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Mill Valley Film Festival

Documentary - kids aged 5 and
up enjoy their first foray into the
wonderful world of film production.

 

Heavenly Eyes Training / Mentorship / Production Education - Company Bios

Leilani Amour: Director / Producer / S.A.G.

Leilani Amour migrated from the Pacific Isles to the mainland during her teen years in the late 70's. Though it was difficult to leave her beloved parents, family and friends behind, she understood at an early age that by coming to America and starting a life here, she would be affording herself a better education. She maintains a great relationship with her family and friends back home and assist people from her town by sending children to school. Currently holding three degrees, Leilani continues to augment her skills by attending advanced schools. She takes great joy in educating and mentoring young filmmakers.

Leilani Amour owns and operates Makalani Production Media Services and Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc., a film/video/digital production company founded in 1997. As an entrepreneur, producer/director, production designer, writer, educator, and member of S.A.G. (Screen Actors Guild), Leilani has been involved in major films and television worldwide including Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions, George of the Jungle, Princess Diaries, True Crimes, What Dreams May Come, as well as a regular recurring role on the television series Nash Bridges. She has worked on locations with well-known directors including Michael Bay, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Gary Marshall, Sam Weisman and Spike Lee. She worked side by side with special effects wizards including Clay Pinney (Oscar winner for Independence Day).

Leilani's degrees include a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco (Major in Motion Picture/TV and Video). She studied Law and also holds a Bachelor Degree in Political Science. She worked for Fortune 500 companies as a Network Engineer/Computer Programmer for over 7 years before her major leap to the motion picture industry. She is a member of A.M.P.A.S. (American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) for the International Documentary Association as well as a member of Film Art Foundation of San Francisco. One of her documentary work was shown at the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2004.

As of January, 2002 Leilani Amour has been working with Film and TV Connection, an Apprentice Film/TV/Radio and Music Recording Program in Beverly Hills, CA. operating nationwide and now available in the U.K. www.film-tv-connection.com. She had mentored numerous film students through the Film and TV Connection as well as students from her own Training Film Program.

She has produced and directed documentaries, commercials, public service announcements and corporate videos. She has also completed her own short and feature length movie projects and recently produced and directed another independent film, "Pali Uli", which she also wrote. Pali Uli started production in the summer of 2003 and was filmed in and around the island of Kauai as well as San Francisco, San Jose, Redwood Shores, Los Gatos and other locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. One of her many challenges was producing and directing 57 children for the musical play "GREASE" for the Young Performers Theatre of Marin County, CA. She just finished writing two screenplays, "Eyes of Love" and "Sweet Revenge", which she plans to produce and direct following the Pali Uli project. Leilani Amour is currently in post production of "The Last Nightmare", a magical, suspenseful and experimental genre, which she produced, co-wrote and directed. This project demonstrates various special effects including monster characters designed by Terry Hoppins.

Leilani completed a documentary about "Chad Irvine", a Bay Area resident who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 3 and went through "patterning", a system that was carried out daily by 100 plus local volunteers for 5 years. As a result, Chad was able to finally walk when he was nine years old. Now in his mid 30, Chad resides in Santa Clara County and is an inspiration to many handicap groups and is also a motivational speaker.

Leilani had mentored many young filmmakers as well as group of people who wanted a career change. She continues to mentor filmmakers in Northern California and she in the process of expanding her mentorship program both acting and filmmaking training in Southern California. See our Training /Mentoring Programs for more.

Leilani Amour's family and friends, her education, professional experience, creativity, family values, cultural background, devotion to her work and passion for life have brought her great success and happiness in life.

Terry Hoppins: Special Effects / Set Designer

Terry Hoppins was born in San Jose, CA and grew up in the Los Gatos, San Jose area where he continues to reside. Since he was very young, he has pursued his undying interest in special effects, props and creature makeup. Terry now designs and constructs movie sets, builds and sculpts props, creatures and develops other special effects for movies and theme events.

For the last 6 years, Terry has been working with Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc. AKA Makalani Productions and has designed and developed movie sets and special effects for student films, commercials and two feature length movies, Pali Uli, and The Last Nightmare.

Terry Hoppins continues to assist Leilani Amour in running the film production company. He is also one of the active marketing managers of the Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc.

Bill MacSwiney: Technical Director / Actor

Bill MacSwiney was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in Connecticut. He graduated in Syracuse University with a Math and Computer Science degrees. Bill was involved in numerous campus theatre productions. He moved in California in 1986 and has been with Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc. (Makalani Productions) since its inception in 1997. He holds the title of Technical Director, in-charge of purchasing camera equipment, software, hardware and other computer and video peripherals for the company on a contract basis. Bill also brings his digital photography expertise to the company. Bill expresses his creativity when joining "the team" on location shootings during his time off from his regular work at a major financial institution.

