The Neutral Ground: Filmmaker Bios & Credits

The Neutral Ground:

Filmmaker Bios & Credits

Filmmaker Bios

CJ Hunt | Director & Writer

CJ Hunt is a comedian and filmmaker living in NYC. He is currently a field producer on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He has also served as a staff writer for A&E's Black and White, and a field producer for BET's The Rundown with Robin Thede. Before working in late night, CJ spent nine years living in New Orleans where - in 2015 - he began filming what he thought would be a quick and easy confederate monument removal. CJ is an alumnus of Firelight Media's Doc Lab and New Orleans Film Festival's Emerging Voices program. He is also a 2020 New America Fellow and a regular host of The Moth. A graduate from Brown University's Africana Studies department, CJ is endlessly fascinated by race and comedy's ability to say what we can't. @gocjhunt. website

Roy Wood, Jr. | Executive Producer

Roy Wood Jr.'s comedy has entertained millions across stage, television and radio. In addition to stand-up comedy, producing and acting, Roy is currently a correspondent on Comedy Central's Emmy and NAACP Award winning The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. During his tenure, he has used The Daily Show’s brand of satire to shed light on serious issues including gun violence, police reform, LGBTQ+ discrimination, ICE deportations and PTSD in the Black community. Wood’s recent credits include guest starring roles in Netflix’s comedy series Space Force, AMC’s Better Call Saul, and The Last O.G. on TBS.

Darcy McKinnon | Producer

Darcy McKinnon is a documentary filmmaker based in New Orleans. McKinnon's work in documentaries includes the films Maquilapolis, Live, Nude, Girls, UNITE!, “Animals” and THE NEUTRAL GROUND with CJ Hunt. With a background in education and arts organization leadership, she produces documentary work that focuses on the American South, and is currently in mid-production on Commuted with Nailah Jefferson, and Katie Mathews’ Roleplay, a hybrid play/documentary about student artist responses to campus sexual assault. She also co-directed a doc short, “A Fine Girl,” with support from If/Then. McKinnon's work has been broadcast on POV, LPB and Cinemax, and her current projects have received support from SFFILM, CAAM, Chicken and Egg, Firelight Media, ITVS, Black Public Media, Sundance and Tribeca. Darcy is a co-founder of ALL Y'ALL, with Elaine McMillion Sheldon, an alum of the Impact Partners Producing Fellowship, and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2020 25 new faces  in independent film.

Jane Geisler | Editor

Jane is an editor and independent filmmaker based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She's worked her editing magic on documentary features, narrative and documentary shorts, web series, digital and broadcast commercial campaigns, branded content, political spots, and music videos. Jane is a member of the New Orleans chapter of Film Fatales, Women in Film and Television Louisiana, and serves as board secretary at Court 13 Arts. Films: As writer and/or director, Jane is most attracted to stories that feature complex women in nontraditional roles, as well as environmental themes and plots entrenched in Louisiana history and culture. Short films she has written, directed, or edited have screened at festivals in the US and Europe. Select Clients & Platforms: AFAR, NBC Universal, Toyota USA, GOODFest, COMPLEX, Zatarain's, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Seafood, Whitney Bank, National Geographic Channel, today.com, A&E, ESPN. She recently debuted her first feature documentary edit, with director Lily Keber’s Buckjumping (2018).

Paavo Hanninen | Director of Photography

Paavo was raised in Tuscaloosa, and after finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama, he moved to Austin, Texas where he pursued his MFA in Film Production at UT-Austin. In 2012 he moved to New Orleans where he works professionally as a cinematographer and director

for commercials and documentaries. As a cinematographer, his work has been seen around the world at festivals including Sundance, Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand, and Rooftop Films among many others. As a director, his narrative shorts have screened at Austin Film Festival, Sun Valley Film Festival, and Berlinale Short Film Cloud among others and have been featured on a number of notable independent film platforms including NoBudge.com. His short film “I Think I’m Dying,” will premiere this summer on Shortoftheweek.com.

Jeremy Blum | Co- Producer & Second Camera

Jeremy Blum is a producer, camera operator, and director based out of his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. He has produced and/or shot a variety of commercials, short films, and music videos, including for artists such as Big Freedia and Tank & the Bangas. He has also worked on multiple films and television shows, including Claws, American Horror Story, The Purge, 65, and Welcome to the Blumhouse, among others. He is currently producing on director Angela Tucker's "The Trees Remember," a series of short films for REI that feature Black women finding connection in the outdoors. He began his collaboration with CJ Hunt as Assistant Director on the web series, "Sunken City."

