Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story


Ralph Wilcox (Writer, Director, Producer)

Ralph Wilcox is the writer, director, producer, and the brainchild behind THE LENA BAKER STORY (the movie). He is a 30 year veteran actor on the New York Broadway stage and in Hollywood. After living six years in Africa producing documentaries on the lives of missionaries, he relocated to southwest Georgia, built a 22,000 square-foot movie studio, and founded the Henny Penny Video/Television Production training program. He is the Southwest Georgia Film Commission Director and markets 12 counties to the film and television industry. He is also the CEO of Schusters Cash, LLC, a film/video/television production company that joined forces with Laughing Crow Entertainment to produce THE LENA BAKER STORY.

Dennis Johnson (Producer)

Dennis’ experiences have included feature films, television and talent management. Dennis was the President and General Manager for Omni Broadcasting Network, Dennis Johnson Productions and Senior Vice President for Showtime Entertainment Group. Before his tenure at Showtime, Johnson held the positions of Vice President with Osmond Television, Vice President/ Executive Producer at ABC Television Networks, and Director of Comedy and Variety Programs at NBC Television Networks.

C. Barton Rice (Executive Producer, Laughing Crow Entertainment, LLC)

The Executive Director of the Charles and Catherine B. Rice Foundation and now the Executive Producer on THE LENA BAKER STORY his mission of bringing economic development to Early County’s Blakely, Georgia, through the Early County 2055 revitalization initiative has been a perfect match with Ralph Wilcox’s vision of using the film and television industry, not only to tell great stories, but as a vehicle for economic development in Southwest Georgia. Rice’s Laughing Crow Entertainment, LLC and Wilcox’s Schusters Cash, LLC have blended their missions thus giving birth and life to THE LENA BAKER STORY.

Charles B. Rice Sr. (Executive Producer)

A southwest Georgia native and the founder of the Charles and Catherine B. Rice Foundation and Barton Protective Services, Charles B. Rice, Sr., is on a mission to bring economic development to the town in which he was born and reared, Blakely, Georgia – Early County. This mission is being realized through the EC2055 Initiative. He is also Executive Producer on THE LENA BAKER STORY, along with his son C. Barton Rice, Jr. The film and television industry is a perfect fit and matches the ultimate objective of Early County 2055 and Director Ralph Wilcox’s agenda for providing new economic opportunity in Southwest Georgia.

Michael Shawn Lewallen (Cinematographer)

Michael was born in Winston-Salem, NC. Shawn inherited his eye for art from his painter Grandfather, who gave him an appreciation for visual aesthetics. He found his true calling when a neighbor introduced him to still photography.

After studying and working in the field of still photography, Shawn decided to study film at the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking. He went on to learn his trade, working first in the ranks of the camera department and then as an electrician and grip before focusing solely on cinematography and working as a Director of Photography.

Shawn has worked in all film and video formats and has been awarded for his work, most recently winning Best Cinematography from various film festivals for his work on the docu-drama Cocaine Angel and the Epic Civil War film The Last Confederate aka Strike the Tent.

Hunter M. Via (Film Editor)

Hunter joins The Lena Baker Story straight from his cutting room on FRANK DARABONT’S THE MIST. Hunter’s other credits include: the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Fox television series Arrested Development, the Emmy and Golden Globe winning FX television series The Shield, Country Music Television’s Total Access: Big and Rich, national commercials and more.

Hunter, his wife Amy and dog Dudley, lived in Los Angeles for 7 years before returning home to Atlanta. However, they are technically bi-coastal as they have owned a house in Atlanta for the past 16 months and lived in Los Angeles for 9 of those.

Todd Cochran (Composer)

long with extensive formal training and jazz associations, Todd Cochran’s music incorporates diverse musical references from the traditions of the African and Asian Diasporas and global pop culture. Born in San Francisco, his formal musical education was through Trinity College of Music, London. Todd’s film composition credits include KEEP THE FAITH, BABY (The Adam Clayton Powell Story), and the TD Jakes/Reuben Cannon film, WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED, the Danny Glover film TOUSSAINT L’OVERTURE – FOUNDER OF THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION and many others.