Bill is one of the Executive Producers of The Last Nightmare movie. Bill loves traveling and has been in different parts of the world. He mostly enjoys the island atmosphere where he spends most of his vacations away from the busy world.

Randy Yip: Editor / Filmmaker

A young filmmaker who took courses from Berkeley Community College (Film Department) with very unique style. He joined under the Heavenly Eyes Training/Mentorhsip Program in 2006. Randy completed 2 projects of his own. He wrote, produced, directed and edited Genuine Pretense in 2006 and he has also completed Evil, Inc. this year, 2007. He is one of the best editors for the company. He is extremey hard working and very serious director.

Michael Collins: Camera Operator / Editor

Michael Collins, whose love for the cinematic arts is genuine and pure is another camera operator for our production company. He has a film degree in a prestigious film school in the Bay Area and works on local TV shows.

Philip Safarik: Camera Operator / Editor

An Italian - American filmmaker with Bohemian roots, Philip has a passion for film dating back to the 80s, when he became fascinated by the emerging music-video format, and the moving image seemed to be the most appropriate medium to express his creativity, and vision. After completing a one year professional cameraman course in Rome, Italy, Philip moved to California to continue his film studies.

After graduating with honors from City College of San Francisco, with an Associate degree in Film Production, and after a brief period back in Italy, he enrolled in the undergraduate program at the Academy of Art College, and earned a BFA degree in Motion Pictures and Video. Probably the most ambitious project completed while at the Academy of Art was "Psychomagic", a short narrative 16 mm film, based on a story by Alejandro Jodorowsky, a director that always inspired him, and starring a well known professional actor, Michael Berryman.

Documentary, experimental, and cinema-verite' style filmmaking techniques are my favorites because they allow him to realize projects on a small budget, and with the maximum of autonomy. In 2004, his documentary "Burning Man - The Floating World" won the Best Documentary Award at the DIGIT Festival in NY, a digital media arts festival sponsored by the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance.

Philip has been involved with several cutting edge Bay Area Production Companies such as Heavenly-Eyes Productions, RV Video, Concentric Media, and Fault Line Films, and worked on short and feature length narrative films, documentaries, music videos, experimental films, commercials, demo reels, fashion shoots, corporate and instructional videos, and weddings. He is a member of LAFCO, the Los Angeles Filmmakers Co-op, a non profit organization of independent, ground-breaking filmmakers. Although initiated to the film medium, Philip mainly work in the Digital Video realm, evolving into HD, often splitting myself between the roles of cameraman, editor, and director.

On a personal and artistic level, Philip interested in the human condition, social and environmental issues, World travel, alternative cultures, and new musical styles, photography, nature, magic, water sports, the infinite aspects of life. His ambition is to pursue a career as a cameraman/DP, but he's also skilled in editing as well, and plans one day to work on a project that will change people's consciousness, and help make the world a better place, even if for only 90 minutes.

Eric Lee: Camera Operator / Filmmaker

Erik Lee earned a BA in Cinema and a BA in Political from Science San Francisco State University. He also trained and received a Certification in Cannon Crewmember Course, Fort Sill, OK He joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Afghanistan for couple of years. He went back to the Bay Area 2 years ago and completed his Film Training/ Mentorship Program through Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc. where he wrote, directed and edited his short project, "A Thought of Home". He now works for the company as one of the camera operators/editors and specializes in sound and lighting (Key Grip/Gaffer).

Lynn Imanaka: Editor

Lynn Imanaka, who has a very stylish approach in editing was born and raised in Hawaii. He worked as an editor for a major TV station before moving to the mainland several years ago. He specializes doing movie trailers for our production company.

Federico Marchetti: Actor / Filmmaker

Federico Marchetti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the states in the late 1980's. Growing up, Federico was always interested in the arts. Whether it be drawing pictures or making short live action skits at home with friends and/or family. Since then, Federico has built a great passion for the arts of entertainment. So it came as no surprise that Federico will later attend San Francisco State University and receive a Bachelor's degree in Cinema. While in college, Federico participated in student films shot in and around campus helping out with whatever roles needed to be filled. Including acting rolls with speaking parts. He is currently working closely with Makalani Productions for nearly 4 years now. He continues to pursue his lifelong passion as a Director/ Producer/ and Writer. He also auditioning and acting when not working behind the camera.

Federico is currently in pre-production of his new project called Metagallactica and will be in production in 2008.

