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Filmmaker Biographies

Co-Directors and Co-Producers
Dan Bunker and Judy ver Mehr

Co-Directors Dan Bunker and Judy ver Mehr, partners in real life and reel life, formed  offbeat trilogy productions in the spring of 2002. The digital revolution allowed them to finally realize their dream of making a movie.  They had started preproduction on a low budget feature when they fortuitously stumbled upon the access and money to instead produce a documentary.  The result is MADMAN MUNTZ: AMERICAN MAVERICK.

Dan was born in Seattle, Washington, and raised in San Bruno, Calfornia, a suburb of San Francisco.  His checkered career includes stints as a painting contractor, bartender, carpenter, Las Vegas “21” dealer and high school drama teacher.  A member of the Writers Guild of America, he has written a screenplay under contract to legendary “B” movie mogul Roger Corman, written for several TV game shows (“Scrabble,” “The Challengers,” etc.) and worked as a writer/editor of TV closed captions.  He has seen “Jules and Jim” 35 times, each time in a theater.

Born in Berkeley, Judy is a fourth-generation Californian.  With a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley and an MS in Counseling she has an extensive background in both counseling and social work.  She acted in plays in high school, college and communtiy theater. While at Cal, she wrote, produced, directed and appeared in a musical theater production -- “The World of Entertainment."  She has written two feature-length screenplays -- one was  optioned and the other was a quarter finalist for a Chesterfield Screenwriting Award.  Her favorite movie is “Harold and Maude.”

Dan and Judy lived for three years in Germany where Judy ran a substance abuse prevention program for adolescents.  Dan, meanwhile, worked as director of the local community theater.  His production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” won critical acclaim in the German press and German schoolchildren were bused in to see it.  Judy wrote and produced an hour-long dramatic video which featured a cast and crew of over 100 adolescents.  The video was directed by Dan and featured a wedding, a funeral, a football game, a karate fight, a chase, a car wreck, a huge party and a scene set in heaven complete with robed and haloed teens surrounded by swirling dry ice clouds. And all this on a budget of $500!

Dan and Judy currently live in Pasadena, California, with their Irish Wolfhound, Willow.

 


Exectutive Producer
James Castoro

Executive Producer James Castoro was born in Elgin, Illinois, the hometown of  Earl "Madman"  Muntz.   A successful businessman, he is the Chairman of Custom Aluminum Products, based in South Elgin.   He and his wife Win have homes in St. Charles and Chicago, Illinois, and in Sarasota, Florida.  An avid car collector, James is the owner of five beautifully restored Muntz Jets.  "Madman Muntz: American Maverick" is his first foray into filmmaking.

 


Editor
Marina Tait

Marina Tait's earliest ambition was to swing from a trapeze in the circus.  She was born in France and grew to adulthood in the Pacific Northwest.  If she could be anywhere in the world, it would be somewhere with great wine, exceptional vistas, and fresh air.

As a film and video editor based in Los Angeles, she loves to discover compelling and offbeat true stories.  She has worked with Leon Gast, Oscar-winning director of "When We Were Kings," and edited "Rise Above: the Tribe 8 Documentary," which won awards at film festivals in the U.S. and Europe.

She would love to ask Madman Muntz for career advice.


 


Cinematographer and Production Consultant
Antonio Manriquez

Before serving as Cinematographer and Production Consultant on MADMAN MUNTZ: AMERICAN MAVERICK, Antonio Manriquez officially began his filmmaking career in 1995 (at age 14!) with the Encore cable feature, COMMON BONDS.  COMMON BONDS received the Producer’s Guild Of America Merit Award at the 1997 Santa Clarita International Film Festival and screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.

Manriquez followed up his first feature by producing the 40-second, 35mm PASS IT ON, promoting racial diversity and commissioned by California Senator Richard Alarcón.  In 1998, he produced the short film ANYTHING ONCE, which premiered at OUTFEST, The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.  The film has since screened at over 30 international film festivals.  It can be viewed at http://www.ifilm.com/.

