President of Production, Grand Cru Entertainment Inc.
John Michaels has been a producer, a financier, and an executive in the film industry for over two decades. He has successfully delivered, and continues to deliver, high quality independent productions and studio feature films.
As President of Production for Magnet Media Group, he served as Executive Producer, where he recently completed the film entitled Dark Tide, starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez which is currently in post production. In 2009, Michaels Executive Produced The Experiment, starring Academy Award winners Adrien Brody and Forrest Whitaker, and co-starring Cam Gigandet. Prior to that, he completed 13 as Co-Executive Producer with an ensemble cast including Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Sam Riley, Michael Shannon, Ray Winstone, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. At present John is in pre-production with two new features and is in active development of four more.
From 2001 to 2008, Michaels served as an advisory board member, evaluating, approving and supervising 58 projects for the German Media Fund, VIP Medienfonds GmbH. During his tenure with VIP, the company amassed investment funds over US $1 billion making it a leading financier of motion pictures throughout the world. VIP was a partner in the production of such films as Monster (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron), Alpha Dog, (Emile Hirsch, Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake), and The Punisher (John Travolta), to name a few.
Michaels also produced Quiet Days in Hollywood (Academy Award winner Hilary Swank), The November Conspiracy (Paige Turco, George Segal and Elliot Gould), and Sunset Heat (Dennis Hopper).
He has served as a Line Producer, a Unit Production Manager and Production Executive on numerous International feature films, television projects, documentaries, and commercials.
Michaels is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and serves as a frequent guest lecturer on international production and financing for the UCLA Film School, CSUN and Chapman University.
Brian joined the management team at Vision4Media in 2011 and is responsible for the operational and strategic direction of a media company dedicated to the principles of the Conscious Filmmaker ethos. Brian is at the helm of the company’s legal and business endeavors, including overseeing the financing process of its independent productions.
Brian first entered the corporate world with Leggett & Platt, a major Fortune 500 company. His ten year tenure created a solid foundation of sales, management and international business leadership.
Brian was responsible for the profit and loss of a $15 million west coast operation and a $10 million procurement program. Over time, his responsibilities evolved into the international procurement for a $50 million sales operation. Brian traveled extensively through Asia brokering new relationships and seeking our acquisition targets. Overseas business transactions required Brian to develop new communication and negotiation skills based on both cultural understanding and a solid comprehension of international business practices. Brian continued his strategic operations and sales practice with privately held companies, successfully growing each one.
Brian holds a B.A. Degree in Business Administration and a J.D. degree from Western State University College of Law.
Herschel Faber received his MFA in Film from Columbia University, where he won the Zaki Gordon Award For Excellence in Screenwriting, as well as the Audience Choice Award for Best Screenplay in the Ralph Lauren New Works Festival. Since graduation, Herschel’s screenplays have placed at the semi-finalist level in the Nicholl Fellowship competition and the Austin Film Festival. Professionally, Herschel has written a 3D animated comedy for Big Pook Productions and has had a number of scripts optioned by production companies.
His latest script, High School, was recently released by Anchor Bay, and stars Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Mike Epps and Andy Milonakis. As a director, Herschel wrote, directed and produced Chasing Pavarotti, a short film that had a nice festival run. He is also the writer, director and producer of the web series Love, J.D., with over 130 episodes shot. His most recent effort is Cavemen, a feature length film, starring Skylar Astin, Camilla Belle, Chad Michael Murray, Kenny Wormald, Alexis Knapp, Dayo Okeniyi and Jason Patric
Kent Hamilton graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and left law school in Texas for the theatre. After traveling around the country for ten years acting, writing, producing plays, and working on movies he joined Farmers Insurance as a claims adjustor and soon became Division Manager of Sales in the Los Angeles Region.
Missing entertainment, Kent joined Truman Van Dyke Company as Executive Vice President and for twenty-five years specialized in serving motion picture and television producers with their insurance needs all over the world.
He is now finishing a screenwriting sabbatical. His new play “The Seamstress” is expected to open at Theatre West in LA this September.
Kent is excited about returning as an Insurance broker with a new company soon.
Steve Tellez is a motion picture and television agent with Innovative Artists representing actors, writers and directors and also working in the branding & licensing, literary and comedy areas. Steve had been a motion picture and television agent for fourteen years with Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles. Tellez also worked extensively in the cross-over area also creating opportunities in film and TV for music and corporate clients. Tellez began his career as a trainee in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency where he went on to become a talent agent and senior vice president, head of talent for agency for the performing arts.
