NORTHEAST FILMMAKERS LAB’s 4th EDITION INDUSTRY ADVISORS
NORMAN BERNS Movie Budgeting Trainer – Unit Production Manager
Norman C. Berns is an Emmy-winning producer and director. His three-part documentary series, The Writing Code, recently aired on PBS. Beginning as a theatre director, the full scope of his production work includes features and documentaries, TV series and commercials. At Equinox Films in New York, Norman produced a series of “Intermission Features” for The Metropolitan Opera’s “Live from the Met” broadcasts. Of the nine films, “Young Wonders” was expanded into a PBS special; his work on La Boehme garnered an Emmy.
A certified Movie Magic instructor, Norman was an early beta tester for Screenplay Systems budgeting and scheduling programs and was part of the Set Management development team that created ProductionPro Budget. A columnist for the seminal online publication, WebZine Weekly, Norman has also written for The Directors Guild and Tripod, Inc. His irregular columns appeared in BTL News and he blogged for ReelGrok, Pavaline and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/
He is a consultant to the Roy W. Dean Film & Video Grants, on the Board of Advisors for People With Disabilities Broadcasting Corporation and the local Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange and its filmmakers’ labs. Norman is moderator of The Budgeting Group, owner of Reelgrok and the massive LinkedIn group Film and Television Professionals. Norman has taught film production and software for Media Services, The Directors Guild, Filmmakers Bootcamp and others. In addition to his production work, Norman teaches a series of online seminars covering the fundamentals of filmmaking, from script breakdown to successful pitching. His live eight-hour seminar has been presented in New York and Los Angeles. He is a member of DGA, SAG and Actors Equity.
MICHAEL CAMOIN, Writer, Producer, Director Videos For Change Productions
Mike Camoin is a firm believer that emerging artists are an integral part to the future of the US culture and economy. Working closely with Film Upstate, Mike has led the independent film movement in northeastern New York for over 20 years. Co-founder of Upstate Independents Filmmakers Network, Camoin served as the orgs first president (1995-2000). Today, Camoin serves as the Founding Director of the Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange (CCCE). More recently, Camoin served as the UPM for the Sundance Special Jury Prize winning AS YOU ARE and locations manager on WE THE ANIMALS and James Franco’s PRETENDERS.
As a filmmaker in his own works, Mike is best known for his documentary series on Adirondack culture, including “Inside the Blue Line” and “How to Make an Adirondack Packbasket,” which have screened in northeastern U.S. and Canadian television markets, and “From the Mountaintop: The History of Adirondack Fire Towers.”
Camoin is currently developing “SCARED TO DEBT: America’s Student Loan Scam” the documentary about America’s Student Loan Scam, in post-production on “Life or Death,” about two families devastated by mental illness and murder featuring David Kaczynski and Bill Babbitt. He is responsible for the short films “Ruler of Life”, “Crossing the Whitestone” and “Relax.” The latter made its Russian premiere in 2011 when Camoin was the sole American invited to an intensive 8-day producer’s lab in Russia, where the seeds for CCCE were planted. He resides with his wife, Linda, and two children in upstate NY.
ALLEN CHOU, Independent Film Distribution PASSION RIVER FILMS
Allen Chou is President and owner of Passion River Films, an independent film distribution company specializing in the release of films and documentaries that engage with audiences. Passion River handles distribution to theaters, VOD, home video, and libraries in public, academic and digital markets. Allen manages a diverse catalog featuring Academy Award and Emmy-winning films and directors as well as films that have been recognized at festivals such as: Hot Docs, Sundance, SXSW, Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, Tribeca and many other prestigious events. In 2005, he established a distribution partnership with Netflix, resulting in over 200 titles released on their site. Allen has placed titles into accounts such as: Blockbuster, Hastings, Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, Netflix Streaming, Hulu, & more. Allen Chou also manages the in-house social media marketing department and serves on the adjunct faculty at New York University teaching film marketing and distribution courses. He is a frequent speaker, panel moderator, and instructor on distribution and social media marketing at film festivals, industry conferences and universities. Allen attended New York University and received his BA in Radio,TV,Film from the University of Maryland.