For seven years Manriquez worked as a teacher assistant and video engineer at the same Middle School where his first feature project began, consulting and assisting on over 25 student productions throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District.  He has been an instructor at three high school summer film workshops sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and currently is an instructor for The Film Foundation’s youth film workshop series, TEEN SCREEN.

Manriquez has served as cinematographer and producer on CalArts productions THE BOX (2001) and TRAVELING WITH COMPANY (2004).  His recent cinematography credits include Cineapse Pictures’ music video “Work Wit It” for rap artist Scipio, and the short films PROFILE (2004) and THE BOOGIE (2005).

His latest narrative directorial effort, the short film LOW, premiered at the 2003 Oakland International Film Festival.

 



Color Correction Editor
Jay Walters

Jay Walters is a native New Yorker.  While attending SUNY Purchase College seeking a degree in music, he played guitar gigs and wrote music.  Near graduation, a former NBC producer approached Jay and asked if he knew anything about editing film.  Jay said, “Oh, yeah. No problem.”  Little did he know what he was getting himself into. Jay was hired on the spot to start the following week on a film named “Libertango” about Argentina’s “Dirty War” in the ‘70s and ‘80s -- an awesome project.  Jay spent his first two weeks on the film locked in an edit suite with a pile of manuals trying to figure out what he had gotten himself into.  To this day he lives by the motto, "The best way to learn something is to just jump in the fire.  Just make it happen.”

By the time the film was completed, he had become a pro in video post production.  He went on to edit a variety of projects, then started his first company, Spherestream, that dealt with video for the Web. Jay was one of the only SMIL coders in Manhattan, and was creating user-friendly, bandwidth-conscious projects for corporate and commercial clients. The company pushed for "More video on the Web." Jay was soon sought after as a video compression specialist.  Long story short, he closed up Spherestream to work in broadcast again, all the while writing and producing music for various projects in his living room late at night.

In the summer of 2004, Jay moved to Los Angeles and opened Splice Media , a post prodcution facility located in Hollywood, where he works on a variety of TV and film projects.  Jay was one of the early Final Cut Pro guys, does all his offline and online editing using FCP, and is building a reputation as one of the top dogs in Los Angeles for online and finishing work.

 



Sound Editor
Brianna Lynn

Brianna Lynn worked as a director, editor, cinematographer and makeup artist at Pacoima Middle School on over ten short student films by the age of 13. She went on to work on eight shorts at Van Nuys High School, and co-directed a 40-minute student project before receiving her high school diploma at the age of 15. She worked on two features during the summer of 2002 as a production assistant. Since then she has kept busy with going to school at Los Angeles Valley College and working on different projects. The first feature she sound edited was “Madman Muntz: American Maverick,” and she’s only 18!


 


Assistant Editor
Stephen Kurowski

When he's not assistant editing on wonderful independent documentaries, Stephen Kurowski writes and directs his own underground films, which have screened on at least two continents.

Stephen also creates oil paintings, publishes short stories, constructs elaborate cat scratching posts, and is currently in search of a publisher for his first children's novel, "Billy Bright and the Soap Monster."


 

 

Assistant Editor
Jeremy Look

Having graduated from the University of  Colorado, Boulder, with a B.S. in Business, Jeremy Look has pursued his passion for film, television, and entertainment media by continuing to learn all aspects of “The Business.”  In order to expand his knowledge, Jeremy has taken classes from CSUN, New York Film  Academy, and UCLA, ranging from film theory to practical application skills in digital editing and production.  Recent credits include Assistant Editor on the feature length documentary “Madman Muntz: American Maverick,” Assistant Editor on the DVD featurette “The Making of Bubba Ho-tep,” and Segment Editor on “GETV.”  Production credits include Camera Utility on the third season of Lifetime’s “Merge,” Camera Utility on Spike TV’s “Boom,” and Camera Utility on the pilot episode of The Travel Channel’s “Stranded.” 

 

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