The Creatives

July 12, 2010

Project Oliver is inspired by and dedicated to Oliver and all the chimpanzees at the Primarily Primates Animal Sanctuary. The project’s director, Andy Cockrum, is no stranger to producing videos about the sanctuary. In the past few years he has volunteered his time and services and created well over fifty videos for the sanctuaries website. You can watch the videos here.

While working primarily alone during production and post production, the series could not be made without additional help from web designers, photographers, musicians, composers, artists, narrators, graphic designers and so on. Below is a list of creative contributors to Project Oliver.

Project Oliver Director – Andy Cockrum
With nearly 20 years of experience in the film and television industry, Andy has worked as a cameraman, editor and special effects compositor on a vast array of projects for local, national, and international clients. In addition to his own film projects, he has worked in editorial and visual effects for several Robert Rodriguez films, including “Spy Kids 2,” “Spy Kids 3D” and “Sin City.” Since 2007, he has completed three documentary films, including “Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey,” “The Monkey Project” and most recently, “Swim,” a film he co-directed with the production team of Hazard Pay Productions.

“Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey” premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and screened at festivals and special engagements around the world, including the Austin Film Festival and the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan. Both “Team Everest” and “Swim” are currently showing on the Documentary Channel here in the U.S. Currently Andy Cockrum is working on a documentary film about Oliver’s life, “Oliver: The true story”, and “Sherpa Stew” a film about mountaineers from Nepal living in New York City. For more information about Andy’s projects, please click here.

Segment Composer – Brenda Elthon
Brenda Elthon is a pianist and composer. A life-long student of classical piano, Brenda grew up in a home filled with the sounds of Benny Goodman and the Dorsey brothers. Brenda’s music — lyrical as well as instrumental — captures the elegance of the classic masters, but with swing. While Brenda’s primary focus is the composition of film music, Brenda’s lyrical CD, “Songs For Our Soldiers,” received extensive international radio play and has been featured in films. Sought after by both documentary and narrative film makers, Brenda’s unique, acoustic piano style — termed “classical free-style piano” by critics — brings an air of organic authenticity to the art of film composing in a time dominated by the computerization of sound.

Brenda Elthon’s music from “Songs For Our Soldiers” and the recent film thriller, “Dark Cotton” is available on iTunes, CDBaby and Look for Brenda’s music from “Home For Oliver” there in the coming weeks. For more information about Brenda Elthon, please click here.

Segment Composer – George Oldziey
George Oldziey has been a professional musician since the age of 14. After his first three years in Brooklyn, NY, George grew up and spent his high school years in Westwood, NJ. He began studying accordion at the age of 7 but switched to trumpet two years later. George moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he played first trumpet with the MSM orchestra, wind ensemble, brass ensemble and contemporary music group. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Trumpet Performance. After moving to Austin in 1982, George continued composition studies at the University of Texas, studying with Karl Korte and Donald Grantham, and Southwest Texas State University where he studied composition with Russell Riepe and piano with Timothy Woolsey.

George has composed and arranged music for television, video games and feature films, including “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “Sin City,” and “Grind House.” George collaborated with Andy Cockrum on three documentary films including, “Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey”, “Swim” and “The Monkey Project”. To learn more about George Oldziey, please click here

Segment Composer – Leon Muhudinov
Leon Muhudinov is an eclectic Composer/Guitarist/Teacher from the NJ/NYC area. Classically trained but always looking for an adventure, his interests include a variety of classical guitar repertoire, various world music, as well as cinematic scores. Leon is also founder of progressive instrumental rock group, The Adventures of Leonid featuring veteran drummer Mad Mike Cullens (Chuck Berry, Mick Taylor).

