Filmmakers

Susan Morgan Cooper

Director/Writer/Producer

Susan Morgan Cooper

Susan Morgan Cooper was born in a tiny village in Wales, where her parents produced plays to raise money for charity. Surrounded by theater since she was a child, she was drawn to become an actress. She attended the University of Wales and went on to appear in Repertory Theater, television shows and films in Wales before immigrating to the United States.

Shortly after arriving in America, she landed a small role in Clint Eastwood’s The Eiger Sanction. She soon discovered, however, that film editing excited her much more than acting. When director/screenwriter Fred Walton (When A Stranger Calls) took her under his wing, she began consulting for him and later became associate producer on Walton’s Hadley’s Rebellion, starring Griffin O’Neal, William Devane and Charles Durning.

It was when she became intrigued with the story of a young Croatian girl displaced by the Balkan War that Morgan Cooper felt compelled to make her first documentary, Mirjana, One Girl’s Journey.

Morgan Cooper next produced and directed the series, “Heroes and Sheroes,” stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, for Good Life Television.

She wrote, produced and directed Sergio, a documentary about a remarkable cop in East Los Angeles, who turned around the lives of a group of gang kids, grooming them into a winning roller hockey team. “I made a promise to them all that day I would make a real movie about them,” said Morgan Cooper.

In 2005, she went to Italy to shoot the Making of Shadows in the Sun, documenting the filming of writer/producer director Brad Mirman’s film starring Harvey Keitel, Joshua Jackson, Claire Forlani and Giancarlo Giannini.

She wrote, produced and directed An Unlikely Weapon, the award-winning feature documentary about the Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Eddie Adams. Ironically, Morgan Cooper had used Adams’ photographs in Stringers, an early dramatic short about a photographer in Vietnam. “I have always been interested in war photographers. Probably the one thing I can claim to share with Eddie Adams is a fascination with displaced and oppressed people,” said Morgan Cooper.

Susan Morgan Cooper is developing a film with Fairplay Pictures, focusing on the true story of street children in Rio de Janeiro and the Death Squads that routinely murder them.

She is presently set to direct Roadrunners, a feature film based on her documentary Sergio

Jian Ping

AUTHOR of the memoir, MULBERRY CHILD

Jian Ping

Jian Ping was born and raised in China. She is the author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China. From a young girl being forced to live in a mud house during China's Cultural Revolution to a working mother in corporate America, an author and a public speaker, Jian's journey reflects the human spirit of resilience and triumph.
"I have to pinch myself, remembering the time when I only spoke Chinglish." Jian said at the commencement speech she gave at Loyola University Chicago.
Jian Ping is working on her next book, From Changchun to Chicago, in collaboration with her daughter, Lisa. It focuses on their social, cultural and generational conflicts. She is also writing a collection of short stories about the lives of Asian immigrants in the U.S. She has recently started a book publishing business.
Jian Ping obtained her bachelor’s degree in English from Jilin University, China and dual master’s degrees in Film and International Affairs from Ohio University. She lives with her husband and daughter in Chicago.

Ellis Goodman

Executive Producer

Ellis Goodman

Ellis Goodman is a successful businessman with a background in public accounting, the beverage alcohol industry, commercial real estate, and is the owner/manager of American Dream Pictures. In the late 1970s, Mr. Goodman was an investor/manager in the U.K. music industry, film production (The Greek Tycoon) and distribution (Picnic at Hanging Rock). He served on the Board of Cinema Chicago, and the Chicago International Film Festival for many years and was Chairman in 1994/95. He is the author of two books, and more recently has been co-executive producer of the documentary, Louder Than A Bomb and the U.K. produced thriller, A Thousand Kisses Deep. He was invested as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 1996.

Jon Siskel

Consulting Producer

Jon Siskel has developed, produced and directed documentaries filmed on location in Africa, Mongolia and Southeast Asia. Jon Siskel also developed, produced and directed Head On, a documentary on Drag Racing and 102 Minutes that Changed America, a documentary on the 9/11 tragedy, which won three Emmys Awards in Los Angeles in September 2009. Most recently he and Greg Jacobs developed, produced and directed the award-winning documentary Louder Than A Bomb.

Greg Jacobs

Consulting Producer

Greg Jacobs served as VP/Chief Creative Officer at Towers Productions, where he oversaw the content of more than two hundred documentaries on five different networks. Greg also produced, wrote, and supervised more than two dozen other shows, including a number of mini-series and specials for The History Channel, and two documentaries on the Iraq War for Discovery Times, and also co-produced Head On, 102 Minutes that Changed America and Louder Than A Bomb.

Li Zhensheng

Archival Photographer

Li Zhensheng was born in 1940 in Dalian, Liaoning Province, People’s Republic of China. After early studies in cinematography at Changchun, Jilin, he began working as a photographer for the Heilongjiang Daily in northeastern China, where he stayed for over nineteen years before starting a teaching career at the International Political Science Institute of the University of Beijing. 

