The whole idea for “Tiny Dancer” came about by accident. When I first saw our star, Sarah Marson, dance I was moved to write something for her and I had no idea what it would turn out to be. The only thing I knew was that it would be a dance film crafted with one significant purpose: highlight Sarah's ability as a dancer and actress. What happened as a result was one of those experiences people equate to "catching lightning in a bottle".
My girlfriend is an accomplished singer-turned-television producer with an endearing penchant for finding obscure artistic things to attend in Los Angeles. One night, she took me to a high school performance of "Kiss Me Kate" to see a young actress she gave a voice lesson to that eventually led to her being cast in the show...as a freshman. A musical, I thought...Ugh. But, being a faithful and supportive boyfriend...and interested in everything my girlfriend does, I dropped my baggage and attended the show with her and the father of the girl she gave the voice lesson to. The show was surprisingly good, but over the course of the 2 hours I became riveted to one performance...Sarah Marson.
Sarah was playing the part of one of the company members who was a ballerina-type. I don't recall her having a single line during the entire show; however, her physicality reeled me in and rarely allowed me to focus on the other performers. The specificity of her movement was very impressive and stood out a mile from the rest. As I watched her, I started to think, "Someone should write and direct a piece for this girl." By the end of the show, I had decided that “someone” was me.
Without boring you with the subtle details of the next few hours, I will tell you this...I spoke with Sarah & her parents about her and what she wants to do artistically. I asked her many questions about dancing such as, if she already knew choreography to any dances, if she had a nickname, what she wants as an artist, etc. After that, I went away and wrote “Tiny Dancer” (The title is a nickname Sarah obtained at some point). Everything woven into the movie is a direct inspiration from Sarah's life. I felt that it was important, because the movie is about artistic expression & inspiration.
The basic idea behind the script is that as artists we utilize inspiration to leave our mark on the world. When the central character, Mollie Draper, looks in the storefront window, she is inspired by the garden display and the togetherness the mannequins are feeling. This inspirational moment is broken when the street thugs literally materialize between the inspiring window display and Mollie Draper. Once on stage, Mollie visualizes the Magical garden when she creates her art. Her inspiration is digested, if you will, and then she interprets this feeling with her dance back out into the world. The street thugs are fortunate enough to find their way to this inspirational piece of movement. Inspiration. Movement. Artistic expression. All of these ideas are woven together in a tapestry within the story that bubbles underneath the simple action of stealing from another person. And once you inspire, it never goes away.... it ripples out.
After I wrote the script and sent it out to people who I wanted to work on it with me; I was happily surprised by how many people wanted to be a part of the small yet meaningful film. My passion for the project compelled people to pony up cash, services, locations, costumes, and more. Why? Who knows? Maybe it is simply passion itself that people are looking for in their lives. When everything the TV, Radio, Internet, and local Cineplex throws at us is generally passionless, we begin to long to see and be involved with something that is substantial.
After a month of dance rehearsals, we had our first shoot day on September 17th, 2006. We ended up shooting the 12-page script at 3 locations in 4 days. We originally scheduled an additional green-screen soundstage shoot for a 5th day, but were lucky enough to have the time and foresight of an excellent technical advisor to shoot all our green-screen setups on location. We also only had a maximum of 7 crewmembers on each day...to that I say, "never again". The grueling circumstances of making an art film in 4 days with twice as many crewmembers left us all depleted and fulfilled at the same time.
Day 1 began with our lightest day at the Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, California where we shot all the fantasy sequences. Since, our lead actor was not in the heavy FX makeup, we got an additional 2 hours to shoot. However, since we were locked to vacating our location by 6pm, we lost 2 hours and balanced out. The Rosarium section of Descanso Gardens is one of the locations used for Chronicles of Narnia, and as a result very little was required in the way of set dressing to make the location camera ready.
Day 2 we shot at the Universal Studios Bleeker Street location and it saved our lives. Because our theater, alleyway, and storefront locations were all in the same general area, we were able to make good time on the day and get more shots than planned. We chose the location for it’s storybook feel and look. The charm of the stores and houses were a perfect fit to our fable with the magical garden theme. Also, it was a blessing not to have to deal with real world conditions such as homeless people and locking up traffic.
