SARA ISRAEL (Writer • Director • Producer)
Sara Israel’s introduction to the world of theater came when she was cast in the title role of a kindergarten play, “The Magic Letter E” (cap to cape, fad to fade). She has been engaged by words-in-space ever since. As a playwright and theater director, Sara’s work has been seen on both coasts (the middle of the country eludes her, for now. . .). Venues showcasing her work include The Blank Theatre Company, Manhattan Shakespeare Project, the Marianne Murphy Women & Philanthropy Reading Series, Moving Arts Theater Company, the Pandora Festival, Piano Fight Productions, Prescott Center for the Arts, REDCAT, Sacred Fools, Theatre of NOTE, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum and Write Act Repertory— productions that have allowed her to collaborate with an amazing range of talented artists, including Independent Spirit Award winners, television icons, and the finest classically trained actors in the country. Sara’s plays have garnered her the American Theatre Co-op Playwriting Prize and a Playwrights Circle Award. She was also a Princess Grace Award semi-finalist for her play, “bad Art.” In television, the first two produced scripts she wrote aired simultaneously— same night, same time, different channels. In addition, her television script “Triumvirate” was named “Best Un-produced Pilot” by Written By, the magazine of the Writers Guild of America. She has directed industry showcases of television scripts, and is a producer of “A Temporary Life,” an official selection of the Independent Television Festival and the Eugene International Film Festival. Sara is a graduate of Dartmouth College, an alumnus of Directors Lab West, and a proud member of the Writers Guild of America and the Dramatists Guild of America.
AREK BAGBOUDARIAN (Second Assistant Director)
A Los Angeles native, Arek Bagboudarian started his Assistant Director-apprenticeship (also known as PA-ing) on season two of “Ugly Betty.” Arek has worked on-set production for various television shows, most recently on Showtime’s “Californication” and Warner Brothers’ The Mentalist.” His Assistant Director adventures, from short films and independents to commercials and music videos, serve as the backbone to his continued spirit for management in entertainment.
REENA DUTT (Associate Producer)
Reena Dutt is a producer of Film, Theater and New Media. Her most recent film, “The 5,” won the Jury’s Honorable Mention at IFFLA (starring Vik Sahay, Samrat Chakrabarti and Meera Simhan, directed by Ravi Kapoor), and she is thrilled to announce “Or Die,” starring “Outsourced”’s Parvesh Cheena, Rizwan Manji and Guru Singh, as well as “Mad TV’s” Bryan Callen. On the web, she Co-produced “The Real Girls’ Guide to Everything Else” (as reviewed by NPR – www.therealgirlsguide.com). On stage, she has produced for the NYC Fringe, Hollywood Fringe, Theatre of NOTE, Disha Theatre (NYC), and Off-Chance Productions (Co-founder, www.offchanceproductions.info). Reena is also an actor-director and more importantly, a food lover (www.eatlaonline.com). A full list of hercredits can be found at www.reenadutt.com.
MICHELLE GORSKI (Production Coordinator)
After three fun filled years at the University of Arizona, Michelle Gorski transferred to Cal State Northridge, where she received her degree in Broadcast Journalism while working as a talent agent assistant. With degree in hand and a profound realization that being a talent agent was not in her future she entered the exciting world of television production. She quickly moved through the ranks from production assistant to assistant coordinator to production manager. Michelle has had the pleasure of working on a variety of products while working at Darryl E. Smith productions, Inc. Amongst those projects were the 455 Films’ documentaries “The Captains” and “Get A Life” featuring William Shatner; specials and junkets for “Bridesmaids,” “Toy Story 3,” “Cars 2” and the upcoming “Rock of Ages,” and countless national commercials. She has also branched out in the past year and produced her own short film, “The Way the World Ends”, which has recently been screened at both the Newport Beach Film Festival and The New York Short Fest.
J.R. HUGHTO (Producer)
J.R. Hughto is the producer of seven features and a number of documentary and narrative shorts, and has worked in production and post-production for the better part of a decade. J.R. specializes in producing with an eye towards using new technologies to drive down cost while improving quality. As a workflow consultant, J.R. has advised dozens of filmmakers from pre-production through their films’ final outputs, on 35mm, HD, and SD. His clients’ budgets range from under $5K to over $100M. His films have screened at festivals and galleries internationally, including the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Viennale, the Portland Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and The Luben House in New York City. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking from the California Institute of the Arts, a BA with honors from Cornell University, and is an Avid Certified Support Representative (ACSR). More information about the range of J.R.’s work can be found at www.paintedland.com.
