A Note from the Programmer
"The basic building blocks of the art and business of filmmaking are words. They define what it is we’re trying to say and create. In the form of a screenplay, words are the foundation—the blueprint—for film artists, on which they build their highest ambitions. Screenplays are so important that we thought we’d kick off this year’s Creative Conference with two sessions to both celebrate and demystify them.
It sounds cliché to say it takes a village, but any artist knows that once a concept is imagined, it takes many minds, hands and hearts to bring that vision to life.
Putting this Creative Conference together was a collaborative effort between my predecessor, Christopher Sailor, and myself. Chris did so much to lay the foundation for us in his role as the educational series programmer and just this year, he’s passed the baton. We look forward to growing, as the CINformation series transitions into this new Creative Conference.
Much like the process of filmmaking itself, we hope this conference is a never-ending learning experience that helps foster your growth as an artist.
Let us know what you think about the seminars and what topics you’d like to see discussed in our future events."
Looking forward to seeing you around!
Sue-Ellen Chitunya — Programmer of Education
Day 1 - Monday, March 31
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre – How to Structure and Develop Your Screenplay
If you’ve never heard of Syd Field, you’ve got to attend this panel. Our featured panelists will help you get a grip on basic screenplay structure. Even if you learned long ago that you need to save the cat, we’ll help you brush up on the fundamentals. Featuring Michael Lucker (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, Vampire In Brooklyn, Mulan II), Brian Egeston (The Rickey Smiley Show, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns), Matt R. Lorh (Dan O'Bannon's Guide to Screenplay Structure), and moderated by Anthony McHie a member of Atlanta Screenwriters Group.
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – From YouTube's Indy Mogul to Tips on Navigating the Film Festival Circuit: A Conversation with Griffin Hammond
For years, Griffin Hammond has been teaching aspiring filmmakers the ins and outs of low-budget filmmaking on his Indy Mogul YouTube channel. At this panel, Hammond reveals some of his favorite Indy Mogul moments. He also discusses the challenges of producing and distributing his recent film, Sriracha (Food On Film block 3/30), which is now making its festival rounds.
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – Packaging & Marketing your Screenplay
Your script is finally complete. Now what? Learn strategies for polishing your final draft and how to package it. Featuring Takashi Doescher (Writer and Director), Mike Malloy (Writer), and script consultant Faith Kakulu (The Gersh Agency), .
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre – The Sessions Workshop
The Atlanta Film Festival’s new workshop is an intensive, 6-month program aimed at developing the talents of local writers, producers, directors, and actors. Find out more about the program’s methods and benefits during this in-depth discussion with its organizers and participants.
Day 2 - Tuesday, April 1
10:00 AM – 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Cameras with PC&E (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Inside the Grip Truck (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Post Production (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at 7 Stages Theatre – Bill Plympton Master Class
Bill Plympton shows clips of his work and discusses his career as an independent animator. Free Plympton sketch for everyone in attendance! Moderated by Linda Beck.
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: Sound for Indies (FREE!)
Seating is first come, first served.
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre (Chipotle Auditorium) – DEMO: Acting “The Dinner Project”
The Dinner Project is a series of filmed conversations featuring well-known Casting Directors. Over dinner professional Atlanta actors ask the CDs timely questions, gathered from your acting peers and relevant to the entertainment industry in the Southeast. During the panel, we will screen episode 2, featuring Jen Kelley and Rita Harrell of Big Picture Casting. Episode 1 featuring Mark Fincannon of Fincannon and Associates is availble online at http://thedinnerprojectshow.com/
Day 3 - Wednesday, April 2
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre – TRANSITIONS: Actor to Director / Short to First Feature
Get some insight on how to successfully navigate the transition from a short filmmaker to a feature filmmaker. Featuring Rashaad Enersto Green (Gun Hill Road, Grimm), Juli Jackson, director of 45RPM (Tue 4/1), Kristjan Knigge, director of the The Right Juice (Sun 3/30), and moderated by Darrell Hazelrig (Actor and Director)
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – Demystifying the Role of a Producer
Get inside the minds of producers who have worked in every aspect of production. From independent/studio films to television to commercials to industrials, these producers will talk with you about the ins and outs of each medium. They’ll share experiences & how their responsibilities shift depending on the medium. Featuring Jeanine Hunter (Discovery Communications), Bailey Barash (CNN), Tommy Oliver, producer and director of 1982 (Sat 4/ 5), and Moderated by Melissa Randle (Associate Producer).
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre – Demystifying SAG-AFTRA low Budget Agreements
Interested in shooting your upcoming indie project with SAG-AFTRA talent but have questions about how to go about it? SAGindie’s Eliza Hajek will explain SAG-AFTRA low budget contracts in this one-hour workshop.
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre – DEMO: DIY Lighting Design with Ly Bolia (FREE!)
Lighting on a limited budget. Learn economical tricks to build your own lights without compromising the professional look of your film. Featuring Ly Bolia (cinematographer, writer, director). Seating is first come, first served.
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Legal Matters
Learn how to avoid common legal pitfalls as an independent filmmaker. Featuring Andrew Velcoff (Entertainment and New Media Laws), Shannon Nash (Tax and Non-Profit laws), and Intellectual Property Magazine’s Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year Joe Beck (Intellectual Property, Copyright,and Consumer Product Safety). Moderated by Melissa Randle.
Day 4 - Thursday, April 3
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre — New Media: Content creation for multiple platforms
Screens are everywhere, in all different sizes. Learn how savvy media makers create content to take advantage of the varying types of platforms and the engagement they allow. Presented by Elizabeth Strickler (GSU Digital Arts and Entertainment Lab) and Amani Channel (Visual Eye Media).
11:30 PM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Production Accounting
Learn how to manage production budgets, maintain common filmmaking financial records, and tax incentive documentation. Presented by Cheryl Jenkins, founder & CEO of PACS International (Production Accounting & Crew Services International).
