provide professional script coverage with a keen eye on story and structure. Her work at TwinStar includes story research and development, script coverage, and creative input on all feature and television projects.