59 FILMMAKERS’ BIOGRAPHIES JON CASSAR (DIRECTOR) Before becoming a full-time director Jon Cassar worked as a Director of Photography, camera operator and steadicam operator on over 35 movies, and 70 television shows, videos, commercials and award winning documentaries. Cassar participated in seven seasons as the Director/Executive Producer of Fox’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning drama 24. In this capacity he directed 10 episodes each season while helping to oversee other production-oriented elements of all the show’s 24 episodes. Cassar’s strengths in orchestrating action sequences paired with directing dramatic scenes serve him well in 24’s high action and intense drama format. He also directed the 24 Television movie Redemption that was shot in South Africa. The project was nominated for 6 Emmy awards. Before working on 24, Cassar directed the television pilots and several season episodes of the popular Nikita, Mutant X, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle and Queen of Swords. Other directing credits include episodes of popular TV shows such as Fringe, Criminal Minds, Human Target, Profiler, Due South, Dead Zone, Forever Knight, Street Time, & Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. Cassar received dual Emmy Awards for directing 24 (2006) and producing 24 (2006) for its Fifth Season. As a director, Cassar received a prestigious DGA award (2006) for 24. He has been nominated for Canada’s Gemini Award for directing Nikita and won a Canadian Society of Cinematographers award for his camera work on a documentary. Also, Cassar is the author and photographer of “24: Behind the Scenes,” a pictorial look at the making of 24 (Palace Press, 2006). Cassar is a graduate of Algonquin College, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. STEPHEN KRONISH (WRITER/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) Stephen Kronish won an Emmy Award as Co-Executive Producer of Fox’s television series 24. He was Executive Producer of Showtime’s crime series Street Time, NBC’s Profiler and of Sleepwalkers, which he also Co-Created. He was Co-Creator and Executive Producer of NBC’s UNSUB. As Executive Producer of CBS’s Wiseguy, Kronish was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe Award. A native of New York City, he graduated Magna Cum Laude in Political Science from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He also holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. Stephen Kronish lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children. JOEL SURNOW (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) Joel Surnow is best known as the Executive Producer, show runner and co-creator of one of the most successful series in recent television history, 24. The action thriller redefined the boundaries of what the one hour genre could be on television. Critics and the industry were 60 wowed and Joel was awarded multiple Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. For The Kennedys, Surnow wears many hats as the executive producer/show runner and also a writer on the series. From an entrepreneurial aspect, Surnow is also acting as his own studio for the mini-series with his partners Muse Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment. Surnow created this model based on his experience and ability to keep productions on time and on budget. He previously produced a TNT pilot with Muse Entertainment and is developing many additional projects utilizing this model. Surnow’s breakthrough came when he began writing for the then ground breaking series Miami Vice. By the end of the year, Universal Studios, which owned the show, asked Surnow to move over to the new ex CIA vigilante series The Equalizer, which Joel went on to executive produce. Surnow was the executive consultant of one of the first basic cable scripted hit series, the spy thriller franchise Nikita (1997–2001), which was the top-rated drama on basic cable its first two seasons. In 2003, Surnow received the prestigious Wired magazine Rave Award as the top TV Creator in addition to the PGA Television Producer of the Year Award, and he was voted the Hollywood Caucus Best TV Writer in 2006. MICHAEL PRUPAS (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) Michael Prupas is a 33-year veteran of the Canadian and international film and television industries. A former entertainment attorney and senior partner at the law firm Heenan Blaikie, Prupas launched Muse Entertainment Enterprises in June 1998 and Muse Distribution International in 2000. Muse Entertainment has become a major international production company, known around the world for its high-quality, award-winning films and television programs. An expert in international co-productions, Prupas most recently executive produced The Pillars of the Earth, Ben Hur and The Phantom, all event miniseries, the television movie Reviving Ophelia as well as The Kennedys. In 2009 he executive produced the third season of the crime series Durham County, the television movies Wild Girl, Unstable and The Night Before the Night Before Christmas. He executive produced the documentary feature film Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae and Muse Entertainment’s first animated series for children, The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog. Prupas’ television other series credits as executive producer include Family Biz, Crusoe, This is Wonderland, Twice in a Lifetime, Largo Winch, Doc (Season 1) and Tales from the Neverending Story. His miniseries credits include Impact, The Last Templar, The Flood, Killer Wave, Answered by Fire, and Human Trafficking. 