ROB HERRING (Mick) –
Rob Herring started acting and singing in
middle school, high school, community, and regional theaters in his home state
of New Jersey. He has performed multiple
times at New Jersey’s state theater–the Papermill Playhouse, where he was
nominated for a Rising Star Award.
In college, his 3-part acoustic band, The Benefit, played such New York spots as The Bitter End and Sidewalk Cafe. While attending New York University Tisch School of the Arts, he trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. There he starred in several plays such as Machinal, Intimate Apparel, as well as a few original productions Off-Broadway. Towards the end of his college training, he shifted his focus towards film acting and upon graduation, received the NYU Drama Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television.
Rob continues to create music and act in television, film, and musical theater in and around Los Angeles. He has performed stand-up comedy, sang at Carnegie Hall, and won the classic prize–a full expense-paid trip to Disney World. Besides performance, he has a strong passion for promoting natural health and wellness through the use of quality nutrition and frequent exercise.
JOHN MERRY (Sim) –
John Merry (whose birth name is John Goodman) has loved the theater and acting ever since he performed as a child in various theater and stage plays. However, he also loved learning and especially mathematics and physics. After earning a B.A. with high honors in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in physics and the history of science and technology from Cornell University, he began his career teaching physics at Harvey Mudd College. Afterwards, he taught science and mathematics at California Institute of the Arts and taught computer science at California State University, Fullerton, and at National University. He was also one of the founding faculty of an alternative public high school in Irvine, California, and served as a course director for a seminar company teaching computer maintenance and upgrading all over North America and Canada.
He is particularly proud of having founded and served as the Executive Director of an interactive science museum, an institution whose successor later became the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California.
As a consultant to the Charles and Rae Eames design firm, he worked on both short films and museum exhibit design projects and on museum exhibit design for the Glen Fleck design firm. He also served as a consultant to a number of individuals and small businesses, assisting them with their computer systems, graphic design, and writing government grant proposals.
He eventually became an author and published several books on computer science and technology, including the very popular Hard Disk Secrets, DOS 6 Power Tools, Memory Management for All of Us, and the 6th and 7th Editions of Peter Norton’s Inside the PC, plus numerous articles in major trade publications in the computer industry.
His theater training includes studying under Bud and Bunny Barth at Del Mar Media Arts in Irvine, California and Karen Henzel and Greg Atkins at the South Coast Repertory Professional Conservatory in Costa Mesa, California.
He has appeared in several films including Naked Run and Borderless. He also demonstrated his acting ability in his role as narrator for the film Haitian Street Children Revisited, Another Day, and the film Pearl which was selected at the Short Shorts Festival in Japan in 2008.
In addition to performing in films, television series, commercials, and theater, John is a successful inventor and enjoys designing and implementing modern gadgets and devices. He and his wife also frequently attend live theater performances, dance and chamber music concerts, modern art galleries and museums, and is an avid collector of original modern art.
GREGORY EKMEKJIAN (Director) –
Gregory Ekmekjian first gained interest in filmmaking after viewing the film Raiders of the Lost Ark as a small child. This experience sparked his visual storytelling ability and he began making super 8mm films and home movies using family and friends as subjects.
As a student at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television Production Program, he wrote and directed several narrative and documentary films as well as numerous multi-camera television productions.
After graduation, he established Watchman Productions which develops and produces independent films.
He marked his directorial debut with the short film Adult Behavior which was written by award winning writer Loren Marsh.
His next directorial effort was with the short film Two Roads which is based on the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
In addition to filmmaking, he also gages his creative energy in other mediums as a freelance nature photographer and a musician.
RALPH PILILIAN (Writer) –
Ralph Pililian has had a passion for film since his youth. In addition to viewing and critiquing films, what intrigued him most was the contextual content of the storylines. It wasn’t long until he began studying and analyzing literary narratives which made him realize in his experience that the actual substance and essence in stories existed first and foremost in books. This discovery developed into a heartfelt appreciation towards great writers and their works.
While studying English at California State University, Los Angeles, he discovered and decided to further his studies to the works of the great philosophers and pursue a degree in philosophy as well. This changed his mindset and perspective towards storytelling in general which in turn inspired him to change his writing style to a more creatively analytic approach.
Ralph’s long-term motivation and ambition is to be able to bring the complexity and brilliance of history’s greatest authors and poets to audiences with non-traditional styles in mediums through his work in cinema.
