Flatline to Finish Line Documentary Crew

This is a project of passion for Dave Watkins and his crew. Many of the crewmembers behind the documentary have had open-heart surgery themselves and they are all deeply passionate about raising awareness for heart disease and congenital heart defects. They are all highly driven individuals, each incredibly successful in their own fields.

Dave Watkins—Creator and Director

This project has been the brainchild of Dave’s for the past 7 years. Since his own heart surgery, he’s been looking for ways to inspire others and bring awareness to the heart disease epidemic that is sweeping our nation. His vision for Heart: Flatline to Finish Line capitalizes on the remarkable work he has done establishing the Ironheart organization of former open-heart surgery patients and brings it to life in a way that will inform and inspire.

Brian Nunes—Editor

Brian was born in Texas but raised on the West Coast. His yearning for nature and a creative lifestyle drove him West and ultimately to Seattle where he currently lives. He has won multiple awards as a director and his latest feature documentary has shown at over 10 film festivals in 2014 including the largest film and music event in the country, the CBGB Music & Film Festival. Find out more about Brian on his website, BrianNunes.com.

Adam Knight—Director of Cinematography

At age 5, after commandeering the family camcorder to make his own home movies, Adam had fallen in love with all things film and video. That same year, he had his first open-heart surgery, repairing an issue with his aorta caused by Congenital Heart Disease.

Today, dozens of video projects and 3 heart surgeries later, Adam owns and operates Adam Knight Productions, a Seattle-based video production company. He and his team have produced numerous marketing, non-profit, promotional, corporate and journalistic pieces, and have completed projects for State Farm Insurance, O’Reilly Media, the YMCA, PBS, CBS, FOX, NBC, Chevrolet, Ryther Child Center and others. His work can be seen on the web and national broadcast.

Ellen Charnley—Director of Finance and Co Producer

Ellen is a chartered accountant from England with over 20 years of experience in accountancy and business consulting. Ellen is a cardiac surgery survivor and was diagnosed with a severe congenital heart defect at age 41. She had immediate open-heart surgery to save her life. Eight months later she completed an Ironman® Triathlon. Ellen is also an author and published her first book (Living Life to the Full: My Ironman® Journey) in February, 2011 which was an account of her personal story through open heart surgery to racing the Ironman®.

Donald Bowman—Producer

Donald is married to Ellen Charnley, one of the cast members . His personal goal for this project is to raise awareness of such defects so that they can be caught for others before it is too late—Ellen only had months to live and her defect was caught only by chance.

He is a runner and has completed 10 marathons along with many other races. He has raced in triathlon but does not hold the goal of completing Ironman®; he is delighted to film his cast doing that.

Jae Macallan—Lead Cameraman

For seven years, Jae has been filming, producing and editing countless non-fiction video pieces including documentaries, music videos and several commercial spots.


We have multiple, experienced key advisers to the project—each have been invaluable in providing recommendations on filming techniques, fundraising, the production process, and distribution.

Robert Radler

Robert is a producer and director who first became known for producing action movies; however, his two recent films are departures from the action fare upon which his reputation is based. Both are truly labors of love.

“Turn It Up!” is a landmark, feature-length documentary about the electric guitar. Robert has partnered with producer Doug Forbes, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Bros/Steely Dan), and Mitchell Leib, (President of Music for Disney Film and TV). The project is being godfathered by Richard Arlook, Senior Agent and Partner in the Gersh Agency.

Robert also recently produced a one-hour documentary for national Public Television distribution, via presenting station WTTW Chicago. Entitled, “SS United States, Lady In Waiting”, the film is about America’s forgotten flagship—the superliner SS United States. Launched in 1952, the “Big U” is the fastest passenger ship of all time and the largest ocean liner ever built in the US. Despite her current dilapidated appearance, she was recently purchased by Norwegian Cruise Line, and is awaiting possible restoration. Will she sail again?

He teaches “The Business of the Documentary”, “Producing Documentaries”, and a “Directing Workshop” at UCLA Extension.

Robert may be reached at bobrad@adelphia.net or 805-374-1913.

Mark A. Burley

Mark has produced hundreds of hours of television, including projects for all four major networks. His series credits include “Orange is the New Black”, “Weeds”, “Murder, She Wrote” and “Simon and Simon”. He has also produced other series, TV movies and numerous pilots.

He has also worked as a writer and director. A full list of his credits can be found on the Internet Movie Data Base: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0122140/

Mark is a long-standing member of the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. He has been nominated for an Emmy and Producers Guild awards for his work on “Weeds”.

Mark may be reached at markburley@aol.com or 818-733-5817.

Beth Sternheimer

Beth is a producer, writer and researcher who creates compelling stories for documentary films, museum exhibits and corporate clients. Beth’s most recent projects include producing “Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home”, working as a consultant with the National Hellenic Museum to organize and revamp their oral history program, and producing a short exhibit film for the Savanna Historical Society about the rise and fall of the railroad in this small Illinois town.

In Chicago, as an associate of the Kindling Group, Beth was Co-Producer for the four-hour PBS documentary series, “The Calling”, which broadcast nationally on Independent Lens in December 2010. She also provided producing assistance for Bill Siegel’s documentary “The Trials of Muhammad Ali” and Judith Helfand’s film “Cooked”. While living in Boston, Beth was the Associate Producer for “Secrecy” and for “Traces of the Trade”, both films that premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. She was nominated for a 2009 national Emmy Award for Outstanding Research on “Traces of the Trade”.

Beth’s museum work includes producing exhibit media—videos, audio loops and computer inter-actives—for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Archives, International Spy Museum and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. She is also an instructor at Chicago Filmmakers, teaching classes in documentary film production.

Beth holds a BA in history from Oberlin College and an MA in American Studies from UMass—Boston.

Beth may be reached at bsternheimer@gmail.com or 617-470-0715.

Alan J Mintz—Associate Producer

Alan came across the story of Rudy, a kid who had always been told that he was too small to play college football. Rudy was determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame. Alan was so moved by the story that he bought the rights to it and fought for years to bring “Rudy” to the big screen.

Through Alan’s persistence “Rudy” was released in 1993 starring Sean Astin and took almost $23M at the box office. Alan was also the co-producer of “Second Chances”.

Alan has worked as an executive in non-film-related industries for most of his career, and his advice has been ideal for us to see ‘through the lens’ of someone else who came into this industry from outside but who met with enormous success.

Alan may be reached at AMintz@awgambassador.com.

Roger Garcia—Executive Director for the Hong Kong Film Festival Society

Roger Garcia is a writer, producer and independent programming consultant for several international film festivals. He is currently the Executive Director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the author of several books.

Bess Hardman—Filmmaker

© 2016 Flatline to Finish Line