Bob Jason, Vice President
Bob oversees all FilmRise operations, including delivery and processing of film and TV titles, physical operations, technology, digital platforms, distribution and department personnel. Bob joined FilmRise in June of 2012 and has become an integral and vital part of its success.
In 2004, while Co-Chairman of Co.Op, Bob exec-produced “This Revolution,” “Battle Ground” and spearheaded Co.Op’s development into a multi-million dollar commercial, TV and motion picture production house which was responsible for 3 consecutive Sundance Festival selections. Robert Redford called “This Revolution” “…the future of filmmaking.” Bob produced “Todd Oldham’s Hand Made Modern” and Amy Redford’s “The Guitar.”
During his tenure as Executive Director for Development and Production at City Lights Pictures from 2000 – 2003, Bob produced “A History of Sex” about controversial artist Andres Serrano. He was Co-Executive Producer on John Waters’ latest film, “A Dirty Shame.”
Bob was Co-Chairman of NY production company The Business, where he co-exec-produced “Amerikana,” the first American Dogme-certified film. The Business’ award-winning production “ABCD” premiered at the London Film Festival. He produced J.G. Ballard’s (“Crash,” “Empire of The Sun”) “The Atrocity Exhibition,” which premiered at the prestigious Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.
From 1989 – 1997, as CEO of the award-winning Riviera Films he developed the commercial and music video careers of director Gus Van Sant, legendary photographer/director Larry Clark and director Roman Coppola. Bob produced “Industrial Symphony #1” for director David Lynch, “Somewhere Down the Crazy River” for Martin Scorsese and projects for directors David Fincher, Michael Bay, John Seale, Julien Temple, John Dahl and Debbie Allen, among others. He produced the pilot for The Disney Channel’s award-winning documentary/concert series “Going Home: Judy Collins,” and later produced “Garrison Keillor’s Third Annual Farewell Tour.” He also produced the Fox pilot “Urban Anxiety” starring Mandy Patinkin, Mercedes Ruehl and Bob Balaban.
Feature film credits include “Fallout,” “Till There Was You,” (directed by John Seale), “The Linguini Incident” (starring David Bowie), “Baby On Board,” “Calhoun,” “Street Justice” and “Angel III”. His television credits include “The Great Plague” for HBO, the PBS series “Legacy” and “Designs For Living,” a daily television series for USA Network. He scripted the family film, “Ms. Bear.”
Ellis Watamanuk, Vice President, DistributionEllis Watamanuk joined FilmRise in 2014 after years of working in the film industry in Los Angeles and New York.
He was previously a publicist at the respected PR firm Fredell, Pogodin & Associates in L.A., assisting in the release and awards campaigns for numerous high-profile Academy Award-nominated films.
Prior to that, he worked as the distribution and public relations liaison at Embrem Entertainment and as an independent distribution coordinator for various filmmakers in New York City.
Originally from Southern California, Ellis received a BFA in Film and TV Production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Thibault Hermenault, Vice President, Technical Operations
Thibault is in charge of all digital processing for FilmRise. He oversees a staff that is responsible for processing hundreds of titles a week. He maintains and operates all in-house video equipment and maintains and upgrades the IT infrastructure. Thibault also oversees transcoding of digital assets, DVD authoring and the captioning video assets.
After graduating from Lyçée Jean Rostand with a Technical Degree in Audiovisual Technologies, he was a Freelance DIT & Video Console Operator in his native France.
Upon moving to New York City he became a DRS technician at Deluxe New York.
Thibault worked on the technical aspects (restoration and cleaning) of numerous films and television shows including “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “True Detective.”
During his tenure at Deluxe he became a Dailies and Deliverables Technician, where he was responsible for setting up, maintaining and operating all video and audio equipment for the company. He was responsible for creation, duplication and quality control of all digital assets.
At USA Studios he became editor in charge of all professional video and audio equipment, from U-Matic to HDSR Decks. There he was responsible for authoring, editing, captioning and cross conversion of video.
Aaron Hamel, Director, Creative Services
Aaron Hamel joined FilmRise as Creative Director in 2013.
Previously, he was Director of International Sales at Troma Entertainment.