Angela Tucker | Consulting Producer

Angela Tucker is a writer, director and Emmy nominated producer who makes narrative and documentary films. Her latest film, “I can’t change 400 years in four” (co-directed with Kristi Jacobson) is streaming on Mother Jones and Independent Lens. Her directorial work includes “All Skinfolk, Ain’t Kinfolk”, a documentary short which aired on PBS’ Reel South; “All Styles” a dance narrative feature available on Showtime; “Black Folk Don’t”, a documentary web series featured in Time Magazine’s “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life”; and (A)sexual, a feature length documentary about people who experience no sexual attraction that streamed on Netflix and Hulu. She was the Co-Executive Producer of the PBS series AfroPoP and the Producer of Belly of the Beast (dir. Erika Cohn) which broadcast on PBS' Independent Lens and was a New York Times Critics Pick. Her production company, TuckerGurl, is passionate about stories that highlight underrepresented communities in unconventional ways. A Visiting Professor at Tulane University, Tucker was a Sundance Institute Women Filmmakers Initiative Fellow and a recipient of the inaugural William Greaves Fund from Firelight Media. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Production Companies

THE NEUTRAL GROUND is co-production of One Drop Pictures, POV and ITVS, in association with the Center for Asian American Media. A co-presentation of Black Public Media and the Center for Asian American Media.

Full Credit Roll

Directed by

CJ Hunt

Produced by

Darcy McKinnon

Editor

Jane Geisler

Executive Producers

Roy Wood Jr.

Sally Jo Fifer

Executive Producer for CAAM

Stephen Gong

Executive Producers for American Documentary | POV

Erika Dilday, Justine Nagan and Chris White

Director of Photography

Paavo Hanninen

Co-Producer

Jeremy Blum

Supervising Producer

Shana Swanson

Consulting Producer

Angela Tucker

Associate Producer

Katie Pham Jennifer Samani Rachel Witwer

Archival Producer

Amy Rodrigue

Writing

CJ Hunt Jane Geisler

and James Hamilton

Original Score

Sultana Isham

Archival Research by

Jane Geisler CJ Hunt Heather Riley Katie Tapper Ivy Wang

Motion Graphics by

Charlie LaVoy

Secondary Camera

Jeremy Blum

Additional Shooting by

  • Abdul Aziz
  • Lindsey Phillips
  • John Carlo Monti
  • Cameron Wheeless
  • Zac Manuel
  • Ben Simmons
  • Nisa East
  • Abe Felix
  • Melissa McLain
  • David Pittman
  • Ryan Bedall
  • Zuri Obi Louis
  • Eric Foster

Sound Recording

Derek Rocque

Additional Sound Recording

  • James Page
  • Ian Painter
  • Jonah Carmena
  • Emily Strong
  • Andrew Uvarov
  • Lee Garcia

Assistant Editing

  • Brent Joseph
  • Melinda Tran

Stills Photography

Abdul Aziz

Fact Checking

Kayla Lattimore

Production Assistants

  • Merlin Ramsey
  • Melinda Tran
  • Lemar Arceneaux

On-line Editor

Bradley Greer, Wendy Greer

On-line Facility

Kyoto Color

Sound Designer / Re-Recording Mixer

Eli Cohn

Dialogue Editors

Josh Ascalon, A.J. Robb

SFX Editor

Jack Sasner

Sound Mix Facility

Nocturnal Sound

Locations Coordination

Emily Wyman, Richmond VA

Legal Services

  • Fernando Ramirez, Esq.
  • Peter Jaszi
  • Scott Sternberg

Historical Advisor

Erin Greenwald

Featuring

  • CJ’s Dad
  • Mitch Landrieu
  • Jason Williams
  • Michael “Quess” Moore
  • Christy Coleman
  • Thomas Taylor
  • Karen Cox
  • Malcolm Suber
  • Butterbean and Dan
  • Ashley Rogers
  • Dr. Ibrahima Seck
  • Abdul Aziz
  • Freddi Williams Evans
  • Luther Gray
  • Dread Scott

