Lower Basement

Our Story

As a director, Shawn Welling's first film, House of Dreams, won a Gold and a Platinum Remi at the WorldFest International Film Festival. His second film, The Messenger: 360 Days of Bolivar, was released at Landmark, AMC, and Angelika theaters to sold out screenings, and was awarded Best Feature Film of 2009 by Houston Press. In 2011, Welling premiered his third feature film, also based on a true story, Project Aether.

Welling began filming  "AXI: Avengers of Xtreme Illusions" (winner of the Grand Remi for best web series 2012 & 2013) showcasing artists dancing in their element, and released of his fourth feature, The Legend of Dark Horse County, starring Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man), Michael Biehn (The Terminator), and Olivia "Chachi" Gonzales.

Welling released a short film about his dog, Max, in the short, If I Could Talk, which quickly became Welling's most successful work of his career to date, achieving 5 award wins in its first year on the festival circuit. The film would go viral, garnering over 80 million views on Facebook and YouTube, and spawning a sequel, If I Could Bark.


In 2015, Welling married the real love of his life, Michelle Simmons, a Houston-based photographer. Welling entered 2016 with four shorts and two features in production and an ambitious slate of coming features, shorts, and webisodes, including the true-life family feature, The Blimp Trap.

In 2017, Welling released Strange Bird, an ambitious speculative fiction short film with an epic focus. Star, Preslee Bishop, won a Rising Star acting award for her work on the film, the eighth acting honor for Welling Films, joining over fifty official accolades for Shawn Welling's small independent studio. Welling was also named filmmaker ambassador for the Chinese/American partnership that has become a signature of the Worldfest International Film Festival.

Welling Films has expanded his successful If I Could series with If I Could Run (2018), a full feature film which won numerous awards such as  "Best Feature" and "Best Actress". Afterwards, An American Ghost Tail, was produced, starring his canine companion Ranger, alongside Chloe Klitus, and Preslee Bishop.


On November 11, 2018, Shawn and Michelle brought their first daughter into the world, Emma Rain. During this time, she made her first movie appearance as the baby version of Evena, an alien-astronaut played by World of Dance's Solo Champion in 2018, Eva Igo. Welling Films joined with DeepWater Productions to create The Last Astronaut, first shown at WorldFest Houston Film Festival 2019.