Stuart Heinlein


Stuart Heinlein is a part-time student wrapping up his fifth and final year at Michigan State University.  His love for film was sparked when he was given a Digital Blue under ten years old, making homemade movies with friends and family up and throughout high school. Since attending college Stuart has helped to create over ten short films, three features and has worked for companies like Salesforce in San Francisco. He’s concluding his final year directing fiction film’s, On The Way Up, taking part in the annual T2F feature-film process, and finishing a personal short film from the summer.  


Dominic Aldini 


Dominic is a 5th year at Michigan State University with a dual major in Media and Information and History and a minor in Fiction Film. Dominic was a Co-Producer (along with Ryan Basel) for On the Way Up. He is currently an intern for WKAR as a production assistant and hopes to continue his passions with television and film. He enjoys making short films with his friends and playing Tenor Saxophone in his spare time. He would like to thank everyone that has been a part of this film, his mom dad and brother Lido, and everyone else who has believed in him through his entire journey. Love you all and enjoy the show!


Ryan Basel


Ryan is a Media and Information major as well as a Fiction Film Production minor in his final semester at Michigan State. Ryan acted as Co-Producer (along with Dominic) for On the Way Up. His prior experience includes many Directing credits - most notably as a part of the Telecasters group “TURN” and the short film produced by the Beyond Bollywood 2016 study abroad program titled Final Call. In the near future, Ryan will have a directing role in this years Theatre2Film production. His future ambitions are to get into the Media Entertainment industry in any creative capacity; such as working on feature films, video games, or advertising. Ryan would like to thank the entire cast crew of On the Way Up.


Jeffrey C. Wray

Executive Producer

A filmmaker and screenwriter, his most recent film, The Evolution of Bert (2014), premiered at the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) in the New Directors competition, the Black Perspectives program and was a finalist for the Roger Ebert Award. His other films include China (2003), broadcast nationally by PBS and screened throughout the country. Jeff teaches film production, film studies and screenwriting.  He is the recipient of the 2016 College of Arts and Letters Paul Varg Award for Teaching and Scholarly Achievement.


Bob Albers

Executive Producer

Bob Albers is a documentary filmmaker with extensive experience as a producer, director, cameraperson, writer, editor, and executive producer and teaches film and video production at MSU. He has produced and directed many documentaries, directed multi-camera orchestra programs, and has worked extensively in public affairs television programming. Programs created and supervised by Bob Albers have ranged from governmental affairs to sports to the arts, with many programs receiving awards and widespread distribution, both national and international. He is also active as a consultant and independent producer and director.


Carley Burgess

Writer, Art Director

Carley is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Michigan State in Media and Information, with a minor in Fiction Filmmaking. As well as being one of the writers for On the Way Up, Carley also acted as a boom op and art director.  Over the years she has made various short films and other videos both academically and in her spare time. Upon graduation, Carley plans on moving to Atlanta, GA in hopes of making a difference for women in the film industry. She would like to thank everyone who helped create On the Way Up, a movie she holds close to her heart. More specifically, her co-writers Colin and Colin for giving her memories that she’ll always cherish.  


Colin Riley

Writer, Grip, Post Production Supervisor

A former sailor, Colin Riley currently uses his GI Bill benefits to study media and fiction filmmaking at Michigan State University. Colin is a member of the MSU Filmmakers Club and MSU Student Veterans of America in addition to his classes. His various roles for On the Way Up include writer, grip, and post-production supervisor. He would like to thank his incredibly talented co-writers, Carley Burgess and Colin Williams, along with the film’s equally talented gaffer, Amy Wagenaar.


Colin Williams

Writer, Locations Coordinator

Colin is a senior at Michigan State University, with a major in film studies and a minor in Fiction Film Production. He served as one of the writers for On The Way Up as well as the location coordinator. In the future, he hopes to continue to write films that are filled with empathy, just like On the Way Up. He would like to thank his co-writers, Colin Riley and Carley Burgess, for being both great collaborators, and genuinely good people. He currently resides in southern New Jersey.


Zach Woronoff

Unit Production Manager

Zach is a senior history major at Michigan State University. He was the production manager and budget overseer. He is also in charge of the Indiegogo campaign. He enjoyed the arduous process of this film and is hopeful to handle production manager jobs in the future. He would like to thank Amy specifically for sacrificing so much for the film.


Nick Hayes

1st Assistant Director, Marketing Director

Nick is a senior this year at Michigan State studying Media Information and Film Production. He worked as the 1st Assistant Director and Marketing Director for On The Way Up. Nick has worked on many projects ranging from music videos, short films, commercials, and 4 feature films, two of which are slated to premiere later this summer. He recently worked on Transformers 5 in the production office and can’t wait to get back into the field. Nick hopes to someday work on large scale films as an Assistant Director. In his spare time, Nick also enjoys producing dance music. Nick would like to thank everyone who made On the Way Up possible.


