John de Menil - Co-Writer/DirectorJohn de Menil is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and recent graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory. He graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2008, where his thesis short garnered several awards at NYU's First Run Film Festival. In 2009 he directed the feature-length documentary MAX ERNST HANGING, which played at festivals around the country and was distributed by Microcinema International. After moving to Los Angeles, John wrote and directed a short film for producer Chris Meledandri (DESPICABLE ME) which appeared on the bonus features of the film HOP, as well as directing web content for America's Next Top Model. Currently, John is developing feature-length projects, while continuing to serve as director and cinematographer on commercials and other short form content for companies such as Adult Swim and LA Magazine. John wears a size 11 shoe, enjoys a good gyro, and hopes to one day have dinner with Bruce Springsteen.
Jennifer Elmas - ProducerJennifer was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to Houston, TX to get her bachelors degree in communication from the University of St. Thomas. Fluent in four languages, she served as translator for documentaries in production. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has produced commercials, coordinated event filming, and worked as assistant to the director on several Lifetime movies. By producing both narrative and documentary content internationally, Jennifer hopes to see the world through the stories she tells.
John Barr - Co-WriterJohn Barr is an AFI Screenwriting Fellow, a Sagittarius, and has no relation to Roseanne. He has a handsome oeuvre of produced, un-produced, written, and unwritten works. He lives in Hollywood with his loving girlfriend and their mercurial chihuahua.
Daryl Gilmore - CinematographerAfter serving in the military as an intel analyst, Daryl earned a film degree from the University of Hawaii. He went on to work as a PA and camera assistant on the shows LOST, HEROES, HAWAII FIVE-O, INDIANA JONES 4 and FAST & FURIOUS 4. He has been the director of photography on several music videos, as well as the short films THE DRIVE and EVE, which screened at both the Hawaii International Film Festival and the Shanghai International Film Festival. He has collaborated twice with Pyromance director John de Menil on the AFI short film THE PRINCESS AND THE PARAKEET, and on a swimwear commercial for the apparel company DIAMONY.
Susannah Honey - Production DesignerSusannah was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. Her love of film began with Star Wars at age 5. Her brother had told her that it was a true story, so for a long time she viewed it as a very interesting documentary. She studied History and German at the University of Western Australia, and then happily segued into Production Design at AFI. She recently found out that she is descended from an Antiguan pirate, and hopes to bring that level of tenacity to designing this film.
Noah Cody - EditorNoah’s jaw dropped as blood spewed from the astronauts stomach. He buried his face in Dad's shoulder as screams filled the theater. Nervously, He gathered the courage to look. A vehement creature with razor sharp teeth emerged from entrails quivering in viscera like a newly born child. A confusing surge of emotions came over Noah watching Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) that day. It was in that moment of horror in which his love for film was born. He received a bachelor’s degree in film studies from UC Berkely, drummed in several metal bands, and always gets the last word.
Linda Phillips Palo & Paul Palo - Casting DirectorsLinda Phillips Palo C.S.A. (MA) is a casting director who won the Artios, the highest casting honor for her work casting Sophia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett). She has also worked as the casting director for Francis Ford Coppola on his films The Rainmaker (Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Jon Voight) and Jack (Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez, Bill Cosby, Fran Drescher), as well as for George Lucas on Radioland Murders, Phil Joanou on Heaven’s Prisoners, Dwight Yoakam on South of Heaven West of Hell, and Eduardo Sánchez on Seventh Moon. Some of her other films include The Secret Garden, Wind, Jeepers Creepers II, and The Young Black Stallion for IMAX/Disney. in addition Linda and her partner Paul have cast over 15 short films with USC, UCLA and AFI winning numerous awards.
Steve Jeffries - Technical AdvisorSteve is a veteran of the pyro and special effects industries, with over 20 years of experience as special effects supervisor and fireworks operator. He currently works with Pyritz Pyrotechnics Group, performing shows at a variety of venues across the southland as well as touring with major stage performers such as Usher and Mariah Carrey. Previously, he spent two years at Fort Irwin, as the lead pyrotechnician for the U.S. Army's largest battlefield simulation training facility. Steve has served as technical advisor throughout the entire development of PYROMANCE, providing a uniquely personal insight into the both the technicalities and emotional realities of being a pyrotechnician. No one knows how to make things go boom like Steve, and team PYROMANCE is thrilled to be working with him.
Every fuse needs a flame.
A lonely pyro-technician finds an unlikely spark on the eve of the 4th of July fireworks and becomes torn between desires both personal and professional.
As a professional pyrotechnic, DONNIE spends his days traversing Southern California, drifting from show to show. A chance encounter with a local motel owner (ROSE) on the eve of the 4th of July fireworks show forces Donnie into an intimate situation that he both desires and fears. As the night progresses and sparks begin to fly, Donnie finds himself torn between personal and professional loves.
At the world-renowned AFI Conservatory, a dedicated group of working professionals from the film and television communities serve as mentors in a hands-on, production-based environment nurturing the talents of tomorrow's storytellers. The Conservatory is consistently recognized as one of the worlds top film schools.
With an emphasis on narrative visual storytelling and personal expression, each class breaks into teams that mirror a real production environment. Those teams collaborate on and produce more films than any other graduate level film program.
Established in 1969, the two-year Master of Fine Arts program provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Admission to AFI Conservatory is highly selective, with a maximum of only 140 graduates per year.
AFI alumni continually celebrate critical recognition, including wins at the Academy Awards (Wally Pfister, INCEPTION, cinematography class of 1988), Emmy Awards (Dante Di Loreto, TEMPLE GRANDIN, producing class of 1991), Tony Awards (Anne Garefino, "The Book of Mormon," producing class of 1988) and the Grand Prizes at the Cannes Film Festival (Terrence Malick, TREE OF LIFE, directing class of 1969) and Sundance Film Festival (Drake Doremus, LIKE CRAZY, directing class of 2005). Most recently, multiple AFI alumni received 2011 Emmy Award nominations, including Patty Jenkins (THE KILLING, directing class of 2000), Anne Garefino (SOUTH PARK, producing class of 1988), Brad Falchuk (GLEE, screenwriting class of 1996), Dante Di Loreto (GLEE, producing class of 1991), Bradley Buecker (GLEE, directing class of 2003), Jeremy Podeswa (BOARDWALK EMPIRE, directing class of 1984), Manny Cotto (DEXTER, directing class of 1984) and Paul Starkman (TOP CHEF, cinematography class of 1998).