Ruth Golden’s passion for documentary storytelling was sparked when she landed a dream job in the MTV News And Specials department in 1990, when MTV was still all about the music and our Rockumentaries revealed the stories that are now legends. Since then, she has worked on numerous productions in a variety of formats including live, studio, and reality. Career highlights include her work on Rolling Stone magazine’s 90-minunte 25th anniversary special for MTV; being part of the launch team for fX networks on their live morning show, Breakfast Time, with host Tom Bergeron; and show running three seasons of CMT’s Redneck Weddings. Ruth’s is now devoted to combining her professional expertise with her personal experience to create a film that can touch many in a hopeful, helpful way.
Jamie L. Smith has four decades of documentary and reality television credits including those of executive producer, writer, and director. Beginning her television career in New York at CBS News, she went on to PBS’s Emmy and Peabody award winning series A Walk Through the Twentieth Century with Bill Moyers followed by ABC’s news magazine 20/20. After moving to Los Angeles, career highlights include the ten-hour syndicated documentary series, The Wild West and Buena Vista Television’s groundbreaking news magazine, The Crusaders. As a series writer, she helped give voice to Travel Channel’s Emmy Award winning The Relic Hunter with Ian Grant and a number of Emmy nominated specials for Animal Planet. Most recently, she was the co-executive producer of America Now, a syndicated information and life-style show hosted by Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic.
Jonathan K. Bendis began his creative journey as a guitarist, recording and playing with artists including Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Joe Walsh, and Rosanne Cash. That path led him from his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio to New York City in the early ‘80s where an MTV producing gig literally fell into his lap and allowed his natural talents as a producer/director and curiosity about the visual medium to flourish. He stayed with the network as its supervising producer of MTV News and Specials wherehe was instrumental in creating long-form specials and series, including the original roc-doc series, Rockumentaries. He was also the co-creator and executive producer of the seminal sketch comedy series, The State, on both MTV and CBS. Post MTV, for over 20 years, Bendis created and supervised induction films for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies and produced a series of three-screen films installed at the Hall of Fame’s museum theater. He continues to create, direct, produce, edit, and consult on numerous projects for networks including: ABC, CBS, HBO, A&E, AMC, Bravo, and Disney. Never satisfied with conventional formats or storytelling, he always seeks out new and unique ways to approach a topic.
Director of Photography
Chris McDaniel followed his passion for cinema and cinematography that began when he co-opted his parents’ new video camera at age 8 to Full Sail University film school. Since graduating in 2000 has had an extremely busy and successful career behind the camera on documentary/reality television programs including Bravo’s Real Housewives of Miami, HBO’s Hard Knocks Miami Dolphins, and VH-1’s Hogan Knows Best. As a DP, Chris is taking his artistic bent to more creative projects such as independent documentaries, music videos, commercials and promotional videos for clients including HBO, Travel Channel and the WWE. Chris is dedicated to keeping up with the latest technology and trends and constantly strives to create cinematic images help tell every project’s story.
Peder Hansen began his noteworthy editing career in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he grew up after his family escaped civil war in his native Rhodesia when he was six. Initially working in effects and graphics, Peder’s curiosity pushed him to learn the Avid very early in the game, and his creative and technical skills combined with his interest in and attention to the storytelling process, making him a much sought after editor for a variety of channels in Johannesburg. Peder came to the US in his 20s and settled in Orlando, editing with post-production companies specializing in infomercials, corporate videos, commercials, , including for Universal Theme Parks. For the past 10 years, Peder has been the A-level “go-to” guy at a number of production companies throughout Florida creating documentary/reality programming for networks including Bravo, Nat Geo Wild, VH-1, CMT, and TLC. He is especially proud of his online editing for the Emmy Award winning Series, Jack Hanna’s Wild. Peder is ready to stretch his wings on an inspirational independent project that will allow his natural talents in the bay the space to work unrestrained by network needs (and notes).