March 2016

John Lyons Murphy (writer)

Most recently, Murphy co-directed and produced Kingdom Come, a documentary film that chronicles aspiring filmmaker Daniel Gillies’ quest to make his first feature. The doc features such independent film and Hollywood icons as Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Edward Burns, Selma Blair, Seth Green, Nicole Holofcener, Robert Townsend, and Bruce Campbell. Kingdom Come is currently running on Showtime and can be found on iTunes, Vudu, and all the usual digital platforms.

Previously, Murphy produced and directed Moonshine To The Finish Line, a documentary telling the story of how Southern whiskey bootleggers turned backwoods racing into the billion dollar industry we now know as NASCAR. The film premiered at The Palm Beach International Film Festival and features such legends of the sport as Junior Johnson and Bobby Allison.

Murphy was also a producer on critically acclaimed documentaries Rock The Bells and The Life Of Reilly, as well as serving as lead producer on narrative drama Broken Kingdom, starring Daniel Gillies, Rachael Leigh Cook, and Academy Award nominee Seymour Cassel.

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David Dahlman (producer)

Dave grew up loving the Harold Lloyd slapstick comedies. “Daring, ridiculous, and funny… but enough about me,” he jokes. “Lloyd was very simple, and very inventive, and I think that’s the essence of effective communication and storytelling.”

Dave has also directed and shot some of his own documentaries (including “The Making of ‘The Life of Reilly'”, and that experience gave him the belief that the format would succeed in any medium.

Before AboutFace, Dave was president of a commercial production company, Purple Onion, and prior to that went to the University Of Wisconsin – Madison, as he says, “for basic life lessons… which means not counting too much on what you learn in college.”

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Jack Turner

A fine arts graduate of the University of Vermont, Turner has grown into a successful film producer with critically acclaimed credits.

Out of college, he was hired as receptionist for October Films in New York City and spent much of his time reading movie treatments and learning what makes a good script. In a few years, he was executive of acquisition and development.

He would soon move on to United Artists, a subsidiary of MGM, where he sought U.S., North American or international distribution rights for film projects as well has helped develop, produce and market films. One of his earliest production successes was Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, starring Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro. Another key acquisition was Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine.

Jack then was a founding partner of White Buffalo Entertainment, through which he has produced Racing Dreams. He most recently became a partner in boutique financing entity, The Zoo, and produced the 2012 Sundance Documentary Competition film Me @ The Zoo.

Turner first worked with September Club on the documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, directed by director Chris James Thompson, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was realeased by IFC.

Jack is head of scripted series for Matador Content, a New York City company that develops documentaries & television programming.

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Patrick Buckley

Beginning his career as a production assistant on “American Movie”, Pat has since produced hundreds of television commercials and long format works for clients like Nike, Miller Brewing, Thule, Wilson Sports, Under Armour, Firestone, and Trek Bicycle among others. He has worked with and for production companies like @radical media, the Director’s Bureau, Propaganda Films, and Base Productions Hong Kong. Pat also co-directed the documentaries “William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet” and the September Club project — “The Making of The Pool”.

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Ryan Dembroski (producer)

Starting at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Ryan was planning to be a doctor. Until he got to Organic Chemistry.

“On the first day of class, they had a quiz,” Ryan recalls. “I sat there looking at questions about all of the things I was supposed to remember about Chem. 103 and 104 and decided I just wasn’t interested anymore.”

So Ryan walked up to the professor and turned in a mostly blank half sheet of paper saying, “Sorry, I’m not sure that this is for me.”

She replied something snarky like, “Have fun being an artist.”

A few years later, just after graduating, Ryan was in a performance of the play Loose Ends. That same professor was in the audience watching. “I hope she enjoyed the performance,” Ryan laughs.

Ryan ended up with a double-major in Theatre And Drama (Acting Specialist) and Communication Arts (Radio, TV, and Film). He then went on to work his way up the production ladder on film, TV, and commercial sets all over the Midwest – production assistant all the way up to producer.

“I was a theatre nerd in high school, and learning to craft stories both in front of and behind the camera in college,” he says. “So I think even from when I was a kid enamored of Top Gun, storytelling was always in my blood.”


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Steve Roeder

Steve began his career as an agency art director. He then worked various positions on the AICP from gripping to art department, finally settling on producing. For the past two decades, Steve has brought his attention to detail and can-do spirit to hundreds of productions. He listens and engages, priding himself on being prepared and having the right answers. He’s also a strong creative type with inventive ideas that improve the creative while respecting the budget. His current side-project is overseeing production on a documentary about acclaimed photojournalist Art Shay. Steve enjoys cycling, English Premier League soccer, attending film festivals and traveling with his wife and two teenage daughters. He can also quote most of the movie Fletch.