DAN DINSMORE, FOUNDER OVERIT MEDIA
With more than two decades of marketing and digital media experience, Dan has been instrumental in the perpetuating of marketing experimentation, keeping Overit on the cutting edge of trends and theory. He has led Overit to dozens of awards with the creation of some of the most innovative and creative brand projects at both the regional and national levels. He oversees marketing platforms for major brands such as Trump, Nickelodeon, Catseye, Beech-Nut, Chicago Bulls, Albany Medical Center and CDPHP. Dan works on the overall mission of Overit from client mission to product development. A hands-on manager, Dan is heavily involved in the production departments of Overit and instrumental in working on strategies for many of Overit’s clients.
DEBBBY GOEDEKE, Albany County Film Commissioner
Currently the Convention Services Manager of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACCVB) and Albany County Film Commissioner for the Albany County Film Commission, Debby has also worked as Vice-President of Meetings & Conventions for Empire Meeting Solutions, Guilderland, NY and a Corporate Sales Manager for the Crowne Plaza Albany hotel. Debby assists all of her clients by matching up the right “Albany” resource for their film shoots, conferences, conference needs, sporting tournaments, and corporations.
Debby continues to work with the motion picture industry, independent film community as well as providing assistance on documentaries, commercials and television projects including Columbia Pictures on SALT and The Other Guys as well as HBO Films’ Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. In 2014 Debby worked with Fourth Man Out an independent comedy starring Glee’s Chord Overstreet. Debby is Vice President of Bethlehem Triathlon Club, Advisory Member for Upstate Women in Film and Television, Advisory Member for Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange and Past President of the Northeast Chapter of Meeting Professionals International.
Debby is a native of Keene, NY in the High Peaks region. Debby, in her spare time, enjoys running and participating in triathlons and marathons. Debby completed her first full Ironman in July of 2013. Debby and her husband Art live in Delmar, NY with their Yorkie Lance.
LARRY JACKSON, Producer, Industry Consultant Persistence of Vision: A Resource for Independent Filmmakers
Larry Jackson is a 40-year veteran of the motion picture business, working in every aspect from theater exhibition and marketing to distribution and production. As Managing Director of the world-renowned 3-screen Orson Welles Cinema Complex in Cambridge, MA he was responsible for general management, programming, promotion and advertising as well as developing other venues in the Northeast. His innovative marketing led to the launches of many successful independent films, most famously the Jamaican classic THE HARDER THEY COME, which played for 6 years in its first theater, introduced reggae in America and propelled the soundtrack album to become one of the best-sellers in movie history.
Jackson began filmmaking as production manager for the director Orson Welles, with whom he worked on several projects for both stage and screen. His innovative marketing led to work in LA as a producer’s rep, guiding marketing and distribution for offbeat films outside the Hollywood formula, such as Hal Ashby’s BEING THERE and Richard Rush’s THE STUNTMAN, both of which received Best Actor nominations for their leading men. In 1980 Robert Redford invited Jackson to join in planning the creation of the Sundance Institute, where he organized programs and selected and tutored participant filmmakers, as well as assisting in fund-raising efforts for several years.
At the Samuel Goldwyn Company, Larry established the theatrical distribution division and managed film acquisitions for TV and theatrical. He oversaw production and/or distribution of its independent films in the US and Europe, including legendary indies, such as STRANGER THAN PARADISE and MYSTIC PIZZA. He held later positions as V.P. in Charge Of Production at Orion Pictures and Executive Vice President of Miramax Films.
Larry holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching, both from Cornell University. He is in the process of collaborating with New York’s Mike Camoin and other artists to help make the Capital Region a unique artplace, cultivate diverse community partners and expert leadership leading to a vibrant future for independent filmmakers and the entire community.