Day 3 & 4 we’re back in La Canada Flintridge, California to shoot the interior of the theater at Lanternman Auditorium. Most of the dance itself was performed on the fourth day. That made Sarah very excited by the time the day finally arrived. Again, our morning on the 4th day was fully consumed by the addition of the green-screen soundstage setup. The heat in southern California that attempted to make it’s way through the theater also aided us in keeping Sarah’s legs warm for the dance.
I simply wanted to create a movie about creative inspiration. Artistic expression from many different levels; whether it be inspiration, dance, communication...it had to be something positive. After being bombarded with negative ideas, tales of destruction, and movies that make you say, "So what”? I got tired of it and this is my response. I want to place the train of our world back on it's tracks. Too many people are polarized into extremity and something needs to bring us towards a central point. Balance.
TINY DANCER (2006)
“The fairy tale world of ‘Tiny Dancer’ is created from inspiration in an effort to move you towards inspiration.”
-Ford Austin Director/Writer
As we speed towards day 1 of production, we are hitting a few unsuspected bumps; which is normal. I am thrilled for it to be here after all the driving to the rehearsal studio in the mornings. It is a long way from Toluca Lake to Malibu at 8am and L.A. traffic is certainly a cut above the rest! Our first day is at Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, California. We are scheduled to shoot in the Rosarium Garden and all our insurance, equipment, choreography, makeup & costumes are in order. We are all crewed and everything is on deck. The only major problem is the threat of forest fires in the region. A huge 100-acre fire has just kicked up in Southern California and that puts our shoot at risk. We are now hiring a fire marshal and a monitor. Both of these guys get paid $40 an hour to sit around and talk. Wonderful. Hiring them is the only way for us to qualify for our permit from the city. And the guy handling our permits in the city hall of La Canada Flintridge isn't even calling us back. So, I will hopefully write again from the set on the 17th. Fingers crossed that the Santa Ana winds lay low till then.
Day 1: Descanso Gardens. Call Time: 6am.
Everything is going great. We have our base-camp set up on the corner of the garden for makeup and costumes in addition to a shady retreat from the high hanging Southern California sun. We rented portable air conditioners that are pushing coolness just enough. The Rosarium Garden is in full bloom and not too many of the roses have been seared from the summer heat. We start our day at the edge of the brook with the shot where Mollie first sees her dead husband...it's the F/X shot where we use the 50 pounds of dry ice. The smoke was difficult to waft over Sarah's hand even in low wind conditions. As with everything, we got the F/X to work after about 10 takes. Did I mention that we are shooting on a Panavision Elaine Super 16mm Camera package today? They were nice enough to loan the camera and lenses to us, and the footage should look beautiful. Our Cinematographer, Todd Kirschner, claims that the look in the garden scenes will be in stark contrast to the real world scenes because of shooting on film versus the HD camera we shoot everything else with. Overall the day is smooth since we only have 2 of the principal actors and the light is fairly forgiving due to the lack of tall trees where we are shooting.
Here is the only issue...we scrapped our previously scheduled 5th shoot day on the green screen soundstage to set up a green screen on location and shoot the effects shots in today's schedule. The setup was placed on our schedule right after lunch because of the 2-hour setup time. Todd and Ford don't get to eat. Once we place the turntable where we want it, we mount the green screen behind it and then set up our dolly tracks in an arch across the front. The illusion will be that we are actually locked onto Mollie Draper as she pirouettes. There are 3 shots: one with Mollie turning on the table in front of the trees, one without her as the dolly moves across the frame on the trees, and one with Mollie in front of the green screen. This sequence of shots is crucial because we must replicate the exact measurements on the stage in the theater on Thursday when Mollie dances. Mike Goedecke, who is animating our transition shot, is on set to observe and make sure we set everything up the way he needs it in Post. All goes well, but now our day is very short because of the time and the sun will dip below the tree line sooner than expected. Too bad we don't have an AD. At the end of the day while the skeleton crew of 4 people are loading the truck, Todd slips away with Sarah (Mollie) and Eliezer (Soldier) to catch some extra shots on the Steadicam. They are eventually some of the most beautiful shots in the garden and well worth the risk of running over on our daily rental at the garden and hourly wage for the Fire Marshal and monitor. By 7pm we are loaded up, ready to roll out of the parking lot, and exhausted. But the day isn't finished, because Ford still needs to drive to Cinema Vehicles in Van Nuys and pick up the taxicab by 9pm.