61 He also executive produced a number of family movies including The Wind in the Willows, An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, Accidental Friendship, A Christmas Choir, Girl’s Best Friend, Too Young to Marry and I Me Wed, as well as several sci-fi movies including Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Carny, Rise of the Gargoyle, Hellhounds, Sand Serpents, Alien Western, Swamp Devil, Infected, The Watch and Black Swarm. In 2007, Prupas produced the feature film The Deal starring William H. Macy and Meg Ryan, which premiered at the Sundance Festival. He produced Niagara Motel starring Craig Ferguson and Anna Friel, The Guilty, starring Bill Pullman and Joanne Whalley, Tracker, starring Casper Van Dien and Savage Messiah (winner of 3 Genie Awards), starring Polly Walker, Luc Picard and Isabelle Blais. His numerous other TV movie credits include The Party Never Stops, House Next Door, Tipping Point, House Sitter, Proof of Lies, Murder in the Hamptons, Mind over Murder, Black Widower, Plain Truth, Ice Bound, The Clinic, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of Four, The Royal Scandal, The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Stork Derby, The Investigation, The Many Trials of One Jane Doe, Chasing Cain II: Face and Silent Night. Prupas established the first entertainment law course at McGill University, which he taught from 1997-2002. He coached a minor league baseball team, served on the Board of Trustees of the Banff Television Festival and sits on the finance committee of the Association des producteurs de film et de télévision du Québec. JONATHAN KOCH (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) Jonathan Koch is President and Chief Creative Officer at Asylum Entertainment and serves as Executive Producer on all television projects and live-shows. Koch has created, developed and produced multiple television projects at Asylum including The Kennedys, The Locator, Peacemaker, Four of a Kind, 30 for 30, Love Is In The Heir, Murderer’s Row, Arranged, Night Screams, Story of My Life, Maui Fever, Addicted, World’s Wildest Vacation Disaster and Courting Anna, among others. Prior to joining Asylum, Koch was an executive at Merv Griffin Entertainment where he created and developed Face Off for Twentieth Television, Good Samaritan for Buena Vista and The Court of Common Sense, a pilot starring Joe Rogan. Koch also founded and served as CEO/President of Gravy Train Productions, a marketing, licensing and promotional company that specialized in entertainment based promotional programs and events. Gravy Train represented many of the top child actors of the time such as Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Candace Cameron and Jodie Sweetin, among others. Gravy Train created and produced over 150 promotional events for clients such as General Mills, FAO Schwarz, Hasbro, Tribune Broadcasting and Six Flags. In 1996, Koch created www.celebritysightings.com, which became an Internet sensation and was sold to Alloy in 1999. Koch began his entertainment career as a partner in the Barbara Cameron Talent Agency, one of the most powerful forces in the discovery and development of young talent. 62 Koch is originally from State College, PA and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Shippensburg University. STEVE MICHAELS (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) Steve Michaels, President & CEO of Asylum Entertainment, is an Emmy & Peabody award-winning producer with numerous credits to his name. Michaels is one of the original founding partners of Asylum. Throughout his career, Michaels has served as Executive Producer on several acclaimed television properties including the 10-time Emmy-nominated Fox Sports series Beyond the Glory. The compelling two-hour special episode; Tyson; the life and times of heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, is considered the standard of excellence among sports documentaries. Since forming the company and subsequently to producing Beyond the Glory, Michaels has produced well over 800 hours of programming including the multiple Emmy Award-nominated series Fearless, American Gangster, The Locator, Four Of A Kind, Addicted, Maui Fever, Love Is In The Heir and ESPN’s 30 For 30 to name a few. Michaels also produced Peter Berg’s Kings Ransom and Ron Shelton’s Jordan Rides The Bus for ESPN’s 30 For 30 series. Michaels is currently directing Charismatic, also for the 30 For 30 series. Prior to the formation of Asylum Entertainment, Michaels served as a production executive for DreamWorks Television overseeing such well-known television projects as Spin City, High Incident, and the Academy Award-winning short, Dear Diary. Michaels has also worked in production on several feature films including True Lies, Up Close & Personal, Homeward Bound II and Miami Rhapsody. Michaels is a graduate of USC School of Cinema Television and studied Film and Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. JAMIE PAUL ROCK (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, PRODUCER) Before serving as producer/executive producer of The Kennedys, Jamie Paul Rock produced Wild Roses for CBC Television, the pilot of The Dark Room for CBC and also produced 13 episodes of Regenesis for The Movie Network and Global Television. He produced Ricochet, a pilot for the Fox Network and the TV movie Samantha for The WB. Previously, he produced eleven episodes of Playmakers for ESPN, 22 episodes of Mutant X for Tribune Entertainment and 96 episodes of Nikita for USA Networks and CTV. Rock’s other credits as producer include the four 2hr. movies Tekwar, 66 episodes of Manic Mansion for The Family Channel and YTV, the TV movie Christmas in America for NBC, and the comedy series Codco for CBC Television. Rock worked as line producer on 12 episodes of Adderly for CBS Television and on The Frantics for CBS Television. 