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Conversation with ATL documentarians Jon Watts and Brantly Jackson Watts
The creators of AKA Blondie (ATLFF 2012) relate the inspiration and execution of their new documentary series of curated shorts, Homespun Series. The anthology series showcases Atlanta personalities created by local filmmakers.
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Documentary Discussions
Documentary filmmakers provide perspective on producing and marketing documentaries in the ever-changing marketplace. Featuring Daniel Robin (My Olympic Summer 2008 Sundance Grand Jury), Brantly Jackson Watts (ATLFF14 Filmmaker in residence), and Thomas Allen Harris, director of Through A Lens Darkly (Fri 4/4).
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Financing for Indies
Independent filmmaking is tricky. Following the money trail can be complicated and challenging. This panel discussion will focus on entertainment tax credits, various film financing methods and pitfalls, as well as elements that filmmakers can keep in mind for the bigger picture of their projects. Featuring Elton Brand (Executive Producer), John Cones (Film Finance Attorney), and Matthew Baxter (CEO of StaxExchange).
Day 5 - Friday, April 4
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre — The Art and Logistics of Creating and Placing Music in Media
PARMA Licensing is pleased to present “The Art and Logistics of Creating and Placing Music in Media,” a panel addressing the integral role that music plays in film, television, and advertisements, in addition to the logistics, legalities, and coordination that comes with the territory. Our panelists of music professionals will cover everything from the necessary steps that are involved with licensing pre-recorded music for a project, to contracting and working with a composer. Please join us for this fascinating discussion featuring Danya Levine (Supervising Producer, CNN), Gina Barboza ( Director of Music Licensing & Development, Turner Entertainment Networks), Richard Devine (Owner, Composer and Sound Designer, Devinesound) and moderated by Jake Weinreb (Managing Director, PARMA Licensing LLC).
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM at The Plaza Theatre (Chipotle Auditorium) – Festival Programmer Super Panel Smackdown!
Festival & conference programmers Erik Jambor (Indie Memphis), Michelle Emanuel (Oxford Film Festival), and Erin Hallagan (Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference) discuss the deadly sins of panel programming, the rise of the social media peanut gallery, and the etiquette of approaching programmers with your film at a festival.
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Sustaining Yourself as an Actor in the Atlanta Market
A casual conversation with Casting Directors Alpha Tyler and Rebecca Shrager of People Store, as well as actors Rob Pralgo and E.Roger Mitchell. This interactive and informative panel discussion will cover topics including auditioning etiquette, preparing for roles, overview of various resources available for actors, and tips that will get you to working actor status in the production booming Atlanta market.
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Networking Etiquette
Ever wondered how to navigate your way through events, professional outings or social media platforms? Get tips on how to place your best foot forward as you mingle and build potential future business relationships. Featuring Melissa Randle (Advisory Bd Member - WIFTA & Past President 2008-2009), Barry Brandon (Artist), Amani Channel (Visual Eye Media), and moderated by Kyle Collins (Multimedia Journalist).
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM at The Plaza Theatre — Post Film Festival Circuit: Maximizing the Life of Your film
You made your film, had some success on the festival circuit, and may have even scored a short distribution cycle. What happens next? If Hollywood doesn't come calling do you have a plan? Get some sustainability insight from Jay Edwards (Aqua Teen Hunger Force).
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM at The Plaza Theatre — A Conversation With The Hawkins Brothers
Zeke & Simon grew up in Darien, CT. Zeke graduated from the American Film Institute and Brown University, and worked as the director’s assistant to Bennett Miller on the Oscar winning film "Capote." For his AFI thesis film, "Equestrian Sexual Response," Zeke was nominated for a Student Academy Award. Simon graduated from NYU’s Tisch School for Film & TV. He worked for GOOD Magazine, creating web video content, and has directed many award winning short films and music videos. "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" (Fri 4/4) is their first feature film. It premiered at TIFF and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest. It's been called 'a special piece of filmmaking' by Renegade Cinema, 'criminally good' by Hitfix, 'a terrific film' by Indiewire, and 'one of my favorite movies of 2013' by Ain't it Cool News.
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM at 7 Stages Theatre — Music Video Panel Presented by Y'allywood (FREE!)
Join us for a panel discussion with filmmakers from this years Atlanta Film Festival Music Video Competition. We will screen the selected music videos of panelists and have a open discussion regarding collaboration with musicians and strategies for distribution. Panelists Include: Video Rahim & Ashley Simpson w/ 'Hallucination Generation -The Biters,' Josh Yoder w/ 'Go Softly -Jungol,' John Henderson w/ 'Plans -Dead! Wait?,' Tomasz Wlazinski w/ 'Melt -KAMP!,' Brady Bigalke w/ 'Switzerland -The Dewars' and Josh Mckie w/ 'His Eyes Are Closed -Kathleen Mary Lee.' Panel Moderated by Michelle Louise Bird. Seating is first come, first served.
Creative Conference Panelist Biographies
- Alex Kreuter’s experience in documentary film began as part of the post-production team for Errol Morris’s television series First Person and his Academy Award winning documentary The Fog of War. From there she worked as a Post-Production Editor for the PBS science series NOVA, specializing in promos and special reels. After relocating to Atlanta in 2008 Alex edited her first documentary feature, AKA Blondie, which premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival in 2012. She is currently a Video Producer for the experiential marketing firm IMG LIVE and is thrilled to be involved with the festival again.