Steve has served as a board member of the Academy of Country Music and also serves on the Board of Governors for the Valley Community Clinic. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University.
Kelly Kiernan has worked with directors and producers including Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Tony Scott, Bryan Singer, Doug Liman, and Nicholas Roeg; her film credits include Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Apt Pupil, The Trigger Effect, and the Steven-Spielberg produced documentary A Price for Peace. Kiernan has over 19 years of on-set experience around the world. Her work has taken her to four continents: Asia, North and South America, and Europe. Her favorite role has been as a troubleshooter on especially difficult and remote films.
In addition to her film experience, Ms. Kiernan also produced the Genesis Award-winning children’s television series Animal Rescue Kids, and has worked on numerous productions as a producer, line producer, production manager, and assistant director on feature films, television series, music videos and national commercials. She has also consulted for various global companies in management, production, and logistics.
Kelly began working with New Regency Pictures in 2003 as a production executive on the Tony Scott production Man on Fire, starring Denzel Washington. Kelly has since worked on 13 New Regency & Fox films including Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Just My Luck, Big Momma’s House2, Deck the Halls, and REXX the Firehouse Dog; she also worked on the spoof comedies Date Movie and Epic Movie, and Meet The Spartans. Kelly worked on Shutter, shot entirely in Japan, and on Mirrors, which was shot in Romania & NYC. She also worked as a production executive on the 2009 release, Bride Wars starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway.
Most recently Kelly has been working with an investment banking company based in the Silicon Valley as an advisor to their entertainment and media division. Kelly is currently attached as a producer to several projects that are slated to begin shooting this fall, and maintains an active consulting practice for independent filmmakers and production companies. Kelly’s passion for new media and technology keep her active in the tech community and how that is impacting the business of entertainment and content.
Prior to her work with New Regency, Kiernan was a creative producer for Walt Disney in TV animation, where she used her creative and production background in order to develop projects with award winning writers and directors.
In addition, Ms. Kiernan teaches line producing and production at UCLA extension; lectures at various universities and entertainment companies; and has served as a keynote speaker for UCLA in Japan.
Ms. Kiernan is a member of the Directors Guild of America, and the Producers Guild of America. She is a graduate of USC and completed the Mass Media Communication program at Stanford University.
John Amussen has over 20 years experience at major studios including Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox. He has extensive expertise in – and a comprehensive understanding of – the economics of individual motion pictures and of the structures and comparative benefits and drawbacks of multiple types of talent and equity deals. At Fox, he was Senior Vice President, Finance, and in addition to overseeing and restructuring Fox’s Production and Development Finance groups, he was responsible for the analysis of all talent and equity deals considered by Fox’s Film production units.
Since leaving Fox in 2006, he has worked with Marvel Entertainment, helped Laika (the producer of the animated film Coraline) create their long-term production plan, and consulted with National Geographic Films on an ongoing basis. Other clients include Imagemovers Digital, Berman-Braun Productions, Sony Pictures Television, and JRIII.
John graduated from Brown University and received his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Steven Poster, ASC, has shot a wide variety of motion pictures including Cats and Dogs – The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Flypaper, Stuart Little 2, Daddy Day Care, Rocky V, The Cemetery Club, Life Stinks, Opportunity Knocks, Next of Kin, Big Top Pee-wee, and Testament. He received an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award nomination for Best Cinematography for Ridley Scott’s Someone to Watch Over Me, and is the only American cinematographer to shoot a French language film in France: Patrice Leconte’s Une Chance sur Deux.
Poster’s television credits include the pilot for the Netflix series Hemlock Grove and the critically acclaimed telemovies Mrs. Harris, Roswell, Color of Justice, and Courage. He was also the cinematographer on the controversial, award-winning Madonna video Like a Prayer.
Poster is National President of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600. He also serves on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowships Committee and is a board member of Craft in America. Poster was formerly a member of the International Documentary Association executive board and served as President of the ASC, where he was responsible for refocusing and reigniting the organization’s technology committee.
Kevin Britton is a Los Angeles-based Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) on the Showtime series Dexter. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara film program in 2000, Kevin began his career as a camera assistant with a love for photography. As the trend in television moved from film to digital acquisition, Kevin made the transition from 2nd AC to on-set color and workflow management. Past series credits include CW’s Hart of Dixie and 90210.