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‘After the Apocalypse’ Begins

IMG_7680This just in — Manny reports in that the first Skype call with Henry and Don — two original “Apocalypse Now” cast members — went great. This is a screen snap from the call that ended only minutes ago. He reports that we have some cool stuff lined up!

And here’s a screen shot of Don from a scene in “Apocalypse Now”.



Manny is leaving in early April for a two week trip to the Philippines to start working on After the Apocalypse. Stay tuned.

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home page – intro video

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Whole Meal In

Chef Coleman demonstrates how to prepare a whole meal at one time, in one oven, using Wolf’s dual convection system.

Your kitchen is where life happens. Where you share food, drink, conversations and confessions with the people you love. Why not make your kitchen the best it can be?

Learn the features and benefits of using Wolf cooking appliances through this fun, engaging and informative series of cooking videos.

Owning Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances assures that your food will always stay as fresh and flavorful as possible, and you’ll have the most precise, professional-grade instruments to cook it with, for delicious results every time – and a lifetime of moments worth savoring.

While other brands divide their attention among everything from trash compactors to vacuum cleaners, Sub-Zero and Wolf remain committed to refining and mastering their specialties: the world’s finest refrigeration and cooking appliances.

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Zedd: True Colors

(Documentary Feature, 2016, Premiere LA Film Festival)

A countdown hits zero and EDM fans hit the ground running, scouring the city for clues to be the first to get exclusive tickets. Their destination? They have no idea.

Embark on a journey with multi-platinum, Grammy winning, electronic dance music artist ZEDD. From his classically trained roots, through his brief career in a metal band, to stepping on the stage of the biggest music festivals in the world, ZEDD has shot up the charts to mega-pop stardom. Ride along with some of ZEDD’s most passionate fans as he explores new territory with his latest album, ‘True Colors,’ and get to meet him as they did – up-close, personal and performing like you’ve never seen him before.

A 42 Entertainment / Zedd Music Production

Director/Producers: Susan Bonds & Alex Lieu

Editor: Barry Poltermann

Trailer Editor: Matt Prekop



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Zera: Unsolved

(Feature Documentary)

It’s June of 2015 and Kent Schoonover is enjoying his retirement and his new career as a private investigator. He gets a call from Justin Landry saying, “We’re reopening the Zera case. Can you come in and help us with a few things?”

Schoonover’s biggest regret in retiring from the police force was not solving the 1976 murder of teen, John Zera. Jonny disappeared from Franklin High School on February 20th, 1976. He was 14. His nude, badly beaten body was found lying face down in the mud 8 days later. His brutal murder has remained unsolved ever since.

Schoonover gets one last shot at solving the unsolvable cold case, and it would soon be consuming his life. Over the next few months, the team begins to start over from scratch on the whole case. They interview past leads and witnesses, they retest all the evidence using new DNA standards, and they relook at that old list of over one hundred suspects.

The documentary will follow the past and current investigation, and we will get a front row seat to the investigative process.

A September Club Production

Directors: Rob Schoonover & Manny Marquez



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Mothers For Justice

(Feature Documentary)

After Maria Hamilton’s son, Dontre, was shot 14 times by a Milwaukee Police Officer, she set out to make a difference for Mother’s who have experienced similar tragedy. In November of 2014, she organized the first Mother’s For Justice meeting with other mothers who have lost their loved ones to officer related deaths. In March of 2015 she took her cause to a national level by organizing the Million Mom’s March in Washington D.C. to raise awareness about their cases and demand widespread policy changes from the federal government.

Director/Producer: Erik Ljung

Editor: Michael Vollmann


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Art Shay

(Feature Biographical Documentary)

Art Shay flew more than fifty combat missions during World War II, where he photographed the war as a hobby under the command of his commander, actor Jimmy Stewart. When he returned home he began working as a photojournalist for Life Magazine, and eventually became a ‘go to’ photographer for Sports Illustrated, Time, The New York Times Magazine and just about every other journalistic magazine then in existence.


Simone De Beauvoir, photographed by Art Shay in Nelson Algren’s apartment.

By the early sixties, Shay had become one of American’s most renowned photo-journalists during the heyday of the print magazine. He documented just about every celebrity and important national event of the 50’s and 60’s, from Marlon Brando at home with his dog to the ’68 Democratic national convention.

But his most acclaimed work would be found not through his ZELIG-like career with the magazines of the day, but instead through his passion for photographing his home city of Chicago with gritty street photography, working closely with his close friend, the writer Nelson Algren, to bring to light the darker side of life.

As his career skyrocketed and his stature grew, he was away from home more and more, eventually becoming distanced from his family and his beloved wife, Florence. And then, in an unexpected strike of personal family tragedy, he was broken — his career essentially over.