Leon is an active recording artist and his music has been featured on numerous radio stations and film. He has also been an active performer in group and solo settings throughout major venues in the tristate area, and has had international coverage including 20th Century Guitar magazine Guitar Spotlight. For more information about Leon Muhudinov, please click here

Open Title Composer and Segment Composer – Eric Friend
Eric Friend started working on films as a child in Michigan. He learned filmmaking from his father, and created animated short films throughout high school. Eric moved to Austin Texas in 1993 to attend the University of Texas Radio/ Television/ Film program and immediately began working for Richard Linklater’s Detour Filmproductions. While at Detour, Eric met Tom Hammond of Soundcrafter, and worked with Tom editing Foley for feature films. He also met Mike Judge and began recording Mike’s voice for Beavis and Butt-Head. He continues to mix and compose music for commercials, animated shorts and web videos.

Eric began studying jazz piano in Michigan with legendary soul/jazz/funk pianist Eddie Russ and the great Dr. Morris Lawrence at Washtenaw Community College. In 2000, Eric started played keyboards with the band Spoon. He played on several US tours and recordings with the group for 3 years. Recently Eric has played piano live and in the studio for the Reivers, Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves, Chris Vestre, Courtney Saunders, Sean Eden. His compositions have been featured in nationally broadcast documentaries, television commercials, and radio ads. To visit Eric’s website, please click here.

“Who is Oliver?” Motion Designer – Steven Mullins
Steven has over 11 years experience in motion design, animation and interactive design. Under the moniker “EchoOut Motion Design”, Steven’s work has included motion graphics on the “Young Indiana Jones” DVDs, broadcast design on FuelTV’s “Props” BMX video magazine, Flash motion design on Nike’s “Skateboard” micro-site, HUD/GUI design on the Xbox360 and Playstation versions of Bioware’s “Dragon Age: Origins” and title design for “Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey”.

Steven is also an Associate Professor at Austin Community College where he is writing curriculum for their new Motion Graphics degree program. He co-founded animation studio HorseBack Salad Entertainment in 2001 and was a Multimedia Designer at Human Code and Sapient before that. His work has been featured in Wired magazine, Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual, The Food Network, and SXSW. Steven attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received his BFA and studied music. To visit the EchoOut Motion Design website, please click here.

Illustrator – Heyd Fontenot
In his long and vigorous career, Fontenot’s creative vision has found expression in many different artistic roles including designer, art director, producer, filmmaker and painter. Among his many clients are theater companies, retail businesses and media production companies. In the 1990s, Fontenot produced a significant body of work as an experimental filmmaker. This period was crucial to his growth as an artist and continues to inform his work as a painter. Fontenot comments, “Filmmaking helped me craft a vocabulary that I continue to draw upon in painting, allowing a particular sensibility for assembling images and creating mise-en-scene.”

Whatever medium he chooses, Fontenot usually revisits the themes of sexuality and morality producing joyful and playful works that nonetheless subtly undermine dominant cultural perceptions. In his own words, “If there is a radical nature to sexuality, it lies not in its ability to titillate, but rather in its inherent powers of spiritual transformation.” Heyd Fontenot was born in 1964 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. To see some of Heyd’s work, please click here. (Photo by Harrison Witt)

Illustrator – Jimmy Tovar
Specializing in animation and illustration, Jimmy has worked as a storyboard artist, animator, character designer, art director, and illustrator. After starting his career as a traditional animation artist, he adapted his skills and knowledge to the world of multimedia. His versatility has allowed him to work with a variety of clients, including Nike, Warner Brothers Feature Animation, Mattel, Fox 4Kids TV, Sony BMG Music, Scholastic, Knowledge Adventure, and Disney Interactive.

The start of 2006 saw Jimmy traveling throughout Europe and the United States. Setting on a journey to experience places near and far, he furthered his artistic skills and discovered travel sketching. Jimmy now lives in Austin, Texas and continues to work in animation. To visit Jimmy’s website, please click here.

Photographer – Traci Goudie
Traci Goudie began her career in special effects and design and works in every aspect of music imaging and production. From writing to styling to art direction, from still photography, shooting and graphics, Goudie brings a virtual cornucopia of talents to the table.