Peter O’Connor

Director of Photography

Peter is a senior Media and Information major specializing in fiction film and television at Michigan State University. He worked as the director of photography for On the Way Up. As someone who became fascinated with storytelling at a young age, Peter spent much of his childhood studying and learning how to tell stories through music and film. He plans to spend the rest of his life challenging perceptions, spreading positivity, and making people laugh through his work. Outside of school and work, Peter enjoys making music, working out, snowboarding, and hanging out with friends.


Amy Wagenaar

Gaffer, Production Design, Colorist, Music Supervisor

Amy is a dual degree senior at Michigan State completing degrees in Media and Information and Film Studies, with a Fiction Filmmaking minor. Amy was the gaffer and production designer for this film, along with location scouting, music supervising, and coloring.  Her films have been in seven film festivals both in the US and abroad, and she just recently won a Michigan Student Broadcasters Award for her cinematography work in a documentary titled Reclaim. Her most recent works include On the Way Up, Reclaim, and White Lines. Amy is currently working on 3 films as a Director of Photography, all slated to be completed  Summer 2017. Her primary passions include cinematography, writing, and attempting to read for fun when she can. She would like to thank her family, friends, and crew for supporting her during this production.


Elise Conklin

Lead Editor, Post Production Supervisor, Script Supervisor 

Elise is a senior Media and Information major at Michigan State University with a triple minor. She worked as Editor, Post Production Supervisor and Script Supervisor. She loves post production and will be one of the Lead Editors on the feature film Stay With Me, which begins filming in March 2017. Elise has aspirations to continue working as an editor but also loves directing Documentary Films - for the money. She is planning on moving to New York after graduation, and would like to thank her parents, Erin and Scott Conklin for supporting her decision to become a starving artist and her boyfriend, Dilyn Corner, for putting up with her not sleeping for an entire semester.


Kim Labick

First Camera Operator and Trailer Designer

Kim is a Media and Information senior at Michigan State with a minor in Fiction Film Production.  She likes films, movies, talkies, and the occasional silent picture on the beach. Kim is currently working on her own short film passion project as well as this year's Theater2Film production as a Director and multi-section camera operator. At any given time, you can be sure Kim hasn't had nearly enough sleep or enough coffee. She'd like to thank her friends, family, Steven Spielberg, Jeff and Bob, Dave from Advanced Multimedia, and the Lord baby Jesus.



Jeremy Peterson

Digital Image Technician, co-editor, 2nd Camera Op, Trailer Design 

Jeremy is a senior at Michigan State majoring in Media and Information with a Fiction Filmmaking minor. Jeremy was an editor, camera operator, and digital imaging technician for the film, and helped with trailers and visual effects. He is currently working on a television pilot and feature film expected to be released in Summer 2017. His future career goals is to work on many more television, film, and new media productions. He would like to thank everyone who worked on the film with him, and his family and friends who have been there for him along the way.


Eric Boerman

Audio Head

Eric Boerman is a senior Theatre Design student at Michigan State University and audio lead for On the Way Up.  In addition to sound for film and theatre, his work includes lighting design, scenic design, and live music reinforcement.  He would like to thank his cat, Zelda, for being the only one not to judge him for his career choices.


Kaitlin Lenhard

Casting Director, Wardrobe 

Kaitlin worked primarily as the Casting and Wardrobe director for On the Way Up, and prefers the pronouns her/hers/she. She’s finishing up her final year at Michigan State University, majoring in Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, and Media and Information, with minors in Fiction Filmmaking and Film Studies. After graduation, she currently has plans to work abroad in New Zealand, followed by attending grad school to pursue filmmaking. Her goals include finding a way to live in London again, adopting all the dogs, and working to support storytellers from marginalized communities.  


Quinn Huisman

Behind the Scenes 

Quinn is a senior at Michigan State University with a major in Media and Information, as well as a minor in Fiction Filmmaking. His role was to record the making of our film, On the Way Up, for the Behind the Scenes Documentary. Quinn has also worked on other short films and currently works as an intern at WKAR-TV, where he has mainly run camera for various productions. He hopes to continue working on projects like On the Way Up after graduation.


Angel Snyder

Hair & Makeup

Angel is a senior studying Arts and Humanities and Theatre at MSU. She worked on the film as the head of the makeup department. Her recent credits include head of makeup on White Lines as well as theatrical costume designs for Mount Olympus Junior High (Summer Circle Theatre) and Blood at the Root (MSU). She hopes to continue producing gnarly special effects makeups, and she thanks the cast and crew for such a wonderfully collaborative learning opportunity.


Additional Crew:

  • Michale Pomorski
  • Lucy Wagenaar
  • Graem Block
  • Jason Wu
  • Kelly Sheridan
  • Ayden Byrnes
  • Rachel Posler