Dawn Westlake (director/writer/producer)
Dawn is president of Ron de Cana Prods., Inc. in Los Angeles. This is her 17th short under her Ron de Cana banner. Her work has played on all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica) and won 48 awards, including honors from Canon USA, Inc. and JVC-Tokyo. Dawn is also an actress/writer/producer and has been on the jury of the SediciCorto Film Fest in Forli, Italy, the ECU Film Festival in Paris, France, and the Chicago Shorts Film Fest jury in Chicago, Illinois. She speaks English and Spanish fluently and is proficient in Italian and Portuguese. Dawn graduated first in her class with a B.S. degree in Radio-TV-Film from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She has been married for 26 years to Bruce Rheins, a producer and bureau chief for CBS News. In 2013, she directed “Look Who’s Stalking”, a series for the BIO Network at NBCUniversal in Los Angeles. It aired in March & April 2013. In December 2014, Dawn was honored by the Fellini Foundation in Rimini, Italy for her 4-film series “Over a Cheever”. www.dawnwestlake.com
Donald G. Westlake (author/narrator)
Don grew up in the village of Elburn, IL during the Great Depression and World War II. After graduation from Northern Illinois State Teachers’ College (now Northern Illinois University) in 1950 and a short stint as a high school math teacher, he became an analytical chemist at Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago. He was there only briefly before he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.
Following his military service, he got his Ph.D. in metallurgy from Iowa State University. From 1959 to 1984, Dr. Westlake conducted basic research at Argonne National Laboratory and published more than 120 papers on his specialty—metal-hydrogen interactions. He was an invited lecturer at conferences and universities all over the U.S., Western Europe, Israel, and Japan. In 1981, he was named a Senior Scientist at the Laboratory. After his retirement in 1984, Don entered into a second career—specializing in human relations. He and his wife of 62 years, Helen Gum Westlake, collaborated in writing two textbooks for use in high schools and junior colleges: Child Development & Parenting EMC Publishing ©1990 and Relationships and Family Living EMC Publishing ©1992. In 1989, Don published his first book of poetry Elburn: 44 Miles to Chicago. Ten years later, it won the Studs Terkel Humanities Award. In 2003, he starred in and narrated his daughter Dawn Westlake’s film ”A Life of Death”, based on one of the poems from his award-winning book. The film played in over 100 festivals and venues worldwide, was translated into several languages, and won 9 awards. Don’s letters-to-the-editor can be read on a monthly basis in various Chicago newspapers, and he is currently writing his memoirs. “Through the Pane” is based on one of the chapters in that future tome. Don’s wife Helen passed away in September 2012.
Pol Carrizo-Vilarroig (cinematographer/editor/vfx)
Born and raised in Barcelona, Pol has always been fascinated with all things audiovisual. In 2008, he completed studies in 35mm photography, and then immediately entered film school where he majored in digital photography, television and film. While still in school, he began producing personal and professional projects and graduated from an advanced course in sound mixing with superior grades. Pol continues to expand his knowledge in all aspects of filmmaking using Adobe After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, and Cinema 4D and incorporating them into his workflow. While in film school, he had an internship with Barcelona TV, working in the departments of sound, camera, and as an assistant in ENG (electronic news gathering).
As a freelancer, he is working on still photography and video projects for private citizens and large corporations. The majority of his work is in his hometown of Barcelona, but he’s also worked in other parts of Spain, and on location in France, England, and the United States. Pol has also traveled and photographed extensively in South America, Asia, and Africa. Even on personal journeys, he’s never without his camera.
Pol is a founding partner in Imatge Barcelona, a production company dedicated to cinematic and still photography. http://imatgebarcelona.com/inici/
GC Johnson (music)
In 2009, composer and instrumentalist GC Johnson began the musical youtube project Acoustic Labs as a personal challenge to write and perform new material every month and to focus on the guitar, exploring different sound through effects and techniques.
Six years later, the Acoustic Labs channel has grown significantly, with over 40,000 subscribers and 100 videos produced, which have been viewed a total of 7 Million times. The channel has become a platform, not only for guitar compositions and covers, but also for GC Johnson's exploration of atmospheres and film music. Incorporating instruments such as the erhu, ronroco and guitarviol, Johnson has created his own signature flavor of instrumental music.
GC Johnson's atmospheres can be heard in major television and film productions such as HBO's "Newsroom", Tom Tykwer's "Hologram for the King", and Steven Ruzowitzky's "Patient Zero". He has scored many shorts with award winning filmmaker Dawn Westlake, and he recently completed scoring the full- length documentary "Back in Time" - a retrospective of Back to the Future - featuring interviews with Steven Spielberg, Bob Zemeckis, and Michael J Fox. To hear more of GC’s music: