Jeffrey Johnson is the co-founder and principal of The Cutting Board. In 2005, he graduated magna cum laude and with college honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Photography/Film/Electronic Media. As a director and cinematographer Jeffrey has over 12 years of experience in the industry working on a range of projects including documentaries, commercials and narrative films.
Jeffrey’s documentary work has taken him around the world to follow a wide gamut of issues including conservation, human-wildlife conflict, cultural adaptation and more . In 2011 he shot and directed The Lotus that Went to the Sea (2014), a look at contemporary artists in Cambodia as they explore their country’s rapid development and reflect on its troubled past through performance and conceptual art. The film went on to win the 2014 Walt Ratterman Humanitarian Award at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. From there he went on to document a 23-day scientific expedition in the remote regions of the Parnaíba Basin of Brazil. Imbedded with a group of the world’s leading paleontologists, Jeffrey was responsible for recording and translating the experience of their field work using photography and video. The project was partially sponsored by National Geographic and later highlighted by The New York Times. More recently Jeff's skills in aerial cinematography were used in Senegal Emerging (2015), a series of videos he lensed for the Presidential Cabinet of Senegal and the International Institute for the Promotion of Development (iiDEV). He is currently the cinematographer for a feature documentary directed by two-time Academy Award winner, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, following the stories of amateur athletes in the United States. Because his work often takes him to remote and physically demanding places Jeff is HEFAT (Hostile Environments & Emergency First-Aid) Certified through Global Journalist Security.
With his experience strongly rooted in documentary filmmaking, Jeffrey’s aesthetic approach for commercial and narrative projects often reflects a desire for natural looking adaptive stories. In 2015 he shot and directed Beauty For A Purpose (2015), a branded content series for Avon North America, using a combination of stylized visuals with real-life success stories told by the Avon Representatives themselves. Jeffrey’s first collaboration with director Ben Garchar was in Berlin, Germany where he lensed Jake (2016), a film about the emotional and psychological tensions of an American expat. Shot partially on Super35 film, the movie is currently making it’s run in the festival circuit.
Scott K. Foley is an independent filmmaker and producer based in Brooklyn, New York, whose award-winning films and videos have screened at festivals across globe. His graduate thesis film, To Say Goodbye, a short-subject documentary that explores the troubled relationship between a young woman and her alcoholic mother, won “best of” prizes at festivals including the Iowa International Film Festival, the Athens International Film Festival, and the Wisconsin Film Festival.
Scott is currently touring the festival circuit with his new feature, Jessica, a slice-of-life drama that asks whether coming-of-age can ever come too late. This is Scott’s first feature as a director, and he is very happy with the film’s success which includes multiple screenings, both national and international, as well as Best Feature Drama and Best Director Awards from the 2016 Twister Alley International Film Festival.
Scott has been working in the film and TV industry for over a decade. He began as a cinematographer working largely in documentary and reality TV, but in 2009, after being given the chance to produce a scripted pilot for Spike TV, Scott started working as a producer and director. Since that time he has completed projects for a variety of high-profile clients working in documentary, scripted television and film, and most recently, branded web content.
In addition to being an active filmmaker, Scott has taught film production at schools such as Northwestern University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago. He is currently working to adapt a short story that appeared in the New Yorker.
Sean Patrick McAuliffe is an award winning filmmaker and internationally published photographer. Along with a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Television and a second BA in Audio Engineering from SAE Institutes in 2011, he has experience in nearly every facet of video and audio production. Sean’s career behind the lens began in 2004 as a Reconnaissance Marine collecting intelligence for various agencies operating in the Sunni Triangle of Iraq. After his combat service, he was assigned as an instructor for Amphibious Combat and Photography/Video capture. Following the military, Sean began education in Audio Engineering and started as a paid intern at The Document Room, a boutique studio located in Malibu. During his time as an assistant engineer, the studio produced three albums with Rick Rubin including Bone Thugs in Harmony and Gogol Bordello.
To finish his audio degree and begin his education in film, Sean moved to Byron Bay, Australia to attend SAE Institutes headquarters facility. Here he started a production company that specialized in time-lapse photography and stop motion along with directing short films, music videos and branded content. He also worked as an event broadcast camera operator for live music including- Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Sublime, John Butler and Earth, Wind and Fire during his time in Australia.
Sean has produced content all over the world with foreign and domestic teams. He collaborates with charities and NGO’s on a number of humanitarian operations. Using his media skills he provides content and utilizes his military tempered logistics to manage the actual relief projects. Last year, he created award winning stop motion music video “Hunt” for Australian Psychedelic Rock band Timber Bones, traveled to India to direct and shoot commercials for VBJ ’s 2016 wedding line and In the wake of the Nepalese earthquake, traveled to the epicenter of the earthquake to provide photojournalism for Indian Magazine AGAM SEI and logistical intelligence for multiple NGO’s. In 2014, for the not for profit org, “It Ain’t Nothing”, Sean managed the construction of 50 Homes for $50,000USD for 50 homeless Filipino families in a campaign called 505050 after the Super Typhoon Yolanda. Outside of production, he is developing apps that assist in making productions more efficient on time and money.
Ben Garchar is a director and editor based in NYC. In 2008 he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wright State University with a B.F.A. in Motion Picture Production. From there Ben started his editorial career on the HBO broadcast and Oscar nominated film, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant. Since then he’s had the great fortune of working with many of today’s top documentary filmmakers, including Oscar winners Alex Gibney (Sinatra: All or Nothing at All), Laura Poitras (Risk / Field of Vision), and Fisher Stevens (Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds). Risk and Bright Lights went on to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Other credits include films that have premiered at Sundance (Kombit / A Place at the Table), Tribeca (This Time Next Year), and Full Frame (Remote Area Medical). Clients include Film Society Lincoln Center, Cinedigm, IFC, Sundance Now, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, General Electric, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, and NewFest.
As a director Ben’s work has been called “beautiful and sad and remarkably personal”, “conceptually killer”, and has played to acclaim at festivals such as Clermont-Ferrand, Raindance, DC Shorts, and Film Independent’s Cinema Lounge. Of note are Somewhere Never Traveled which played at 16 festivals worldwide and claimed “Best Experimentation” at the Gotham International Film Festival in NYC, and LUV U, which was released directly online, garnering nearly 20,000 views in 24 hours, as well winning Best Drama at the TAC Tiny Film Festival.
Recent work on the festival circuit and in collaboration with Jeffrey Johnson of The Cutting Board includes Jake, a short fiction film centering around a failing, unhinged American expat comic in Berlin, Fathers and Sons, a short documentary chronicling Ben’s continually evolving relationship with cinema, his father and grandfather, and Fleeting, made for the Straight 8 8mm filmmaking competition. Fleeting premiered June 12th, 2016 at Straight 8's “Best Of” screening in London. In development are Bushwick, an experiential visual documentary of the popular and sometimes controversial Brooklyn neighborhood, and an untitled fiction feature set in a Brooklyn amidst a real estate war and growing racial, economic, and sexual tensions.