Producer, Director, Writer
Risa Leigh Clarke holds a firm belief in everyone’s right to be free and live happily and in peace within their (healthy) communities without fear of reprisals or discrimination. She left her Corporate Career in Marketing and Business Development to develop creative projects that inspire and bring people together through the arts.
Risa Leigh has freedom in her DNA. Her ancestors served during the American Revolutionary War and were early settlers of the Colony of Rhode Island. Dr. John Clarke, her “uncle” was a founder of Newport and Author of the RI Royal Charter of 1663 which afforded Religious and Civil Liberties for the Colony, a first in world history. Founder of 1663Media Arts, LLC, she develops Historical Dramas based on actual events.
Reading the book the movie is based on, “I was instantly transported into the story, and that night had a very vivid dream of the story playing out as a movie! It became a calling.” Risa Leigh contacted Michael Dooling, the writer, and optioned the rights to develop his children’s book, George Washington’s Army and Me into a Family-Friendly Historical Drama.
Risa Leigh shares “It’s one of those stories that cannot be left on the shelf. The backdrop for “Elijah and Jack” follows the American Revolution from Valley Forge through the Battle of Monmouth. The movie is part love story and part American History; action, adventure, drama, some humorous moments and a battle scene! The story is uniting, bringing the audience into the characters struggles and triumphs in what they endure and overcome in the name of family, freedom and home.”
She continues “While the movie is fictional, I was overly driven to ensure historical accuracy throughout the story, and feel confident we achieved my vision! It is important to the story for the historical characters, such as General George Washington, to be accurately portrayed. This is the main reason we will stay an Independent Production and film 100% in Virginia. Bottom line, my hope is for folks around the country to enjoy an entertaining, thought-provoking movie together and leave inspired to learn the truths about the founding of our country and honor those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.”
Story Writer, Historical Consultant, Co-Producer
Well known for his dramatic and historically accurate illustrations, Michael Dooling is the illustrator of over sixty-five books and the author of five including Young Thomas Edison, that School Library Journal said, “Belongs in every library.” The Great Horseless Carriage Race and George Washington’s Army and Me, both written and illustrated by Michael, have been considered for major Hollywood Motion Pictures. Horn Book praised his work as “noteworthy—and handsome—examples of the illustrator as historian.”
Michael has illustrated a commemorative stamp of Benjamin Franklin for The United States Postal Service, articles for Reader’s Digest, and picture books, chapter books, and Middle Grade Novels for numerous publishers including Scholastic, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins, Philomel, Puffin Books, McElderry Books, Henry Holt, Holiday House, Beechtree, Atheneum, Disney, and many others.
In 2013, Michael was selected to a Top Ten List of Great Author Visits by the Pennsylvania School Library Association.
Rob is an Emmy® nominated writer, director and author with Penguin Random House (The Lost Eleven). He has directed films all over the world including; Canada, UK, France and Belgium.
Child has garnered more than 25 writing and directing awards and is one of only a handful of directors whose work has screened in the Congress of the United States. Both of Rob’s first two feature film screenplays “Hamilton” and “Blood Betrayal” reached the finals in two separate screen-writing competitions. “Hamilton” was declared an “Official Finalist” in the 2011 Hollywood Screenplay Contest and “Blood Betrayal” reached the semi-finals in the 27th Write Movies International Writing Contest out of thousands of entries.
In 2011 his film, The Wereth Eleven, was nominated for an Emmy® and won the highest honor at the GI Film Festival in Washington DC, the Founders Choice Award. This highly regarded festival receives more than 2000 film submissions each year.
In 2011, the survivor’s association of the WWII aircraft carrier, USS Franklin, singled Child out for Honorary Crew Membership aboard the most decorated vessel in US Naval history. RobChild.net
John Forte, Jr. is an Award Winning Director, Producer and Writer of over 300 programs. John’s programs have been honored with nearly 170 awards including; The New York Festival WorldMedals, The New York Audio Visual Award, The INTERCOM, The Globals, The Colombus International Film and Video Award, The Golden Eagle Cine, The CINDY and several TELLY Awards.