Day 2: Universal Studios, Bleeker Street location. Call time: 5am.
After a few hours sleep at Ford's house, Todd (DP), Ron Silva (Best Boy), and Ford drive 2 grip trucks and the taxicab to Universal Studios where they rendezvous with the Universal Studios production Coordinator, Lisa Harrison. They are escorted through the Universal Studios Theme park to the Bleeker Street location nestled just between the T2 Ride and the Blues Brothers Stage. Once they arrive, they unload the trucks and set up the base camp on the side of the Globe Theater location. Chosen for its charming storybook exteriors, this street will serve as all exteriors on the film. Scott Wheeler, our Academy Award Nominated Makeup Department Head, arrives at 6am to set up his area where he can transform our leading actress into the 60-year-old woman who will drive the film. His makeup job is so extensive, that it will be 11am before our first shot happens.
We are shooting on a Sony 900 HD camera today. Todd made a deal with an acquaintance for usage and Ford will have to pay for it later. No sound is recorded at Universal because of the music that the theme park plays over loud speakers. What an annoying song list they have on that loop. Seriously, it was almost working in an ice cream truck. The lucky break for the day is that they will shoot everything MOS and add Foley in post. We shoot in the alley first. The storyboards prove to be a huge asset as the light comes and goes and decisions are tossed out. We only shoot what our storyboards show and nothing more. Angling the first shots on the thugs as they take Mollie's things goes well and all the shots are gotten before lunch. Fighting the light, Ford and Todd decide to abandon the alley until after they shoot the storefront window display and the taxicab. By lunch, Ford is notified that no one purchased HD tapes for the camera. He sends everyone to lunch and drives over the hill to Edgewise media to purchase the HD tape-stock needed for the remainder of the shoot. It takes him 45 minutes and lunch is wrapping up as he returns to restart the shoot.
Shooting the window display proves more difficult than originally thought due to the reflections Todd has to fight. The idea is to have the thugs appear in the window behind her, however, the camera is so close to the line of being seen in the window that there is a very slim margin for error before you can see Todd as well. Once we take the 2.5 hours to shoot all of the street stuff, we pull the taxicab around and our taxi driver (Adam Jordan) arrives. We whisk him through makeup and wardrobe for his close up and decide to shoot all the other shots of him with a body double, or stunt double if you will. The reason being, Mister Jordan's schedule as Access Hollywood Producer is extremely unforgiving. We only have Adam for a short time and Ford will drive the Taxi in the long shots while Todd shoots Mollie getting out of the cab and running into the theater. After the taxi cab shots, Todd and Ford notice that the light is going to dip behind the T2 ride and end our opportunity to shoot the theater front. The art department team is quickly dispatched to dress the front of the theater for the thugs' entrance to the theater. Once, we get there the thugs hit their marks every time and we eventually shoot them at a 3-1 ratio before we get what Ford is looking for. After that, it is back into the alleyway to shoot the turnaround for the superhuman "Grande Jetée”. Mike Ansbach operates the camera as Ford and Todd watch from the monitor. We lay a mini-trampoline on the ground for Mollie to leap from. The trampoline gives her enough air to pass right by all three thugs. The entire shot is Slo-motion at 60[[[iframe]]] rate. The final shot of the day is the only added shot. Todd spots a second story landing where there is enough room to shoot down into the alleyway. Everyone is wiped out, but we all clear the alleyway and Ford directs Sarah to run into the alley as Mike shoots from the second story perch. It works and makes it into the final cut.
Day 3: Lanternman Auditorium. Call Time(s): 7am.
