This project will rely on the contributions of many people in the community, including scholars, technical experts and community activists, and everyday members of the community. This project represents many different points of view, experience and skill sets. By bringing together a distinct group of peoples with different perspectives the project will help bridge the gap between the diverse cultures of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Project director: Jody Nelson

805.403.0602/ P.O. Box 23354, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Santa Barbara filmmaker, Jody Nelson brings 20 years of teaching and 10 years of media experience to her filmmaking.  Nelson specializes in documentaries and short narrative films.  She has produced three award winning short films,” Hero of the Game”, “First and Ten”, and “Iron Boy.”  These films screened at the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo International Film festivals where “Iron Boy” took audience choice. “First and Ten” also screened at the 2007 Luna Film Festival in San Diego. Ms. Nelson’s first film “Inside the Box” highlighted the collaboration of Girl’s Inc. with the Women Beyond Borders Box Project ten-year retrospective art show at UCSB in 2002.

Ms. Nelson has extensive teaching experience with children and adults in the areas of Physical Education and film production.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an Associates of Arts Degree in Film Production from Santa Barbara City College and is a credentialed teacher.

The project director will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of pre-production, production, postproduction and publicity.

Ms. Nelson will conduct archival research, research and contact interviewees, conduct interviews, teach/assist youth interns with the interview process, perform camera operations, serve as assistant editor, photograph production stills, and meet with the humanities experts at least once a month and more often as the culminating event approaches. She will also work closely with the editor and the humanities experts to create the story with creative input on the overall look and feel of the documentary and all associated publicity.

Co-Producer/Camera/Spanisih Language Field Producer: Celinda Valuer, CA 93013

Celinda graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor’s in Media Arts and Communications in 1998 and obtained a Liberal Arts degree from Los Angeles Pierce College in 1995. She worked as an assistant researcher for Access Hollywood and Nickelodeon. More recently she worked as a news editor for a Spanish language station, which serviced a multicultural audience and now owns a production company specializing in documentaries. Ms. Valeur will assist the Project director with all aspects of the film, including camera/editing/onsite interviews, including audio/sound and Spanish translation. She will edit the Spanish version of the film with Jesus Javier.

Humanities experts

This project has assembled a team of scholars from diverse backgrounds. All contribute their knowledge relevant to project.

Frank Barajas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Chicano/a Studies (Academic Scholar)     805.437.8862  /  /California State University Channel Islands, 1 University Drive, Camarillo, CA 93012

Born and raised in Ventura County, Dr. Frank P. Barajas is an associate professor of History and Chicano Studies at California State University Channel Islands. His area of expertise is the United States in the 20th century, with a focus on Mexican Americans. He earned a baccalaureate (1988) and Masters degree (1991) in History from California State University, Fresno and doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University in 2001. His dissertation and manuscript examines the history of the Mexican American community in the city of Oxnard from 1900-1959. Dr. Barajas will consult with the project director on historical and cultural information about the Chicano/a, Mexicano/a populations.

Linda Lopez Chaparro, Ph.D., Psychology, Sociology and Chicano/a Studies Professor (Academic Scholar)    (805) 985-1697  /   Oxnard College, 4000 S Rose Avenue, Oxnard, California 93033

A native of Oxnard, Linda was born and raised in the La Colonia Barrio. After receiving her Bachelors degree in Sociology/Social Welfare and Chicano/a Studies from California State University, Northridge, her Masters in Social Welfare from The University of California, Berkeley, and her Doctorate degree in Community Psychology, from The University of Michigan, she returned to the Oxnard area. Since 1985, Linda has been a faculty member at Oxnard Community College in the departments of Psychology, Sociology and Chicano Studies. She serves as a Psychology Club Advisor and a Diversity Facilitator and is fluent in both Spanish and English. She has researched and studied the local Oxnard Latino Barrios.

Dr. Chaparro will provide sociological, psychological and cultural information to the project director about the Chicano/a, Mexicano/a population of the Southwest, specifically regarding Chicano/a, Mexicano/a issues, traditions and contemporary issues and review the Oxnard portion of the film for authentic and accurate representation of the Latino communities and cultural traditions.

Pamela Post, Ph.D., Architectural Historian and Art History Professor (Academic Scholar) 805.682.5751  / /2607 Orella Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Pamela Post received her doctorate in Art History, with an emphasis in nineteenth and twentieth century American architecture, from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2000 and her Masters of Art in Public History from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1991.  Currently, Dr. Post teaches art and architectural history at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), where she has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Art since 1996.  Dr. Post is conversant in identifying the architectural and cultural context of the built environment and will assist the project director in developing a historically accurate documentary that bridges the gap between the past and present.  Drawing on her expertise Dr. Post will advise the project director on developing a cultural and historic narrative of Santa Claus Lane that will tell its history from creation to the present day.

Candace Schermerhorn, Documentary Filmmaker/Programmer Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Academic and Independent Scholar) / 735 Dolores Drive/Santa Barbara, CA  93109

Candace Schermerhorn brings 18 years of experience as a producer, director, and writer of award winning films and visual media projects ranging from PBS documentaries to museum installations.  She received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Her expertise lies in documentaries addressing contemporary social issues.  Her credits include work for Children’s Television Workshop, the National Park Service, The Fund for Santa Barbara, Los Compadres and Turner Broadcasting.  She teaches documentary filmmaking at Santa Barbara City College and serves as the Program Director for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  She is currently in postproduction of “The Naked Option: A Last Resort,” a feature length film about women activists in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.

