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Women in Aviation
"Read Nick Spark's article about Pancho
from Women in Aviation magazine (.pdf)"
12 October 2008

About the Filmmakers

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Nick T. Spark, Producer and Writer.
A filmmaker and writer with a keen interest in history, Nick is a former contributing editor to Wings, a bi-monthly aviation history magazine with national circulation. His articles have appeared in Naval History, the Annals of Improbable Research, the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings and Naval History. He has appeared on NHK, National Public Radio, and other media outlets domestic and abroad concerning his historical research. In 2005 the American Aviation Historical Society presented him with its Author’s Award for his article “Secrets of the Spirit.” He has produced or directed a number of award-winning documentary and industrial films, including a project for the Department of Defense. Nick’s documentary film, Regulus: The First Nuclear Missile Submarines aired on Discovery Channel Europe and in Canada. He holds a master’s degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California, and was a two-time winner of the Student Emmy Award in non-fiction filmmaking and winner of the Cine Golden Eagle.

Amanda Pope, Director.
Amanda Pope has an extensive 20-year background in writing, producing, directing and editing documentary, dramatic, and advocacy programs. She is a tenured Associate Professor in production at the University of Southern California's acclaimed School of Cinema-Television, where she teaches graduate documentary directing and documentary film development. Amanda recently produced, directed and wrote Faces of Change for the Washington, D.C. based Eurasia Foundation, and directed a series of interviews for the Screen Actors' Guild Foundation. Her previous experience includes directing and writing the film Jackson Pollock Portrait for the PBS series ‘Strokes of Genius’; producing, directing, writing and editing “Houseman Directs Lear” for PBS and co-producing the 90-minute drama Orville and Wilbur, about the Wright Brothers. She is concurrently directing two films – Art Rescuers of Nukus on an endangered world class collection of 50,000 artworks secreted away in the desert of Uzbekistan; and The Legend of Pancho Barnes. Amanda received her B.A. from Wellesley College.

Photo: Clay, Amanda, Bob Hoover (no hat!), sound man Stuart Sperling and Nick.

Dr. Dydia DeLyser, Associate Producer
Dr. DeLyser is an associate professor of geography at Louisiana State University, whose research focuses on landscape and social memory. She has published extensively about ghost towns, including Bodie, California, which formed the basis of her dissertation. Her book on Southern California’s “Ramona myth” was published in 2005. Some of her current research involves an examination of issues of gender and mobility among the women who became aviators in the 1920s. She is an expert in historical preservation who has consulted with (among others) UCLA, the Heritage Flight Museum and the museum of the 99’s International Organization of Women’s Pilots. Dydia is also an aviatrix with glider, single–engine and tail-wheel ratings, and the only member of the crew who has flown in a P-51 Mustang. She has a Ph.D. from Syracuse University.
Clay Westervelt, Director of Photography
Clay Westervelt began his professional career shooting behind-the-scenes on the production of Very Bad Things. The winner of multiple cinematography awards, Clay has worked with such directors as Randal Kleiser, Jim Parriot, and Jeremy Kagan. He wrote and directed the short film "thursday afternoon", which has won multiple awards in film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. His new feature documentary, about a B-movie king, should be rolling out to film festivals in 2009.
Monique Zavistovski, Editor
A native New Yorker, Monique is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s M.F.A. program in Cinema-Television and holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to receiving the 2006 Insight Award for Editing and Story for her work on The Shape of Water about women making change amidst desperate circumstances, projects she edited have appeared at the Sundance, Venice International, and Los Angeles Film Festivals, and have won festival awards worldwide. She worked with filmmaker Peter Forgacs on his Getty Center installation, "The Danube Exodus," and artist Judy Chicago for her permanent installation of "The Dinner Party" at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In 2006, a short film called, The Wraith of Cobble Hill, which she produced and edited, won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at Sundance. And the following year Circus Rosaire, a feature doc directed by Robyn Bliley, won the Audience Award at the Sarasota Film Festival. In addition to cutting The Legend of Pancho Barnes” and the Happy Bottom Riding Club, she is busy raising her first daughter, Chloe.

Nathan Wang, Composer (with Knox Summerour)
A Fullbright fellow at Oxford University, Nathan has had the good fortune to work with Steven Spielberg twice, both times to critical acclaim. The first was a composition for a television documentary The Lost Children of Berlin which earned Nathan a Cable Ace award for Best Documentary. Nathan's television experience ranges from his work on Eekstravanza, the popular animated series on Fox for six years and has written for shows such as Warner Brother's China Beach, Fox's Likely Suspects, Dreamwork's Toonsylvania and Disney's Pith Possum. He also composed the acclaimed soundtrack for the aviation film, One Six Right.

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The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club ©2008-2010 Nick Spark Productions, LLC.