MICHAEL GRODNER – Writer / Director / Producer
Michael Grodner has extensive experience behind the camera directing music videos and branded content. He’s directed music videos for Cursive, Chiodos, Kill Me Tomorrow, The Human Abstract, Civet, The Briggs, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Sabertooth Tiger, Women And Children, and the Black Kites. Cursive’s “Dorothy at Forty” was named one of MTV2’s Top Ten Subterranean Music Videos of the Year and MTVU’s Favorite Comeback Kid Video of the Year. His work receives regular shout-outs from MTV2 and MTVU, and has appeared at world-wide festivals such as the Brighton Festival (UK), Synch Festival (Athens, Greece) and the Indie Pop & Film Test in Newport, Kentucky where his video, Brazil’s “Escape” captured Best Music Video. Michael’s recent highlights include: The Human Abstract’s “Procession Of The Fates” music video, the artwork for the Human Abstract’s new album “Midheaven”, and a projection piece to coincide with the band’s upcoming world tour. He followed these with a commercial spot and a music video for the indie-rock band Iran. Michael is a graduate of the USC film school. He is repped by Vitamin M, a NY based production company.
MATT REEVES – Producer
In 2008, Matt Reeves came to feature film prominence as the director of the acclaimed science fiction horror hit, “Cloverfield” for Paramount Pictures. The modestly budgeted film set a domestic record for January release, and went on to gross over one hundred seventy million dollars, worldwide. Prior to that film, the writer-director-producer was best known as one of the creators of the popular television series “Felicity”, starring Golden Globe Award winning actress, Keri Russell. He served as executive producer with partner and co-creator J.J. Abrams, and frequent director during the show’s four season run, which began on the WB in 1998. Reeves made his feature directorial debut with Miramax’s 1996 dark comedy, “The Pallbearer”, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, David Schwimmer, and Barbara Hershey. He developed the screenplay with co-writer Jason Katims through Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. In 1999, Matt co-wrote and co-produced James Gray’s critically acclaimed feature, “The Yards”, starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, and Charlize Theron. He first gained the attention of the industry with his award-winning student short, “Mr. Petrified Forrest” upon graduating from USC’s prestigious cinema school. Reeves got his start in 1995 when a screenplay he penned in college with classmate Richard Hatem was purchased by Warner Brothers, and later turned into “Under Siege 2: Dark Territory”. For the small screen, in addition to the pilot for “Felicity”, Reeves helmed the pilot episodes of “Gideon’s Crossing” and “Miracles” for ABC, “Conviction” for NBC, and series episodes of “Homicide: Life on the Street”, and “Relativity”. His upcoming projects include writing, directing, and producing the independent drama/thriller, “The Invisible Woman” for Gotham-based Greenestreet Films; as well as, writing and directing an American adaptation of the acclaimed Swedish horror novel and film, “Let The Right One In”, for Spitfire/Hammer Films and Overture Films due out in theaters in early 2010. Reeves currently lives with his fiancée in Los Angeles.
AARON OCKMAN – Producer
After graduating from Stanford University, Aaron Ockman stayed in Northern California and weathered the dot.com era and then moved to Los Angeles to produce movies. Since joining Neo Art & Logic, Aaron has helped develop several studio franchises including the “Feast” and “Pulse” movies for The Weinstein Company and several “American Pie Presents” movies for Universal Pictures. Pulse went on to gross over 20 million dollars domestically.
Aaron is currently the Vice President of Production at Neo Art and Logic. He recently produced the independent dramady, “Buddy Gilbert Comes Alive,” in Pennsylvania, which stars Emmy nominee Elizabeth Moss and newcomer Gavin Bellour as well as “Ashes” with Brian Krause and Kadeem Hardison.
LINUS SANDGREN – Director Of Photography
Linus Sandgrean is from Sweden, but makes his home in Santa Monica, CA. He recently shot the 22 million dollar feature Shelter starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys-Meyer. He was the director of photography on Snapphanar and Storm, which won Best Cinematography at the Swedish Film Awards. He has shot dozens of commercials around the world as well as music videos for Lenny Kravitz, The Hives and Kaiser Chiefs. He is repped by ICM.