Archival Photos Courtesy of

  • American Civil War Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • AP Images
  • Collegiate Academies
  • Getty Images
  • HathiTrust
  • Historic New Orleans Collection
  • J Paul Getty Museum
  • Library of Congress
  • Missouri Historical Society
  • National Archives
  • National Parks Service
  • New Orleans Public Libraries
  • Research Center of the Utah State Archives and Utah State History
  • Shutterstock
  • The Advocate
  • The Times Picayune
  • The Valentine
  • Tulane University Library Special Collections
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Military Institute

Archival Footage Courtesy of

  • ABC News
  • Al Jazeera America
  • Associated Press
  • CBS Evening News
  • CBS Los Angeles
  • CBS This Morning
  • Divided City (TSC LLC)
  • Fox News
  • JoLu Productions
  • KCAL9
  • KPRC
  • National Archives
  • NBC News
  • New Orleans CIty Council
  • Prelinger Archives
  • Pond5
  • The New York Times
  • The Sun
  • The Times-Picayune
  • The Washington Post
  • Thomas Van De Pas (via Newsflare)
  • WDSU

Music

  • Score Production
  • Joy Music House

Score Producer

Sultana Isham, Catherine Joy, Joseph Berg

Score Supervisor

Robinton Hobbs

Orchestrators

Sultana Isham, Edith Mudge, Dabney Morris

Copying

Joseph Carrillo

Mixed by

Joseph Berg, Brian Taylor

Choir

THE WEST LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHOIR

Choir Director

Barbara Silberg

String Orchestra

FAME’S MUSIC ORCHESTRAL RECORDING

Conductor

Oleg Kondratenko

Orchestra Members

  • Sarah Robinson (Flute)
  • Phil Popham (Oboe)
  • Virginia Figueiredo (Clarinet)
  • Owen Callahan (Clarinet)
  • - VIRGINIA FIGUEIREDO, OWEN CALLAHAN
  • Miles Lyons (Tuba)
  • Jonah Levy (Trumpet)
  • Xavier Molina (Trumpet)
  • Hannah Krieger-Benson (Trumpet)
  • Preston Shepard (Horn)
  • Bobak Lotfipour (Percussion)
  • Peter J. Bowling (Bass)
  • Boyanna Trayanova (Drums)
  • Sultana Isham (Piano, Harpsichord, Strings and Electronics)

Songs

“Who’s Rockin’, Who’s Rollin’

Written by Philip Frazier, Keith Frazier, Derrick Tabb, Stafford Agee, Gregory Veals, Derrick Shezbie, Chadrick Honore, Vincent Broussard

Performed by Rebirth Brass Band Courtesy of Basin Street Records

“Progress”

Written by Anthony Gullage Jr., Chad A. Roby Performed by Kr3wcial

Courtesy of Outlander Entertainment

“Dixie”

Written by Traditional

Performed by Karen Elson with The Secret Sisters Courtesy of ATO Records

“Dixie”

Written by Traditional

Performed by Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball Courtesy of Verve Label Group, UMG

Special Thanks

  • The Hunts
  • The Mayben-Schmitts Elizabeth McKinnon Liz Beeson
  • Erik Blake
  • Graham Cumberbatch Lauren Kushner Jenny Slattery
  • Penny Lane Christine Turner Chenjerai Kumanyika The Buntons
  • Jeniffer Maloney Chirstopher Graham Agnieszka Czeblakow Scott Hutcheson
  • Laine Kaplan Levinson Bob Snead
  • Ed Bell Hunter Burke Don Lewis Dane Rhodes Dylan Hunter
  • Robert LaRivierre Jim Gleason Elizabeth Hutchison Dave Davis
  • Owen Legendre Kara Welker Jen Flanz
  • Eric Davies Jo Honig NOVAC
  • Molly Mitchell Justin Nystrom Bill Quigley Kevin Litten
  • Flozell Daniels, Jr. Bryan Lee Jr
  • Sue Mobley

Production support provided by

  • Firelight Media
  • New America’s Fellows Program
  • Funding provided by Ford Foundation SFFILM
  • Southern Documentary Fund
  • New Music USA - Reel Change: Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation

THE NEUTRAL GROUND is a co-production of One Drop Pictures, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and American Documentary | POV.

This program was produced by One Drop Pictures which is solely responsible for its content.