ANDREA KAUFMAN (Producer)
Andrea Kaufman is a 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry. After being a concert promoter in Florida, Andrea moved to Los Angeles in 1997. Her first job was as the production coordinator on the television series “S.O.F.: Soldier of Fortune.” She then joined Evolution Entertainment as a talent manager, working with Rosanna Arquette, Farrah Fawcett and Lisa Rinna, as well as a cache of development clients. In 2001, she moved on to CBS’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” to get more hands-on experience working with the line producer. When offered the position of assistant to Michael Ovitz, Andrea thought working for a former super-agent/manager who was producing feature films would help round-out her professional experience. Then, after a brief respite from “the biz,” Andrea joined Starz in 2006 as a production executive where Andrea oversaw the production of the television series “Masters of Horror” (Showtime), “Masters of Science Fiction” (ABC), “Painkiller Jane” (SyFy Channel) and “Z Rock” (IFC). She also oversaw production of three Movies of the Week and the mini-series “Bollywood Hero” (IFC). Andrea also produced material that aired on Starz, including the documentaries “Fantastic Flesh” and “Anime: Drawing a Revolution” and the series “Gravity.” Now an independent producer, Andrea produced the television series “Celebration Table with Maya Angelou” (Hallmark Channel), a series of ABC Family interstitials, 2nd unit footage for NBC’s “Outsourced” and a variety of independent productions. She is also working with several seasoned writers to develop a slate of low-budget features.
BRANDON KJAR (Executive Producer)
Growing up in the sprawling world of entertainment at a young age, Brandon Kjar developed an enthusiasm for showbiz after working for his father at the Tyler Kjar Agency. Developing a keen eye for recognizing talent, Brandon’s early clients acknowledged his strengths and urged him to start Kjar & Associates. Representing aspiring as well as established actors for over 30 years, Brandon raised the profiles of many distinguished names in show business. Through his career he placed Jared Rushton opposite Tom Hanks in “Big”, Gabriel Damon in “Robocop 2” and “Newsies,” Karyn Parsons in “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated Michael Clarke Duncan in the “The Green Mile,” Lorna Scott in “Wanted,” Gilles Marini in “Sex in the City” and Ken Davitian in the internationally acclaimed “Borat.” His passion and fervor for the business is ever apparent as Brandon continues to place actors in successful roles. Recently, his clients include Michael Paul Chan on “The Closer” with Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Ryan on Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson’s new series “Copper,” and Richard Hatch in “Battlestar Galatica.” In 1997, Brandon co-produced his first feature film, “Bayou Ghost,” starring the Academy Award-winning George Kennedy. He executive produced the award-winning films “Laredo” and “The Tub,” which starred Dedee Pfeiffer and Melora Hardin, and most recently, “Paddy’s In The Boot,” starring Eoin Macken of “Merlin” and Kevin Ryan.
JANELLA LACSON (Script Supervisor)
Janella Lacson was born in Torrance, California on January 8, 1992. She spent most of her life growing up in Manila, Philippines attending a private all-girls Catholic school for 7 years. She moved back to Los Angeles when she was 13 years old and attended Rosary High School in Fullerton, California. Janella aims to be a screenwriter and director, having several self-published novels, screenplays, and short-films under her belt. Her short-film, entitled “The First Date,” was produced in March 2012 and has screened at Fusion Film Festival (Los Angeles) and is scheduled to screen at the largest LGBT themed film festival in the nation, OutFest Film Festival (Los Angeles). Janella is currently in development of two feature films with well-known LGBT activist and filmmaker, James Duke Mason. In the fall of 2012, Janella will be one of 250 students attending the prestigious film and television undergraduate program at New York University.
MICHAEL “TUBA” MCKINSEY (Associate Producer)
Michael “Tuba” McKinsey is an award-winning New York-based stage actor and producer. Tuba recently completed a successful Off-Broadway production of his parody show “Balls: The Musical,” which he co-produced, co-wrote, and (at one time) performed. His performance career includes numerous New York City, national touring and regional credits spanning more than ten years. He has had the pleasure of working with legendary comedian Jerry Lewis, Academy Award Winner Marvin Hamlisch, and multiple Tony Award Winners. His current project, the National Touring Company of “The Water Coolers,” continues to entertain audiences all over the country. Many thanks to Sara for dragging me into this—I’m only too happy to help!