Daniel Lappert: Actor / PA

Daniel Lappert, also our production assistant, is always there for us, regardless of the occupation. Whether he is carrying a camera, mic'ing talent, or setting up lighting rigs, Daniel is an enthusiastic part of our team. He is an actor, a print model, and a singer when he is not busy working with Heavenly Eyes Productions.

Jay Mumford: Sound Technician / Actor

Jay Mumford was born and raised in South Eastern Michigan and attended College in Kalamazoo, at Western Michigan University. Jay was invited to participate on the Men's Varsity Ice Hockey and Football teams earning a letter in both. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration he moved to downtown Chicago beginning work in the commercial real estate field. After working in Chicago for a number of years Jay traded the Midwest weather for Northern Californias Scenic Sierras and mild winters. He has been a part of the Makalani Production team for the past 3 years filling roles as grip, gaffer and sound technician.

Jay Mumford, is also in the pre-production of his on-line Real Estate company and will start full production in 2008.

Larry Cheuk: Musician/ Filmmaker

Larry Cheuk began his interest in music, art, film and video at a very young age. A graduate of California College of Arts, he has a BFA in Illustration Design, and has been playing Bass guitar professionally with a variety of Local Bay area talents for the last 5 years. He's been cultivating his interest in film and video since 2001 while briefly working with Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco and studying the craft at Vista College in Berkeley. Being a part of Makalani productions has been a unrivaled and truly rewarding experience.

Genevieve McCarty: Photographer / Filmmaker

As a child Genevieve, searched for her name in film credits, partly because her name was so different, but mostly because she wanted to make films. Her journey to being a filmmaker ranged from winning writing and photography awards to backpacking through Europe, taking numerous photographs.

Genevieve focused on her filmmaking career beginning in 2001, studying and making films at Santa Barbara City College where she eventually impacted the Braille institute and Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care of Santa Barbara with her documentaries.

Genevieve soon after moved to Los Angeles, starting as a production assistant, and quickly advancing to a 2nd 2nd Assistant Director. This experience led to production assistant work on various commercial and television sets.

In 2005, she moved to San Francisco to obtain her MFA from the highly acclaimed Academy of Art University. At the Academy, Genevieve has Directed numerous projects, and has enjoyed contributing to many other students work. Genevieve aspires have an career as a Director and Writer in Film making films that make a difference.

Dana Marten: Camera Assistant / Production Assistant

Dana Marten joins the Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc. thru the TV and Film Connection program. He started with our film making training program early part of this year. He wrote and directed William's Day. Previous experience includes working with the movie Bandits which was shot not too far from he lives. Dana continues to do production work for the company.

Juan Juarequi: Camera Operator / Sound Technician / Filmmaker

Juan Jauregui joined our program 2 years ago and is he is one of our best camera and sound operators. He is a full time teacher in Sonoma County and a head coach for his school. He enjoys working any sports such as football, baseball, hockey and other related events. He plans to shoot a documentary in the Spring of 2008.

Janro Solanzo: Editor / Production Assistant

Janro Solanzo is the newest and youngest member of the team. He is a professional ice skater and competes internationally. In addition to his skating interest, he wants to be a filmmaker and would like to specialize in Special Effects under the instruction of Terry Olsen.

Lorenzo Vidali: Editor

Lorenzo Vidali completed his summer internship with Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc. the Summer of 2007. He successfully edited the trailer the INFERNO concert and participated in several of our shoots and trade shows this summer. He also acted as a police officer for Dana Marten's project and was a pool boy for The Last Nightmare movie. He studies in Santa Barbara and currently on his third year for filmmaking studies. He will be coming back to join us during his winter break 2007.

Merly Mugol: Production Manager

Merly Mugol, recently retired 30 yrs. of service from Federal Civil Service Government, DOD/Defense Commissary Agency and joins Heavenly Eyes Productions, Inc. as a Production Manager. Enhanced experience upon stationed overseas in Vicenza, Italy special dealings with local nationals assisting the Store Director/Administrator in managing the store and coordinating several promotional programs for welfare and support of the military family in the community stationed on base. Served as Commissary Management Specialist with special tasks as Buyer for commodities sold in commissaries regionwide. Other background includes serving the U.S. Navy with 4 years active in Administratrive "Yeoman" rating and 4 years inactive in Air Force Reserve, Medical Assistance field. She held several managerial positions as Store Manager responsible for several departments, all of which will be a great contribution to the company.

Augusto B. Navarro, Jr.: Account Manager

Augusto B. Navarro, Jr. (Jun) is our newest Marketing Account Manager and comes with extensive background in sales including financial, investments, insurance and medical field. He was also an investment consultant for a major company in Honolulu, Hawaii for over 8 years. He has degree in Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Major in Banking and Finance. He has a total of 30 years plus experience in management and marketing which a total asset for the company.