Samantha Grant (Director/Producer)
Samantha Grant (Director/Producer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, page journalist, viagra and educator. Her approach to storytelling is influenced by both her undergraduate degree in American Studies/Literature from Yale University and her Master’s of Journalism degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Through her San Francisco based production company GUSH productions, Sam has created work for clients including MTV, ABC, PBS, CNN, NPR, FRONTLINE, FRONTLINE/World, and Al Jazeera International. In 2007, Sam was named a Carnegie/Knight fellow as part of the News 21 Initiative on the Future of Journalism and in 2011, Sam was named a BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, where she began work on the robust transmedia companion project for A FRAGILE TRUST. Currently, Sam is creating the Educational Alternate Reality Game DECISIONS ON DEADLINE, which teaches journalism ethics through an interactive and entertaining experience. Sam is also the DP/Producer of the upcoming feature documentary GIRLS IN THE FOREST, which tells the story of a revolutionary girls high school being built in one of the last pristine forests in South America. When she’s not shooting or producing independent documentaries, you can find Sam lecturing at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford’s Knight Fellowship program.
Company Website: gushproductions
Brittney Shepherd (Co-Producer) is a San Francisco based independent filmmaker and transmedia producer. In addition to co-producing A FRAGILE TRUST (Independent Lens 2014; Sheffield 2013 World Premiere), she is one of the creators of the ITVS-funded alternate reality news game, DECISIONS ON DEADLINE, which teaches journalism ethics through an interactive and entertaining experience. She is currently directing her first feature, EYE, CAMERA, that tells the story of a monocular visual artist who sets out to install a camera inside her prosthetic eye and confronts ethnical and existential dilemmas from her controversial decision. Brittney is currently the Co-Producer of OUT RUN, a feature documentary about openly gay politicians in more traditional regions of the world (ITVS; Sundance; Tribeca). Brittney was the Associate Producer of the Emmy® Award-nominated A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES and MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON (Full Frame Inspiration Award 2012). Brittney has also produced award-winning films alongside the Academy-Award winning director Debra Chasnoff. In 2013, Brittney participated the CPB/PBS Producer’s Academy at WGBH. She is also a 2013 Bay Area Video Coalition MediaMaker Fellow and a 2013 Emerging Arts Professional Fellow. Brittney holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies.
Richard Levien (Editor)
Richard Levien (Editor) has a PhD in theoretical physics from Princeton University, but has found his real passion in film. As a freelance film editor, he co-edited the feature documentary D Tour, which won the Golden Gate award for Best Bay Area documentary at the 2009 SF International Film Festival (Independent Lens, 2009). He edited the short film Remigration (Dir: Barry Jenkins, “Medicine for Melancholy”) which premiered at SxSW and appeared in the ITVS web series “Future States”, and edited and did motion graphics for “On the Assassination of the President” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.
Jessica Jones (Associate Producer/Assistant Editor)
Jessica Jones is a filmmaker and independent media producer specializing in documentary style video productions. She holds a B.A. from Northwestern University in Psychology and International Studies, and is a graduate of George Washington University’s Institute for Documentary Filmmaking. With a background in both film and nonprofit advocacy, Jessica views visual storytelling as a unique platform for social innovation, and intends to use filmmaking as an opportunity to shed light on community based issues. She is a 2013 BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, and was the 2011 George Stoney Fellow at Working Films.
Justin Melland (Composer)
With over 30 feature and documentary film credits to his name, Justin Melland has become known for his wonderfully eclectic scores and his constant use of LA’s finest studio musicians, which always elevate his music to the highest level of quality. After finishing his Master’s Degree in music composition at UCLA and UC Berkeley, one of his first composing positions was to write an original score for “The Death of Kevin Carter, Casualty of the Bang Bang Club” which was nominated in 2006 for an Oscar® by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is distributed by HBO. In addition to his very full film composing schedule, he has also written the scores for seven successful television series: “Live Through This” (Fuse), “Inside” (National Geographic/PBS), “Undercover History” (National Geographic), “City Confidential” (A&E), “Frontline/WORLD” (PBS, Discovery/Times), The Human Weapon (History) and “Snapped” (oxygen).
Mike Nicholson (Motion Graphics)
Mike Nicholson is an award-winning filmmaker and graphic artist whose works have screened at festivals around the world and have been broadcast nationally on PBS. He is a founding partner of Picturebox, a production and post house based in Austin, Texas. In 2011, he produced the critically acclaimed feature documentary Better This World (POV, 2011) which premiered at SXSW and was named “Best Documentary” at the Gotham Independent FIlm Awards, the San Francisco International Film Fest, and the Sarasota FIlm Festival. In 2009, Mike co-produced and served as director of photography on the feature doc Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah (Abraxas, 2009), a revealing look at the life of a Texas songwriter and folk hero. As a graphic designer, Mike has created titles and graphics for numerous films, including the feature documentaries Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah, Better This World (POV, 2011), After Tiller (Oscilliscope, 2013), A Fragile Trust (ITVS, 2013) and Say Hello to Mr. Go: An Elegy for South Louisiana (ITVS, 2013).
Stuart Langfield (Illustrated animations)
Stuart Langfield is an independent animator & filmmaker. With a focus on design & animation for feature film and documentary, his strong background in traditional graphic design, & a Masters in animation from Glasgow School of Art, brings a uniquely detail oriented approach to his work. Previous credits include PressPausePlay. Website: stuartlangfield.com