(Feature Documentary, Netflix, 2021)
A mother pledges to find the people who killed her daughter, and uses MySpace to do so. Why Did You Kill Me? is all about the tireless efforts of Belinda Lane, who stopped at nothing to get justice.
The documentary tells the story of Crystal Theobald and her mother. Crystal was killed by gang members in 2006. After her death, Crystal’s mother used social networking site MySpace to investigate the people she believed were responsible, resulting in reverberations for multiple families.
Directed by: Frederick Munk
Produced by: Julian Cautherley, Lucy Walker
(Docu-Series, Netflix, 2021)
Murder Among the Mormons documents one of the most shocking crimes to have ever taken place among the Mormon community and the criminal mastermind behind it all.
The three-part docuseries takes a look at what happened in Salt Lake City in 1985, when a series of pipe bombs killed two people and severely injured another, jolting the epicenter of the LDS Church. The murders sent further shockwaves through the community when a trove of early Mormon letters and diaries were found destroyed in the vehicle of the third victim, Mark Hofmann, a renowned collector of rare documents, including the infamous White Salamander Letter — an artifact whose contents threatened to shake the very foundations of Mormonism. As Hofmann fought for his life, investigators raced to uncover the truth.
(Branded Feature Documentary Feature, 2020, Client: WP Engine)
From the heyday of TV advertising, to the dawn of the Internet, to the rise of the digital experience, make|SHIFT explores the art and science behind the advertising industry’s 20+ year evolution.
See how creative technologies drove a shift from pushing messages through TV, radio, print and outdoor ads to delivering increasingly engaging, immersive and valuable digital experiences to consumers. While some advertisers struggled to evolve, a brave new generation grasped the possibilities—both creative and strategic—and harnessed these fast-changing technologies to enhance their creativity, test new business models and press ahead.
makeSHIFT is a story about the agencies and makers behind the brands. Our team interviewed a range of leaders from developers to designers to creative directors to founders at some of the most innovative agencies in the world, both small and large, digital and traditional.
The film takes an inside look at how these makers and agencies have shifted and re-shifted their skillsets, creativity and businesses, as new creative technologies emerged, declined, and were replaced by the next technology in an endless cycle of change. makeSHIFT shines light on this beautifully frustrating pattern, and celebrates the makers that have embraced the shift and thrived.
Agency/Co-Production: Hey Let’s Go
Director: Casey Suchan
Co-Director: Tim Cawley
Editor: Matt Prekop
(Documentary Series, Netflix 2019)
It’s hard to explain to people who weren’t in Britain in 2007 what living through the Madeleine McCann news cycle was like. At the time, the 3-year-old’s face was everywhere a picture could ever be replicated—on T-shirts, on posters, on fliers adorning car windshields, on banners over soccer stadiums, on every front page of every paper every day, on a giant inflatable billboard the News of the World commissioned to publicize its £1.5 million reward for information leading to Madeleine’s return. It felt like the biggest story U.K. newspapers had ever experienced. It never seemed to end. It never did; Madeleine remains missing, and the investigation into her disappearance continues to this day
The eeriest thing about watching The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann now is how efficiently it replicates what it was like to experience the story of Madeleine in real time. There was the visceral shock of the news when it first came, the monstrousness of a child being snatched from her bed in a Portuguese resort town while her parents had dinner nearby. The ferocity and hunger with which the media clamped down on the story and did not let go. The first wave of suspects, implicated, named, and damned by the tabloids before they’d so much as set foot inside a police station. The way the story spawned its own particular vernacular, like “the Tapas 7” and arguido. The details and insinuations and defamations and theories, unspooling hourly for audiences who could not get enough of them. – The Atlantic
A Netflix Original Production / Produced by Pulse UK & Paramount
Executive Producer: Emma Cooper
Director: Chris Smith
(Television Pilot, 2018)
For almost two decades, the Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno) have been pulling off hilarious political actions that make global headlines.
In this pilot episode for a potential television series, The Yes Men take on gun control.
Directed by The Yes Men
Story Supervisor: Barry Poltermann
(Teaser for Work In Progress Feature Film)
Troy Haupt is a 47-year old nurse anesthetist in the Outer Banks and he has a secret to share: He owns the only known recording of the Super Bowl I broadcast from 1967 where the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. CBS and NBC, which both simultaneously televised the game, did not preserve any copies nor did the NFL. It is reported the networks taped over the game with soap operas.
The ancient quadraplex tapes of the first broadcast that launched the Super Bowl as an enormous spectacle that still attracts more that 100 million viewers annually, however, might never be seen by anyone. Despite Sports Illustrated ranking a recording of Super Bowl I as one of the top 25 “lost sports treasures of all time” and valuing it as $1 million, the NFL doesn’t want to buy the tapes and has warned Haupt not to sell or distribute it in any manner or the league will pursue legal action.
Hear the crazy story about how the tape came to be Haupt’s, the legal complications from expert opinions, and what is it going to take to finally have this piece of modern American history available for the public to see for the first time in over 50 years.
Producer/Directors: Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon
Editor: Matt Prekop
(Documentary Feature, 2017, Premiere SXSW)
The policeman who killed Milwaukee resident Dontre Hamilton in April 2014, in a public park in the middle of the day, shot him 14 times. He wasn’t the first cop to approach Hamilton as he dozed in the downtown park — others had been there and seen that he was doing nothing wrong. Why an employee at a nearby Starbucks saw the need to call the police about him, and not once but twice, is one of the sorriest aspects in the horrific chain of events that robbed Hamilton’s family of their son and brother. The 31-year-old black man was schizophrenic and, except for the baton that he reportedly grabbed from the officer, unarmed.
Ljung’s clear-eyed film finds hope within terrible circumstances, and strength within heartbreak. Given the continued unfortunate timeliness of the subject, the doc would certainly find an audience in a wider platform beyond the fest circuit.
Opening with a James Baldwin quote and ending with riots in Milwaukee over another police-involved shooting, Ljung’s film illuminates an American crisis — the emotional fallout as well as the vigilance and hard work required to address the use of lethal force by police, their accountability, and the need for better training in dealing with mentally ill people. In Nate Jr. and Maria Hamilton, he shows that vigilance in action, heartbroken but unwavering.
Directed by Erik Ljung
Edited by Michael Vollmann
Trailer Editor: Matt Prekop
Executive Producer Barry Poltermann
(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
(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