His 2003 chronicle of the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) Red-Color News Soldier: A Chinese Photographer’s Odyssey Through the Cultural Revolution (Phaidon 2003), has been translated into six languages and received the Overseas Press Club of America’s Olivier Rebbot Award for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad. An exhibition of his images from the Cultural Revolution has appeared in nearly every major European capital and continues to travel around the world. 

His collection has been represented worldwide by Contact Press Images since 1999. He is based in Beijing, China and New York, USA.

Quyen Tran

Cinematographer

Quyen Tran received fine art and photography training at the University of Virginia and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. before receiving an MFA in Cinematography from UCLA’s Graduate Film School. At UCLA, Quyen won Best Cinematography three years in a row, photographing numerous short films and features which have screened at festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Telluride, Festroia, and Tribeca, among others.

Quyen has photographed films internationally, including South Africa, Thailand, Japan, China and Vietnam.  She attended the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival with the narrative feature Girlfriend. In between features she photographs commercials and documentaries, with clients including Nike, Sony, Hulu, and Apple. She is currently shooting three documentary features and is in pre-production for a narrative feature slated to shoot in Louisiana later this year.

Sean Valla

Editor

Sean Valla has been working in feature editorial for the last 20 years. He started on ultra-low budget, non-union films and worked his way up from assistant, to first assistant, VFX editor to editor on features such as the Spiderman series, Drag Me To Hell, The Hurt Locker, Law Abiding Citizen, The Green Hornet. Sean has worked as an editor on feature films, feature documentaries, short films, web series and is currently cutting a feature film entitled, The Baytown Disco with Billy Bob Thorton and Eva Longoria.

Miranda Yousef

Additional Editor

Miranda Yousef is a feature documentary editor with credits on films that have played Sundance, Tribeca, PBS and HBO. She recently edited Troubadours, a music documentary about James Taylor, Carole King and the 1970s singer-songwriter scene in Los Angeles. The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in competition, and has been nominated for an Emmy award.    

Miranda has been the only or lead editor on 2008 IDA Audience Award winner Food Fight; Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob Squarepants (for Nickelodeon); and Race, an award-winning documentary about the unexpected re-election of New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin in 2006. In addition, she has been an associate/additional editor on films including Academy Award nominee Kirby Dick’s 2009 release Outrage, Dumbstruck (2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival), and 2008 Sundance Film Festival favorite I.O.U.S.A.

She is currently working on Burn, a film about the Detroit Fire Department scheduled for release in 2012. 

Kyle Eastwood

Composer

Kyle Eastwood grew up in Carmel, California as the eldest son of actor Clint Eastwood. While doing his homework Kyle remembers listening to records of jazz stars such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Miles Davis playing in the house. His father had been attending the Monterey Jazz Festival since it began in 1958 and when his children were born it became a yearly family outing. Kyle's childhood had jazz as its soundtrack and he credits his father with introducing him to the joys of the bass line. 
 
An accomplished composer, Kyle began working in film with a contribution to the score for Mystic River, a powerful drama which won two Academy Awards. 
In 2004, Kyle composed three pieces of music for the Academy Award winning Million Dollar Baby
 
Kyle composed the soundtracks for a number of Clint Eastwood films including Flags Of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima,  Gran Torino and Invictus. 



Matt McGuire

Composer

From major recording studios at Capitol Records and Universal Studios in Los Angeles, to the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City  composer/producer Matt McGuire has enjoyed a successful career in the music profession spanning over 25 years.
 
McGuire moved from Northern California to Los Angeles at the age of 19 to attend the Grove School Of Music.
 
In 1996, McGuire began working with bassist Kyle Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood. They formed a jazz quartet with and soon became the featured act at local hot spots such as The Baked Potato and Jack's. They went on to make prominent appearances at major festivals such as The Monterey Jazz Festival and at the esteemed Carnegie Hall.  McGuire wrote five of ten cuts on the group’s CD, recorded on the Sony/Columbia label.  
 
McGuire founded MusicWerks Productions, Inc. and has since written and produced music for all the major television networks and composed for animated television shows including "Extreme Dinosaurs,” "Pocket Dragon Adventures,” "Sabrina,” "Sonic X,” "Winx Club,” "G.I Joe,” "Shaman King,” "Chaotic,” and “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's". Among his feature film credits are the scores and songs for the features Titanic, The Legend Goes On, Monster Mash and Dennis The Menace - Cruise Control.

Mark Stoeckinger

Sound Design

Mark Stoeckinger has always been fascinated by movies because of how captivating they can be; that’s what inspired him to attend film school at USC.  At that time Mark was also first exposed to how much sound could contribute to bringing a film to life.
 
Inspired by alumni such as Ben Burtt and Walter Murch, Mark decided that he wanted to follow in their footsteps and create film sound.
 
Now one of Hollywood’s most successful Editors, Mark has received a string of awards and nominations, most recently being nominated for an Oscar for Unstoppable (2011) and Star Trek (2010)