Meet The All-Female Documentary Crew Of ‘The Empowerment Project’!

The Heartfelt Productions crew are officially on the road! Yep, they have started filming their exciting project called ‘The Empowerment Project’ and they are made up of 5 females who are doing the road trip from Los Angeles to New York during the month of September, filming some amazing women in a range of different industries. So far they have the woman who created the Oprah Winfrey show, Miss USA 2012, the very first female brewmaster and many more.

Since we are the official blogsite of their journey, where you will be able to regularly see behind the scenes videos and posts, we thought you should get to know the ladies a little better, because, well, they freakin’ rock! One of the girls used to be a producer on Dancing With The Stars for 10 years, and one of them is a Youtube Star!

We couldn’t be more excited to support and document their journey. So here are the beautiful, ambitious, hard-working and rad ladies making this super cool documentary:


Sarah Moshman    Sarah Moshman grew up in Evanston, IL and always had a camera in her hand as a kid. She started making documentaries when she was in high school and took her passions to college when she attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL and majored in Video-Film.
After college she moved to Los Angeles and began her career in television as a story assistant on the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars. She just celebrated her tenth season on the show where she worked as a field producer- shooting and interviewing the celebrity/dancer couples for the packages that air before the live performances.
Sarah has also worked as a field producer for MTV’s MADE, NBC’s Minute to Win It, the Food Network’s Rachael vs Guy Celebrity Cook Off 2 as well as Top Chef Masters for Bravo.
Documentary filmmaking is still her passion and the work she has done for Heartfelt Productions is what drives her creatively. Female empowerment is something very close to her heart and she hopes to inspire and motivate women of all ages through The Empowerment Project, which is her dream come true.


1. Favorite TV show: Parks and Rec
2. Kickstarter was equally the most terrifying and gratifying thing she has ever put herself through. (Sarah and Dana raised over $28,000!)
3. Favorite Candy: sour green apple jelly bellys
4. Just got married in June of 2013 to her high school sweetheart Ryan, and Dana was her bridesmaid!
5. Visited the set of “Boy Meets World” when she was 13 with her Dad and then ended up working on the very same stage when she was 23 for “Minute to Win It.”
6. Favorite quote: “Love what you do and you never work a day in your life.” Chinese Proverb



Dana Michelle Cook    Dana Michelle Cook grew up in Los Angeles, CA. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and held internship positions with Fox News, Fox Sports, MTV, and Montecito Picture Company – working for Director Ivan Reitman.
After college she joined Creative Entertainment Services, a boutique product placement agency, managing branded content for network shows and films for Warner Brothers, Disney, and Paramount studios. In 2004, she began producing at Pietown Productions on original programming for HGTV and The Food Network.
Since moving to Chicago over 6 years ago, Dana has been a freelance Field Producer and Writer on shows like Design on A Dime for HGTV and Dancing With the Stars on ABC. She has also produced original content for NBC, TLC, DIY, Investigation Discovery, and more. She founded Heartfelt Productions in 2009 with Sarah, producing on two documentaries, Girls Rock Chicago and Growing Up Strong: Girls on the Run that both aired on WTTW.
The Empowerment Project is her newest venture, with the goal of creating positive, uplifting content to inspire women everywhere.


1.  Is a Valley girl without the Valley accent (although she can quote every line from Clueless)
2. Has hiked the Salcantay Trail over 5 days in Machu Picchu, Peru.
3. Has been known to pursue late-night hot fudge sundaes from McDonalds…even at 4:00 in the morning.
4. Has been a yoga junkie since 2005.
5. Was once called the “danciest” person anyone has ever met.
6. Was once stalked by John Malkovich with his camera phone…and has no idea where those photos ended up…!



