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About the Producers

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The Documentary Group was founded by the core members of PJ Productions, following the death of legendary broadcaster Peter Jennings in 2005. The producers and directors, who were for many years the team behind Jennings' documentaries at ABC News, are dedicated to continuing the tradition of smart, important and innovative film-making.  Their credits as individual producers and directors include hundreds of hours of network programming and independent feature documentaries. While many in the media business are chasing the lowest common denominator, The Documentary Group has a different vision -- have faith in the intelligence, taste, curiosity and integrity of the audience.

Executive Producer Tom Yellin

Executive Producer Tom Yellin

Tom Yellin
Executive Producer

Prior to founding The Documentary Group, Tom Yellin spent 15 years as an executive producer at ABC News and almost three decades in network television.  Yellin is a respected executive producer in long form non-fiction, with a long list of award-winning credits.

Yellin was the executive producer of PETER JENNINGS REPORTING since its inception in 1990. Together he and Jennings collaborated on more that 50 hours of prime-time documentaries.  He was also the executive producer of numerous award-winning programs and series, including THE CENTURY and IN SEARCH OF AMERICA, ABC 2000 — a 23-hour broadcast marking the millennium — and several of Jennings’ children’s programs, town meetings and breaking news specials.  

From 1992 to 1995, Tom was the executive producer of the prime time news magazine DAY ONE, which he created and which, under his direction, broadcast a landmark series of investigative reports on the tobacco industry.

 

Producer Richard Robbins

Producer Richard Robbins

RICHARD E. ROBBINS
Director, Producer and Writer

Richard E. Robbins is an award-winning producer and director who has been making documentaries for PBS, cable, and network television for more than a decade. The programs have ranged from the historical to the political to present-day breaking news.  

From 1998 to 2004 he primarily made documentaries for Peter Jennings at ABC News. In 2000 he traveled with Jennings to India, Pakistan, and the disputed region of Kashmir to produce DARK HORIZON, an in-depth look at the nuclear standoff on the subcontinent. He tracked down and interviewed militants affiliated with Al Qaeda, who were fighting in the foothills of the western Himalaya.  Immediately following September 11, 2001, Robbins produced a variety of ABC News programs including the live Jennings special ANSWERING CHILDREN’S QUESTIONS, which won a DuPont award from the Columbia School of Journalism.  In the fall of 2001 and 2002, he spent time in Pakistan and Afghanistan covering the war for ABC News, contributing stories to WORLD NEWS TONIGHT and NIGHTLINE.

In 2003, he relocated to Los Angeles where he negotiated unprecedented access to the gang units of the LAPD. His film PETER JENNINGS REPORTING: LAPD documented the struggle for reform in the worse neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Throughout his time at ABC News he contributed to a wide range of programs and special events coverage, including presidential elections and the 24-hour millennium broadcast on Jan 1, 2000.  Robbins began his television career at ABC News in 1993. He spent several years as a producer of independent documentaries and as an associate producer for the PBS series FRONTLINE before joining Jennings in 1998.

 

Adam Hyman

Co-producer Adam Hyman

Adam Hyman
Co-producer

Adam Hyman has been a documentary filmmaker for the past ten years, producing and/or writing a variety of historical, archaeological, and topical documentaries that have aired on the History Channel, the Learning Channel, the Travel Channel, and others.

He recently served as co-producer on THE OLD, WEIRD AMERICA: HARRY SMITH’S ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC, screening at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2007.  Prior to that he wrote and produced two featurettes for the Special Edition DVD of Peter Jackson’s KING KONG: “Skull Island: A Natural History” and “Kong’s New York: 1933.” 

Working at MPH Entertainment from 1997-2004, Hyman worked on over 40 hours of programming, including writing and producing History Channel programs on the Carthaginian general Hannibal; the whale ship Essex whose story served as partial inspiration for Melville’s Moby-Dick; and William Wallace, the historical figure behind Braveheart.  He also served as co-producer on such shows as INSIDE ISLAM; IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS; THE SEARCH FOR JOHN THE BAPTIST; AND TOMB RAIDERS: ROBBING THE DEAD.  The last three allowed Hyman the chance to work in depth in controversial archaeological topics, drawing on his undergraduate studies in archaeology.  He also acted as segment or coordinating producer on multiple episodes of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES and IN SEARCH OF HISTORY.

Hyman has served as sound recordist, sound, and picture editor on other short documentaries.  Among other programs Hyman worked on is CHICKS IN WHITE SATIN,” Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Short in 1994. 

In addition to his documentary work, Hyman also serves as the volunteer Executive Director of Los Angeles Filmforum.  Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2006, Filmforum is the city’s longest-running screening organization for experimental and avant-garde film, video art, documentaries, and animation.  He started volunteering in 1995, and has been serving as Executive Director, programmer, and board president since September 2003. A native Angeleno, Hyman has an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.  He received his B.A. History and Science from Harvard College, focusing on Central and South American archaeology.  

 

Kristin Lesko
Co-producer

Lesko began her film career working with documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson on a variety of award winning projects for public television including THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL, A PLACE OF OUR OWN, and SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: RAISE YOUR VOICE. 

In 2005, she worked with Nelson as Associate Producer on JONESTOWN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PEOPLES TEMPLE, which went on to be short-listed for a 2006 Documentary Feature Academy Award.  Her contributions as Associate Producer and Archival Researcher also helped the film win the 2006 IDA/ABCNews VideoSource Award for Best Use of News Footage.

She holds a bachelor’s of science in Economics and Marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

 

Gillian McCarthy
Film Editor

Gillian McCarthy was born in Canada and began her career as a film editor in Toronto.  She has edited commercials and videos for over 15 years, working with advertisers including Chrysler, Mercedes Benz, L’Oreal and AT&T.  Her television credits INCLUDE PETER JENNINGS REPORTING: LAPD  and  THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who is also a film editor, and their 2-year-old son.

Produced by Independent Television ServiceOff-site link Logo: ITVS - Television's Independent Voice

 

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