David Dugan is a filmmaker with a passion for science. He is Chairman and Co-founder of Windfall Films, a London-based independent production company with an international reputation for innovation in science documentaries. Dugan devised and produced the BAFTA-winning series Inside Nature’s Giants that dissects large animals to reveal their evolutionary secrets. He has made films with some of the world’s leading scientists, including Jim Watson for the Emmy award-winning PBS series, DNA, that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the double helix discovery; E.O Wilson on Lord of the Ants, a NOVA film about the legendary evolutionary biologist; and Stephen Hawking on Reality on The Rocks, an unusual adventure with comic genius Ken Campbell, who tries to get to grips with A Brief History of Time.
Recent multi-platform productions include The Operation: Surgery Live a week of live surgery on Channel Four, where viewers could Tweet questions to the surgeon; and Foxes Live: Wild in the City, a major live event encouraging citizen science by building a nationwide interactive map of urban fox sightings in the UK.
WILLIAM R. GRANT
William R. Grant was director of Science, Nature and History program for over a decade at WNET in New York, the flagship of the US public television system. He joined WNET in 1995 and became director of its largest production department in 1997. Previously he was at WGBH in Boston for 12 years, where he was managing editor of Frontline, and then executive editor of NOVA. At WNET his department brought as many as 60 hours of programs each year to public television in the areas of natural history, science, history, business, travel and other topics. Grant was executive producer of the PBS anthology series, Secrets of the Dead, Innovation, and Going Places, and mini-series including America on Wheels, Savage Skies, Savage Earth, Savage Seas, Knife to the Heart, Stephen Hawkings Universe, On the Trail of Mark Twain, The American President, In Search of Ancient Ireland, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, Slavery and the Making of America, African American Lives, Looking for Lincoln, The Ascent of Money and Black in Latin America. As executive in charge of production, Grant was responsible for Nature, one of public television’s most-watched continuing series, as well as Savage Planet, Secrets of the Pharaohs, Warship, Warplane, Ground War, Africa, 1900 House, Frontier House, Manor House, Colonial House, Texas Ranch House, The Secret Life of the Brain, the Mysterious Human Hear and The Supreme Court. Television programs produced under Grant’s supervision have won fifteen National News and Documentary Emmy awards and nine George Foster Peabody awards. Grant has served on the board of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival since its founding in 1991. He was board chairman from 2002 to 2010 and is currently Chairman Emeritus.
Richard is Executive Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and Adjunct Professor in the Film and Media Studies Department at UC, Santa Barbara. Previously, he was Vice President of Media Development for Vulcan, Inc. Hutton oversaw Vulcan Productions’ feature film and documentary units and directed all of Vulcan’s media development projects, including initiatives in the education, museum and entertainment sectors. Under his direction, Vulcan Productions produced the six-hour documentary series This Emotional Life; the Peabody award-winning Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial; and the Emmy award-winning six-part series Rx for Survival– all with the WGBH Science Unit. Vulcan Productions also co-produced Strange Days on Planet Earth, a four-part series with National Geographic; the Peabody and Grammy award-winning No Direction Home: Bob Dylan; and the Emmy and Grammy award-winning Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues. Hutton was also executive producer of the Emmy-nominated PBS series, Evolution; the Peabody award-winning Black Sky: The Race for Space; and the blues concert film Lightning in a Bottle. Feature films produced or co-produced under Hutton's direction include Humanitas prize-winner Where God Left His Shoes, Hard Candy, Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas and Independent Spirit award-winner for Best Picture, Far From Heaven. Prior to Vulcan, Hutton was senior vice president of creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering and served as vice president and general manager of the Disney Institute. Prior to Disney, Hutton was senior vice president, television programming and production, for WETA Television in Washington, D.C., and, earlier, Director of Public Affairs Programming for WNET Television in New York. Hutton has authored or co-authored nine books and medical texts, as well as articles for national publications.
Valentine Kass has had an eclectic career in film and television, including being one of the first women producer/directors at KQED in San Francisco, the first Director of the Navy Pier IMAX Theater, and the Founding Director of the American Children’s Television Festival. During her tenure as Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry Director of Omnimax Production and Programs, she executive produced the IMAX film, Antarctica, among other award-winning projects. For the past ten years at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Kass has served as Program Director in the Informal Science Education (ISE) program, where she manages the ISE media portfolio to promote the public’s engagement with science. She also co-chaired the NSF working group for International Polar Year (IPY). Numerous ISE supported programs have won prestigious awards and recognition such as the Peabody, Webby, Emmy, AAAS Science Journalism Award, the International Science Film Festival Grand Prize, Parents’ Choice Gold Medals as well as awards at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and acceptance into Sundance. Kass has been an invited juror at the international Wildscreen Festival in Bristol, England, spoken at the Science Film Festival in Osaka, Japan, as well as been a panelist at numerous conferences including RealScreen, KidScreen, the Jackson Whole Wildlife Film Festival, the Large Format Cinema Association, the Giant Screen Theater (now Cinema) Association, the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers and SilverDocs.
For over a decade, Alison Leigh has been Editorial Director of the World Congress of Science and Factual (TV) Producers, an annual event where television producers and executives join together to share experiences and ideas about the latest trends in science, history and other specialist factual programming, and to create and nurture binding business relationships and co-production partnerships. In addition to her long history as a television producer and executive producer, Leigh is a writer and script editor, and co-author of the book Eight Steps to Happiness: The Science of Getting Happy and How it Can Work for You (based on the 2010 ABC TV series Making Australia Happy). She has recently co-authored a second book to accompany the 2012 series, Making Couples Happy. Leigh’s writing credits also include Kids, Detectives and Backyard Science for Beyond Productions, as well as Alien Underworld, an award-winning science documentary, and Genius of Junk, which won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Prize for science writing. Previously, Leigh produced and commissioned science television programs in Australia, including six years as series producer and executive producer for ABC TV Science Unit, (Quantum, Hot Chips.). While in this role she helped develop National Science Week, themed programming across ABC networks as part of a national event to promote awareness of science. Leigh is a founding member and past president of the Australian Science Communicators.
PLANT: Jo Ann Banks, Purdue University