Hamel, a Detroit native, came to New York City in 2012 after graduating from Michigan State University.
Jess Mills, Director, Distribution and Marketing
Before joining FilmRise, Jess worked for Troma Films as Program Director for TromaDance Film Festival; eventually she would work her way up to Head of Sales and Acquisitions.
Her film, “Evolve Already” won Best Documentary at Sydney’s Golden Eye Awards.
She had worked previously as Segment Producer at Scout TV in Australia.
Jess has a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies from the University of Wollongong, Australia and a Masters of Media Arts and Production from the University of Technology, Sydney Australia.
Hector Peralta, Director, Technical Operations
Before joining FilmRise Hector worked at Broadway Video as an encoder, a video editor and a digital media technician. During his tenure there he worked on shows such as “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” for iTunes delivery.
Hector also worked at USA Studios as video editor for commercial clients including Ciroc and Jaguar. At Voltage Films he edited and color corrected commercials and music videos for artists such as Drake and Nicki Minaj.
Hector’s short film “Concerned” screened at Tribeca cinemas for the Alpha Channel Film Festival.
Born and raised in Bayshore, Long Island, Hector attended the Art Institute of New York City and graduated with a major in film/video production.
Hector is a fan of Martin McDonagh, Quentin Tarantino, “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos.”
Gibson Merrick, Manager, Distribution and Marketing
Gibson Merrick joined FilmRise as the Manager of Distribution and Marketing.
Prior to that he worked at Troma Entertainment, Inc., as Director of international Sales. In addition, in 2015 he served as Program Director for the 2015 TromaDance Festival.
Gibson holds a degree in Communication and Media from Fordham University.
He is a native of Syracuse, New York.
Jane Rouen, Senior Editor
Jane is FilmRise’s senior writer and editor. She is also responsible for overseeing all distribution materials and metadata that go out over FilmRise’s multiple platforms and proprietary channels.
Jane’s background is in both film and writing. She has worked as a producer, writer, script person and editor on hundreds of film projects. During her tenure as President of the award-winning production company Riviera Films, she worked on dozens of music videos for artists as varied as Elton John, Rush, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robbie Robertson (directed by Martin Scorsese) and films, including “The Linguini Incident” with David Bowie and “Til There Was You” with Mark Harmon.
She also worked on television documentaries, including “John Lennon: Live in New York” for Yoko Ono and “Miles Ahead: The Music of Miles Davis” (Great Performances); television shows including “Urban Anxiety” starring Mandy Patinkin, Mercedes Ruehl and Bob Balaban, “Handmade Modern” with Todd Oldham, “Designs for Living,” “Private Lives” and “Food for Thought.” In addition she has worked on many commercials (Poppycock, Chunkys, Clarks, Adidas. etc.). Her film scripts include the family film “Ms. Bear,” “Eat at Joe’s,” “Carnevale” and “Hunter’s Moon.”
She was the lead writer for GoodHome.com, a $100 million home decorating website. She has written e-magazine articles for clients including House Beautiful, Brunschweig & Fils, Baranzelli and Scalamandre. She also created numerous websites, advertising campaigns, radio spots, electronic press kits, catalogs and brochures for leading home design firms including Einstein Moomjy, Gear, Louis Nichole, Workbench, Marimekko, Raymond Waites, Stendig and J.C.Penneys.
Other clients include Standard & Poors, Laura Ashley, Finnair, The Finnish Tourist Board. Cox Advertising, FutureBrand, American Express and GFS Advertising.
Curt Adair Jr., Distribution Manager
Before Curtis came to FilmRise he worked in film distribution as Operations Manager for Candy Factory Films. He transitioned from Part 2 Pictures, the award-winning production company, where he worked as a Development Junior Editor cutting sizzle reels.
Curtis graduated with his MFA in Film and Television Production from Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts. In 2013, his graduate thesis film was awarded the Directors Guild of America award for “Best Student African American Director in the East Region” and can currently be viewed on ASPiReTV’s show “ABFF Independent Season 4” hosted by David Banner.
In 2015, Curtis was recognized as one of Independent Filmmakers Project‘s Emerging Storytellers.