Two Roads marks Ralph Pililian’s first writing credit.
GABRIEL JOHNSON (Producer) –
Gabriel Johnson grew up in Ventura, California. He holds an A.A. in theatre from Pikes Peak Community College, B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and a master’s degree in public (energy) policy from The American University of Paris. He was highly active in the theatre departments of both schools and performed for a number of plays and films.
After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a theatre player with the MagnaCarta troupe as well as a background artist for various films and television series.
Desiring to enhance his perspective, he moved to France where he taught English and history for two years in the northern city of Lille. On summer session, he returned to Colorado and worked as the associate producer for the winning contestant of the reality program, America’s Next Producer.
Gabriel currently resides in Paris where he is an academic professor and a business consultant, as well as focusing his efforts on various creative endeavors.
JERMAINE STEGALL (Composer) –
Jermaine Stegall was born in Joliet, Illinois and has been writing music since the 1990’s. After obtaining formal degrees in music composition, performance, conducting, and electronic film music production from Northern Illinois University and the University of North Texas, he enrolled in the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program at the University of Southern California. During this time he won the BMI endowed scholarship for excellence in music for film.
Toward the end of his second semester at the University of Southern California, he became composer Marco Beltrami’s first intern during the post-production of the film I, Robot. This opportunity quickly lead to an opportunity to work as a music orchestrator, learn the technical aspects of film scoring, electronic music design, and eventually work closely with composer Jon Ehrlich as an additional music composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music tracking editor on television series such as House M.D., Hawaii, Tru Calling, Conviction, The Mountain, Invasion, and Waterfront.
He has also worked on the film B.T.K. for Lionsgate Home Entertainment, as well as 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails for Sam Raimi’s Ghosthouse Pictures. Stegall also scored the emotionally-charged feature film Love Conquers All, and recently worked with director Issa Lopez on the foreign romantic comedy Efectos Secundarios (Side Effects) for Warner Bros., released theatrically throughout Mexico during September of 2006. Jermaine’s score to Efectos Secundarios was recently nominated for the 2007 Diosas De Plata Award / Best Original Score in Mexico, which is the distant equivalent to the Golden Globe Awards in the U.S.
Additional scores of his music can be heard in the recent theatrical release of An American Carol directed by David Zucker (Airplane, Top Secret!, The Naked Gun movies, Scary Movie3, and 4). He is constantly called upon for his versatility and is currently slated to score the up coming theatrical release of Saluda al Diablo de mi Parte starring Édgar Ramirez of The Bourne Ultimatum, and Vantage Point), as well as the supernatural horror film David, executive produced by Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, and Castlevania).
Jermaine has also composed additional music for CW Television Network’s Supernatural and the Nickelodeon television movie The Last Day of Summer. Scores of Jermaine’s have also screened with films at the Berlin Film Festival, the Angelus Student Film Festival, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, the Pan African Film Festival, the DGA First Look Film Festival, the Comic-Con International Film Festival, the DAM Short Film Festival, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, Orinda Film Festival, Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival, the Los Angeles Cross Town Film Festival, and the Magic Johnson Theatres.
JOEY JONES (Visual Effects) –
Joey Jones was raised in Ohio, the “heartland of America,” and headed out west shortly after graduating with a degree in architecture from The Ohio State University. A frustrated architect, he saw animation as his ticket to tell and create the world he saw so he earned a master’s degree at the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California, with a thesis on character animation and storytelling.
Before graduating from Art Center, Joey produced and directed (along with Wira Winata) a short animated film titled Little Red Plane. To date, Little Red Plane has screened at over 50 international film and animation festivals in over sixteen different countries. Little Red Plane was also screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival as a part of the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Showcase.
In addition, he received a nine month entrepreneurial fellowship from the National Science Foundation in conjunction with the California Institute of Technology. With Little Red Plane’s success and the National Science Foundation grant under his belt, he co-founded (with three other collaborators from Little Red Plane) Shadedbox in 2001.
Shadedbox is a director based, character animation studio located in South Pasadena, California that directs and produces CGI and stop motion for commercials, game cinematics, and interactive online media. Shadedbox clients include: Disney Feature Animation, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Disney Television Animation, Toyota Motor Corporation, ABC Family, Mattel, and Paramount Pictures to name a few.
Joey continues to produce and direct various animation, visual effects, and stop motion projects in the industry and is always striving on the cutting edge of technology through his vision and creativity.