Vanessa Crocini    Vanessa Crocini is an Italian documentary filmmaker and journalist currently living in Los Angeles. She graduated in Film from University of Bologna after being an exchange student at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Some of her works include a short documentary The Night Belongs to Me about her LA old neighbor and former gang member Reggie, a web series for the Italian Bonsai TV called High School Love about the American teenage world in the high schools of Los Angeles, music videos for Italian and African artists, spec commercials for Current TV and Google.
Vanessa worked in several film and documentary productions in Italy, Los Angeles and Africa. She contributes for several Italian film magazines and blogs with reviews, articles and interviews as the only US correspondent. Her first feature length award winning documentary, Get Together Girls was produced by Vasco Rossi, the iconic Italian rockstar, for whom she shot the music video Mary Luise.
Vanessa recently joined SIMA (Social Impact Media Awards) as one of the members of the selection committee.


1. Favorite Movie: Baraka and Samsara
2. Quote:  “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”  Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
3. Has a tattoo of Africa on her shoulder.
4. Is obsessed with Nutella (who isn’t?!) and loves trying international cuisines.
5. Is half Italian, half Romanian/Hungarian
6. Speaks 4 languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian and she is dying to learn Portuguese.



Ashley Hammen    Ashley Hammen grew up in Storm Lake, IA. She attended The University of Iowa, majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications.  During college, Ashley completed an internship with BNC PR in New York City.
After graduating, Ashley moved out West and since her arrival, Ashley has held production positions on shows such as Lifetime’s How to Look Good Naked, ABC’s True Beauty, and MTV’s House of Jazmin. Following this, for two and a half years Ashley worked to produce over 70 makeovers for Style Network’s How Do I Look?  learning that empowering women to reach out for their dreams was something that took great precedence in her life.
She began producing programs for Ellen Rakieten Entertainment, which eventually led to her working on Ellen’s development team, producing original concepts to be sold to a variety of cable networks.  Most recently, Ashley completed time working for Relativity Television, in their development department.
After touching down in every aspect of the industry from casting to production and development to post-production, Ashley looks forward to getting back to her favorite part of her job – using her producing talents to help the greater good as she embarks on a 30 day journey to empower young women during the filming of The Empowerment Project.


1. You can take the girl out of the country – but you can never take the country out of the girl!  Small town Iowa will always be “home.”
2. She’s a proud crazy cat lady – shout out to Mr. Beasley and Charlie Catkins!
3. In 2001, Ashley was named “Citizen of the Year” for raising over $6,000 to help a fire squad recoup after 9-11.  She was awarded a metal from the police chief and fire chief of New York City.
4.  Guiltily watches pretty much every show on ABC Family and the CW!
5.  Can often be found in standstill traffic on the freeway with the windows down, country music blaring, busting out some sweet dance moves.
6. Best advice:  “Life is like a rollercoaster… the more you try to control it, the faster and more out of control it feels.  It is the very moment when you choose to embrace the track ahead of you, simply letting go, that the ride becomes enjoyable and the amazing begins to occur.”



Alana Fickes   Alana Fickes is a filmmaker, photographer, and life lover based in Los Angeles California. She grew up making short films and going to a Waldorf school in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
Exploring different cultures through travel has been her biggest creative influence. Alana is fascinated by the power of communication and storytelling through new media, and that has quickly become her focus. The goal of her work is to inspire individuals to expand their minds, live their best life, and be empowered in doing so.
She now hosts a weekly web show, and a travel show on
Alana is a traveler at heart, and always will be. “I make documentaries, I take pictures, I travel the world, and I love. Life inspires me, I want to inspire it back. Join me.”


1. Spent her summers from age 3-18 in Chiang Mai Thailand with her father.
2. Dances ballroom and hip-hop.
3. Hopes to get her Masters in nutrition someday.
4. Favorite books; Siddhartha, Harry Potter, A Wrinkle In Time.
5. Is in love with everything Japanese.
6. Has kept a journal since high school, and is currently on Journal #30.

Be sure to ‘like’ their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and keep up to date with their exciting journey throughout September 2013 right here on GTHQ!



  1. Very inspired!! I am so excited to watch this journey and gain a daily dose of empowerment. Thank you GTHQ!

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