Khristopher Marang, Distribution Manager
Khristopher joined FilmRise in May, 2016.
Prior to that he studied film at The University of Kansas. After escaping to New York, he worked in the Quality Control department of In Demand.
He lists his five favorite films as: “Taxi Driver,” “ Eraserhead,” “The Master,” “Eyes Wide Shut” and “A Serious Man.”
Kedeisha Freeman, Distribution Coordinator
Kedeisha Freeman provides multifaceted office support at FilmRise as Distribution Coordinator, preparing content for many of the company’s digital platforms.
She acts as liaison between contacts and staff and is the first line of support for both clients and team members.
Kedeisha is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she was valedictorian, earning a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication.
Lily Zhen, Distribution Coordinator
Lily was raised in Brooklyn, New York in the neighborhood of Sunset Park.
She interned at Industry City in 2015 and had the opportunity to work with FilmRise to develop her knowledge of films. After completing her internship with FilmRise, Lily went on to finish her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Finance at Brooklyn College. During the time of her studies, Lily volunteered at T.E.A.L., an ovarian cancer foundation where she helped raise awareness by reaching out to her community.
Upon graduating with honors from Brooklyn College, she officially joined FilmRise’s Distribution team as Distribution Coordinator.
Nick Pollack, Director of Website Operations
Nick grew up in Brooklyn, NY and joined FilmRise in 2013 after working with the Fisher brothers previously for two years.
Nick is responsible for the site architecture on FimRise.com. In addition, he manages the site, oversees content, and monitors security.
He graduated with a combined degree in Psychology and Computer Science from Brandeis College, where he pitched for the school team, the Judges.
Nick is also the creator of the baseball website Pitcher List, and a baseball columnist for Washington Post.
Aaron Fisher, Writer-Producer-Director
Although Aaron is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts, he has an extensive body of film work.
He has written and directed the short films “Love Out of Mind,” “The Hospital Visit,” “Prom Night,” “Flirt with Death,” “Sex Machine” and the documentary short “Girl Mom” and he has edited and starred in many of them.
He directed the music video “Old Gas Station” for up-and-coming music star Lora-Faye.
Of his film “The Hospital Visit,” two-time Academy Award-winning director Barbara Koppel said “With a powerful vision on the effects of mental illness, Aaron Fisher directs ‘The Hospital Visit’ with utter authenticity, providing an intimate look at the brutal fragility of those suffering emotional disorders. Beautifully acted.” His most recent film, “Love Out of Mind,” has been accepted into ten festivals to date, including the Big Apple Film Festival and the Max Ophuls Prize Film Festival in Germany. In addition to his film work, Aaron is an accomplished photographer and also founded the Park Slope Film Festival in 2012.
Lilian Gonzalez, Media Design Manager
A Florida native, Lilian has worked at numerous broadcast companies. After graduating from the University of South Florida she worked as the Post Production Coordinator at VICE Media, as a freelance Post Production Technician at A&E and as a Duplication/Encoder Operator at Discovery.
She is a fan of John Hughes films, Stanley Kubrick and anything Star Trek.
Her favorite movie quote is from the John Hughes film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Brian Dohn, Director, Media Design
While at Emerson College, where he graduated in 2011 with a BA in Digital Post-Production, he was twice nominated for Outstanding Motion Graphics at the nationally-recognized EVVY awards, the largest student-produced, multi-camera, live switch event in the nation. In his senior year he won the award.
He uses his proficiency in computer software including Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Adobe After Effects, Mocha, and Adobe Photoshop to create short films that have been featured on MTV and are acquiring a large audience on YouTube and Vimeo.
Brian’s interests include building computers and watching movie marathons. He is also a Star Wars enthusiast.
Shaun Crumméy, Graphic Designer
Shaun was born in New York City and raised in North Carolina. He attended Seton Hall University where he studied Communication and Multimedia. After graduation he worked as a freelance video editor and photographer while attending Pace University to further his passion for graphics and art.
Shaun brings an immense sense of pride and diligent work ethic to every project, which he attributes to his hardworking and goal-encouraging family. His success as an artist is a testimony to his creativity, problem solving skills and his accountability.
Shaun has years of experience, however, his journey has only just begun.