Craig Laurence Rice—Director/Producer
Craig Laurence Rice—Director/Producer
Craig Laurence Rice is an award-winning producer and director, and is nationally recognized for his distinguished career in the television and film industry. His work has been nominated for four Emmy Awards, an NAACP Award, and several other honors.
Rice recently served as Executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board as well as serving as the Executive Producer for Nationally syndicated series Million Dollar Idea. In addition to his work with Million Dollar Idea, he recently produced a 90-minute PBS variety show A The Prairie Home Companion 30th, and he is also co-producing and directing a documentary on the life and works of designer/artist Michael Graves.
In addition, Rice recently served as director and executive producer for the feature length documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks for HBO, which was nominated for three Emmy awards, a NAACP Image Award, and was selected to the Museum of Television and Radio in the year 2000. The documentary won the Tree of Life Award from The Friends of the Motion Picture Academy and has been selected for dozens of festivals.
Other accomplishments include serving as the Director of Paisley Park Enterprises, Inc., producing several full-length films for Prince including Graffiti Bridge. He also managed and worked with a number of international recording artists including Bobby Brown, Taj Mahal, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and Alexander O’Neal. Rice has also directed dozens of music videos with artists including Prince, Patti LaBelle and Sounds of Blackness.
During his career as a documentary producer and director, he has been involved in documentaries such as Funkytown, Ingrid Chavez: Artist, Bobby: Bobby Brown, Art Pepper: Notes From a Jazz Survivor, Prince, the ABC television special We Teach Our Children and Our Sacred Land with Chris Spotted Eagle for PBS.
As a commercial producer and award-winning director, Rice has helmed commercials for clients such as Amoco, Nike, Target, Kraft, the United Way, McDonald’s and the Partnership for Drug Free America.
Rice’s film career began as an assistant director on feature films including Purple Rain and Brother From Another Planet, as a production assistant for ABC Wide World of Sports in New York. Rice holds a Production Degree from the University of Southern California Cinema Department. While a student there, Rice received an Emmy nomination for We Teach Our Children. Rice also attended the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and the University of Minnesota with a Film/Photography and Theatre Major.
Beth Pacunas is a writer, filmmaker, and veteran of nonfiction storytelling. From independent film, documentaries, and television, to advertising, corporate image, and development, Pacunas’ work not only crosses genre, but also traverses the globe spanning 10 countries including Chile, India, Thailand, Mexico, The UK, and Japan.
She is currently the creator and lead writer of “Block by Block”, a new, multi-platform, scripted series for kids ages 9-11 that addresses the issues of family violence, abuse, and the holistic approach to healing our troubled children.
Her long list of television credits include The History Channel, The Travel Channel, Discovery Networks, the Freddie Award winning national PBS series, “Health Diary”, NBC Nightly News, and The Today Show.
Pacunas has also written, produced, and directed over 200 short nonfiction films, PSA’s, and nonfiction spots for corporate clients such as Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Charthouse Learning, Hyperion Publishing and over 20 nationally and internationally known charitable organizations including Literacy Partners, The American Heart Association, and The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Pacunas’ documentary film achievements include “Fluid Movement” which screened at The IFP Market in New York, the SilverDocs film festival sponsored by AFI and Discovery Networks in Washington, D.C., Sundance Channel's Buzz Cuts Short Film Showcase in New York, the Maryland Film Festival, and others as well as PBS’ Independent Eye. She earned a World Gold Medal at The New York Festivals with her documentary short entitled “The Baltimore Italian Film Festival” which also screened internationally as well as in limited theatrical release.
In 2004, Pacunas completed the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women in Los Angeles where she directed the scripted short entitled “Natural Born Salesman”. In 2007/2009, she wrote and directed for the History Channel’s hit series “MonsterQuest” as well as Travel Channel’s hit series “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”.
