FILMMAKER -Ray Morgan is a lifelong herp enthusiast, photographer, and producer of the upcoming documentary film The Venom Interviews. Since childhood, Ray has worked with most native California species of snakes, as well as exotics from Asia, South America and Africa. Dissatisfied with the media's overly sensational portrayal of venomous reptiles, Ray began work on The Venom Interviews in the Summer of 2010, in hopes of shedding light on the "behind the scenes" world of venomous herpetology.
In laboratories, zoos, hospitals, and private homes, there is a small, tight-knit community of professionals whose everyday work revolves around some of the world's most fascinating and misunderstood reptiles. In a special preview of the forthcoming documentary, Ray Morgan will introduce you to some of the most respected names in venomous herpetology as they discuss their work, the animals they cherish, and the paths that lead to their unique careers.
AUTHOR -Tracy Wymer wrote his first story at age six. It began, "I was born on a dark and stormy night." Growing up in the 80's, he credits the national reading incentive program Book It and the children's television series Reading Rainbow for helping inspire his love of reading. Tracy now teaches English and creative writing and keeps his office in an underground bomb shelter. He recently published his first book The Color of Bones, a novel for young readers that magically explores the power of love and hope against segregation. Tracy lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
INVENTOR / TECHNICIAN / OWNER -Ji Shen was born and educated in China. He overcame a lot of challenges with his education and found that he had an aptitude for electronics. Ji developed a tool called the Hovercam that he brought with him to the United States as an immigrant. He further developed the tool for business and found that the Hovercam was also highly needed in education. Today, Ji Shen owns the rapidly growing Pathway Innovations and Technologies, Inc. company, which he also continues on as a devloper as well. Pathway Innovations & Technologies, Inc., the designer and manufacturer of the HoverCam cameras and software, is based in San Diego, California. They develop innovative products that enhance learning and communication.
ARTIST -Rebecca Hamm is a native of Claremont, California. She received her B.A.
Polytechnic University, Pomona and her M.F.A. from the Claremont Graduate University.
Rebecca¹s lifelong practice of painting includes a continual exploration of the creative process, so unique for each person, yet shared by all. She is the Arts Director for the Tierra del Sol Foundation, and the First Street Gallery Art Center and has taught as an adjunct Art Instructor at three local universities. Rebecca enjoys a successful professional arts career producing and exhibiting her own artwork throughout the region. Recent exhibitions of her work include the Claremont Museum of Art, the Ontario Museum of Art and History, the Huntington Beach Art Center and the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard. At Tierra and First Street, Rebecca leads a team of professional artist/instructors and gallery/curatorial professionals who work with more than 100 amazing artists with disabilities who are building their skills in arts production, pursuing arts careers, and enjoying ambitious exhibition schedules of their important art works both nationally and internationally.
PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN -Matthew Ferraro is a unique artist who has the ability to live between worlds. As a composer for media, his musical skills have been used in everything from BBC Radio 4 productions to video games such as "Medal of Honor." The acclaimed television series "Futurama" and Academy Award winning films "The Insider", "The Incredibles" and many more.
As a commisioned composer, Ferraro's work focuses on two things, multi-culturalism and the human experience. His commisioned choral hymn A.M.D.G. is published by Boosey & Hawkes and is performed by choirs worldwide.
His multi-media work "The Tension of Opposites" was deemed a new art form, "Orchestral Journalism" by the California Arts Council. It opened to standing ovations at the Barbican in London 2009.
He is currently setting the prayers of Pope John Paul II to music using contemporary artists from around the world.
Ferraro continues to live and work between London, Los Angeles and Rome.
PHOTOGRAPHER -Thomas McGovern (Artist) is a photographer, writer and professor of art at California State University, San Bernardino. He is the author of four monographs of his photographs and one photography textbook, and is the founder of Dotphototozine, a magazine and website dedicated to student photography. McGovern is interested in celebrating and critiquing his local environment, feeling that those everyday places, people and events hold clues to what makes life profound. His photographs have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the country and in the permanent collections of many museums. His next publication, “Lavish Weeds & Vital Signs”, is about hand painted signs and murals throughout the Inland Empire, and is a collaborative effort with the poet Juan Delgado.
SCIENTIST -Tom Munnecke took early retirement as a vice president and chief scientist at a scientific and technical services company in La Jolla, California in order to devote himself to educational, humanitarian and philanthropic applications of technology. He is the executive director of a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of science education. Before this he created the Inland Computer Society in 1976. He also attended Riverside Poly and UC Riverside. He enjoys hosting science parties, giving science talks at local elementary schools, hosting star parties, and learning more about science. He is enthused about teaching ALL of the sciences - the joy of finding things out - from the perspective of the wonders of space and our rapidly growing understanding of it.
EDUCATOR / SCIENTIST -Shawn Carlson is a widely recognized innovator in science education and is known for his creativity, visionary leadership and passion. He has been instrumental in building the modern citizen scientist movement and has been the creative force behind a number of education and research projects for both adults and children. He has written numerous books and articles, was a columnist for bothScientific American (over 1 million monthly readers) and Make Magazine and has lectured extensively on topics related to inspiring people of all ages to love learning about science and technology. His innovative approaches to education have helped thousands of young people advance their understanding of science and technology. Dr. Carlson’s innovations in science education earned him a MacArthur Fellowship in 1999.
Dr. Carlson is currently the creative force behind the LabRats Science Education Program.
GRAPHIC ARTIST -Mark Irwin has worked with many of the world's largest entertainment properties, as an artist, art director, brand manager, and in business development. From Marvel to Disney to Capcom to Nickelodeon to Konami, Mark has close to twenty years experience in the field contributing to the growth of legendary brands. Along with his leadership on development of IP's, Mark still works with many comic publishers, chiefly Marvel and DC.Creativemilitia.com