Steven Rumbelow / Director / Producer / Writer
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Steven Rumbelow directed almost 250 productions in all media. This includes: 9 feature films (three of which were award winning), 64 broadcast episodics, 65 major stage productions, over 70 music videos, 3 Television specials, Opera, Dance and about 30 commercials including award winners for DVLA (Derek Van Lint) and the National Exhibition Centre.
These productions won numerous awards between them, including a hat-trick of three Outstanding Film of the Year awards at the London Film Festival, Canada's prestigious Bessie nominations and wins as well as 11 Chicago Jeff nominations for Moby dick, of which it won four. Rumbelow started Renegade with Frank Capra Jr. in 1992.
Click here to visit Steven's personal site and see more of his prolific career.
Anton Brejak / Executive Producer
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Anton Brejak began his career in entertainment by single handedly running the day to day operations of Background Players, a top three extras agency located in downtown Toronto. At the same time Anton was auditioning and earning roles in film and television in productions for The Discovery Channel, YTV, Animorphs Production Inc., and The Canadian Film Centre.
Brejak joined Renegade in 2003 beginning with the film Lost Souls. Anton's ambition and motivation propelled him from actor to associate producer to producer in record time. Anton remains an actor with the company as well as providing essential help behind the scenes.
He also volunteers and organizes charity events for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and The Sexually Abused Council of Canada, for which he has received numerous awards for his leadership skills and generosity to humanity. Anton continues his charity work by dressing up as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny at the McMaster Medical Centre for terminally ill children and seeks to bring smiles and laughs to every child he meets.
Dan Griffin / Executive Producer
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Dan Griffin has been around the entertainment industry most of his life. He has performed in Off-Broadway from a young age, was the youngest member of the Barbershop Group, The Golden Chordsmen, and was a national gymnast. He went to the United States Military Academy at West Point for college and was going to make the military a career before being struck by a car while walking. He shifted his focus back to his prior love, and has never looked back.
Griffin was EVP of Acquisitions and Development for Ubiquity Network, and involved with such shows as Surviving Sam, Circle of 8, Midtown, Gotham, Jeckyll and Hyde Presents, Boogie’s Bedtime Stories, The Arena, Grudge Match, Tumblety's, Breakfast in New England, In the Shadow of the Badge, and Silk City. Griffin was very involved with the Connecticut Tax Incentives, and is helping to launch a New Media Hub (which will be like a smaller Netflix).
Dan approached Steven regarding partnering on certain productions and now Steven is an Executive Producer at the Griffin Group as well as directing and producing on various productions on the Griffin slate. They are also working together on an indie SVOD channel that is part of the New Media Hub going through beta launches in 2014.
Rachel Rumbelow / Line Producer / UPM
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Rachel Rumbelow is a Graduate of University of Missouri - Kansas City where she studied for two Bachelors in Philosophy and French. She has extensive experience in administration in the entertainment, academic and corporate sectors. She has deep interest in Martial Arts, the development of comparative cultures, stand-up comedy, writing, web development and digital technology.
Rumbelow joined the company in 2005 as Mr. Rumbelow's Executive Assistant and since then she has developed business strategies in order to help transition the company towards its goal to re-establish operations in the United States. She has assisted in the creation and completion of three feature films, 26 episodics and several commercials as well as assisting in developing strategies for Renegade's new slate of films being shot in Louisiana in the near future.
(Image by Jackelyn Onlock)
Philip Shepherd / Co-Producer
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Since 1969 Philip Shepherd has worked as an actor, director, teacher and writer. His interest in world theatre has often taken him abroad. In his teens he traveled to India and Japan to study Kathakali and Noh respectively. In London, England he was a founding member of the Play Room and also performed with Tavistock Repertory Theatre. In New York he has performed with Linda Mussmann's Time and Space Limited Theatre, and also toured Switzerland and Poland with them. He trained intensively with director Ho Ying Fung, and took his one-man show, Shades, to Hong Kong. He also trained in Denmark with Eugenio Barba's company, and played the lead in Steven Rumbelow's Dr. Faustus in Chicago and Toronto.
For the past fifteen years, Shepherd has been a director of Toronto's Phyzikal Theatre, a company dedicated to the creation of shows that combine classic principles of theatre with avant-garde theatricality. His own playscripts have been performed in Canada, the USA and Hong Kong, and he has written for CBC television. He also co-starred in Strange Justice, a feature film with Mandy Patinkin, Delroy Lindo and Lou Gossette Jr.
