JIMMY SCOTT: If You Only Knew

Jazz & Commerce

Filmmaker Bios

Matthew Buzzell

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Buzzell spent the bulk of his childhood as a U.S. Army brat in Kansas and Georgia. He graduated with honors, receiving his B.F.A in drama from the North Carolina School of the Arts. From 1990 to 1993, Buzzell worked as an actor appearing in the feature films Bix: Un'potesi Leggendaria and Fratelli E Sorelle for noted Italian director Pupi Avati. In 1996, he commenced his M.F.A. studies in the American Film Institute’s directing program, winning the Director of the Year Award–the Holleigh Bernson Memorial Award in his first year. His second year master's thesis film, 6 1/2, was awarded the Martin Ritt Foundation Award. For this short, Buzzell was also awarded the SACD Prize, the Prix des Auteurs, at the 1999 International Festival du Film Independent in Bruxelles.

2001 saw the release of two of Buzzell's Alone Together
documentary portraits, those of musicians Dean Wareham and Daniel Johnston, on the Warner Brothers distributed DVD Magazine Circuit. Buzzell's Heinz Foundation-commissioned documentary What A Girl Wants was recently featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In addition, JIMMY SCOTT: If You Only Knew garnered the Audience Award at the 2002 Atlanta Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2003 D.C. Film Fest. Montreal-based filmmaker Daniel Langlois recently purchased Buzzell’s screen adaptation of Pascal Brukner's novel The Divine Child, and Buzzell has recently completed a rewrite of Tell Me What You See for director Fina Torres. He is currently shooting Companeras, a feature-length documentary portrait of America's first all-female Mariachi band.

Brian Gerber

Since 2000, Gerber has been a member of the Tree Media Group, a multimedia production company in Santa Monica, California. He has produced JIMMY SCOTT: If You Only Knew as well as Matthew Buzzell's acclaimed music shorts series Alone Together. Gerber also produced the feature film Bug by Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay, winner of the Audience Choice Award at the 2002 Santa Barbara Film Festival and Zev Berman's Briar Patch for Tonic Films and Down Home Entertainment.

Before joining Tree Media Group, Gerber spent four years as director of development at Alphaville, a feature film production company at Paramount Pictures. Films released during that time include The Mummy, A Simple Plan, Michael, The Jackal, Freedom Song, Down to Earth, Lucky Numbers, Rat Race, Attila, The Mummy Returns and The Gift.

Gerber received his Masters of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in 1997. Prior to that, he received his ABJ from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, where he served as a student judge for the George Foster Peabody Awards.

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Filmmakers Matthew Buzzell (Director) and Brian Gerber (Producer)
(L-R) Matthew Buzzell and
Brian Gerber (Producer)

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