KTTK Productions is comprised of Kevin Tostado and Tom Kochem. Both have graduated from Olin College
in Needham, MA with engineering degrees. They have always shared a passion for film and video. In January and February of 2005, the duo produced The Olin Experience
, a short documentary video that was completed as an academic exercise. The documentary is about student life at Olin College.
After audiences responded positively to The Olin Experience
, Kevin and Tom decided to think more seriously about pursuing careers in film. Tom got a part time on-campus job at Olin College, making a new video about Olin for the admissions office to use to recruit prospective students. This video, Leading The Way
, was completed in November of 2005, and can be viewed here
. Leading The Way
recently won an award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in the 2005 digital media category. CASE awards recognize excellence in college promotional materials, such as pamphlets and advertisements. Yellow Lights
got started in June of 2005. Kevin and Tom had long discussed making a short film. Finally, they decided to dive in, tackling not a short, but a feature film. Kevin was at home in San Diego for the summer, but Tom was still out in Massachusetts at his home in Belmont. Both were already working internships for the summer, but in their spare time, they worked over the phone and online to develop characters, a story, and eventually an actual script. In August, Tom spent a week visiting Kevin in San Diego to complete the first draft of the script. By the beginning of their senior year, the first draft was finished.
Casting took place in September. In October, there were a series of "test shoots" to figure out the sound and lighting logistics of filming - as first-time filmmakers, this was necessary. All the while, Kevin and Tom were working to revise the script and make it as strong as possible. The final version of the script was completed on November 16, 2005.
The budget for the project was under $500, with almost all equipment borrowed, and all cast and crew working for free. Filming took place at Babson College, Wellesley College, Olin College, and in the Wellesley/Needham area between December 2005 and April 2006. Editing of the film occurred in parallel with filming and a first cut was finished on May 17th, 2006. Now that Yellow Lights
has been finished, Kevin & Tom submitted Yellow Lights
to various film festivals around the country and it was selected to screen at Indie Fest USA 2007, where it won awards for "Best Feature" and "Best Cinematography". Most recently, they have released a soundtrack and DVD through the web store
Bennett plays the lead role of Brian in Yellow Lights
. A well-traveled Mainer, Bennett was born in Vermont, lived in Minnesota, and returned to Maine. He attended high school in Hampden, Maine, near Bangor. He was involved in most of the clubs, sports, and band activities offered, and he still regrets not being able to do a few of the others. Music and drama have always been deep passions for Bennett – in addition to acting, he plays bass guitar, flute, and even sings.
He first got on stage in middle school. Since then, he has appeared in a myriad of theatrical productions. He played Winston in an adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984,” opposite his brother (ironically the villain who betrays and tortures Winston). He also played Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
He is currently a member of the Class of 2009 at Olin College of Engineering, where he feels that he doesn't play nearly enough bass, or listen to enough music, or see enough rock shows - but he’s trying. He likes “an absurd variety” of rock music, sprinkled with some electronic, folk, and bluegrass. Current hot items on his playlist are The Mars Volta, Nickel Creek, Coheed and Cambria, and Muse.
He says that he admires, “movies that find a way to be original and interesting in the face of so many recycled ideas and devices. I won't lie, though, I give movies a huge benefit of the doubt, and as with people, find something to like about most of them.” His recent and all-time favorites include I Heart Huckabees
, Fight Club
, The Princess Bride
, Garden State
, Sin City
, Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles
, and Adaptation
After earning his engineering degree, Bennett doesn’t know where he’ll go next. Until then, he'll be acting, playing, singing, running, skiing, hiking, and traveling as much as he can.
Aja (pronounced like the continent, Asia) Munsell plays the female lead role, Alex. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut, but essentially grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, graduating from Concord Carlisle Regional High School in 2003. She is a member of the Class of 2007 at Simmons College in Boston, majoring in English with a concentration in film.
Her first acting experience was in fourth grade, a minor role in The Emperor’s New Clothes
. She took minor roles in Meet Me in St. Louis
, The Wizard of Oz
, and Episode 51
. Her first starring role was as Abigail Williams in The Crucible
, followed by Bianca in The Taming of The Shrew
. She also starred in a small video production out of Emerson College called Lost and Journey
. She played the role Perdita. In the future, she hopes to be a film actress, but her backup career is to run a gourmet candy store.
