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Independent Lens host Terrence Howard sat down with NBA Player and CRIPS and BLOODS: Made in America producer Baron Davis, to talk about growing up on the streets of L.A.
Writer, Producer, Director
In 2000, after retiring from professional skateboarding, Stacy Peralta wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Dogtown and Z-Boys, a chronicle of the birth of modern skateboard culture, which won both the Directors Award and the Audience Award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. The film then went on to win Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards and was released internationally through Sony Pictures Classics. His next film, Riding Giants, examined surf culture and was the first documentary ever to open Sundance. It was distributed by Sony Pictures Classics.
CRIPS AND BLOODS: Made in America is not only Peralta’s most personal project, but also his most difficult. After watching Los Angeles burn in 1992, and with a young son at home, Peralta found himself questioning why this was happening for a second time in the same city and why the two most infamous African American gangs were created in L.A. Fifteen years in the making, CRIPS AND BLOODS is the film he set out to create, an insider’s look at a subject that few on the outside know anything about.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Baron Davis's first love was the game of basketball. With encouragement from his grandmother, Lela Nicholson, Davis excelled on the blacktop courts of his South Central neighborhoods, earning a scholarship to the prestigious Crossroads High School in Santa Monica. Attending school alongside numerous entertainment industry progenies, he developed a lasting affinity for film and filmmaking and discovered his more artistic side.
After seven years in the NBA, Davis formed Verso Entertainment, his own production company. Produced in collaboration with director Stacy Peralta, CRIPS AND BLOODS: Made in America is Verso’s first feature documentary.
Dan Halsted began his career working with Scott Rudin and later moved to United Talent Agency where, as an agent, he packaged such diverse box office hits as RoboCop, There’s Something About Mary and the Academy Award-winning The Untouchables. As vice president of Hollywood Pictures, he stewarded a broad variety of features ranging from Encino Man to Tombstone, Evita to The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Halsted’s producing career has included Nixon, Any Given Sunday and Garden State. He has also produced for TV, including the documentaries The Day Reagan Was Shot and Assassinated: The Last Days of Kennedy and King. In 2005, Halsted founded Manage-ment, an innovative approach to filmmaking that integrates management, development, production and financing within the same company.
Drawing from an investment banking background Steve Luczo became an innovator in the technology industry, joining Seagate Technology in 1993 as senior vice president of corporate technology. After orchestrating what was at the time the largest buyout ever of a technology company, Steve became chairman of the board in 2002, and is currently chairman of the board of directors. Today Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard drives.
Forest Whitaker is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors, directors and producers. In 2007, he received the Academy Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe for Best Actor, the Best Actor SAG and BAFTA Awards for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in Fox Searchlight’s The Last King of Scotland. CRIPS AND BLOODS: Made in America struck a personal note, as Whitaker was born and raised in southern California and therefore had, and still has, a vested interest in gang violence.
Shaun Murphy, a media figure in Australia for many years, wrote, produced and presented for the award-winning TV series Totally Wild. He produced and directed the documentary Racing The Moon for TEN, fronted the wildlife series Wild Rescue and executive produced the TV documentary Dying For Everest, about the 2006 disaster surrounding David Sharp. Murphy executive produced and presented the Discovery Channel TV series Coolfuel and produced the political documentary The Youngest Candidate in conjunction with Lawrence Bender and David Letterman's WorldWide Pants.
Gus Roxburgh has enjoyed a wide-ranging career in the media for over 10 years. Originally an award-winning freelance writer, Roxburgh branched into television in the late 1990s, initially as a camera operator and production manager. Since then he’s added presenting, directing and producing to his repertoire. Roxburgh’s first job was for National Geographic Television doing 24-hour legs as a “terrier” camera operator following the Southern Traverse Adventure Race, known as the most difficult race on Earth. Since then, Roxburgh has worked on many assignments including documentaries, commercials, reality shows and corporate and educational projects. His work has taken him from Antarctica to Alaska and many places in between, and he is equally comfortable behind or in front of the camera.
Cash Warren has garnered experience on both the representation and the creative sides of the entertainment business. He began his career working for the CEO of The William Morris Agency, Jim Wiatt. After observing and playing a role in the inner workings of one of the largest talent agencies, he departed to become the assistant director of development for Tim Story. During his three years with Story, Warren played a key role in the development of a number of projects including Society Cab for Tom Hanks’ company Playtone. Warren was instrumental in the evolution of Tim Story’s career from Barbershop to Fantastic Four; serving as the point person for Story, he managed relationships throughout Hollywood.