- Alex Burmenko has been an independent filmmaker for over 20 years and is a graduate of the GSU film program. He has produced and directed several short films, documentaries and animated shorts. Alex also has a background in post-production including editing, visual-effects, motion graphics and animation. He has participated in the Sessions workshops over the last 3 years and is currently involved as a producer/director in several Sessions projects
- Alpha Tyler, theatre graduate from California State University Northridge, began her career as the casting assistant on Martin. She’s worked for Warner Bros., Universal Studios, Paramount Studios, and with Spike Lee on the film He Got Game. In 2007 she moved to Atlanta and became the casting director for Tyler Perry Studios for 4 ½ years. In 2011 she made the move to BET Networks where she is the Atlanta casting director for their scripted programming. Some of those projects include The Game, Let’s Stay Together and Being Mary Jane with Gabrielle Union. Resumes can be emailed to email@example.com
- Amani Channel, MA is an educator, an award-winning storyteller, a video producer, and a communications professional. He helps brands, nonprofits, individuals and students tell traditional and digital stories. During his career he's worked as a news reporter, PR practitioner, content/community manager, media consultant, and he's an award-winning video producer. He provides media consulting and video production services through Visual Eye Media, and serves as an adjunct professor. Channel's content, commentary, and reports have been featured across the airwaves like NPR, APTN (Associated Press Television News), CNN, Headline News, Fox News Channel, BET, Black Family Channel, HDNews, and across the Web. He's also managed digital and broadcast PR campaigns with brands that include Visa, Coca-Cola, Hershey's, Chick-fil-A, and IHG among others.
- Andy Velcoff focuses his practice on entertainment, intellectual property and media law. His practice includes a wide range of institutional and individual entertainment and media clients, including broadcast and cable networks, film and television production companies, marketing companies, on screen talent, writers, and other clients involved in the development, production, acquisition, financing, marketing and distribution of content for motion pictures, television, video, the Internet, and other traditional and emerging media.
- Angie Bones did not follow the path of what was expected of her coming from a family of politics and education. Her first career of choice was law enforcement. While waiting final testing for LAPD, Angi took an unpaid position as a set production assistant on the film “Panther” directed by Mario Van Peebles. Working on the film “Panther” shifted her journey in life from law enforcement to a successful career in film, television and video where she started as a Production Assistant that led to Extra’s Casting Director, Assistant Director, Producer and Director. To her credit, Angi hosts an impressive resume of music videos, commercials, award shows, television series and more than 50 films. Angi currently serves as Executive Vice President of Bobbcat Films where she produces The Rickey Smiley show for TV One. In addition to Producing and Directing, based on her production experience she has completed a manuscript entitled "The Production Assistants Hand Manual", to be released late 2014.
- Anitha Vadavatha is a growth hacker at TOTAL DISRUPTION. Strategic and Results-Driven professional with extensive experience architecting and executing management consulting solutions across diversified set of industries including financial services, information technology, and non-profit spanning startup and corporate environments. Proven track record designing and executing intuitive, consultative solutions that promote strategy development and strengthen company presence across global markets. Recognized as a natural communicator who connects easily with people at all levels of an organization; talent for inspiring trust and building relationships. Champion and driver of transformational strategic planning initiatives that streamline processes, and enhance client satisfaction. Self-directed entrepreneur with demonstrated success building a business from the ground up and securing client base. Extensive knowledge and expertise in organizational design, business process re-engineering, and marketing engagements.
- Anthony McHie is a highly active member in the independent film community. Mr. McHie has formed a body of work that reflects his sensibility as a storyteller as well as his creative dexterity. Accustomed to all sides of the camera, he’s gathered a holistic knowledge of the visual medium. His commitment to the many facets of filmmaking has refined what he believes to be the most important phase – screenwriting. He’s played script doctor to countless short stories and screenplays in addition to writing dozens of shorts and 8 features of his own. He’s also a regular at the Atlanta Screenwriters Group.
- Aron Siegel, C.A.S. has worked as a film sound professional for over 20 years. He holds a bachelor's degree in audio production from Georgia State, and is a voting member for both the Grammys and Emmys. His feature credits include "Stephen King's Cell", "Kill the Messenger", "The Signal", "The Last of Robin Hood", and "The Unwanted". His TV credits include "Necessary Roughness", "The Game", and "Drop Dead Diva". Aron continues to mix splinter days on "Walking Dead", "The Vampire Diaries", and others. Last fall, Aron mixed the pilot "Line of Sight" directed by Jonathan Demme for AMC television.
- Asante Bradford is Project Manager for Digital Entertainment and Media for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the sales and marketing arm of the State of Georgia. The Global Commerce Division conducts extensive business development, sales, marketing and promotional activities in order to attract entertainment projects and businesses to the state. The division's team also assists the local, national and international entertainment industries with information, expertise and resources. Asante helps promote the growth of the digital media industry as well as identify initiatives that will help grow businesses for the state of Georgia in interactive entertainment. He also helps educate potential prospects and provide clients with information about the Georgia Entertainment Industry Incentives Act.
- Bailey Barash is an independent filmmaker. She began in local Atlanta TV, and in 1980 moved on to CNN. In 19-years at CNN she advanced from Production Assistant to Senior Executive Producer, generating news, features and documentaries and leading a team of journalists in award-winning programming. In 1999 she formed her own production company.In addition to her independent films, Barash produces videos and media for non-profits, social service agencies, community organizations and corporations. She shoots, writes and produces stories she believes must be told. Winner of two CINE Golden Eagle Awards, Barash’s productions have screened at film festivals worldwide.
Barry Brandon is a walking medical anomaly. By the age of five, he had undergone four open-heart surgeries and was granted a final wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Unfortunately for him, they could not grant him the health he needed to pursue his dream of performing on the stage. So he took it upon himself to beat the odds and create magic. Barry Brandon released a compilation full length album on iTunes in January 2012. The album, titled Etc features studio recordings, live recordings and a remix. Finding a home in Atlanta he has conceived, created, produced and promoted a monthly themed dance party titled Bedlam Presents. The party launched in May 2010 and has been going strong ever since winning numerous awards. In 2015, The Tin Man Project, documentary surrounding his 8th open-heart surgery, will begin its countrywide independent film festival run. It may be seen on Wednesday April 9 at The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta.