THOMAS MELECK (Production Designer)
Thomas Meleck recently Production Designed the animated feature film, “Life With Dwegons” and the pilot episodes of “Jaunt,” “The Watcher” and “The American.” He designed the second unit for Jon Avnet’s “The Starter Wife” and Michael Whaley’s film “Applause for Miss ‘E’” for Image Entertainment, the trailer for “Spiderman 3,” and was special visual effects designer for one of the Steven King miniseries episodes of “Nightmares and Dreamscapes.” His credits also include “Clueless,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” the pilot season of “Dennis Miller Live,” “The New Lassie,” “Quantum Leap,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” the final season of the “Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” and the Emmy-Award winning shows “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Parsley Garden.” Tom Production Designed Brad Pitt’s first feature film, “Across the Tracks” and Art Directed Natalie Wood’s final movie, “Brainstorm.” Tom attended NYU for his Master’s Degree in theatrical Stage Design and designed Arrabal’s “The Architect and The Emporer of Assyria” at St. Clement’s. He assisted on the Broadway productions of “Lenny” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and on “Candide at the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He also designed the Rolling Thunder Revue for Bob Dylan, Aerosmith’s flying “A” tour, The Blue Oyster Cult Tour, and Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow Tour, as well as many other Rock and Roll tours. Tom’s Los Angeles theatrical credits include sets and lighting for the musical “Paquito’s Christmas,” Just Men,” Parental Discretion,” Sacrificial Lamb,” “Tight Quarters” and “Love is Always the Matter.” He was nominated as Best Set Designer by the Los Angeles Weekly for his work on “The Imposter,” was twice by the NAACP for “Toussaint, For the Love of Freedom” and “Section 8,” and was nominated for a Drama Critics Award for his lighting of “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They.” Last year, he designed sets and lighting for “Women In Shorts” at the Working Stage Theater and “Bronzeville” for the Robey Theater Company on location in Manzanar. This year he designed sets and lighting for the Met Theater’s “California Dreamin’” and “Berlin Cowboys” at the Write Act theater.
MICHAEL MULLEN (Costume Consultant)
Michael Mullen is a costume and fashion designer, wardrobe stylist, actor and writer. He has performed in and designed costumes for several productions on both stage and film throughout Los Angeles. Some of his recent costume design credits for the stage include: “1969: A Fantastical Odyssey Through The American Mindscape” (Rogue Machine and Gotchu Productions), “Dusk Rings A Bell,” “Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them,” “The Santaland Diaries,” “The Jazz Age,” “Setup and Punch” and four seasons of the Young Playwrights Festival—48 plays total (all at The Blank Theatre Company), “Cabaret,” “Pippin” and “Into the Woods” (all for Doma Theatre Company), “Hedda Gabler” (Little Fish Theatre), two productions of “Playdates” (Green Beetle Productions), “White People” (The Road Theatre Company), “Women Behind Bars,” “Altar Boyz,” “Ooooogy Green and Other Fables” (all at Celebration Theatre), 13 O’ clock (Little Fish Theatre), “Bright Ideas” (The Falcon Theatre), “Karma Boomerang” and “Divided” (Pacific Resident Theatre), “The Mullen Mix,” and many more. On film, Michael has done costumes for such projects as “Paradox Alice” (Mako Pictures), “Fit To Be Tied,” “Two Sticks,” “Fruit and Fly,” “I Feel Like A Woman” (Webby Award Honored for Best Public Service And Activism; also its writer and performer), as well as several other web series and short films. His costume design for music videos includes “Monkey” and “Ballerina Plastica.” Michael has also done a lot of wardrobe styling for print. You can check out some of his fashion design escapades on Craigslist TV (Youtube.Com/Craigslist), which is produced by Brownstone Entertainment. He hopes to have his own dress line one day.
ROBERT C. WEBB (Director of Photography)
Robert Christopher Webb completed a film studies degree at the California State University Long Beach in 1994. Since then he has photographed films, music videos, industrials and commercials around the world. In 2001 the feature film he shot, “The Flip Side,” was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival’s Native Forum. In 2005, he received the Best Cinematography Award in 2005 from The Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, Alabama for “Americano,” starring Joshua Jackson, Dennis Hopper and Leonor Varela. Robert also photographed the Spanish feature film “Under The Snow,” which won an audience award at the Valladolid Film Festival in Spain and made its North American premiere at the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival. He has also photographed numerous short films that have received many awards from film festivals throughout the United States. His collaboration with the music video directing team Artificial Army has resulted in multiple videos for nine bands, as well as Artificial Army’s feature mockumentary “Wreckless Epic.” Robert has won an Emmy and two Telly awards for cinematography for his work on industrial spots for Lockheed Martin, work which has involved traveling to such countries as Japan, Korea, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Colombia and Honduras. He has shot commercial spots for Gonzaga University, Aussie Hair Care Products, Cadbury, Schwepps and Smashbox. His most recent projects have resulted in collaborations with Jim Henson Studios, Warner Brothers, and a short film about gay domestic violence.
DEBRA WEINSTEIN (Editor)
Debra Weinstein first discovered she loved to edit in the 7th grade as a part of a communications program designed to teach students about journalism, and has continued ever since. After graduating from Syracuse University with a double major in Public Policy and Television, Radio and Film Production, Debra began working as a commercial assistant editor at Red Car Editorial NY, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue editing television drama. She has since assisted on various television shows such as “Alias,” “Brothers and Sisters” and “90210,” and has amassed several co-editing credits for these series. She has participated as a volunteer editor for the Children’s Defense Fund of Los Angeles Beat The Odds program, and was an additional editor on the documentary “13 Families: Life After Columbine.” She is currently assisting on USA’s newest drama, “Political Animals.”