With our 2 biggest shoot days behind us, everyone feels a sigh of relief at the fact that we have no company moves ahead of us. This evening we can walk away and leave a "hot set" for the first time. The caterers setup the breakfast in the right wing on the stage of the auditorium at 700am and leave. Ford, Todd, Mike, Mark, and Ron unload the trucks and setup the base camp in one of the dressing rooms for Scott Wheeler and Vivien Sainz (wig and makeup) to transform Sarah Marson again. It is a crucial 2 days ahead, because Sarah will be dancing on point in full makeup in a theater without air conditioning in the middle of August. Everyone is pacing himself or herself and not taking any risks. As Ford and Todd walk the theater and discuss how they have structured the last 2 days of the shoot, Sarah spends almost 3 hours in makeup. Ford and Todd shoot the Thugs first. The Thugs, David Tremaine, Michael Ruotolo, and Monte Hunter are flawless in their performances and their scene where they see the beauty of Mollie Draper's dance are done in a 3-1 ratio. After nailing his scene and crying on cue, David Tremaine (Thug #1) tells Ford that the thugs have "named themselves T-Bone, Mickey, & Scoop and they would like themselves listed as such in the credits".
After the Sarah's makeup is complete, they shoot the entrances to the theater. While shooting, Todd tracks Sarah (Mollie) with his Steadicam rig as he moves across the dimly lit House of the theater. On one final pass, Todd takes quite a spill as he is running backwards down the aisle and tumbles end over end with a full Steadicam rig, Sony 900 HD camera, and "Miranda Converter" on the back. The entire rig lands on the rented "Miranda Converter" and it will become a possible issue once the rented equipment is returned in its damaged condition. In the moment, we are all only concerned with Todd's safety and are pleased when he gets up and shakes off his spill with little effort. By the end of lunch on day 1, we are ready for the turnaround towards the stage and the setup of our famous ballet dancing.
With our turnaround, we complete our entrance of the thugs as we see Mollie dancing onstage. The dolly track we set up in the morning is now being used to track along the back of the theatre as the thugs sit down and then watch. The shot goes well and then we move down to the stage where Jed Rowen (Stage Manager), Sarah (Mollie), and Ford block out the short exchange they have when Mollie finally gets to the stage of the theater. The scene between Jed and Sarah is shot on a Steadicam Rig and the sound is recorded on a small 24p Panasonic camera being operated by Ron Silva. Sarah nails her emotional stakes of being mugged every time the camera rolls. Jed matches her emotional state as Ford directs him to be more empathetic and adjusts his lines on the spot. Once we finish that scene, we reach the end of the day and decide to wrap out until tomorrow. Everyone is called for the next day at different times.
Day 4: Lanternman Auditorium. Call Time: Cast: 7am...Crew: 8am
Ford let the crew come in at 8am today because of all the previous days where we had grueling company moves. As a result, the crew was bright eyed and ready to kick some butt. Scott & Vivien got Sarah going at about 7am so she could be camera ready by about 10am. The makeup room is definitely the coolest place in the entire theater as the temperatures in there are reaching in to the 100s. The rented air conditioning units are paying for themselves at this point with a 13-hour day in full makeup while dancing on point for Sarah Marson.
As the makeup was being applied, the crew worked to setup the blue-screen, turntable, dolly tracks, and camera identically to the configuration in the Garden location on the first day. The reason it had to be exact is that the image and movement must match as perfectly as possibly for the FX digital transition to work seamlessly. We are already dealing with 1 strike against us, with the change from a Super 16mm format to the significantly larger High-Def frame, so our measurements are key. Todd and his crew line up everything as exact as they can and Sarah takes her place on the turntable. We find out that the turntable moves in both directions based on which way the plug is inserted and get under way. In addition, Ford dresses in a blue-screen suit and performs a few lifts of Sarah in front of the blue-screen. He looks like a superhero and clowns around to provide a little tension breaker for the cast and crew. Once again, these special FX shots take up most of the morning because of their intricate nature, but at least we don't have to shoot a 5th day. After we get the shots, the crew strikes the stage and sets up to shoot the stage manager in the wings as he watches Mollie dancing on stage. Like when the thugs watch from the audience, we project a rose gel over the stage managers face along with hand movements to simulate Mollie's dancing as he watches. Our stage manager hits the mark in a matter of 2 takes and we move on to the dance. The remainder of the day is spent with 6 camera positions in basically the same lighting setup. Along the way, Ford and Zippora Karz (Balanchine dancer/Choreographer) continuously check in with Sarah as she effortlessly performs the dance as it was choreographed. We start with a dolly tracking shot in front of the stage where we cover the most difficult portion of the dances that require "Point Work". This was important because "Point Work" done excessively over a show can stress the ankles to their breaking point let alone dancing for an entire afternoon.