Bill Plympton - Born in Portland, Oregon to Don (now a retired banker) and Wilda Plympton, he grew up in a large family of three girls and three boys. For the six children it was often far too wet to play outside. Plympton credits Oregon's rainy climate for nurturing his drawing skills and imagination. He also was a cub scout and played little league when the weather permitted. In 1964 he graduated from Oregon City High School where he participated in the art club. He went on to Portland State University, where he edited the yearbook and was a member of the film society, creating posters for them. It was here where he picked up his obsession for film - it was for this film society that he first attempted animation, making a yearbook promo that was accidentally shot upside-down, rendering it totally useless.
- Brantly Jackson Watts is a Writer and Producer for Half Pint Productions, LLC, an Atlanta based film production company she operates with husband Jon. In 2012, Brantly premiered her highly anticipated documentary feature, “AKA Blondie,” at the Atlanta Film Festival. She is currently developing Homespun, a collection of short character-driven documentary films focused on Atlanta’s underground cultural backdrop.
- Brian Egeston is Vice-President of Development for Bobbcat films in Atlanta, Georgia. After working as a novelist, sports editor and NPR commentator, Brian set his sights on TV writing. He adapted his third novel, Granddaddy’s Dirt into a screenplay, which caught the attention of Tyler Perry Studios where he later worked as a writer on 192 episodes and three series. (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Meet The Browns and For Better or Worse) He was head writer for more than 80 of those episodes and wrote more than 30 episodes. Brian also worked as Head Writer and Associate Producer for The Rickey Smiley TV show.
- Cheryl Jenkins has been creating and managing production budgets for over 15 years as a production accountant and line producer. Jenkins started her career in Hollywood working on projects for major studios like Fox, NBC/Universal, New Line Television and MTV on projects such as The Last Comic Standing, The Real Wedding Crashers and Family Foreman. Here in Georgia, Jenkins, who is also owner of Production Accounting and Crew Services Int’l has been the go-to professional for notable productions like My Super Psycho Sweet 16, Gamers and Single Ladies.
Chris Holland has been writing about movies since 1991. In 1996 he co-founded Stomp Tokyo, a film review web site described by the New York Times as "a place to indulge one's questionable cinematic taste." In 2003 Stomp Tokyo published a compendium of reviews in a book called Reel Shame: Bad Movies and the Hollywood Stars Who Made Them. He is the author of Film Festival Secrets. Chris currently serves as the Director of Operations for the Atlanta Film Festival.
Danya Levine is an award winning Supervising Producer for CNN and HLN on air promotion. Levine has developed successful strategies for branding and messaging across CNN Worldwide’s multiple platforms, such as CNN iReport, Dr. Sanjay Gupta ‘s WEED documentaries, Soledad O’Brien’s Latino in America, the CNN/YouTube debates and image campaigns for Nancy Grace, Larry King Live, and Dr. Drew. In the past she has steered partnerships with music companies that sonic branded CNNI and HLN campaigns. Prior to her role at CNN, Levine worked at the NBC flagship in New York City. While serving as WNBC’s Creative Services writer and producer, she received two Local EMMY awards and six nominations. They were the #1 rated 5pm and 11pm newscasts.
Darrell Hazelrig is a writer, director and film producer based in Atlanta, GA. He made his film festival debut in 2003 with, The Business. In 2005, his autobiographical short film, Airband was an Official Selection of several festivals, including the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, and went on to win the ACE award at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. Darrell then began an ongoing relationship with the Atlanta puppet community, becoming a founding member of the New Puppet Order. He has directed a puppet film of his own The Dark Companion, which made its film festival debut at the 2012 Atlanta Film Festival, and went on to win Best Film at the 2012 Laugh Track Comedy Film Festival, as well as receive as Special Jury Citation at the 2013 Oxford Film Festival. Hazelrig directed the latest NPO short film Ed is a Portal (Sat 3/29).
Day- 1 Productions Services - Over 30 years in business, Day - 1 is a full service rental house. We carry a complete inventory of the most reliable, tried and true grip and lighting gear. Day - 1 provides the best equipped 1-ton, 3-ton and 5-ton trucks in the area, with grip and electric packages on board. We supply Fisher dollies, Truck mounted generators, Distribution and lighting instruments ranging from 100 watt Dedo Kits to 30-light Dinos, LEDs, Joker Bug kits, and a full array of Tungsten, Kino Flo and HMIs from 150w to 18K.
- E. Roger Mithchell - Miami Florida native, Claflin University & CUNY Brooklyn College alumni. Who’s Who In Black Atlanta 2014, Suzi Bass Award 2010- Best Lead Actor, Alliance Professional Actor Internship-1996. Who’s Who Among Americas Colleges and Universities 1992.
Stage: Two Trains Running, Sheddin’, Flying West, The Green Book,“every tongue confess”, Jitney, Gem of the Ocean, Cuttin’Up, A Confederacy of Dunces, Sunset Limited, Miss Evers Boys, Ceremonies In Dark Old Men. A Cool Drink of Water, and more. Film/TV: Cell, Captive, Equalizer, Kill the Messenger, Need for Speed, Crazy Sexy Cool, Catching Fire, Spectacular Now, Flight, Watsons Go to Birmingham, Smile as Big as the Moon, Coma, Hornets Nest, Battle L.A., S.W.A.T., Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Legend of Bagger Vance, Boycott, Warm Springs, The Shield, Navy NCIS, One Tree Hill, Ricky Smiley Show, Drop Dead Diva, Nashville and more.
- Eliza Hajek's duties as Manager of Development and Sponsorship encompass (among other things) traveling to film festivals, speaking on panels and at seminars, and interacting with independent producers worldwide in order to get the word out about the SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Agreements. She lives in Los Angeles.
- Elizabeth Strickler - Through industry and university partnerships, Elizabeth creates, tests and markets digital media content funded by grants and contracts. Her teaching is focused on New Media Entrepreneurship where she blends her knowledge of the media industry with design, creativity and technology to promote innovation in graduate and undergraduate student work. Much of her own research is in new modes of media interface and production through projects like The Window Project and The Cross Stitch Project. In the past 5 years, she has secured $500K+ in grants and contracts by uncovering synergies between disparate organizations and institutions and by combining storytelling with health and other media messaging.Recently, she worked with a statewide study group to advise the state of Georgia on the future of interactive media and television. Her documentaries, short films, and new media work have received international awards and her most recent film is currently playing on PBS’s POV 2013 series. Before academia, she worked as an engineer, programmer and database administrator for multiple Internet start-up companies including PeachWeb and MindSpring.
