Originally from Snoqualmie, Washington, Jared left the Northwest to compete in track and field for UCLA where he participated in many national events and placed third in the Pac-10 for pole-vault. Jared earned a B.A. from UCLA’s School of Film and Television and received the Alan S. Jacobsen Award, Peter Stark Award, and Rocco Viglietti Award for achievement in directing and his thesis film, Sand Dune Waterworms, won the school’s Spotlight Award. After graduating, Jared directed Visioneers, and has since directed a variety of narrative and branded content for McDonald’s, AT&T, Audi, Ford, and others while developing his next feature.
Brandon Drake graduated from the University of Redlands in 2002 with high honors and went to work to achieve his goal of becoming a writer. His first job was with a national publication with a circulation in the millions. While working on the third floor of the company’s corporate offices, Brandon began writing screenplays in his free time. In 2004, he attended UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting and won the UCLA Screenplay Competition and placed in several high profile writing competitions. After UCLA, Brandon tapped into his experiences in the corporate world to write a story about stressed out people who begin exploding. The script became Visioneers, Brandon’s had the good fortune to work with a number of talented and funny people, but at no time has he laughed harder than when watching Mack Luster come to life on the set of Visioneers. There’s something about a large man in camos berating an innocent old woman that gets him every time.
Jory Weitz was the executive producer of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, a 2004 Sundance Film Festival hit. NAPOLEON has since become one of the most successful independent films of all times, and in doing so, opened doors for a casting director turned producer. Prior to his producing debut with NAPOLEON, Weitz has had a distinguished career as a casting director, working with notable film directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Tim Burton, Stephen Frears, Ron Shelton, and Kevin Costner.
Weitz is currently producing the fantasy/adventure film THE OTHER SIDE with Katie Holmes, Woody Harrelson, Jason Lee, Alanis Morissette, Giovanni Ribisi, and composer Dave Matthews. He also recently executive produced the critically acclaimed documentary F*CK for ThinkFilm, featuring interviews with Drew Carey, Bill Maher, Ice-T, Janeane Garofolo, Alanis Morrisette, Kevin Smith, Billy Connolly, and the late Hunter S. Thompson. In addition, Weitz worked again with NAPOLEON DYNAMITE’s director Jared Hess in casting Paramount’s Jack Black comedy, NACHO LIBRE.
James Henney started his professional film career as the head literary coordinator at The Gersh Agency in Beverly Hills. In 2000, he partnered with filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo to form The Syndicate, an independent production company. Through that collaboration, Mr. Henney produced WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD with George Clooney, Sam Rockwell, William Macy and Patricia Clarkson. In 2004, he acquired and added a talent management component to the business that represented many young up and coming stars including Taryn Manning and Rachel Miner.
Mr. Henney, has produced and executive produced six movies under The Syndicate banner including PIT FIGHTER for 20th Century Fox, UNBEATABLE HAROLD, starring Dylan McDermott, Henry Winkler, Gladys Knight and Charles Durning, CHASING GHOSTS, starring Michael Madsen, Michael Rooker and Shannyn Sossamon, GHOST GAME and THE CULT starring Taryn Manning.
KURT DALTON and HENRY LOWENFELS
Kurt and Henry started Mayfly Films, a production company, in June of 2005. Kurt comes from a musical background, having worked for independent music producer Phil Ramone before joining Endgame Entertainment. Henry has always been passionate about producing independent film, and has been mentored by Ram Bergman and Ed Saxon. Their goal is to create unique content by coupling with emerging talent and fresh voices to illuminate new ways of story-telling. VISIONEERS marks Mayfly’s second independent feature film, the first being ROCK THE BELLS, a music documentary that is currently available through Warner Home Video.
Tim’s career began in 1991 as vocalist/guitarist of the Dallas-based alternative rock band TRIPPING DAISY. The group was signed to Island Records and released four acclaimed albums.
After leaving music for a brief time to start his family, DeLaughter soon found the lure of a return to performing and recording irresistible. The result was the Dallas symphonic pop group THE POLYPHONIC SPREE. The unusual group boasts a ten-member choir, a pair of keyboardists, a percussionist, bassist, guitarist, flautist, trumpeter, trombonist, violist, French horn player and even a theremin player, with DeLaughter serving as musical director, lead singer, and creative shaman. Their first album, TOGETHER WE’RE HEAVY, was released in summer 2004.
DeLaughter most recently composed the score for the independent feature film THUMBSUCKER starring Keanu Reeves, Tilda Swinton, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D’Onofrio and Benjamin Bratt and is touring the world with Polyphonic’s latest album THE FRAGILE ARMY, released in 2008.