John started BENEVENTO PICTURES, a media and entertainment company. John has Directed THE NEW DETECTIVES for Discovery Channel, co-produced the feature film, THREE DAYS IN AUGUST, and was co-writer, script consultant and co-producer for the upcoming production of HARRY AND CLAIRE and EXIT LAUGHING. He wrote the recent Special Olympics 4 hour streamathon in Los Angeles and Directed two Super Bowl local spots for 7th Point Advertising. He helped design and direct Gene Gorman Books and Dead Saints Chronicles website and media presence.
He’s worked with Rudy Reuttiger who the movie RUDY is based. In addition, he has created a program that featured Sully Sullenberger, hero pilot of the miracle on the Hudson as well as a project with famous Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
John is a former actor having studied at The Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and the Terry Schreiber Studios. He feels his acting experience enables him to be more comfortable with actors and can therefore effectively communicate with them. Most recently, John had his multi award winning program DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION featured on FOCUSDRIVEN, an organization dedicated to the eradication of distracted driving. He occasionally teaches acting at THE ACTOR’S PLACE.
John has written over 100 scripts for a variety of national and international companies. He’s written the screenplays. FEATHERS, MY LITTLE ITALY, I’M NO ANGEL, THE LAST HIT and THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL and LEONARDO. Some of his TV show offerings are the comedies: SRO (Standing Room Only) BRITISH INVASION, TAKEOUT, BOX LUNCH, GREENE CITY, REEL LIFE, THE REC. and the dramas, BLOODMONEY, MELTING POT, AN ACTOR’S LIFE, R&D, CONFESSION, KNIGHT, SKETCH and the reality travel/cooking show, SET THE COURSE. He also has created the animation TAKEOUT and THE ALIEN CHEF, THE GARAGE GANG the offerings are action packed, informative, unique and funny. His Plus his shorts include: JACOB’S RESCUE, WORDS, THE SECRET RECIPE and SWEET THANKSGIVING produced by SERAPH FILMS in Los Angeles.
His Directing and Writing efforts helped Coastal Training Technologies, now DuPont Sustainable Solutions become an international 50 million dollar a year presence. According to one industry publication several of his programs are considered “classics” in the industry.
Jordan Hunt – Associate Producer has been instrumental as 1st AD and Line Producer during preproduction. He wrote, produced and directed Cries from the Ground, an award winning civil war short film. A classically trained pianist, Jordan composed and orchestrated scores for Dearest Rose by director Andrew Morrison and Worth the Price by Caleb Wright. Residing in Atlanta, he has been attached to various productions for both film and television. Jordan, a multi-talented filmmaker, holds a Bachelor of Science in Cinematic Arts from the Zaki Gordon School at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA where he worked on several productions. http://JordanHuntFilms.com
Tori Layne – Script Supervisor began her career in documentary filmmaking, building the WAVES broadcast program where she directed and produced more than fifty projects in the documentary, electronic reporting, and promotional realms. Following her time with WAVES, Tori moved into narrative filmmaking where she has worked on more than thirty short films, a feature film, and a network television show to date, gaining experience as a Director and Script Supervisor. . https://www.torilayneproductions.com
Paul Van Haute – Director of Photography is a Emmy® award winning Cinematographer who has worked in the film business for more than forty years. His early experiences in Pittsburgh include working with Fred Rogers at WQED, George Romero on Creepshow, and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball as a camera operator. He learned filmmaking from the ground up by working as a gaffer in the northeast corridor for 15 years before moving behind the camera. His time as a gaffer placed him in close contact with many talented cinematographers and directors. During this time he cultivated an in-depth knowledge of lighting, lenses, and visual storytelling and has continued to do so since. Projects include Philadelphia, The Great Experiment, 13 episodes; Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland, Blur and America’s 1st D-Day with Director Robert Child and John Koopman III, our General George Washington. He has worked on feature films, television series & documentaries that have taken him throughout the USA and to countries as far north as Latvia, as far south as Swaziland, and as far east as China. paulvanhaute.com/