Once the "Point Work" is covered from the dolly tracks tracking across the front of the stage in varying distances, the camera is mounted above the stage with Mike Ansbach operating and Todd Kirschner “spotting” him. A literal bird's-eye-view, this shot increases the smallness of Mollie Draper as she dances on the stage. A third angle from Stage Left angles on the stage manager as he watches in the background. A final angle from the rear of the stage shooting towards the back of the theater with Mollie leaping and twirling in silhouette puts the icing on the cake. Some of the most beautiful shots are form the angle, especially when Mollie leaps effortlessly across the spotlight on her. Any other angles will only take away from the dance as a whole.
Who I'd like to meet:
About The Cast
SARAH MARSON (Mollie Draper)
was born in New Jersey where she first began pursuing her love of dance. At age 10, she moved to Los Angeles and continued performing. She has danced the role of Clara in "The Nutcracker" and the lead in Balanchine’s "Stars & Stripes" at Westside Ballet in Los Angeles, California, the role of a fairy in San Francisco Ballet’s "Don Quixote" and danced as a member of the Miami City Ballet summer intensive program in 2005. Recently Sarah was in "Kiss Me, Kate" and "Quilters" at Notre Dame High School. Sarah continues to study acting, singing, dance, and musical theatre.
DAVID TREMAINE (T-Bone)
is a native of South Orange California. David started out in youth-theater at the age of twelve. From then on, he has become a stand-up comedian, film actor, and a National award winning dramatic interpreter. He is currently studying film/directing at Vanguard University of Southern California.
MICHAEL RUOTOLO (Mickey)
was born in Brooklyn, NY on New Years Eve in 1980. He grew up in a catholic home and was a 3rd generation Italian American. His family moved him and his older brother out to California when Michael was 8, landing them in the suburbs of Calabasas. With in a few years in Los Angeles, Michael knew he wanted to be an actor. With the help of his mother driving him to auditions, he was able to land an episode of Tales From the Crypt and a Mattel commercial. This placed him into the Screen Actors Guild by 1993. After graduating from Calabasas High School, his family had returned to the east coast. Michael stayed behind to pursue a career in film and attend Moorpark College and Chapman University. At Chapman, Michael attempted to double major while holding numerous positions in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He also signed up for a two-month course at the New York Film Academy, for more experience. After college, Michael moved to Hollywood to pursue his dreams.
MONTE HUNTER (Scoop)
was born in Enid, Oklahoma where he attended school and participated in theatre including several seasons of Shakespeare in the Park. He later attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood before completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Oklahoma State University. Monte has received several awards including Best Actor for his portrayal of Brick in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” from Gaslight Theatre of Enid. Since moving to Los Angeles, he has acted in several films and shorts including: “The Curse of Lizzie Borden”, “The Wright Stuff”, Steven Soderberg’s “The Good German”, and “Cineme’ Fabrique’ No. 1”.