Elton Brand is an Executive Producer and co-founder of Milk & Media Productions. Milk & Media is an indie film production company based in Los Angeles and was founded after the success of the film, Rescue Dawn, starring Christian Bale which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006. Milk & Media engages in film investment, acquisition, production, and distribution of motion pictures. Mr. Brand is also known for the films No One Lives (2012) – co-produced with WWE; Just Wright (2010); Across the Hall (2009); Something’s Wrong in Kansas (2008) and The Cookout (2004). A 2X NBA All-Star and the 1st overall draft pick in 1999, Elton Brand is currently a power forward for the Atlanta Hawks.
Erik Jambor - For more than 15 years, Erik has led regional film festivals in the South and Northwest corners of the country. In 1999, he co-founded the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, serving as Director for its first eight years. Erik ran the Bend Film Festival in Bend, Oregon in 2007 and returned to the South the following year to serve as Executive Director of Indie Memphis, which runs year-round programming in Memphis, including the annual Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Erin Hallagan is the Creative Director for the Austin Film Festival where she oversees both the Film and Conference planning. She originally joined AFF as their Film Competition Programmer, stepping in as Conference Director in the summer of 2012. In addition to orchestrating the annual Screenwriters Conference and the year-round On Story®: Conversations in Film series, she works in tandem with the film team to plan, promote, and implement the film program. Hailing from the East Coast, she studied Film and Theatre at Temple University, focusing on writing, directing, and editing. Prior to moving to Austin, Erin taught screenwriting courses at the Graduate School of Washington, DC, while also managing the programs and riding school at a high-volume equestrian center. Erin currently serves as an Associate Producer for Austin Film Festival’s television show, On Story.
- Faith Kakulu is a Creative Executive & Script Consultant. When she’s not developing film and TV for Kenny Leon Productions, she advises on script development, acquisition and packaging. Minted as a junior literary agent at GERSH Beverly Hills, she launched the agency’s first Story Department, developing, branding & marketing client films before branching into development and production. Faith has worked with known and new voices from Kurt Johnstad (300, Act of Valor) to Kyle Newman (Barely Lethal). Her passion and genius for story led to SCENEANDRED, her vehicle for collaborating with emergent voices in “telling global narratives spotlighting the Everyman in us all.” Faith has an MFA from Florida State University Film Conservatory and a BA from Wellesley College.
- Gina Barboza is the Director of Music Licensing & Development, Turner Entertainment Networks. Gina Barboza is the Director of Music Licensing and Development for Turner Entertainment Networks (TBS, TCM & TNT). She has been working there for over 17 years where up until last year she also wore another hat as the Director of Production producing promo shoots with all the actors in TBS & TNT television shows. In 2001, she formed and became the CEO of Balancing ACTS Entertainment LLC to produce, write and develop screenplays for television and film as well as consult music artists and indie labels. She is a member of WIFTA (Women in Film & Television Atlanta), NAMIC (National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications) as well as a volunteer and former member of the Boys & Girls Club of America. Her most important role is being a mother to daughters Sasha and Mariah.
- Griffin Hammond is an independent filmmaker in Bloomington, Illinois, who has produced hundreds of low-budget filmmaking tutorials on YouTube. His Kickstarter-funded documentary “Sriracha” traces the origins of the iconic hot sauce. He studied film at New York University, and earned a Masters from Illinois State University. His 2011 "turkey fryer" short film starring William Shatner won a Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America.
- Jake Weinreb serves as Managing Director for PARMA Licensing LLC, a synchronization firm specializing in the creation, placement and clearance of music for media, as well as the production of live orchestral, chamber, choral, and non-traditional world music. Utilizing PARMA’s unique capabilities in producing large-ensemble score, in conjunction with a focus on strategic audio branding, Jake has managed a wide spectrum of projects such as the production of a rebranded sports theme for CBS (which was recorded with a 65-player European orchestra, and premiered during the 2013 Super Bowl broadcast), music clearance and placement for the GMC/NFL “Never Say Never” web campaign, and the creation and production of original score for popular television series such as Archer (FX) and Falling Skies (TNT).
- Jay Edwards is best known for his work editing and producing Aqua Teen Hunger Force for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim from 2000 to 2012, including the feature film Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. Edwards’ independent filmmaking work includes three short sci-fi films known as The Monster Trilogy, the documentary Y’all Come! The Hell Hole Swamp Festival, and the beach party rock 'n' roll monster movie, Stomp! Shout! Scream! Edwards is currently a staff editor for Disney TV Animation in Glendale, CA.
- Jeanine Hunter is an Emmy award winning Writer, Producer, Director with a M.F.A. in Film from Howard University and a B.A. in Public Communications with a minor in Creativity and Innovation from S.U.N.Y. College at Buffalo. Ms. Hunter began her career in AM radio and has over 16 years in the entertainment/communication industry and over 10 years writing and producing in Marketing for On- Air network television which includes TLC, Discovery Home, Science Channel, Travel Channel, TV One, CNN and Upwave on HLN. She’s also produced various music and corporate videos and serves as a production consultant on various projects. Currently, she is Freelance Writer, Producer, Director and Production Manager residing in Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA.
Jeffrey Bullins is sound designer, audio engineer, and teacher working in Atlanta, GA. His credits include feature films, television, and many local independent productions. He teaches courses on Sound for Picture, Signal Flow, and Acoustics part-time at SAE in downtown Atlanta. Recently, a chapter he wrote on sound design was published in the book To See the Saw Films: Torture Porn and Post-9/11 Horror. His research interests include the intersection of film production and reception as well as the relationship between film sound and genre.
