Big Shoes Media Team

Stuart Goodman – executive producer

Stuart Goodman is an award-winning producer with a remarkably diverse career. He has executive-produced, produced and/or directed films, dramatic television, documentaries, reality, comedy, and sports programming.  He is a 30 year member of the Director’s Guild of America.  Stuart is also a voting member of BAFTA.

DAN SCHNEIDER – executive producer

Dan Schneider, our executive producer, has been practicing entertainment, corporate, new media, intellectual property (copyrights and trademarks) and real property law for more than 32 years in Manhattan and Woodstock, N.Y. A graduate of Vassar College (AB, 1979, Evans Fellow in Law) and Emory Law School (JD, 1982, Emory Scholar), he is admitted to the New York and Georgia bars, as well as to the U.S. District Court (Southern District, N.Y.). Mr. Schneider has been AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell. www.schneiderpfahl.com

A member of numerous non-profit Boards, Dan also serves as the Executive Director of the Florence Belsky Charitable Foundation (www.flobel.org).

TOMMY WALKER – director/producer

Tommy Walker, the oldest of three children, born to Mrs. Walker and the Right Reverend Bishop John T. Walker, the first African American Episcopal Bishop in Washington DC, graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors of Arts in History.

Walker has worked in film and television for twenty-four years. He began his career in 1985 working in postproduction for National Geographic’s Explorer series. In 1991 Walker was the production manager for the PBS documentary “Mandela in America”, which followed Mandela on his first visit to the United States.. In 1998, Walker served as a segment producer on the PBS documentary “Tutu and Franklin-A Journey towards Peace,” which followed Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, John Hope Franklin and 21 students to the 21st Century Summit on Race and Reconciliation.

Walker has produced and directed short films for Kaleidoscope Productions who’s clients include Toyota, Mercedes, Chrysler and Hewlett Packard. These films have been used to brand and introduce new directions and products for these companies. In addition some of these films have been cut into spots for national and international campaigns. Walker has also produced and directed several promotional films for multicultural non-profits such as the Robin Hood Foundation sponsored Kipp School and Norman Lear’s non-profit Declare Yourself a campaign to energize a new movement of young voters.

In 2005 Walker co- directed and produced the feature length theatrical documentary, God Grew Tired of Us. It ‘s a film about refugees from war torn Sudan, their subsequent immigration to America, and their experience in a Post 9/11 world. The film won Best Documentary as well as the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It was released in theaters in 2006. In 2004 Walker produced the acclaimed primetime Emmy nominated feature length documentary film With All Deliberate Speed for Discovery Communications Doc Series. The film is a moving portrayal of the brave souls who fought to integrate America before the civil rights movement began as we know it. To bring life to a historical subject, they included young people talking frankly and intelligently about racial relations in our country today. Acclaimed actors and musicians including: Alicia Keys, Mekhi Phifer, Larenz Tate, Jeffery Wright, Joe Morton and Terry Kinney, brought the words of historical figures to life on camera. The film opened successfully in 5 cities. Also in 2004 Walker produced A Southern Town it centers on the people of Jackson, Mississippi. It has been a mainstay of programming on Discovery Times Network and has been critically acclaimed.

Walker is currently a producer and partner with Freemind Ventures a production company that has produced The Blacklist, the Latino List, and The Out List an HBO documentary series that reveals the diverse experience of being black, Latino, or LGBT in America through portrait style interviews with leading African- American, Latino and LGBT figures. In the fall of 2014 Walker was the interviewer and producer of the PBS documentary The Boomer List about the Baby Boomer generation. In 2015, Walker produced The Women’s List for PBS’ American Masters, which highlights 15 women who have shaped contemporary culture. Walker is also an Executive Producer for the feature documentary film, About Face, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO in the summer of 2012.

RIC ZIVIC – executive producer

Grammy and Tony nominated Producer and Composer, Ric Zivic was Executive Producer on the critically acclaimed holiday film, “The Christmas Secret,” starring Beau Bridges and Richard Thomas, the highest rated CBS film in its premiere year and now lives on as a favorite Christmas classic.  As a Producer and Composer, he received a Daytime Emmy and Golden Eagle Award, as well as a Grammy nomination for his work on the popular children’s series “Bingo and Molly” for The Learning Channel.  He was a Producer and Composer on the hit series “Overhaulin’” for the Discovery Network. He was also a Producer on “UFO’s and Aliens: Search for the Truth”, on Discovery. Ric, most recently, was a Producer on the smash Broadway Play “A Christmas Story: The Musical”, based on the beloved classic film, and starring Dan Lauria as Jean Sheppard. Ric and his production team received three Tony nominations, as well as, being nominated for the Drama Desk Award.

Executive Producer/Producer at Z Music and Entertainment/Ric and Ted Productions, which are state of the art Production Facilities and Recording Studios in New York City. 
Emmy winner, as well as Grammy and Tony nominated Executive Producer and Producer, developing TV, Film and Broadway projects from conception, creative and financing, to completion. 
Will oversee the Production from concept, shooting, to post, which includes score, sound design and mix. Along with being a Producer, Ric is also a 
Composer and Sound Designer for Film and Television.

RUDI AZANK – director

Rudi Azank is an award winning Director/Producer/Actor, and graduate of the film school at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts. He is the executive producer of the award winning web series ‘While Waiting for Godot’, the official web adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s classic play (whilewaitingforgodot.com), which he performs in as well. He is the receiver of the Best Cinematographer award at the 2014 Rome Web Awards for the Season 1 of ‘While Waiting for Godot’, as well as being nominated for Best Director. His film editorials are published frequently on Art & Entertainment website The-Artifice.com. He studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Conservatory, as well as the Stella Adler Conservatory.