ADAM JORDAN (Taxi Driver)
always wanted to be a producer. His main goal was to provide excellent locations for “Tiny Dancer” and he wound up being cast as the taxi driver in his acting debut. Adam’s first love was film and when to the U of Miami's film school where he created 3 short films. The day after he graduated college he moved to LA and started working immediately in TV on “American Gladiators”. He learned a tremendous amount about how TV works and loved producing. A handful of pilots and TV specials followed and then in summer on 1996 he was sent to Atlanta to cover the Olympics for a then start up show called “Access Hollywood”. Adam was hired on as a Film Segment Producer and worked at Access Hollywood until 2000. Disney hired him away to be the Executive Director of National Publicity at Buena Vista Pictures Marketing where he got to use both his film and producing know how. After 2 and half years away from Access, they wooed him back- this time as Supervising Producer. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Stacie and their two beautiful children Noah (5) and Hannah (2.5).
JED ROWEN (Stage Manager)
has had credited parts in over forty films. Jed won the Philip K. Dick Award for Best Actor in “Cerebral Print: The Secret Files” at the 2005 Grassroots Cinema Film Festival in Hollywood. He also received Best Actor nominations for both “Serial Killer Scavenger Hunt” at the 2005 Bare Bones Film Festival and “Cineme’ Fabrique’ No. 1” at the 2006 Bare Bones Film Festival. He also just finished shooting the movie “Naked Run” with Charles Durning and Eileen Brennan.
ELIEZER RABELLO (Soldier)
was born and raised in Brazil. Began his dance training with the dance masters in the State of Amazonas with Conceicao Souza, Marco Venicius and Jorge Kenedy. Eliezer also trained with well known teachers in South America Olga Shimasaki (National Ballet of Peru), Raul Candal (Colon Theatre of Argentina), Jair Moraes (Ballet Guaira of Brazil) and other internationally renowned teachers Ivo Karaguiorguiev (National Ballet of Sophia) and Ronald E. Brown (Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre). As a professional in Brazil, Eliezer performed with Grupo Espaco de Danca do Amazonas - GEDAM, Cia. De Danca do SESC and Corpo de Danca do Amazonas (the resident company of Amazonas Opera House). Mr.Rabello was invited by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Amazonas State to direct and teach at Bale de Camara do Palacio Rio Negro and Centro Cultural Claudio Santoro. In 1995 Eliezer founded Cia. Ballet da Barra a dance school and company that performed Rabello's version of The Nutcracker for three years at the famous Amazon Opera House. He was awarded in important dance festivals in Brazil such as Festival de Danca do Mercosul in Bento Goncalves from 1995 to 1997 and IX Seminario Internacional de Danca de Brasilia in 1999. In the USA, Eliezer worked for 5 years with Lula Washington Dance Theatre and guested with other companies such as American Repertory Dance Company, Ballet Folclorico do Brasil, Project 21, Kin Dance Co. and Ballet Collective. Currently working as a ballet/modern dance teacher at Lake Arrowhead School of Dance and at The studio for Performing Arts Malibu, he was mentioned by New York Times as “Charming” and by Los Angeles Times as “Stylish”. For now, Eliezer has as his most important project to build a solid marriage to his beloved eternal girl friend, his wife.
About the Crew
FORD AUSTIN (Director/Writer)
was born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas. He is directly related to Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas. Ford has been working in film, television, and theater since 1990. After starring in New York productions of Death of a Salesman (with Ralph Waite), Lawyers (with Kevin Conway), Natural’s In It, and The Nektonic Facteur during the 90’s, Ford relocated to LA to write and direct independent film. His directorial debut, “Soiree” won Best Drama in 2004 at the Bare Bones Film Festival in his home state of Oklahoma. Ford followed his success with a sci-fi comedy feature compilation, “Cerebral Print: The Secret Files”, and won the 2005 Monty Python Award for Comedic Excellence. “Cerebral Print: The Secret Files” enjoyed a theatrical release in Los Angeles. In 2005-2006, Ford partnered with Scott Ingalls to write, direct, produce, and star in the award winning Channel 101 series about the Wright Brothers, “The Wright Stuff”. In 2006, “The Wright Stuff” won Best Comedy at the 2006 Dragon*con Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia and has played over 11 film fests in countries as far away Germany. In 2006, he directed the DVD-premiere features: “The Curse of Lizzie Borden” and “Vampires at Midnight”. Other films he has directed are: “Cineme’ Fabrique’ No. 1” (Winner: Best Experimental Drama 2006 Bare Bones F.F.), “The Layoff”, and “The Lady Blades” (Official Selection 2006 Script-2-Screen F.F.). Ford created the Paramount TV courtroom show “Judge by Jury” based on his original idea. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his longtime love, Lauree Dash.