Click here to see more of Philip's career including his books and speaking tours.
(image by Allyson Woodrooffe)
Miro Oballa, B.COM, LL.B. / Legal Counsel
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Miro has been practicing entertainment law since 2002. Primarily focused on music, Miro's practice also encompasses the areas of film, television, gaming, new media, dance, art and event promotion. His client list includes artists, record labels, music publishers, film and television producers, music producers and on-screen personalities. Since being called to the bar in 2001, Miro has worked for prominent Bay Street law firms, and entertainment law boutique Stohn Abramovitch. He has taught courses in the entertainment business program at the International Academy of Design, and at the Harris Institute for the Arts and is on the board of directors of the Urban Music Association of Canada.
In addition to his legal experience, Miro has been actively involved in the business side of the entertainment industry as a former owner of both a nightclub and an entertainment company. He applies this entrepreneurial background to his legal work, providing clients with strategic business planning as well as legal advice to help them navigate the murky waters of the business of entertainment.
Miro has extensive experience in the negotiation and drafting of agreements covering all areas of the music industry, including recording, publishing, production, management, touring and personality rights. His expertise also extends to film and television in the areas of rights acquisition, rights management, production and distribution, and to dispute resolution.
Miro is currently a partner at Taylor Mitsopulos Klein Oballa (TMKO) in Vancouver, BC.
(Bio and image from tmkolawyers.com)
Francesca Invernizzi / Italian Liaison Producer
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Francesca is a very experienced Television Producer who has been producing since 2003 on major Italian productions, special events and series. As a member of the Renegade team she is handling all our Italian Production liaisons and is producing any Italian Co-Production business on the other side of the Atlantic. Francesca will also be joining the production team on upcoming American productions to be filmed in Louisiana.
Chad Cooke / Production Coordinator - Toronto
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Chad has worked as a publicist, media and public relations director for the last 15 years. He has also managed independent artists in music, visual and performance arts. He has always been interested in low budget independent filmmaking and understands the change in market conditions since the 2008 crash along with the subsequent divide that opened up between blockbusters and lower budget independents. He has kept abreast of emerging markets in digital sales and understands these unique requirements.
As Production Coordinator for Toronto, Chad will facilitate any administrative and/or production needs that arise for Renegade in Toronto while Renegade carries out it's next slate of films in Louisiana and other locations.
Frank Capra Jr. / 1934 - 2007
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Frank Capra Jr. / Co-Founder of Renegade / Executive Producer 1934 - 2007
By Steven Rumbelow, February 15, 2009
It's been a very tough few years. 2003 my Mum goes, 2004 a year to the day after Mum my dearest daughter Marin is killed, 2006 my Canadian mentor and world famous publicist and Renegade steering committee member Gino Empry goes then in December co-founder and dear friend Frank Capra Jr. goes. It's taken me this long to be able to sit down and write this for practical reasons but mostly for emotional ones. In less than four years I've lost four dear, dear friends. Renegade has to move forward aggressively in this time of growth whilst holding firm to some of Frank's values.
I first met Frank about 20 years ago working on a production called Punkula. I was enormously impressed by his easy going demeanor and lack of pompous attitude. Definitely the kind of people I love to have in the Renegade family. In the early 90's he and I got together with his family's old retainer Pete Falco and we founded Renegade. Frank didn't look for a cent.
It was all to do with the intention and purpose and content of what we were doing. Always seeking to explore the humanity in our stories and always seeking to tell the stories in a new way. All that whilst working on a budget that didn't allow for the games played by the standard industry scammers and skimmers. Always diligent to truly facilitate a Renegade film outfit working both north and south of the boarder. Yet even with all that Frank insisted that we write into our contract that no matter what it was a principal to "have fun" in our work process.
Throughout Frank's moments of trial over the two decades that I knew him and there were truly some big trials... throughout those moments Frank never lost his ability to smile. No one can project that sense of ease in adversity without enormous internal strengths. Truly heroic strengths.
Everything he ever told me led me to believe he truly loved his father. I was also made aware that he was basically brought up caccooned from life by the nanny that brought him up in a wonderful beach house. From what he said I had the impression that his Father wanted him to be objective to the fantasy world of LA. A world that his Father was perhaps the greatest Captain of in the last century. His love of the common man extended to a love of horses, a love of boats and a disturbing love for chasing hurricanes.
One could always see his Father's influence on him. Frank certainly shared his Father's love of the common man and how that common man sense of honor can lead to true nobility and true heroism.