Troy Parkinson is a filmmaker with a BA in film production from Emerson College in Boston. In his role as writer/producer/director for a film and television production company in Fargo, North Dakota, Troy pioneered DVD production at the studio and also was instrumental in the creation of a 26-episode series called House of Babies for Discovery Health Channel. House of Babies explores the activities of a midwifery run birth center in Miami. This award winning series is broadcast internationally in over 30 different countries. Along with House of Babies, Troy also produced and directed a prime-time special for Discovery Health Channel called Births Beyond Belief and produced six episodes of the History Channel series MonsterQuest.
Troy's ultimate goal as a filmmaker is to create spiritually driven projects. He was one of the first participants of producer Stephen Simon's (What Dreams May Come & Somewhere in Time) spiritual cinema tele-courses and has been point person for hosting special screenings of spiritually themed films including: What the Bleep!?!, Indigo, The Celestine Prophecy, Peaceful Warrior, Conversations with God and The Secret. Most recently Troy directed his own independent short spiritual documentary called What is Heaven?
In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Troy is also a medium. With over 10 years experience studying and connecting with the afterlife, Troy released his first book in June 2009 called "Bridge to the Afterlife: A Medium's Message of Hope and Healing." The book is an autobiographical account of Troy's life as a medium and filmmaker.
Troy's mission in this life is to provide focus to spirit, mind and body. Whether it's connecting with the other side, empowering a group about their spirit's infinite potential or producing a television series about the miracle of all natural birth, Troy brings his energy, light and love to every experience.
Greg Winter -- Director of Photography
I have a Masters degree in film theory, and nearly thirty years experience in the business as a cinematographer. I am a partner, in Blue 60 Pictures, in Minneapolis, MN. In eighteen years as a Director/Cameraman, I’ve made hundreds of TV commercials. That work includes national clients such as Target Corp., Kellogg’s Cereals, and Pentax Cameras. My undergraduate study in Painting and Design provide unique insight into composition, giving my work a visual quality and starting point different from others in the field.
My work extends to narrative and documentary as well.
In 2003, my first feature film, “Detective Fiction”, photographed for director Patrick Coyle, was admitted to the Sundance Film Festival, and subsequently distributed on the Sundance channel, and the Independent Film channel.
In 2004, I photographed “Justice”, starring Roger G. Smith (K Street), Monica Calhoun, and Anna Maria Horsford (Minority Report). “Justice” was nominated for a 2005 NAACP Image Award.
I was the director of photography on “Test Tube” for director Ann Sorenson in 2005.
“Shared Sacrifice: Rock County in War” was a documentary I photographed and directed, in 2007, for Twin Cities Public Television. The film is a study of the sacrifices made by men and women of the county where Luverne, MN, my hometown, is located. “Shared Sacrifice” was commissioned as part of the programming around the broadcast of Ken Burns’ “The War”.
In 2009, I recently completed shooting “The Egg Timer” with writer/director Emily Haddad, the IFP Fresh Filmmaker grant recipient.
In addition, I’ve photographed a book, written about historic Minnesota quilts, that was nominated for a 2006 Minnesota Book award. I am a member of the Minnesota Film and TV board, and have been for over 12 years.
Currently I’m in pre-production on the documentary “Find A Note”, for director Lee Sandberg, is a documentary on the jazz saxophonist, Irv Williams.
Whatever the end medium, I’m a student of great photography. I try to look at a wide range of films and photos, appreciating styles that I might not personally like, searching for new ways to see how the medium can reveal a subject. I usually default toward the aesthetically appealing image but Beauty is too easy a way to describe it, and shouldn't be understood in only the traditional sense. I look for the satisfying aspects of an image that appeal to us as human beings, and serve the story. In my experience, people remember images that speak to them on an emotional, and aesthetic level, and that is what I strive for. Filmmaking is a team effort and I love the collaborative process. As the director of photography and the crew chief, I am an optimistic presence on the set, and a fierce champion and defender of the image.