TODD KIRSCHNER (Cinematographer)
splits his time between LA, Vegas, & Hawaii. A graduate of the LA Film School, Todd was the Cinematographer on “Tennis, Anyone?” directed by Donal Logue, Fox Searchlab’s “Day Shift” directed by Diego Velasco, & “2010: A Kitchen Odyssey”. He has operated camera on films such as “Going Down” starring Ed Bagley Jr. & “Cerebral Print: The Secret Files” starring Ethan Phillips. Todd is also a superb Steadicam owner/operator trained by Garrett Brown & Jerry Holway.
LAUREE DASH (Producer)
spent the last 4 years producing Entertainment News for “Access Hollywood”. Prior to that she was a Producer for the Discovery Health Channel Talk show “Berman and Berman”. Also for Discovery Health: “Medical Dairy,” “Birth Day Live”, and a pilot for Paramount called “Doctors”. She starred in, co-wrote and co-produced a series of children’s videos called “Amazing Heroes” an educational and entertaining window into the lives of Firefighters, Police Officers, and Rescue Workers. Before she became a TV Producer, Lauree sang her heart out on stages all over America and Europe as a musical theater performer- It was during her acting days she was lucky enough to meet the love of her life, Ford Austin. “Tiny Dancer” is her first short film.
MICHAEL MARSON (Producer)
is currently a Supervising Producer for the television show Access Hollywood. Born in Santa Monica, he's a graduate of U.C.L.A. For the next 6 years he worked as a news cameraman for CNN in Los Angeles. After moving to New Jersey, he was Entertainment Tonight's top New York cameraman for the next 6 years. He's since worked at Access Hollywood since the show's inception in 1996. Mike & his lovely wife Gia just celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have two wonderful daughters: Emma 17, and Sarah 15.
ZIPPORA KARZ (Choreographer)
is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (The Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker being one of her favorites) as well as works choreographed for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Today, Miss Karz stages Balanchine ballets all over the world coaching and teaching dance.
ROB SONNER (Post Supervisor)
works at Belief LLC in Santa Monica, California. Rob has an extensive knowledge of everything about production, post-production, and delivery of information. As the Post Supervisor for Tiny Dancer, he is an invaluable asset to the team behind this powerful short film and no films in the future should ever be made without him.
KEVIN O’REGAN (Editor)
has been editing since the Clinton administration. He enjoys the challenges and hazards inherent to his chosen profession, including smoker's cough and cataracts. He has worked on projects for MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, NIKE and his friend MOOKIE. He has a healthy disdain for fossil fuels and shares a Hollywood apartment with his cat, Keith Richards.
RYAN BEVERIDGE (Composer)
recently scored Dirty, starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and the NBC series Heist. For Nightstalker, he was asked to create music featuring industrial drones and tools, so taking director Chris Fisher’s advice literally, he assembled an array of car brake drums, oversized wrenches, sheets of metal, and other industrial refuse. Combining these with the only slightly more conventional distortion flute and modified violin, he created a distinct and haunting sound for the stylized thriller, which made its debut at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Beveridge’s foray into pop music has included writing and production on several releases, including his own album, I’m The Pigeon Man, which has been reviewed as “a beat- and concept-fueled tour de funk, peopled with strange images and sounds designed to capture the heart and captivate the mind…pop with sneaky stylistic infiltrations -- energetic, groove-centered, occasionally apocalyptic, urban.” Ryan was previously awarded a fellowship from the Sundance Composer’s Lab, and he resides with his flutist wife in Los Angeles.
SCOTT WHEELER (Make Department Head)
Scott lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the Makeup Department Head on Frank Miller's 300 starring Gerard Butler. He also worked ..rek: Voyager for the run of the show. He has an Academy Award Nomination for his creation of the Borg Queen in the feature film Star Trek: Contact.