Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Inscrutable Masterminds

Dear Reader,

It is with great pleasure that I present the masterminds behind The Squirrel King digital series, aka the crew.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Writer/Producer/Director - RUFUS WILLIAMS

A PhD from Harvard in mathematics and rock-climbing expertise that ranks him among Australia's top boulderers serve as great indicators of Rufus' diverse talents and inclinations. Add two beautiful and energetic daughters into the mix, and it is hardly surprising that he has chosen to follow up his debut feature film, Butterfly Dreaming - which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and went on to win Best Thriller at the Santa Monica International Film Festival - with a light-hearted digital series about aliens, squirrels and one woman's quest to be part of something important.

Writer/Producer - JUSTUS ZIMMERMAN

Just outside Wenham, MA, there is a valley named "The Valley of Justus".

If you really need to know more, check out the cast page, as Justus plays his namesake, and our protagonist, Robin's, boyfriend.

Cinematographer - TOM CLANCEY

Tom brings years of experience shooting a range of projects, from studio and independent features, to stunning commercial work. His collaboration with director Justin Lin (for whom he has shot additional photography on The Fast & The Furious franchise, including the most recent Fast Five) resulted in Finishing the Game which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (2007). Tom also shot Director John Landis' Emmy award winning documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.

Along with music videos and numerous national commercials, his recent independent features include White Space and Kissing Strangers, and documentaries on Kilimanjaro and the shipbreakers of Southeast Asia.

Production Designer - VIVIAN DOMINGUEZ

Vivian is a Texas born, New York City trained actress, writer and papier-mache artist.

After auditioning for the lead role in The Squirrel King, she landed the job as head of production design. She is the mastermind behind the squirrel puppets, and has worked closely with Rufus on the fierce feline, a miniature forest, and the series title card.

Her eclectic background ranges from papier-mache snails and ferrets, to writing "Fly My Way", the number 1 pop song in China for 3 weeks in 2010. Viva Vivian!


Based out of Therapy Studios, Meg has cut content for Nike, Toyota and Spike TV. She and Rufus first collaborated on Rufus' debut feature Butterfly Dreaming which Meg edited.

Since then she has brought her cool, level head to a number of documentaries, including Transcendent Man which played at the Tribecca and AFI film festivals. We are delighted and blessed to have her prowess on board The Squirrel King team!

Sound Designer - ROBERT KELLOUGH

In a world of papier-mache spacecraft and woolen-water showers, the requirements on a sound designer are simple: a genius is required. Enter Bob.

Having cut his teeth as a sound effects editor on shows such as Fringe, Flashforward and Lost (on which he was a member of the Emmy-nominated sound-editing team), Bob has more recently worked on high profile feature films such as X-Men: First Class, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Beyond his obvious technical expertise, Bob's personal aesthetic is perfectly positioned to create an alien language from kids' laughter.


Through his company Serial Musique Matthew has scored title themes for hit TV shows including Real Housewives of Atlanta, Top Chef: Just Desserts, and The Fashion Show. Indeed Matthew, and his co-conspirator, Kyle Johnston, have score elements throughout the Real Housewives and Top Chef franchises.

Matthew's wonderfully haunting score elevated Rufus' Butterfly Dreaming to an ethereal plane, and the two have been close friends since, always in search of the next project on which to collaborate. The Squirrel King, offers a unique venue to really push the frontiers of score with discussions already involving a plethora of playful percussion, all to be synthesized by the Doc (Matthew's nick-name referencing his strong theoretical background).


Working beside Rufus Williams at Private Universe Films are Keith Goodwill and Paytre Topp.

Business Developer - KEITH GOODWILL

After an academic career that started at Oxford University and included over 300 publications in prestigious journals such as Nature, Keith parlayed his scientific expertise into a more business-focussed life. As a founder and director of several successful biotech companies Keith has raised over $100 million dollars and structured partnerships with major companies and institutions including IBM, Dow Agrosciences, Beckman, Bayer, Nestle and the Bill Gates funded FIND Foundation.

The head of the scientific lab that coined the term "Proteome", Keith founded and grew the biotech company Proteome Systems from 12 to 150 people, ultimately leading the company to a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange; doubtless one of the contributing factors in his being awarded an Order of Australia.

Complimenting these professional credentials, is Keith's belief in GNH (Gross National Happiness), the Bhutanese measure of prosperity. Further with five children, and four grandchildren, of his own, he is perfectly placed as a driving force behind the world of The Squirrel King.

Executive Producer - PAYTRE TOPP

Otherwise known by the pseudonym The Trouble and Strife, the elusive Paytre would be more accurately referred to as Her Saintliness. Far from torment and conflict, her presence on the Squirrel King team ensures precisely the opposite. Trained as a lawyer at USC where she held an executive position on the law review, she is, by day, an entertainment attorney.

Beyond her legal prowess, and undergraduate background in physics and biochemistry, Her Holiness is a fashion guru and designer; skills she is harnessing as the visionary behind the Squirrel King clothing lines Little Nut (kids), Big Nuts (mens) and the yet unnamed women's line.

She met and married Rufus over 10 years ago while working in a lab at MIT.

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