John Keltonic – Composer is a Emmy® award winning Composer with over 20 years experience composing original music for television and films. Credits include NBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, BBC, Learning Channel, CNN, Ken Burns (PBS), Turner and many others. His won numerous awards including national Emmys and an Academy Award nomination. A small sample of projects: Ken Burns “The Roosevelts” – original music for PBS trailer, Autism Is A World” – nominated for Academy Award (Best Documentary), Egypt: Revolution Interrupted” – PBS, 90 minutes, “Bonhoeffer” – PBS, 90 minute special, many awards, “India Awakes” – PBS, premiering in 2015, “For The Love Of Their Brother, “Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton” – PBS, “A Force More Powerful” – PBS, 2 hours, narr. Ben Kingsley, numerous awards and many many more! jdkmusic.com
Brian “Speedy” Merrick, Special FX Supervisor specializes in Historic Combat Scenes making sure the look of the effect fits the type of weapons that would have been used in a particular time period. Brian began this work in 2001 and has an impressive 100% Safety Record. He holds a Federal Explosives License, Pennsylvania State Explosives License and Pennsylvania State Storage and Purchase License. Award Winning, his works can be seen in a number of Historical Productions including Mt. Vernon, Yorktown, The Museum of the American Revolution and all 3 seasons of Legends and Lies. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0581191/
William Britt, C.A.S – Sound Designer is a Cinema Audio Society and Emmy® nominated Production Sound Mixer. Production sound is his life passion working in film and broadcast television Production for over 25+ years. Effecting the audience both consciously and subconsciously, William’s creative sound design and precise mixing will allow our film to be more dynamic and multi-dimensional. William’s experience covers the gamut of film, television and new media production genres. His work can be heard in a number of productions including “Homeland” 2018 Pacific 2.1 entertainment; “Turn” 2014 – 2017 Stalwart Films; “Mercy Street” 2016 – 2017 Scott Free Productions; “Killing Kennedy” Scott Free Productions; “Wish You Well” Baldacci Entertainment; “Killing Lincoln” Scott Free Productions and “Ithaca” Playtone/Yes To All Things LLC midnightsound.com
Kevin R. Hershberger – Costume Designer
Emmy-Nominated Filmmaker Kevin R. Hershberger’s various productions have been awarded more than 70 national and international film festival and industry awards. Kevin is founder and President of LionHeart FilmWorks, LLC headquartered in Richmond, Virginia — along with the subsidiaries: Historical Wardrobe; Reenactment Stock Footage.com and Historical Production Services. A ceaseless student, Kevin is also a member of the Company of Military Historians and the Army Historical Foundation.
For the past dozen years, Kevin has worked on scores of museum film projects, multi-part series, docu-dramas, commercials and features for national and international distribution via broadcast and on-demand, with more than 1 million DVDs/Blu-Rays sold at retail in the past three years. Projects include Up From Slavery; Emancipation Road; Vietnam: 50 Years Remembered; Legends & Lies; Mini-series “Patriots Rising: The American Revolution; Civil War feature film “Field of Lost Shoes” starring Tom Skerritt, Jason Isaacs and Lauren Holly, and Civil War theatrical feature “Josephine.”
He is a veteran who attended the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington — with a major in International Studies and History, graduating with the class of 1995. He then served as a Military Intelligence Officer in the United States Army. Kevin’s continued desire is to show humanity and strong characters in exciting, historical-fact based projects. http://www.kevinhershberger.com/
Rene Bishop – Stunt Coordinator, Stunt Man & Stunt Rigging and Safety. Rene is known for his work on dozens of productions to include X-Men: Dark Phoenix , RoboCop, Max Payne, The Mist, and Trailer Park Boys. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1241130
Marc Deveault – SPFX make up artist, Sculptor, mold maker, painter for Devo FX.
Marc is a retired Military Medic with 20 years of experience including tours of duty in Bosnia, Haiti and Afghanistan. Marc began his career doing casualty simulation for the military which ignited his passion and childhood dream of doing Special Effects. He then moved to Nova Scotia, after retiring from the Forces, and started to make his mark in the Maritimes. Some of his work includes “Big Driver” (Stephen King adaptation for TV), “Lizzie Borden Chronicles” (with Christina Ricci, Lifetime), “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Frontier” (With Jason Momoa, Netflix/Discovery). https://www.devofx.com/