In 2008, Goudie won CCMA for “Album Package Design of the Year.” And she’s been nominated for two Grammy awards for album packaging for Patty Griffin. She was one of the featured, “up and coming” music directors on the VH1 show “Shoot to Kill”, produced by Drew Barrymore in 2008. For more about Traci, please click here.

Website Design – Zoticus
Zoticus is an award-winning, diverse and creative design studio that provides solutions for corporate branding, print products, and advertisement across all forms of media. With over 18 years of combined industry experience, our innovative team strives to create and nurture meaningful relationships that drive the success of our clients.

Our team was really happy when Andy asked us to help with the design of the website for Project Oliver. We’ve learned so much about Oliver, his amazing story, and the efforts that everybody at Primarily Primates is doing to give Oliver a new home.

Please join us in this amazing journey to give Oliver a new and better home! … Go Oliver!

To visit our website, please click here.

Photographer – Russ Kinne
Russ Kinne started photographing when he was 8 years old, printing & enlarging photographs on the kitchen table (with much help from his father & older brother). He was a very active ‘shutterbug’ in high school, then graduated from the US Naval School of Photography, where he became an aerial photographer.

Photography has been a main activity all his life, and his primary occupation for over 50 years. He married his agent, Jane, and they worked as a highly productive team, he producing the photos and she marketing them. She was President of a ‘stock agency’, Photo researchers Inc in New York, Russ was the #1 money earner there for a time, out of about 100 photographers. He has been an outdoorsman all his life, and they were both Founding Board Members of NANPA, the North American Nature Photography Association, which now has over 3,000 members. They have been active locally, serving both on the board of the New Canaan Nature Center and the New Canaan Audubon Society, where they each have served as President.

Russ’ photographs are largely of wildlife and wild places. In the 1970’s he took some of the most famous photos of Oliver walking upright. He would go where others photographers didn’t care to, and has worked in 65 countries and at the South pole on two occasions. He also does underwater and aerial photography, holds a Commercial Pilot’s license and flew his own small aircraft for many years.

Artist – Chris Roberts-Antieau
Began her career in art with nothing but some scraps of fabric and a kitchen table. Completely self-taught, as a young artist in the Michigan woodlands, she invented a radical new process for creating fabric art—pushing the age-old tradition of appliqué to its outerlimits with bold designs and never-before-seen stitchwork. She used this new medium to share her vision of the world, blending child-like joy with laugh-out-loud humor and an artist’s wisdom. Today, that vision and style have carried her and her art into the homes of famous collectors around the world, and into the halls of some of the nation’s most prestigious galleries, including the American Visionary Art Museum. As she continues to experiment and delight, no one is ever sure what she’ll do next—just that it will be uniquely wonderful artwork—absolutely her own, and among the nation’s best. For more about Chris, please click here.
To purchase a film about Chris by filmmaker, Angela Kline, please click here.

Filmmaker – Angela KlineHer career as a filmmaker grew out of a background in fine art painting and illustration. An award-winning painter, she was studying for her masters degree in art at Claremont Graduate University when she was given the opportunity to create published archeological illustrations for several digs in Ireland. On a whim, she packed a few Super 8 Sound cameras and started documenting local teenagers. During these many months working abroad she realized that the large scale installation work she had previously created all focused on the motion picture genre, and began another graduate degree, this time in film at Loyola-Marymount University.

LMU’s program focused on narrative storytelling, but Kline found ways to build her skills as a documentary filmmaker. She wrote, produced, and directed narrative films “Alma” and “California Christmas”. During both, she interviewed actors in various contexts, then built a narrative structure from the dialogue.

Her documentary about nationally-recognized folk artist Chris Roberts- Antieau was released December 1, 2010, and featured at Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum ( Kline is also at work on a new project due out summer of 2012. For more about Angela Kline and her film please click here.