Jessica Leigh Smith is a proud Georgia native and has been acting for eight years. She has booked commercials, industrials, voiceovers, theatre, and roles on Drop Dead Diva and One Tree Hill. Her latest role was in the short film, This is a Test (produced by fellow The Dinner Project producer Jyn Hall and premiering at the Charleston International Film Festival). Jessica’s goal with The Dinner Project is to help elevate our acting community to a level that gets its due notice and respect. Outside of acting, Jessica’s life is busy with a wonderful husband and two daughters.
Joe Beck - Based on a survey of corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 companies, Mr. Beck was one of only 29 attorneys in the entire country to have been selected for two years in a row by corporate counsel as providing "Outstanding Client Service." In 2010, Mr. Beck was named the Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year by Intellectual Property Magazine.Mr. Beck has served as lead counsel in some of the most important copyright cases in the United States. Several of his reported cases are now included in standard law school case books. As a result, Mr. Beck has been asked to discuss his cases at law schools including Harvard, Stanford, The University of Texas, Duke and other institutions and in countries ranging from Russia to India. In addition to litigation in courts throughout the country, Mr. Beck has served as mediator in a number of copyright infringement disputes involving works ranging from motion pictures to architecture, and was named a "Power Mediator" by The Hollywood Reporter.
- John Cones is a 23 year veteran Los Angeles-based securities/entertainment attorney who has handled the legal tasks associated with more than 57 successful investor funded film offerings. He is also the author of 8 books and 30+ articles about film finance and related topics. He will speak to us today about the latest developments in investor financing of independent films.
- John Joseph - After winning the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject while a student at UCLA film school, John began his professional life directing & editing music videos and commercials for clients such as Porsche, Toyota, Apple, and Kaiser Permanente. John went on to work in the episodic TV world doing pilots and series for FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC, and working on the long running series Unsolved Mysteries. With the explosion of documentaries and reality programming on Cable TV, John has Produced and Directed over 100 hours of television for almost every cable outlet from A&E to The Science Channel He has worked on location in Israel, Russia, Italy, Japan, China and almost every state in the U.S. He has just finished work on a pilot for OWN and well as a Senior Producer overseeing a series for The Travel Channel, America Declassified. John is currently an Executive Producer at The Weather Channel.
- Jon Watts is a Director and Producer for Half Pint Productions, LLC, an Atlanta based film production company he operates with wife Brantly. In 2012, Jon premiered his highly anticipated documentary feature, AKA Blondie, at the Atlanta Film Festival. He is currently developing Homespun, a collection of short character-driven documentary films focused on Atlanta’s underground cultural backdrop. He is currently an Atlanta Film Festival’s filmmaker in residence.
- Jose Acosta has told compelling stories with moving pictures since the 1980s. Born in Washington DC, Jose earned a Masters degree in Film and Television from Georgia State University. He has served as Director of Computer Animation at the Art Institute of Atlanta, Art Director at The Home Depot, Director of Broadcast Design at ad agency Studiocom, and founded DoubleRaven Studios in 2004. Jose earned recognition with Emmy, Telly, and Addy awards for his work for clients like Aflac, Coca-Cola, Cartoon Network, PBS, The Weather Channel, Ferrari, and many more. He has recently turned his attention to several original documentary and narrative indie projects. Jose resides in Atlanta with his wife Julia and their three children.
- Juli Jackson is a media artist working in film and animation. Graduating from University of the Arts with a BFA in Film/Video in 2005, she has acted as Director of Photography for 2 Philadelphia-based independent features, contributed camerawork to the award-winning documentary Circle the Wagen, and created her directorial debut 45RPM with the help of her native Arkansas film community and state-awarded Indie Film Initiative Grant. 45RPM has garnered several awards while touring the festival circuit, including a Special Jury Prize for Best Emerging Director at the Oxford Film Fest. Jackson is currently developing an animated short and writing her 2nd feature film.
Jyn Hall - Having first set foot on stage at six years old, California native Jyn Hall has performed in theatre almost her whole life, including a Southeast tour with Atlanta’s oldest professional theatre company - The Academy Theatre. Jyn has acted in over 50 commercials and industrials (two commercials are currently running), as well as numerous films and videos. Recent roles include Drop Dead Diva, Swamp Murders, and Hamlet & Hutch. Over the past few years, Jyn has been casting, writing, and producing. Her first feature screenplay, Terrorists in Love, was a Finalist last year in ATLFF’s Screenplay Competition.
Kate Taylor is a nurse-turned-up and coming filmmaker. Inspired by Robert Rodriguez' take on do-it-yourself filmmaking, she writes, directs, films and edits. She is excited to be participating in the Sessions Workshops.
Kristjan Knigge was born in Denmark to an English mother and a Danish father. He grew up in the Algarve in southern Portugal, and now lives and works in Amsterdam. He has worked professionally all over the world: camera crew, art department. production manager, electrical unit, grip, special effects, editing and 1st Assistant Director. In 2004 he took the plunge and decided to direct. To date he has made commercials, corporates, music videos, a full-length documentary, and over a dozen short films. The Right Juice (3/30) is his first feature film.
- Kyle Collins - An Anna Wintour-in-training since third grade (when he was editor-in-chief of his class newspaper, he'll tell you with a wink), Kyle Collins loves creating compelling content that surprises and delights both audiences and advertisers. As a journalist and strategist, he helps clients connect with new ways to tell their stories, across the full spectrum of media at our disposal these days. As an editor at STMNT "Statement" Magazine, he helps bring "strategic solutions for fearless living" to readers far and wide. As someone who should be on his meds (and is), he loves to tweet (@kylecollins). Listed as a top national influencer for advertising, marketing, and media, Kyle has proudly made Atlanta his home since 2004.