Ms. Schemerhorn will assist in identifying interviewees based on the theme and outcomes of the documentary.  She will also advise the project director on proper documentary interviewing skills, camera shooting techniques, and story development. During monthly meetings she will review the documentary process in its different stages by reading written treatments, viewing raw footage and rough cuts of the film to assist in creating a technically and visually balanced narrative.

David Griggs, Director of the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History (Independent Scholar) 805.684.3112 / /956 Maple St, Carpinteria, CA 93013

Mr. Griggs received his environmental studies degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been in interpretive naturalist education for 30 years, 22 of which he has served as the Director of the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History.  He developed and currently maintains a historical archive of Santa Claus Lane and fought for its preservation.  Mr. Griggs also oversees the Carpinteria Valley Historical Society, a nonprofit educational organization that created, maintains, and operates a museum and research library, Mr. Griggs will assist in providing an accurate historical context for Santa Claus Lane in the Carpinteria Valley.

Jeannie Garcia (Community Scholar)

805.200.7289 / 3782 Nyeland Ave. Oxnard, CA 93036

Born and raised in Oxnard, Ms. Garcia has lived in Nyeland Acres for 28 years.  She developed a family resource center and an early childhood education program for the community.  She organizes and recruits volunteers for the Santa Toy Giveaway, which serves approximately 1,400 children and the “Santa to the Sea” half marathon. She also assembles the local posada celebrations. Ms. Garcia will illuminate the issues of this unseen community.

Jeri McKeon Spencer (Community Scholar)

805.714.3742  / 286 Patterson Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455

Daughter of Pat McKeon and June McKeon Young, the original owners and creators of Santa Claus Lane, Jeri lived and worked at Santa Claus Lane from childhood to her early twenties.  She will share her insights and memories, which encompass the entire span of Santa Claus Lane from its heyday through its eventual decline to the Santa Statue relocation. As the primary Carpinteria/Santa Barbara community scholar, she will provide personal accounts of community life on the Lane with the Project Director, story consultant and editor to develop accurate story structure.

Mr. Everarado Zavala (Community Scholar)

805.231.4950 /   /3672 Orange Drive, Oxnard, CA 93036/Santa Clara Parish Chapel

Resident Santa, religious leader/organizer/ coach of the Matlachinas (traditional religious and cultural dancers), who perform at Santa Events, will explain how community members integrate traditional religious practices with this contemporary saint of giving.

Project staff

Catherine Bennet/Production Assistant/ Camera Operator/Sound/Lighting Assistant

805. 682.6699 /   /1726 Robbins St. Santa Barbara, CA  93101

Catherine Bennet was raised in Lebanon and Zimbabwe and received an undergraduate degree in fine art in Australia. In 2005 she filmed and edited a documentary in India, Tibet, Indonesia, and the Philippines for a nonprofit organization. She has collaborated with choreographers over the last four years on various works and was cinematographer and editor for the film and dance installations at the last three Santa Barbara International Film Festivals. Ms. Bennet will assist with sound, lighting and second camera on shoots.

Stacy Bloodworth/Interveiw/Event Photographer

(805)/ 1595 Ramona Ave. Montecito, CA 93108

Educated at Brooks Institute of Photography, Stacy works as a freelance photographer. She will take still photographs at various interviews, Santa Events and at the Culminating events for website and promotional/marketing materials.

JP Montalvo/Camera/Sound/Lights/Photography
805.452.3314 / Santa Barbara, CA

JP Studied film production at Santa Barbara City College and has screened a documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film festival. JP will operate camera, lights and sound on location.

Ray Pierce/Sound Engineer/Audio Producer

805.569.0688   /    /1629 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Ray Pierce is the proprietor of Red Rocket Productions, a national and regional radio and television production company which specializes in sound engineering and audio production for video, radio and film, with over 75 local, regional and national accounts, including National Public Radio. Mr. Pierce will provide his recording studio and sound technician expertise for narration voice over and sound effects.

Brent Sumner/Online Editor

805-708-4562   /   /3 East De la Guerra Street, Santa Barbara 93101

Educated at Brooks Institute of Photography, Mr. Sumner works as a documentary editor. His credits include ABC’s “The Bachelor” and the WB network’s “The Living Edge.” Mr. Sumner has focused on documentary series, which have included interviews with such notable actors as Ben Kingsley, Janet Leigh, and Michael Caine. His most recent work includes Citizen McCaw, a feature length documentary on contemporary journalistic issues set in Santa Barbara.  Mr. Sumner opened Studio 8, an independent film studio in Santa Barbara.  He will serve as the editor with input from the project director, humanities experts and the sponsoring organization.

Jesus Javier/Film Translator (We hope to have him as our Spanish film translator)

818-400-7172   /  /Channel 62 1813 N Victory Pl, Burbank, CA 91504

With over 30 years experience as a Spanish Television Anchor for Univsion and currently a news producer for Channel 62, a Spanish television station in Los Angeles, Jesus will provide Spanish translation of the film.