Outside of acting, she enjoys reading books and watching movies. She is also a self-proclaimed computer nerd. Some of her favorite movies include Garden State
, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
, and most comic book movies. As far as music goes, she’s particularly interested in movie soundtracks, because she likes the variety.
The role of Chris is played by Andrew Tsang of Davis, California. He’s also a member of Olin's Class of 2009, majoring in systems engineering. He comes to Yellow Lights with the least acting experience of any cast member, but this doesn't hold him back.
His acting career began with a minor role in the musical Remember Tomorrow
, providing some comic relief in an otherwise serious play. He played a nerd. When Yellow Lights
is finished, he won’t be pursuing acting as his career, but he’d like to continue acting in minor roles for fun.
Andrew is a generally laid back guy. He’s very interested in photography – he started off with an old film camera, but his graduation gift, a Canon Rebel XT, gave him a push in the direction of digital. When he isn’t shooting and cataloging his photos, he enjoys sports, especially Ultimate Frisbee and football. His favorite movies include Top Gun
and Back to the Future
– “the classics,” as he says. Mae, Something Corporate, Death Cab for Cutie, the Decemberists, and the Get Up Kids are some of his favorite bands.
Amanda Hurley plays the role of June. Amanda was born in California, but she was raised around Boston. Amanda is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where she studied drama. She plays the guitar and drums, and she really enjoys indie concerts. She also likes reading a lot.
While she considered majoring in psychology, she is no stranger to acting – she has been acting since age 5, when her interest in television got her parents to take her to a summer theater camp, where she performed in Annie. She has also performed in Macbeth
, The Tempest
, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
, As You Like It
, and Peter Pan
. At age 13, she was in the BU film Collapse
. Her favorite films include Garden State
, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
, Donnie Darko
, and Amelie
Amanda is also interested in playwriting and screenwriting, and would ideally like to write her own sitcom.
Tom Kochem – Producer, Director, Writer
Tom Kochem was born in Belmont, Massachusetts. An alumnus of Olin College in Needham, MA with a degree in mechanical engineering, he has always been interested in film and video. His original interest was in special effects, but he also worked on crew for high school plays. After taking a digital art class, he decided to purchase his own personal camera, tripod, and editing software. Working on several short documentaries gave him formal experience with direction, production, and editing. He co-produced The Olin Experience
, a short documentary about student life at Olin College, with Kevin Tostado in the spring of 2005. He then moved on to produce Leading The Way
, a similar documentary.
He describes himself as athletic, playing virtually any sport. He's been a Red Sox and Patriots fan as long as he can remember. He also enjoys reading when he gets the chance, but film, video, acoustic guitar, and his engineering career take up most of his time. He works as a mechanical engineer at a medical device company in the Boston area.
Some of his favorite movies are Good Will Hunting
, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
, About a Boy,
and Stranger Than Fiction
. He loves Family Guy
. He is also an avid fan of the Halo
game series. His favorite bands "unapologetically" include the Barenaked Ladies, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Dashboard Confessional.
Check out Tom's web site at tomkochem.com
Kevin Tostado – Director, Producer, Writer
Kevin is the founder of Tostie Productions
, a high-definition film and video production company based in San Diego, CA. But strangely enough, before launching a career as a filmmaker, he earned a B.S. degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering. While in his senior year as a member of the inaugural class at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA, he co-wrote and directed a full-length independent feature, Yellow Lights
. This movie took home awards for “Best Feature” and “Best Cinematography” from Indie Fest USA 2007 as well as Telly and DV Awards. Kevin also was a producer for "The Olin Experience," a documentary short about student life at Olin College from a students' perspective which Olin College still regularly shows to prospective students. Most recently, Kevin has directed and produced a documentary about the game of MONOPOLY, Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story
, which played theatrically around the country and will be available in stores and on iTunes, Netflix & Amazon on Valentine's Day 2012. Kevin has also worked as a camera operator, director of photography, and assistant director on music videos, webisodes for NBC's "Heroes," police training videos, Disney Channel commercials, and independent short films.
Check out Kevin's IMDB page.