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Lawrence Johnson – Producer/Director
Lawrence Johnson has been making films and videos professionally since 1983. His work in history and culture has been distinguished through many awards, including two from the American Association of State and Local History (Remembering Uniontown, 1985 and Steam Whistle Logging, 1987). His programs for the exhibition Sacred Encounters: Father DeSmet and the Indians of the Rocky Mountain West received the Golden Muse Award, the American Association of Museum’s recognition for the best Audio/Visual program in 1995. He has written and produced several programs about Native Americans and produced audio/visual programming for major museums across the country. He has recently completed programming for the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas, and the Oregon Historical Society’s exhibit Oregon Voices.
His documentary Hand Game (2000) opened the American Indian Film Festival, and played the Smithsonian’s Native American Film and Video Festival and the Montreal Native film Festival in June, 2001. His film three possible scenes won best dramatic short at the 2004 River Run International Film Festival in Salem, North Carolina, and Honorable Mention in the experimental category of the Kansas City Jubilee. Video installations by Johnson have appeared in several galleries in the Portland area. Notably, Abandoned in Place as part of the Art Contemplates History series produced by The Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation. His personal feature-length documentary, Stuff, about his father’s death received the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship in 2008, previewed at the Northwest Film and Video Festival and won a special jury prize at the 2011 Florida Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Talking Pictures Festival. In 2012, Johnson received the annual Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Media Arts from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, honoring artists in the Portland metropolitan area who are the strongest representatives of the range and diversity of art in the Northwest.
Gerald Lewis – Director of Photography
Gerald Lewis has been a filmmaker since the early 1970s. Formally trained at Swansea College of Art. Wales UK, and graduating in Film Production. From College he started work at BBC Wales, working with both 16mm and 35mm film. Initially starting as an Assistant Film Cameraman Gerald soon worked his way up through Camera Operator to Lighting Cameraman, (the UK term for Director of Photography).
During years at the BBC Gerald worked on productions that ranged from current affairs and documentaries to made-for-TV Movies in Britain and around the world.
From there Gerald turned freelance and has worked for HTV Wales, Swedish Television, Saudi Arabian Television and all of the American Networks as well as the major American and European Cable Channels such as Discovery, A&E, Starz and more.
Most of his work has been in the documentary arena, but Gerald also has a great deal of experience in all forms of film and video production. Several of his clients number among the Fortune 500. Many of the productions he has worked on have won awards from The Cannes Film Festival, The Stockholm Television Awards and multiple festivals both in the US and Europe.
Gerald’s work with Lawrence Johnson Productions has spanned over 20 years. Several documentaries produced by them have won awards and International recognition. Gerald is active in the local OMPA (Oregon Media Producers Association) and has taught classes on lighting and cinematography.
John R. Smith – Composer
Arranger and composer John R. Smith was born in Cleveland and raised in Los Angeles, California. He was inspired to become an arranger by the work of Toshiko Akiyoshi, and the Latin music composers Larry Harlow and Papo Luca. Smith and wife Valerie Day led their band NU SHOOZ to pop stardom in the 1980’s. The group was nominated for a Best New Artist GRAMMY in 1986. Their iconic hit “I Can’t Wait” still plays somewhere on earth every eleven minutes.
Since the early 90’s, Smith has written music for thousands of commercials, and scored many indie films including several for animator Joanna Priestly. He is also a frequent musical contributor to the dance company BodyVox. He has worked with Lawrence on a number of projects, including films for the Oregon Historical Society’s exhibition “Oregon Voices” and his feature documentary Stuff.