The Creative Team
Richard Yelland is an Emmy® nominated writer, director & producer–a filmmaker who explores the extremes of human storytelling. Powerful visuals and emotional performances are a trademark of his work on projects for Outside TV, Nike, HISTORY Channel and FOX/Fuel TV. Richard’s film “Floating: the Nathan Gocke Story,” Executive Produced by Oscar® nominee Morgan Spurlock, was ‘Emerging Documentary’ Winner at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. “12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldon Story,” presented by Nike, tells the story of the first documented African American Surfer and is “Unlike any surf film you’ve ever seen,” according to ESPN’s Jake Howard. The film inspired Santa Monica’s annual Nick Gabaldon Day and won a 2014 Webby Award. “Sine Qua Non: The Psychology of Big Wave Surfing with Greg Long,” Richard’s latest film, received a range of positive reviews from The Atlantic to Outside. Sine Qua Non’s international festival run, which included an ‘Official Selection’ at the Maui Film Festival, was capped with a win at the 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival in the Ocean Sports category. Sine Qua Non was also a ‘Top 10’ sports film on iTunes. Richard received his Emmy nomination for “Pool,” a PSA he wrote, directed and produced for the Life Rolls On Foundation featuring wheelchair “pool skater” Darwin Holmes.
Michael Meeker touts an impressive track record of award-winning-films–exhibiting a passion for music and an inspired sense of story. Meeker won the highly coveted Audience Choice Award for best documentary film in 2008 at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival for the feature length documentary film, “Fields of Fuel,” as executive music supervisor and contributing producer. Most recently, Meeker finished work on Oscar® Winning filmmaker Greg MacGillivray’s upcoming iMax film “National Parks Adventure”, narrated by Robert Redford as well as the controversial sugar industry film “FED UP” from executive producers Katie Couric and Laurie David. Meeker was tapped by Gratitude Entertainment to be executive music supervisor, soundtrack producer and co -executive producer for the critically acclaimed feature documentary film “The Hornet’s Nest” in 2013.
Director of Photography
Byron Werner is a Director of Photography based in Los Angeles, born in the San Fransisco Bay Area. At the age of 16 he began his career working in the SEGA studios creating live action video games. While earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and television from Chapman University, Byron shot his first feature film, the first of over thirty. He never “moved up through the ranks” to become a DP. Rather, he shot anything and everything he could as a DP, using experience to further his education. In addition to feature films, Byron has shot over 100 short films and countless music videos and commercials for such brands as Motorola, Microsoft, California Lottery and LG. Byron’s critically acclaimed film, “Phantom,” directed by Todd Robinson and starring Ed Harris, had its nationwide theatrical release in spring of 2013. Byron’s latest feature,
“Reversal,” was an official selection at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Matthew Johnston has edited television commercials, TV shows, documentaries and web series for clients including Nike, McDonald’s, Ford, Honda, Nissan, The Nature Conservancy, Naked Juice, Levi’s, LEGO, Sephora, Outside TV, Fuel TV, Ovation TV, Yahoo!, MTV and the The HISTORY channel, to name a few. He has edited films that have screened in film festivals around the world. Among them, the documentary, “Floating: The Nathan Gocke Story,” was winner of the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. His following documentary, “Nike presents: 12 Miles North,” won the 2014 Webby Award in the sports film category. Matthew’s latest feature length documentary, “Starring Adam West,” is currently screening on HBO, Showtime and Starz. He also recently finished editing the narrative feature film, “Seattle Road,” that will premiere in 2015. His public service work for the non-profit, Life Rolls On, has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. Matthew brings his passion for storytelling to every project he works on and he continues to seek out projects that not only entertain but also educate and inspire.
Todd “Zman” Zalkins
Todd Zalkins is an interventionist, author, and public speaker. His memoir, “Dying for Triplicate” takes you on a ride of his harrowing 17 year addiction to prescription painkillers and the path he traveled to get clean and sober…the book has sold more than 50,000 copies and helped thousands recover from what is now the biggest drug epidemic in the history of the United States. He is the subject of the feature length documentary film, “The Long Way Back,” premiering at film festivals nationwide in 2017. The film dives deep into Todd’s story, with accounts from people closest to him as he struggled hopelessly with addiction, emerging as a clean and sober man, and dedicating his life to helping others afflicted. Today, Todd travels the U.S. as an interventionist, working with families to motivate their loved ones to accept help and escape the grip of addiction. He is also a passionate public speaker, sharing his story with kids and high schoolers everywhere promoting awareness, recovery, and the life threatening dangers of drug abuse.