Matt Levy, Head of Sales & Acquisitions Passion River Films
Mat Levy has worked with Passion River Films since 2004. Having a background in Film and TV publicity, Mat has worked with film campaigns for New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia Pictures, Warner Independent, and Picturehouse. He has also worked with producers from VH1 and MTV on promotion and development. Mat attends most major markets and film festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, AFM, and Hot Docs; as well as national retail and library trade shows including: National Media Market, Ingram Entertainment, Alliance Entertainment, Baker & Taylor, CTAM, and the American Library Association. Mat attended the University of Hartford and received a BA in Cinema Studies.
JOSEPH MASTANTUONO, PRODUCER / POST-PRODUCTION SPECIALIST GOOD POST
Joseph Mastantuono’s first feature film as a producer As You Are (dir. Miles Joris-Peyrafitte), starring Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg & Mary Stuart Masterson won the Special Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic category at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. He also produced the short film As a Friend which the feature was based on. Previously, he produced “My Last Film” (dir. Zia Anger), a short film starring Lola Kirke, Patricia Arquette & Kelly Rohrback, which premiered at the New York Film Festival.
JOHN ROMEO, Stage and Film Actor PhatAkter Productions
Albany born stage and film actor, recently co-directed, shot and co-edited the documentary, ‘The Neighborhood That Disappeared”, and was Director of Photography and editor on “Breakfast of Champions”. He also recently appeared in “Fighting For Freedom” with Bruce Dern. His lengthy career on stage included working in London’s West End and Off-Broadway in NYC. He has taught Acting at Union College and Acting and Directing at Russell Sage College. He owns PhatAkter Productions, LLC Member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity and Upstate Independents Filmmakers Network.
BRAD ROBINSON, Assistant Director / Filmmaker Two Pints Productions/Member-DGA
Brad Robinson has been working in the motion picture industry for 18 years; starting his career as a 1st AD on several micro-budget independent films. From there, he began working as production assistant on all levels of productions ranging from television (CBS’ HACK), studio films (GUESS WHO, DAN IN REAL LIFE), as well as independent features (including Lee Daniels’ directorial debut, SHADOWBOXER).
In 2007, Brad joined the Directors Guild of America. His credits as an assistant director include BLUE VALENTINE, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, CONFIRMATION, LIMITLESS, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, and the upcoming WIDOWS. He has worked with directors such as Steve McQueen, Derek Cianfrance, Rick Famuyiwa, Renny Harlin, and Mike Million; as well as alongside icons Peter Bogdanovich and Woody Allen (with whom he recently finished working with for the sixth time). In 2013, he was part of the directing team that was nominated for the DGA Award for Movies for Television and Mini Series (with director, Greg Berlanti) for the USA show, POLITICAL ANIMALS (“Pilot”). He was also part of the winning team for 2016’s DGA Award for Commercial for their work for Powerade.
Brad’s directorial debut, PUBLIC INTEREST, played film festivals across the country and received awards for Best Feature Film at the Iris Film Festival and Best Independent Film at the Downbeach Film Festival. In addition, Brad garnered the award for Best First Time Director at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival as well as Excellence in Direction at the Depth of Field International Film Festival Competition.
His short film, “Ghosts of New York,” is currently playing the festival circuit and has won awards for Best Local Short Film at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and Exceptional Merit at the Depth of Field International Film Festival Competition.
CHRISTOPHER SCHILLER, NY Attorney and Counselor at Law Entertainment, Copyright, Media and Art Law
Christopher Schiller is a New York practicing attorney focusing on the independent film world and related fields for over a decade. His knowledge and skill is shared globally in his regular articles for Script Magazine (ScriptMag.com) where he relates helpful information on the business and legal sides of the industry in his column titled, “It Depends”. Chris is also an active filmmaker himself so he can easily translate between the creative and production worlds and business and legal ones. Helping filmmakers get “in the know” before they are in the room allows them to best take advantage of their opportunities and look more professional and ready for success in the eyes of the executives across the table. Even if you can’t get all the answers, knowing which questions to ask helps immensely.
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