I was fortunate enough to meet Dawnrunner Owner/CEO, James Fox, in an Intro to Producing class at the Academy of Art University in my first semester. I was immediately impressed with his vision, ambition, work ethic, organizational skills and his ability to inspire/lead his fellow classmates. Shortly after our meeting, James asked me to act in a short film that he had written and was directing called “Last Call”. It was the beginning of the end for me. From the moment I heard the clap of the the marker, the call to action and the finality of “Cut!” I was hooked… James’s passion for storytelling and his ability to create the world for his actors with words, is truly extraordinary. It is what keeps me coming back again and again to work with him.
My emphasis in Film School was Acting and because of my love for movie magic, I was also excited to learn about all the other creative aspects of filmmaking. I began to feel a magnetic pull, drawing me into the world of cinematography and lighting design so I began to enroll myself in more and more technically challenging camera and lighting classes. This is where I think serendipity played a part in the formation of Dawnrunner and our crew. My final semester before graduation I took the last and most advanced Cinematography class offered at the school and sat a few desks away from Geoff Peck, Dawnrunner’s VP of Technology. Geoff was always quiet and reserved. He seemed speculative, never completely convinced that our instructor was the authority on the subject at hand… I loved it! He is like a computer with an impeccable search engine. I was always impressed with the work he presented in class and the brilliance of his questions. Anyone who observed him could estimate that in 10 yrs. he would be the VP of a wildly successful company.
Andrew Bower (Dawnrunner’s insanely talented Art Director) and I bumped into each other I’d say almost every day throughout our time in school, both on and off campus. If I didn’t know better I would have thought he was stalking me! He was not in any of my classes, but some how our paths continued to cross and when he became James’s roommate, I finally had to throw my hands in there air and chalk it up to destiny. Andrew is one of Dawnrunner’s biggest assets and I think his work speaks for itself (see previous blog).
Shortly after graduation James Fox spearheaded a meeting and invited several inspired young filmmakers to attend. He asked Geoff, Andrew and I to be there (not difficult for them, being roommates and all) and I was thrilled to be included. His goal was to start a production company. After having made it through a rigorous BFA program in Motion Pictures and Television, we were all ready to ignite a spark that would hopefully, in time, become a raging fire; and within the first few meetings… we had a name: DAWNRUNNER PRODUCTIONS. As time has come and gone so our crew has both dwindled and grown. We have been lucky enough to acquire Fiona Woo, Dawnrunner’s Bad-Ass Producer, who keeps us all in line, and within budget; Elias Woo, Dawnrunner’s Director of Photography, who takes James’s vision and Andrews concept art and makes it come to life with the challenging, technical art of film and video; and last but certainly not least, Dan Bower, an exceptional Writer/Director who’s imagination and literary talent creates compelling and spellbinding scripts.
Over the years, those with the most conviction, passion and ambition have stayed at Dawnrunner, and our expertise has grown far beyond the classroom. We are continually setting new goals for ourselves and for the company. I think I can speak for everyone at Dawnrunner Productions when I say that all of our efforts have brought us to a very exciting precipice. With one feature length film under our belt, “The Darkest Matter”, and a second in production, “Terra”, we are rapidly evolving into a Feature Film Studio. That’s right! Hold onto your hats folks, because our next outstanding goal is to become the first Major Feature Film Studio in the San Francisco/Bay Area. And believe me when I say, we are going to give the Hollywood Empire a run for it’s money! And by we I mean Dawnrunner and our team of campers/young filmmakers, who have the energy, the talent and the tenacity to make their dreams come true!