Production Team

Jim Schaub – Director,  Producer

Jim has been producing films since the early 1990’s. One of his first films, “An Interview with Lou Raynor”, resides in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Jim works in a variety of genres from non-profit and corporate to documentary and narrative features and shorts. His 2009 documentary “Up From the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream” won five festival awards in 22 festivals and aired on PBS nationally from 2011 to 2014.  The documentary also aired on television in the UK and South Africa and is in every major university library in the United States.

In recent years, Jim has produced and edited six projects for Nutrilite, a division of Amway Inc., countless projects for the Richard M. DeVos Foundation and co-produced the narrative short “Moths”, a graduate thesis project from Columbia University MFA student Andy Fortenbacher, which was a semi-finalist for an Academy Award in the Short category. He has also collaborated with his mentor and friend Deanna Morse on several projects, one of them for Art Prize.

Jim also teaches courses in special effects and editing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, specializing in Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Premiere and is a systems technician for the university as well. He was also a presenter at the 2013 Postapalooza Editing Conference where he taught several sessions on Adobe After Effects. Jim spends his free time volunteering in the community, golfing and playing with his two adorable granddaughters.

Ron Pesch – Co-producer, Researcher

A business analyst, project manager, and data analytics specialist, Ron has been a storyteller for 30 years. His interest in local history began as a teen. As a student at Muskegon Community College, he prepared, and later published, a history of Big Red football at his alma mater, Muskegon High School. It was followed by a history of the Bluffton Actors’ Colony that highlighted silent comedian Buster Keaton’s time in Muskegon.

A graduate of Western Michigan University, Ron has served as historian for the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) in East Lansing since 1993. Today, he serves on the board of directors of both the New York-based International Buster Keaton Society and the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame, and has written for Michigan History magazine, the MHSAA, the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, MLive, the Muskegon Chronicle, and various other statewide newspapers, publications, websites and non-profits. In addition, Ron has been interviewed on high school athletics for Fox Sports, Snowboarding and Snurfing on the Travel Channel and public radio, on Keaton for film documentaries, and has hosted PowerPoint presentations on these subjects and others at various colleges, libraries and museums across Michigan and beyond.

Rod Schaub – Producer, Music

Rod has worked in the music and film industries for over 30 years.  Early in his music career, he was recognized for his award winning guitar work on the song Happy Days, from which he earned a gold record. Rod’s most recent success comes as a  producer/music composer/researcher for the award winning documentary “Up From the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream”, film composer for “A Team of their Own”, “Waterwalk” and producer of the instructional DVD “Guitar Secrets of Regi Wooten” and Derico Watson’s drum instructional DVD.

He has composed and performed music for numerous films including “The Gospel According to Roy”, “To Live and Die in Dixie”, “Nightmare in New Guinea: The Men of the Red Arrow” and music for the short director film, “The Lexicon” (an unauthorized Harry Potter dictionary) to name a few.  Rod has worked with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Darius Brubeck, and Reba Mcintyre. He has composed and performed music for the last three albums from Sony Music’s Jamii Szmadzinski  and collaborated with him on music for the Chinese and Malaysian TV show “Romance in the White House.” Rod attended both Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Matt Phelan – Visual Consultant

Matt Phelan is the creator of the graphic novels The Storm in the Barn (winner of a Scott O’Dell Award), Around the World, and Bluffton. His latest graphic novel is the New York Times Bestseller Snow White. Matt has been nominated for five Will Eisner Awards, including Best Writer/Artist and Best Graphic Album (for Bluffton). He is also the illustrator of many books for young readers, including Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen, Druthers, and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, winner of a Newbery Medal.

In 2014, Matt was awarded the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children’s Literature Citation.

Matt lives in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Craig Harmer – Director of Photography

Los Angeles-based Director of Photography Craig Harmer started his career with a background in large format photography.  His work ranges from award-winning feature and short narrative films to creative broadcast television and web advertising for national sport and brand campaigns alike.  Recently, Craig has expanded his portfolio in both TV and narrative fiction projects, also focusing on further ad development in the fashion, music, and professional athletics. His upcoming feature film, The Eastsider, was produced in Detroit and is currently in post-production.

Chip Vander Wier – Art Director

Chip Vander Wier creates curious sculptural objects that incorporate ceramics, welded steel and carved wood. His sculptures and bas-relief wall pieces are inspired by non-linear ideas of spirituality, time and place.  Combining traditional construction methods with 19th century Eastern European firing techniques, he produces intriguing visual components combined with forms that incorporate modern chemical plating processes and finishes.

Much of Vander Wier’s work utilizes and repurposes discarded objects and materials in accordance with his environmental philosophies. Vander Wier received his BFA with emphases in Sculpture and Ceramics from Grand Valley State University and earned his M.Ed at Aquinas College. He currently teaches Ceramics at Muskegon Community College as well as Ceramics and Sculpture at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp during the summer.  He lives and works as an artist in Muskegon, Michigan, finding much inspiration from the surrounding natural environment.

Advisors

Annoesjka Soler, Executive Director – Lakeshore Museum Center

Kirk Hallman, Development Officer – Muskegon Museum of Art

Frank Boring, Lead Documentary Producer – Colorado State University

Larry Halverson, Community Relations Coordinator – Loutit District Library