- Linda Beck is a Producer and Development Scout who helps connect artists and animators with executives. She is currently the Line Producer on Nickelodeon's animation/live-action hybrid preschool show "Team Umizoomi" in New York City. In addition, Linda illustrates, makes art, writes, animates, and is a SAG-AFTRA voiceover artist. She is also the Co-President of ASIFA-East.
- Ly Bolia graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in production. He is an associate professor at Georgia State University. He has worked as an electric, gaffer, and cinematographer in film and television. Currently has worked as gaffer on shows for Lifetime and the Velocity Network. Some examples are Kim of Queens, Café Racer, Pretty Wicked House Wives, and What’s in the Barn.
- Matt R. Lohr is the co-author of the bestselling book "Dan O'Bannon's Guide to Screenplay Structure," written with the late screenwriter / filmmaker behind ALIEN, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and other genre classics. An award-winning screenwriter, essayist and critic, Matt's writing on music and cinema can be regularly found in JazzTimes Magazine and on his blog, "The Movie Zombie." He lives in Burbank, CA.
- Matthew Baxter is the founder and CEO of the StaxExchange, an online marketplace for entertainment tax credits. The StaxExchange provides a transparent and efficient marketplace for filmmakers to sell tax credits to a verified community of credit buyers and financiers. Matt has extensive experience with production incentives and finance, having served as the tax and economic development policy advisor to the Governor that expanded Georgia’s tax credit program in 2008, and an investment banking associate at a national financial institution. Matt holds undergraduate degrees in business and economics, and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia.
- Melissa Randle is best known as a script supervisor, though she serves as a producer/associate producer also, in addition to being a former teleprompter operator. Her diverse production experience includes a dozen TV shows, 20+ films, and hundreds of Commercial//Corporate videos & live events, with content in English, Spanish & Portuguese. Her clients include: Turner Studios, the FLOTUS, Delta, GA Lottery, GMC, Bobbcat Films, Disney, ASV Productions and more. An active community member, she’s an advisor/past president of Women In Film & Television Atlanta, committee member of Atlanta Korean & Dragon Con Independent Film Festivals, and the former Southern Screen Report Magazine. A huge festival proponent, she regularly attends the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, Slamdance, ABFF & Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.
- Michael Lucker is an acclaimed writer/director with twenty years experience creating film, television and animation. He began his career writing and directing television commercials in college in Boston. Soon after he landed in Los Angeles working in production on series for ABC, NBC, CBS and HBO before taking a job as assistant to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment on feature films Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, Back To The Future ll & lll and Jurassic Park. He went on to work in creative affairs at Hollywood Pictures, helping develop the movies Crimson Tide, Terminal Velocity, Taking Care of Business and Straight Talk. He then went onto write movies for DreamWorks, Paramount, Disney, Fox, Universal and more, including “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for best-animated movie.
- Michelle Emanuel is the Operations Director of the Oxford Film Festival, which recently celebrated its eleventh anniversary, and an associate professor in the University of Mississippi Libraries, where she is Head of Cataloging and the selector for media, including film. A member of the affiliate faculty of the UM Cinema program, she has taught a course on gender issues and independent film and is currently teaching both a two-semester Cinema Survey and a course on festival programming.
- Mike Malloy has been involved in various aspects of cinema, including film journalism, cinema documentaries and acting for nearly twenty years. His screenwriting includes a number of paid assignments (some of which he declined on-screen credit for) and, most recently, the official, in-development sequel to DJANGO, which is being represented by Resolution Talent and Literary Agency and has attached in its cast Franco Nero (DJANGO), Mark Boone Junior (SONS OF ANARCHY) and Noah Segan (LOOPER).
- Nick Lauinger is a director of photography on many film and video projects in the Atlanta area. He also works as an editor, visual effects artist, and occasionally director.
- Pete Ballard
- Production Consultants & Equipment (PC&E) has been serving the Atlanta community since 1983. It is the only full service rental company in Atlanta offering Camera Rental, Lighting and Grip, Sound Stages, and Sales and Expendables under one roof. The 60,000 sq. ft. facility has been home to a variety of productions ranging from music videos to commercials to feature films. Located at 2235 Defoor Hills Road, their friendly staff will help you with all of your production needs.
- Rashaad Ernesto Green is a graduate of Dartmouth College and NYU Grad Film. A New York native, Green has been included in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and indieWIRE's Ten New Voices in Cinema. His films have screened on HBO, BET, Sundance and festivals internationally. He’s been supported by HBO, NBC, Time Warner, Sundance, Tribeca Film Institute and IFP. Rashaad's first feature and thesis film “Gun Hill Road” premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, opened #1 for independent films in the summer of 2011 and is now available on DVD & Netflix. www.gunhillroad.com & www.mialmafilms.com
- Rebecca Shrager recognized her uncanny ability to match the right face to the right project while working as a stylist and production coordinator in the late 1970’s and early 1980s. Realizing the need in the Atlanta market for a more diverse range of talent, Rebecca utilized her background from the Atlanta College of Art, and went out into the community to photograph interesting faces. She then contacted local theater companies, and discovered an untapped source of talent not yet integrated into the world of film and advertising. In September 1983, Rebecca opened the doors of People Store. Through her leadership and guidance over the past 30 years People Store has grown into one of the most successful and well respected talent agencies in the country.
- Richard Devine has remixed top Warp artists like Aphex Twin and Mike Patton (Faith No More). He has released 4 full-length albums on Schematic, Warp, Asphodel, and Sublight records and has performed his own ear-tearing music mayhem worldwide. Based from Atlanta, Georgia he has done film score work for Touchstone Pictures (with John Hues & Kyle Cooper). He has also collaborated with BT (Brian Transeau on movie “Surveillance” Directed by Adam Rifkin, Odopod, Elias Arts, Wieden & Kennedy, AKQA Inc., and have done sound mangling/programming for Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, composed and designed commercials for the Nike Shoe Company and worked with various companies doing sound design for Audi, BMW, Ford, Scion, Coke, LandRover, Peugeot, Dodge, HBO, Nestle, Nike Japan & USA, McDonald's, Sprite, Spike Television network and has also worked with Konami gaming division for the Dance-Dance Revolution game.
