Time to give thanks

On the cusp of Independence Day, I think it’s appropriate to take a moment to say thanks to many of the people who helped make Heartwood USA happen.

It goes without saying that Heartwood USA would not be here without Dave Schlafman, our director of animation, our actors – Abby Rose, Jan Munroe, Cyrus Brooks, our site designer Tina Gongsakdi and our logo designer Jany Tran. Man, are they good.

Paul Brown, an old friend, introduced me to my attorney Sandy Missakian, an accomplished film producer in her own right, and an extraordinary lawyer who saved me from making mistakes big and small. And she opened her deep rolodex to introduce me to the Boston film making community. One of those introductions was to Angela Peri of Boston Casting who helped me find the perfect Carson in Abby Rose.

Brian Carey at Dexter Media the guys at Heartpunch Studio were terrific to work with, especially with young talent. Mark Wheaton and Weba Garretson at Catsonic in Los Angeles made me feel right at home.

I’ve now worked with Michael Rothenberg at Peak Productions twice and both times reminded me what great editing talent can do with raw material.

Spencer LaVallee who graduated Tufts in May helped me navigate the social media space with insight and advice you’d expect from someone with a lot more experience.

Bill Braudis blessed us with the title – Cow-a-dunga – and a terrific script polish. Tom Snyder was gracious with his advice and an introduction to Bill!

John DiMaggio and Wes Stevens took this project seriously when it was just an idea.

David Gatenby was the first person outside of my family to hear about Heartwood USA. His boundless encouragement kept this project going many times when I was ready to call it a day.

Deborah Shah, Adam Brady-Myerov and David Warshawsky each provided critical counsel at critical moments.

Lisa Guide and John Passacantando have been encouraging, advice-full and more than willing to make great introductions, including one to their amazing daughter Mollie . They also introduced me to Lori Ehrlich, now a State Rep in Massachusetts, who in turn led me to her daughter Casey.

I mention Mollie and Casey because kids like those are the people who deserve the most thanks. Here’s hoping Heartwood USA manages to inspire some new young heroes.

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