PERSONNEL

39552_1655188864449_1378895172_31764466_4094955_nCharles Miller
Sunrise West Productions co-founder Charles Miller focuses on producing, writing, and directing.  His latest project, First Flight, is the story of the rush by various groups around the world to invent the airplane at the dawn of the twentieth century.  The project is being developed into a mini-series.  Charles created the television series, Exploring America's Ruins, which is currently in development. Charles has worked as a producer for the televised Women's Image Network Awards. Several films Charles produced traveled extensively on the international film festival circuit.  Broken Circle, stars Emmy winner Michael Badalucco (The Practice, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Summer of Sam) along with Laura Ceron (E.R.) and Delilah Cotto (Empire).  Charles re-teamed with Badalucco and collaborator Aaron Sawyer to develop the idea for television.  Trail End, a 35mm production shot entirely in Charles' home state of Kansas, stars Emmy nominee Barry Corbin (Northern Exposure, War Games, One Tree Hill). Charles wrote, produced, directed, and edited the award-winning short film, A Song for Honest Abe, a mock documentary about an American folk singer who sets the great speeches of Abraham Lincoln to music–rewriting them a bit for creative purposes. The film features original music composed by Charles and recording artist Mimi Chen.  Charles also produced The Wind Effect, featuring Abe star, Kathy Christopherson, with Emmy-nominated actors Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives, Melrose Place) and William Devane (24, The West Wing, Knots Landing), plus the venerable Grace Zabriskie (Twin Peaks, Norma Rae, The Big Easy). A writer interested in character-driven material, Charles' screenplays include Journey for a Dead Friend, a story of three separated friends in their late twenties taking a trip together that was postponed since high school; The Pork and Beans Society, a drama/comedy about seven teenagers in a small town in Kansas; Rhyoliters, an off-beat romantic comedy about a Madison Avenue advertising executive who travels back in time; Impending Matrimony, which follows an ensemble of couples through the struggles, failures, and successes of relationships; and Sunset Motel, a series of shorts set in a hotel room over the course of fifty years. Among the several industry professional organizations to which he devotes time, Charles is a charter member and past president of Midwest Entertainment Connection, Inc., a nonprofit charitable corporation linking the entertainment industry communities of Los Angeles and the Midwest.  He has worked with the Kansas Governor and testified before the Kansas Legislature to promote film industry growth in Kansas.  Charles studied Music and Communications at Washburn University, where he shot commercials and shorts while also becoming a national champion public speaker, student body president, and graduating first in a class of 3,000.  After further Music Composition study at the University of Kansas, he entered the University of Southern California Graduate Cinema Production Program where he was a national Phi Kappa Phi Fellow while developing his filmmaking skills.  Once in Los Angeles, his music career took hold.  His score to the short, The Performance, with composer Kevin Brenneman, launched a recording career when the twosome formed the band, Middle Allens.  Their first album included the single, No More Time. A native of the small communities of Montgomery County, Kansas, Charles grew up reading the plays of fellow native William Inge and shooting stills of the countryside.  Though he prefers most aspects of the city life in Los Angeles, he remains a dedicated fan of the hapless Kansas City Royals baseball team. E-MAIL

EliseElise Rothberg
Elise Rothberg is co-creator and co-owner of the monthly short film festival, Short Mondays. Known for screening high-quality short films, Short Mondays has become a place that people in the industry attend to find the "next big thing". Directors and writers have been hired for their first full-length feature jobs; actors, writers, and directors have obtained representation; and cinematographers and sound people have been hired on various projects because producers, agents, and investors saw their shorts at the festival. Expanding on her festival work, Elise recently took a seasonal position with the prestigious Los Angeles Film Festival. Elise is currently represented as a writer and producer by The Collective. With her Short Mondays co-creator, Elise has written several works for the screen. Her feature film screenplays include Grooming Holly, a romantic comedy; Killing Dave, a thriller/comedy; and How The Cooper Street Kids Saved Christmas, a children's story. Currently Elise is working on another romantic comedy and a science fiction screenplay, along with two television concepts: a fictional "behind-the-scenes" piece, and a comedy/drama. A born and bred New Yorker, Elise chose to attend UC Irvine and graduated in three years, summa cum laude, with a BA in Theater. After a year back in Manhattan, she drove across the country by herself on a month-long road-trip, returned to California and began working at a movie trailer company. During her time there, she learned to edit and had the opportunity to write and produce ads for television. This led Elise to work freelance for various trailer companies to develop a system for film transcription. Today, her system is an industry standard. An avid cook and reader, Elise also makes her own makeup and skin products from natural ingredients. She's happy to drive anything, as long as it is a convertible. E-MAIL
aaron08Aaron Sawyer
After attending one year at Nebraska Wesleyan University in his home state, Aaron Sawyer earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where he graduated as a member of Phi Kappa Phi.  At the university, Aaron initiated a school-wide recycling program, organized panel discussions, and was an integral part of abolishing the university's censorship of student postings regarding the discussion of the tragedy in New York, student hate crimes, and the abuses of school officials toward students. Aaron has written and directed several short plays, experimenting with the boundaries of the stage in increasingly intimate and visceral ways.  One of his works, Manslaughter, which parodies the life ethics of the dinner table against normal human interaction played at the Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska.  After college, Aaron directed acclaimed theatrical productions in Kansas, Illinois, and Nebraska, before directing Two Rooms by Lee Blessing at the equity house New Stage Theatre, in Jackson, Mississippi. After marrying his wife, Brindin, Aaron directed live television broadcasts for the Ultimate Shopping Network before gravitating back to the literary world with the Paradigm Agency.  Aaron subsequently spent time expanding his knowledge at the management company, Relevant Entertainment.  Though he remains involved in several company projects, Aaron is currently taking a leave of absence from the Los Angeles area to pursue an advanced degree in Cinema and Theater at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. E-MAIL

MWMichael Woods
Michael Woods received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Conservatory of Theater Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.  While at the Conservatory, he starred in, produced, and directed numerous plays, as well as wrote a one-act play, The First Time, which won the Founders Award at the Midwest Black Theater Festival.  Michael brought his extensive classical theater training to Hollywood, where he guest starred on such television shows as Simon & Simon, L. A. Law, 227, China Beach, The Young and the Restless, and a host of commercials and films.  Frustration with "type casting" drove Michael to attend the USC School of Cinema-Television, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in Production.  While at USC, Michael was one of four students selected annually to direct one of the school's major short film productions.  His voodoo mythological tale, The Power, received wide industry acclaim. Michael served as a producer on SWP’s short film, A Song for Honest Abe, a mock documentary about an eclectic folk singer who sets the great speeches of Abraham Lincoln to music–rewriting them a bit for creative purposes.  Michael's screenplay, The Last Gunfighter was a winner at the Best of the West, Western Screenplay Competition.  A prolific writer, Michael is currently working on a western novel, as well as writing a new screenplay, Year of the Beast, which is a supernatural thriller. In addition to his duties with Sunrise West, Michael maintains a position as  Senior Legal Trademark Administrator at Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.  He and his wife Penelope, have two sons, Jason and Ethan. E-MAIL