This was something he brought into the scripts he worked on and I remember once after reading my script "Obsessions" he came back to me and said "It's all good Steve except you can't have that horse being mistreated in that scene. You'll lose everyone at that point." It was a small moment in a passing scene... barely noticeable. Then he said "would you mind if I send the script to Terry Gilliam?" which told me he had completely understood this very surreal script.
He was a wonderful man who was proud of some pretty wonderful achievements. At one time he was a Producer of four of the worlds highest earning indies. Pictures like "Fire Starter", "Escape from New York" and for me, one of the top 100 films ever made: "Time Bandits". He was rightfully proud of these films but also his work with people like Dino De Laurentis and the studios he built that people predicted wouldn't stand longer than a year or two.
These were studios that eventually house Corolco and then Screen Gems which he became President of over a decade ago. Towards the end of his life, aside from mentoring outfits like Renegade, running Screen Gems and managing his Father's extensive libraries of films he also fed back into the film industry that he loved so much by serving on Academy Awards committees and lecturing regularly at the University.
I miss you Frank. I'm sorry you missed this last election. You are irreplaceable and humanity is less without you. You'll not be forgotten.
(image of Frank Capra Jr. is a screenshot from the 2006 featurette, "Personal Remembrance"
Gino Empry / ???? - 2006
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Gino Empry / Renegade Publicist ???? - 2006
SEE YA LATER, GINO
by Steven Rumbelow, October 16, 2006
Most obits will talk about how he worked with Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Tony Bennet, Jack Lemon. How his office wall was a who's who of head shots of the biggest stars from every era of the last 50 years. All signed and saying great things about Gino. But Gino's true talent was the great humanity that he kept protected under that crusty agent's shell. In amongst all those head shots you'll see donations and charity work that was just the tip of the iceberg. You could sit in his office and watch him in the space of 5 minutes chew out an employee, dismissively hang up the phone on some other entertainment icon, offer sensitive support to some unknown who he felt was worth the effort. Then look up with a sparkle in his eyes and say 'Well...? What the f**k do you want?... and I'll tell you now... the answer's no' followed by a broad smile and a 'crazy bastard' which is what he's called me since standing in the wings of my production of "Moby Dick". That time he accompanied it with a sharp wrap across my head with the script for Moby. (A production which won four Jefferson Awards with it's Chicago run).
I've got two stories about Gino to tell, which also happens to be the first time and the last time we met. Our first meeting; I walked into his office waiting area back in the 80's having been pre-warned by his staff that he was in a mood. I sat there for a good 20 minutes listening to him reaming out someone with a stream of abuse for having missed some interviews he'd set up. I was feeling rather uneasy because I was going in to ask him to do a big PR job for me for gratis. It didn't bode well. I was astonished when I saw one of the richest men in Canada walking out of his office, tail between his legs, apologizing profusely. I walked into his office with very little hope of a good conclusion to our meeting. He was still angry and when I explained the gratis part of the deal... his reaction was something like... "are you crazy?... you got some balls! ...do you have any idea how much I cost?" Next day his secretary called me with appointments for 18 interviews. A campaign that resulted in about 350 items in all media.
The last time we were together was at a film awards ceremony a couple of years ago. We talked often since then but that was the last time I saw him... red suit and all. We sat together and the host of the awards ceremony was not doing too well. Jokes weren't working. Within about 30 seconds of the host starting, Gino nailed it and launched into the most vibrant inappropriate heckling I've ever seen. Gino didn't let up for the whole ceremony. More than a few times even I felt like crawling under the table. Eventually I put aside any attempt at walking out of there with a vestige of my Keynote Speaker status intact and eventually sat back and enjoyed Gino's show. Fact is he always called it like it was and always helped the performance and the performer with honesty, support and a message that was 'Never give up.'. He knew entertainment and entertainers.
I found him to be one of the most honest deal-makers in this business. No games. No bull. Over the years he negotiated impossible deals for us with stars, did PR for both myself and my companies, he mentored me in dark times and negotiated contracts for me personally. I could trust him to do the right thing in just about every aspect of my business. With an absence of relatives in North America he was a kind of perverse and pyrotechnic surrogate uncle. He's been reported as being 83 but I don't think anyone knows for sure. I don't think he would've been too pleased. I assumed he was 70-ish. Whatever his age he was totally active and effective until the end and was, for us, a true Renegade with a huge heart.
See you later, Gino.
(image of Gino Empry courtesy of his former website)