63 He was producer of The Last Polka for HBO, First Choice and Superchannel and of the C.P.I. Concert Series for various pay television networks. He produced Pierre Elliot Trudeau: We Were There, a film retrospective for the opening of the Liberal National Convention in Ottawa which was shown on all Canadian free networks DAVID THOMPSON (EDITOR) David Thompson editing has earned him an Emmy Award nomination for his work on the series 24, a DGC nomination for editing of The Summit and five Gemini nominations for Due South (2 nominations), Top Cops, Night Heat and Gunfighters. In addition to The Kennedys, Thompson’s television movie, pilot and miniseries credits include Citizen Jane for Hallmark, Mayday for CBS, Blue Murder for Showtime, Panic in the Skies for the Family Channel, Picture Perfect for ABC, True Blue for NBC, The Execution of Raymond Graham for ABC and When Angels Fly for Viacom. Thompson also worked on several television series including Living in Your Car for TMN/The Movie Central, Wild Roses for the CBC, Flashpoint for CTV and CBS, MVP for the CBC and The Dresden Files for Syfy. His other TV series credits include The Black Donnellys for NBC, Kojak for NBC, Wild Card for Lifetime, Show Me Yours for Oxygen/Showcase, Street Time for Showtime, Veritas for ABC, Mutant X for Tribune, Nikita for USA, Animorphs for Nickelodeon, Lexx for Syfy, The Big Easy for USA and Diamonds for CBS. ROCCO MATTEO (PRODUCTION DESIGNER) Rocco Matteo brings a background in Architecture and Interior Design to creating visual environments for film. As a Set Designer for numerous film and television projects Rocco has developed a detail specific approach that illustrates character and story with memorable spaces. Over two decades Matteo has Art Directed numerous Hollywood studio films set in various periods and places around the world, working with Directors like John Landis, Roland Joffe, Robert Harmon, DJ Caruso, Melvin Van Peebles and Bob Gale. He has successfully re established franchise television projects such as Nikita for Warner Brothers, Mutant X for Tribune & Marvel, Kojak for NBC/Universal and The Cheetah Girls for Disney. Matteo has been nominated for numerous team and design awards in North America, notably for the mini-series Lives of the Saints, the series Nikita and for Across the River to Motor City, which won a DGC award for excellence in production design. The Kennedys mini series is the 2nd project about this family that Rocco has worked on, having Art Directed JFK: Reckless Youth, a mini-series based on the best selling book for ABC. The project reunites him with Director Jon Cassar, their 5th project together. CHRISTOPHER HARGADON (COSTUME DESIGNER) Upon graduating from University with a degree in languages and art history, Christopher travelled to France. After a series of misadventures, he apprenticed with a prominent couture house, 64 Philippe Salvet. For several years, he worked intensely learning all he could, from patternmaking to design, before he returned to Canada. Once back in Canada, over the next five years, he designed collections for several clothing manufacturers in Montreal and Toronto. But wanting to go further, Christopher started his own label called Haute Line – designing and producing both ladies and menswear lines, carried in more than 50 boutiques across the country. After almost four years of designing under his own label, Chris became interested in the burgeoning film industry in Toronto. He decided to give it a try and continues to enjoy the collaborative and creative energy as well as the opportunity to combine his love of fashion and art history. He particularly likes period films or projects that combine cultural and historic references. Over the past 20 years he has worked in both television and film including: Eloise at the Plaza; The Pacifier; The Rocker; Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium; Nero Wolfe; Once Upon a Mattress (for which he received an Emmy nomination) and most recently The Kennedys. Christopher continues to look for projects that will allow him to grow as an artist. DAVID MOXNESS, CSC (CINEMATOGRAPHER) David Moxness, CSC is a prominent narrative cinematographer who has recently lensed TV series The Listener, miniseries Knights of Bloodsteel and the TV movie Spectacular! His work on Fox’s Fringe earned him a Canadian Society of Cinematographers award nomination in 2010. Moxness received a Best Cinematography award from the American Society of Cinematographers for his lensing of Smallville in 2007. His photography for the show has also attracted recognition from the Leo Awards and the CSC. His last feature, Alien Trespass, is a throwback to the best elements of 1950s science fiction filmmaking. The film earned him a Leo Award nomination. Moxness is an adventurous cinematographer who has never shied from the opportunity to experiment with the latest technologies. When asked to use the new 24p high definition video on Gene Roddenberry’s TV series Earth: Final Conflict in 2001, he compared notes with the team preparing to shoot George Lucas’ new Star Wars feature and learned the system inside out. His work on the series subsequently earned him a Kodak Spectrum Award and a Gemini nomination for Best Cinematography. Among the many other TV series Moxness has worked on are Tru Calling, Reunion and Kevin Hill, the latter earning him yet another CSC nomination. Beginning his film and theatre studies at Brock University in Ontario, Moxness simultaneously worked as a production assistant at the now famed Alliance Atlantis Communications. Mentored for eleven years by renowned Canadian cinematographer Rene Ohashi, ASC, CSC, the team worked on productions including the Atlantis miniseries Philip Marlowe Private Eye and the feature Where the Spirit Lives. During this time, Moxness also gaffed for shows such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and War of the Worlds. Since then, Moxness has taken jobs with celebrated directors and cinematographers including David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Ann Wheeler, Fred Murphy, ASC, Robert Richardson, ASC and Paul Sarossy, BSC, CSC. 65 Born in Jasper, Alberta, Moxness’ parents moved to a small town in British Columbia while he was still young. His camerawork began at age 11 when he picked up his father's 8mm camera. His early "productions" involved scores of neighbourhood kids raiding his mother's makeup cabinet to fake a black eye and mix a jar of stage blood, or alarming local authorities by throwing dummies from a nearby cliff. His hard work eventually paid off in 1978, when he was awarded first place in the British Columbia Student Film Festival for a stop-motion film he made with friends. Moxness resides in Vancouver.