But where is 91-year-old Shay now?

As his health declines and he comes to terms with the recent loss of his soul mate, Florence, we follow Art as his reputation is restored through an unexpected wave of rediscovery by the art world. Today, with his photography finding it’s way onto the walls of renowned collectors and museums such as the National Portrait Gallery, we meet a wise, funny and philosophical storyteller, who gives us a uniquely personal photographic journey through the middle of the twentieth century.

A September Club Production

Directors: Jack Davidson & Ken Hanson

Producer: Steve Roeder

Editor: Dave Myszewski

Story Editor: Barry Poltermann

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R.I.P. Tom Spanic

Sad to hear about the passing of our old friend Tom Spanic. Our sympathy goes out to Ian and all of his family.

This music video was done by us (as Purple Onion) in 1991. Budget: $5,000. Chris Barry drove down from Minneapolis to be the DP. The lovely and talented Lori Minetti (whom you may know as the hostess of the WI Lottery Money Game) and her sister Lisa provide support. Shot in Chicago and Milwaukee.

And here is another deep cut… a video our friend Frank Anderson did for the Spanics a few years later.

Spanic Boys WHATS IN THOSE EYES from The Purple Onion Archives on Vimeo.

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Jonny Leahan (producer)

Jonny began as a writer for IndieWire and later began making films, first as an Associate Producer on the Tribeca award-winner Oxyana and on the recent SXSW hit Tchoupitoulas, just released by Oscilloscope. He later Produced Tom Noonan’s The Shape of Something Squashed, and worked as Executive Producer on Jonathan Caouette’s The Tic and The Toc.

His first feature film as a Director, Sky Line, recently premiered at the DocNYC Film Festival and was released by FilmBuff.

Jonny is also an Executive Board Member of the esteemed Paradise Factory in NYC, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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Smart Studios Story Premieres at SXSW

Our friends at Smart Studios finally get their due in a new documentary by Wendy Schneider, which just appeared at SXSW to great reviews. In this clip, we see our friends Donita Sparks (L7) and the September Club’s own Frank Anderson… who worked together on the score of our film “The Life of Reilly” in 2005.

And here’s a deep cut… one of several original music videos we did for Smart Studios back in the early 90’s, for the punk band Cosmic Psychos:

Cosmic Psychos | Dead Roo from Purple Onion Inc. on Vimeo.


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Operation Allie

(Documentary Short, 2016, Big Sky Film Fest)

Anthony Marquez, a former Marine and military dog handler, has returned from Afghanistan. He lost 17 friends in the war, and has been suffering from the effects of PTSD. When he finds out that the dog that he went through the war with, Allie, is being retired from the Marine Corp, he sets out to adopt her.

Currently on the festival circuit.

Director: Manny Marquez

Editor: Matt Prekop

Executive Producer: Ryan Dembroski

Story Supervisor: Michael Vollmann

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“Valley Clouds” Video

From Pitchfork:

Sam Beam of Iron & Wine recently announced that he and singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop are releasing an LP of duets titled Love Letter for Fire. Today, they share the video for “Valley Clouds,” which appears on the album. In the video, directed by Erin Elders, Beam and Hoop bartend while an enthusiastic couple belt karaoke to a less-than-enthusiastic crowd. Love Letter for Fire is out April 15 via Sub Pop.

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Rolling Stone Names Jawbreaker ‘Dear You’ As #4 Emo Album Of All Time

JawbreakerInteresting. Influential ’90s bay area punk band Jawbreaker is in the news. Rolling Stone named the band’s 1995 album ‘Dear You’ the #4 emo album of all time. Why is that news at September Club? Because a feature documentary about the band — working title ‘Don’t Break Down’ — is being produced by Rocket Fuel Films and September Club, on track for a 2017 premiere.

But what was even more interesting… check out the #3 album on the list — The Promise Ring’sScreen Shot 2016-03-31 at 9.05.01 PM ‘Nothing Feels Good’… featuring September Club’s own master editor, Dan Didier on drums.

Dan is supervising the edit on “Don’t Break Down”, working with Erin Elders (editor).


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Amanda Griffin (editor)

Amanda Griffin is a film editor based in Los Angeles. Originally from the Midwest, she graduated from The University of Iowa with a BA in Cinema and Comparative Literature in 2010. She found that Filmmaking was a way to combine her interests in fine art, film theory, and photography. She has edited multiple award winning feature-length and short films, including: Animals (2014) SXSW Film Festival Special Jury Award Winner for Courage in Storytelling, A Light Beneath Their Feet (2015) Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Favorite, the documentary The 414’s: The Original Teenage Hackers (2015) Sundance Film Festival, and American Fable, which recently premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.

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