CHARLES LEE – Production Designer
Production Designer and Architect, Charles Dwight Lee, has deftly navigated between these two worlds, affording him the opportunity to travel the globe designing hi-tech oil camps in the Peruvian Amazon to high rises in Hong Kong for Foster Associates’ award winning Child Cares in California. The varied, complex and technical skill required are evident from builds such as mega death ray dishes inside a lake for James Bond’s “Goldeneye,” haunted submarines in “Below” to the stages for sinking ships in “Titanic” making his love of this realm undeniable. Most recently Charles’ architectural projects included a housing development in Los Congos, Nicaragua, a Boeing test facility and Pacific Theater renovation in Long Beach and Los Angeles, California respectively. Mr. Lee resides in Los Angles, California.
MARY JO SLATER – Casting Director
Broadway producer, Emanuel Azenberg, opened the door to MARY JO SLATER’S first casting opportunity, Neil Simon’s CHAPTER TWO. From that moment on, she knew that casting was what she wanted to do with her life. After casting several Broadway and off-broadways plays, she branched out into television, taking on the casting job on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, the ABC daytime drama, a job she enjoyed for nearly ten years, also earning her her first Casting Society of America Award. She worked with the legendary Lynn Stalmaster on features such as THE NAME OF THE ROSE, 9 ½ WEEKS, and OUT OF AFRICA. In 1986 a call came from MGM Television in Los Angeles with an offer to become Vice President of Talent under the leadership of David Gerber. This was an offer she couldn’t refuse. She relocated her family to the West Coast. While at MGM, she cast and oversaw pilots, movies and series.
Mary Jo partnered with Steve Brooksbank in 1992. The partnership has collaborated on the casting of feature films, miniseries, pilots and series. From 2004 to 2008 Slater/Brooksbank was in-house casting consultants for USA/NBC Universal Television. They received six Emmy nominations for TRAFFIC, the USA miniseries, as well as winning a C.S.A. Award for the project. Another Emmy nomination and C.S.A. nomination followed in 2005 for ELVIS, the CBS miniseries starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. They were honored, once again, with three consecutive Emmy nominations, for the Showtime series THE TUDORS starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and the other for the USA miniseries THE STARTER WIFE, starring Debra Messing. The C.S.A. also recognized the team with nominations for THE STARTER WIFE and the SciFi miniseries THE LOST ROOM starring Peter Krause. They are currently casting consultants for FOX Television having completed work on a new series entitled DEFYING GRAVITY and a pilot for ABC currently titled I, CLAUDIA.
Some proud casting accomplishments include William Friedkin’s TWELVE ANGRY MEN for Showtime starring Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott and James Gandolfini receiving a C.S.A. nomination , the Dreamworks feature, THE CONTENDER, starring Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Gary Oldman, also receiving a C.S.A. nomination. The CBS miniseries ELVIS, the ABC, series COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF starring Geena Davis and Donald Sutherland., the Morgan Creek feature. ACE VENTURA, PET DETECTIVE, the independent features COME EARLY MORNING starring Ashley Judd which premiered at Sundance and SLIPSTREAM starring Anthony Hopkins, a film he wrote and directed which also had its premiere at Sundance, and the ABC pilot of DIRTY, SEXY, MONEY.
She is currently producing a documentary entitled MIRACLE ON 42ND STREET, about Manhattan Plaza, the only federally subsidized housing for people in the perfoming arts a feature film entitled ROGUES, and a pilot entitled GAME SHOW.
With more than 30 years in casting, she is still excited by the process and proud to be a part of the profession.
SHELLEY H. SURPIN, Partner, SURPIN & MAYERSOHN, LLP – Legal Counsel
SHELLEY SURPIN specializes in representing individuals and companies in the motion picture, television and allied fields, including their activities in independent finance, production and distribution. She received her law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, where she received two American Jurisprudence Awards. She is also summa cum laude graduate of Stanford University and member of Phi Beta Kappa. Ms. Surpin is currently Chair of SubSCREEN, the L.A. County Bar Subcommittee for Film & TV Screen Entertainment, and serves as well on the Executive Board of Stanford in Entertainment. She has previously served on the Executive Committee of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Section (IPELS) of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She has spoken on entertainment law topics for U.C.L.A. Extension, the Writers Guild of America, IFP West, Film Independent and others and has published articles in a variety of motion picture industry publications. SURPIN & MAYERSOHN, LLP has sponsored the annual Film Independent Finance Conference and regularly represents one or more films/filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival and other prominent film festivals.