As a filmmaker, Christopher Wong seeks to highlight minority voices and stories, revealing ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. WHATEVER IT TAKES represents his feature-length debut as both director and producer.
Christopher Wong was a grant recipient of The Sundance Documentary Film Program in 2007, and a Fellow of Sundance’s Story/Composer Lab in 2008. Recently, he was named as one of The Independent’s “10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2009”.
Currently, Christopher Wong is working on a feature-length documentary about television game show fans, and another short documentary on an Asian American pastor’s quest to reconcile his congregation with gay and lesbian Asian American Christians.
Renee Tajima-Peña is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker (WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN?) whose works have been broadcast around the world and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Sundance Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. Among other works, Tajima-Pena directed the Sundance Film Festival award-winning MY AMERICA... or Honk if You Love Buddha, and CALAVERA HIGHWAY, which aired recently on PBS’s P.O.V. series in 2008.
In addition to her Academy Award nomination, she has twice been honored with Fellowships in Documentary Film from both the Rockefeller Foundation and the New York Foundation on the Arts. Born in Chicago and raised in Altadena, California, Tajima-Peña graduated Cum Laude in East Asian Studies and Sociology from Harvard- Radcliffe College.
Jillian Elizabeth’s work as a teacher of documentary film production in the public schools of Oakland, CA and the South Bronx, inspired her to document the stories within the urban classroom. She is a Producer of “On Coal River” (currently in post-production), a story of a West Virginian community experiencing the harsh realities of modern coal mining. DP and Editor of a narrative feature, directed by actor J. Robert Spencer (Jersey Boys), Jillian has worked as a Director and DP for Roulette TV, as a camerawoman and field producer at Democracy Now!, and as a DP for Academy Award winning filmmaker, Alex Gibney, in collaboration with Human Rights Watch.
Founder of Soma Productions, Jillian Elizabeth is based in New York City. She has directed and produced numerous short documentaries for the web, with environmental human-interest stories, and has worked on two feature documentaries on youth street culture. Traveling with her camera in hand, Jillian has documented culture in India and in Central America. In 1999, Jillian received her BFA in Film and Television, and her BA in Anthropology from New York University. She later pursued her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts Education in San Francisco, writing her thesis on Environmental Public Art.
W. Scott Lyon
W. SCOTT LYON is a writer and freelance producer. Scott got his professional start in 2005 as the Sound Assistant on WHATEVER IT TAKES only two days after moving to New York City. But he immediately adapted to the new environment and by the end of his first week Scott had committed to the role of Associate Producer. Among other responsibilities he worked on-the-ground managing shoot days, researching financial opportunities, and co-developing the characters and story lines as they evolved.
Since completing his work on WIT, Scott has worked with several award winning filmmakers. His most recent documentary work was as a freelance producer on Anne Sundberg’s units of the forthcoming HBO teen poetry project. As of May 2008 he is the assistant and development liaison for the feature writing/directing team Scott McGehee & David Siegel. And he is currently working on his own collection of short stories for film.
Scott may be reached at:
Zebediah Smith has worked in the documentary film world in several key roles as an editor, motion graphics designer, trailer editor, and director of photography. Documentaries he’s been a part of include Press Pass To The World, A Life In Modern Dance, Whispered Prayers, Wheel Of Jeopardy, Schulweis: The First 80 Years, and As Seen Through These Eyes.
Having dedicated the first seven years of his career to commercial and television work, Zeb co-founded Open Jaw Productions, for which he has produced, shot, and edited 2 short films and is working on two feature documentaries including Whatever It Takes.
As a musician and song-writer, iZLER’s work has been heard on a number of television series including “ER”, and several films including “Redline” and “My Best Friend’s Girl”. He has also provided the soundtrack for various films, particularly shorts, documentaries and the independent production “Humboldt County”. iZLER was one of six composers invited to attend the Sundance Film Composer’s Lab in 2008.
iZLER has a wealth of experience as a guitarist and instrumentalist, having toured and recorded with Robbie Williams and worked with many other well-known artists such as Dave Stewart, Imogen Heap, and Kylie Minogue. Along his varied career path, he has also worked with established composers including Marco Beltrami and Klaus Badelt.