DANIEL CHRISTOPHER – director

Daniel is a budding creative media-maker interested in content development in a variety of mediums, as well as new forms of distribution. Through experience in a variety of production environments (national and regional commercials, news gathering / political coverage, fashion shows, music videos, concerts, training DVDs, promotional web videos, non-profit outreach films), he has developed technical knowledge of digital video cameras and lens, lighting and grip equipment, video technology and delivery formats, audio recording, and editing [Apple Final Cut Pro Certified]. In terms of filmmaking, Daniel is driven to create works that are more than just visually and aurally stimulating –  films that do not just tell a story, but compel viewers to act. He will be pursuing an MFA starting this fall at the UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) program. His mantra is “staying prolific.”

PAULA DARLINGTON

Paula Darlington began shooting video and still photography around the age of 8 as the assistant to her father, who was a serious hobbyist. From there, it became a lifelong passion. During her professional career, Paula has worked on many different sides of storytelling, from advertising to book publishing as well as film and video making.  She has worked on all sides of filmmaking from storyboarding, lighting and filming to editing and special effects.  She uses AVCHD cameras and professional lighting. Paula is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and the I Can Still Do That Foundation’s Film and Music Committees.  She is based out of Fairfield County, CT just North of NYC.

CHARLES HOBSON – producer

Charles Hobson, Executive Producer of Vanguard Documentaries, has had an acclaimed four-decade career. Hobson’s many films include “Harlem in Montmarte” (for PBS’s GREAT PERFORMANCES), “Porgy and Bess: An American Voice” (PBS), “Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant”, “Jump Street: The History of Black Music”, and “Negroes with Guns.” He has also been a producer on ABC-TV’s “Like It Is.” His awards include an Emmy, a Fulbright (Germany), The Japan Prize (Special Citation), and CINE “Golden Eagle”. Mr. Hobson has taught at SUNY, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Vassar, and lectured at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. This summer, he will be Artist-in-Residence at Art Workshop International in Assisi, Italy.

NICOLE JOHNSON – director/producer

Nicole Javanna Johnson is a graduate of NYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Ethics, Management & Production in the Arts. Nicole is also Founder & Creative Director of Javanna Productions, a non-profit registered 501c3 arts and education company with active members of all ages world wide. Javanna Productions provides artists with the resources, funding and platforms that are needed to produce socially responsible artistic films, shows, galleries, programs, events and fundraisers. Annually, Javanna Productions presents a community driven effort entitled M.O.V.E. (Motivation Opportunity Vision Entertainment). In this assembly, members are encouraged to produce artistic pieces and events (films, visual art, performance art, music, spoken word, classes, workshops) that raise funds and awareness for a variety of social issues, causes and non-profit advocacy programs. 

Members of Javanna Productions can participate in after school learning, summer learning, traveling tours and pop up events with the organization year round following an individualized curriculum designed specifically for each member. According to their strengths and artistic discipline, young members are grouped with older members (industry professionals) in organizational community service efforts and productions. Javanna Productions’ intergenerational mission creates informal classroom experiences that bring families in the community together for the advocacy and support of social causes. In the past, Javanna Productions has worked to advocate for causes such as Autism, Celiac Disease, Cancer research, education in rural parts of the world, HIV/AIDS awareness, suicide prevention and anti-substance abuse. 

Javanna Productions also owns subsidiaries that fund the non-profit ventures of the organization including a marketing company (M.O.V.E. Agency), a radio program (M.O.V.E. Radio) and a publicly funded web channel (MOViEs Web Channel). 

Nicole is a youth delegate of the United Nations and has worked for international education efforts in Ghana, Uganda and Cambodia. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in education policy at Nova South Eastern University and seeks to become a public servant in every community she visits. Javanna Productions currently has 8 national chapters and 8 international chapters with studio space in Utah and New York. 

Nicole is a member of SAG-AFTRA and the Actors Equity Association. Her performing. credits include HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Papermill’s The Little Mermaid and NY productions of A Chorus Line, Into the Woods and Bye Bye Birdie. Nicole has produced TV and web media for youth and produces 5-10 live productions for young artists yearly through Javanna Productions M.O.V.E. 

MUSTAPHA KHAN – director/writer

Mustapha Khan is an Emmy Award-winning film, television and commercial director. His credits include: the multiple award-winning documentary House on Fire, the critically-acclaimed television film Reflections of a Native Son, the primetime PBS NATURE Series Wild TV, the Emmy-Nominated Sesame Street’s 25th Anniversary Special and the new independent action feature, Rocksteady.

Mustapha’s commercial credits include national spots for clients such as: Coca-Cola, Honda, Nickelodeon, Burger King, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Children’s Defense Fund, Save the Children, the Legal Aid Society, Sesame Workshop, HBO, PBS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Actors and artists he has directed includes: Bill Cosby, Alicia Keys, Gloria Estefan, Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Dave Chappelle, Ray Charles, Mya, Missy Elliott. LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Maya Angelou, Sean Kingston, Savion Glover, Elmo, Big Bird and all of the Sesame Street Muppets.

Mustapha is a graduate of Harvard University and was a Rotary Scholar anthropologist in East Africa before becoming a filmmaker.  He lives in New York with his wife, jewelry designer Allyson Smith, and their two dogs, Boyo and Little Bootsy Collins.