- Rob Pralgo has been studying acting/ and acting since 1989. After Graduating UGA with a degree in TV/Film Production, he began studying with Sandra Dorsey here in Atlanta. Sandra set the groundwork for the past 25 years which has included working/studying in NY & LA.. Robert has been teaching an acting class in Atlanta the past 6 years as he continues working and studying the craft. Recently seen on Tyler Perry"a 'The Have and the Have Nots" and Upcoming in the Feature film "Kill The Messenger."
- Shandra McDonald is an award-winning screenwriter, director and producer. She has received awards from the Director’s Guild of America, Atlanta Film Festival, IFP Film Festival, 48-Hour Film Festival and Women in Film and Television/Atlanta for her feature film and television projects. Shandra is also a seasoned television, story editor and field director having travelled all over the world creating original documentaries for production companies and primetime networks. She is a film professor and co-owns Kiss the Limit Productions, Inc., spearheading the creation of screenplays, films, web series, documentaries, PSA’s, commercials and corporate videos for clients across the US.
- Shannon Nash is an Attorney, CPA, Producer and Entrepreneur. She is a sought after finance and legal expert with almost twenty years of providing sound business advice to clients. She is president of Nash Management Group, Inc., a business and production management company providing Business Affairs, Tax planning, Production Accounting and Production Management. She recently produced the feature film, Switching Lanes, starring, Kim Fields, Terri J. Vaughn, Fred Hammond, Marla Maples, Michael Lerner and directed by Tommy Ford. She also produced the award winning short documentary on autism, Colored My Mind, winner of the 2012 BronzeLens Film Festival and the 2013 Best Short Documentary at the American Pavilion in Cannes. She is currently the Production Counsel, Accountant and Consulting Producer for the TV show, BEING (Centric/BET).
- Simon Hawkins grew up in Darien, CT. Simon graduated from NYU’s Tisch School for Film & TV. He worked for GOOD Magazine, creating web video content, and has directed many award winning short films and music videos. We Gotta Get Out of this Place (Fri 4/4) is his and his brother's first feature film. It premiered at TIFF and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest. It's been called "a special piece of filmmaking" by Renegade Cinema, "criminally good" by Hitfix, "a terrific film" by Indiewire, and "one of my favorite movies of 2013" by Ain't it Cool News.
- Takashi Doscher is a writer/director from Atlanta, GA. In 2010, he became the youngest director to sell a film to ESPN when he sold his feature doc, A Fighting Chance, at the age of 22. He has written and directed short films, advertisements, and music videos that have been featured on the front page of Vimeo, USA Today, and MTV Hive. Currently, Takashi is working on several feature screenplays, two of which were selected as finalists in the 2013 and 2014 Sundance Writer's Labs. Takashi’s work often depicts the conflict between science and the human condition - a reflection of his educational background in Physics and English. His latest screenplay, a romantic drama about the last woman on Earth, is being produced by Ineffable Pictures.
Tenaya Cleveland has been a professional SAG-AFTRA (previously SAG) actor since 2000. After acting in theater and “shoestring-budget” films for years, she got her first international exposure on HBO's “Six Feet Under” in 2003. Tenayamoved to Atlanta from LA in 2011, and has since been cast in TV shows “Drop Dead Diva,” “Necessary Roughness,” Tyler Perry's “The Haves and the Have Nots” and the upcoming feature “The 12 Lives of Sissy Carlyle.” She has also produced four independent films and sometimes coaches other entertainment professionals on their careers.
Thomas Allen Harris' award winning films, shorts and video installations have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Biennial, Reina Sofia, Corcoran Gallery; broadcast on PBS, ARTE, YLE, CBC, and the Sundance Channel as well as screened at the Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Outfest, and FESPACO film festivals. Harris new film “Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” is part of a cutting edge transmedia project that includes the “Digital Diaspora Family Reunion”, a multimedia Roadshow that engages audiences to discover connections between their own family archives and the film’s historical narrative.
Tommy Oliver producer of Sundance winner Kinyarwanda, a film Roger Ebert ranked number six on his top ten films of 2011, recently premiered his directorial debut, 1982, starring Hill Harper, Sharon Leal, La La Anthony, Ruby Dee and Wayne Brady at the 2013 Toronto International Festival to strong reviews and critical acclaim. Even before it’s premiere, 1982, a film about a father who’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family, earned a host of accolades, including a prestigious San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Filmmaking grant and the top prize at the 2013 US in Progress showcase in Paris. The film also won the Marquee Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival, an honor previously bestowed upon Academy-Award nominees Silver Linings Playbook and The Artist. Oliver is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, a Microsoft alum and founder of LA-based production company Confluential Films, which he started with actor/author/speaker Hill Harper. He’s repped by CAA and managed by Thruline Entertainment.
Tony Reames is an Atlanta-based filmmaker, dad, and shooter of Red. Tony has premiered two music videos at the Atlanta Film Festival as well as working on several television shows and independent films. Tony’s past work has won awards at several film festivals including Best Music Video at the IFFM and Director’s Choice award at ShockerFest. Music videos he directed have aired on TV One’s Unsung as well as mtvU and Indie Filmmakers Showcase. Tony is finishing post production on a successful KickStarter campaign short film which will debut later this year.
- Zeke Hawkins grew up in Darien, CT. Zeke graduated from the American Film Institute and Brown University, and worked as the director’s assistant to Bennett Miller on the Oscar winning film ‘Capote.’ For his AFI thesis film, ‘Equestrian Sexual Response,’ Zeke was nominated for a Student Academy Award. We Gotta Get Out of this Place (Fri 4/4) is his and his brother's first feature film. It premiered at TIFF and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest. It's been called "a special piece of filmmaking" by Renegade Cinema, "criminally good" by Hitfix, "a terrific film" by Indiewire, and "one of my favorite movies of 2013" by Ain't it Cool News.