Cast & Crew

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Carl Kurlander

My Tale of Two Cities is the directorial debut of Carl Kurlander who spent the previous two decades working in Hollywood as a screenwriter (St. Elmo's Fire) and television writer/producer (Saved By the Bell) before returning to his hometown to teach at the University of Pittsburgh for what he thought would be a one year Hollywood sabbatical. This journey was chronicled in Po Bronson's best-selling book What Should I Do With My Life? which led to Carl appearing as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He is currently a Visiting Distinguished Senior Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh where he is working on documentaries on how Dr. Jonas Salk and his team conquered polio and on McArthur Genuis and Manchester Craftsmen's Guild founder Bill Strickland's success story, as portrayed in his recent book Making the Impossible Possible. Carl graduated from Duke University Magna Cum Laude where he wrote a short story about a waitress he had met while bell-hopping at the St. Elmo Hotel. That story helped him win the MCA-Universal Studios Scholar Award that would take him to Hollywood and eventually inspire the movie St. Elmo's Fire, which Carl co-wrote with director Joel Schumacher.

Stephanie Dangel Reiter

A graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Yale Law School, Stephanie Dangel Reiter is a former Rhodes Scholar, law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and attorney. Her involvement in My Tale of Two Cities began when she took a graduate screenwriting class with Carl Kurlander to work on a screenplay she was writing on civil rights pioneers Marian Anderson and Walter White. Stephanie subsequently became involved in the Steeltown Entertainment Project, serving as the research coordinator on Pittsburgh: Hollywood's Best Kept Secret, a short film featuring Shirley Jones, Chicago director Rob Marshall, E.R. producer John Wells, 300 producer Bernie Goldmann, and other Pittsburgh expatriates talking about how Pittsburgh nurtured them as artists and their hometown's potential for becoming a hub in the entertainment industry. This short film premiered at the Andy Warhol Museum during the "Steeltown Entertainment Summit." Stephanie is now Board Chair of Steeltown Entertainment Project, a non-profit working to develop a sustainable entertainment sector in Southwestern Pennsylvania (See She also continues to work with Carl on documentaries about the conquering of polio and the work of Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and Bill Strickland.

Janet Driscoll Smith

Janet Driscoll Smith began her film and video production career at her hometown public television station, WQED/Pittsburgh. After four years of working on nationally broadcast television documentaries for WQED, she embarked on a freelance career that found her working with a wide variety of television and documentary production companies, including WGBH, the BBC, The Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Society, WETA, the World Wildlife Fund, Sea Studios, and NBC/Dateline. As a producer and production manager, Smith has coordinated the efforts of both small and large teams of diverse people, often working in extremely challenging locations. Highlights include the WGBH/BBC biotechnology series "The Secret of Life" and the Emmy-nominated PBS environmental special "Web of Life." She recently produced the NOVA program "Car of The Future" with writer/producer Joe Seamans (who was also the consulting producer for "My Tale of Two Cities.")

Joe Seamans
Consulting Producer

For 25 years, Joe Seamans worked at Pittsburgh's WQED producing and photographing award winning PBS programming, including filming some of the classic "picture picture" segments for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. His long list of credits for Emmy and Peabody award winning National Geographic classics includes producer, writer, and director of photography for Great Lakes, Fragile Seas, Treasures from the Past, and co-producer and director of photography for Serengeti Diary and In the Shadow of Vesuvius. He has produced many PBS programs dealing with social and environmental issues such as Road to the Future, which traces the impact of the car on the urban development of America. Most recently he co-produced, directed, and wrote The Great Robot Race for NOVA, and the upcoming Car of the Future, featuring Tom and Ray Malliozzi of Car Talk on NPR. Joe is married to Elizabeth Seamans, who continues to work with Family Communications, Fred Rogers' production company, and appeared on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as "Mrs. McFeely."

Mark Knobil
Director of Photography

Mark Knobil has been the cinematographer on numerous award-winning projects, and has individually been nominated twice for an Emmy for outstanding cinematography. His extensive credits include the award-winning independent feature The Bread, My Sweet, Director of Photography on the Discovery Channel special Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster, Supervising Director of Photography on an eight-part National Geographic Series for PBS, The Shape of Life, about the science of evolution, as well as Strange Days on Planet Earth, a four-part series, hosted by Edward Norton, about mysterious changes in the ecosystems of the planet. Mark served as videographer for many years on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and considers his work on Mister Rogers Visits USSR a career highlight.

Tjardus Greidanus

Tjardus Greidanus directed his first feature at the age of 16 after his family emigrated from Holland to Alberta, Canada. The Fire Within, an historical epic about the Spanish invasion of Holland, won the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Award for best amateur film and opened the door to film school. Graduating with honors, Greidanus moved to Vancouver, where he worked as an assistant director on TV series and features including The X-Files and This Boy's Life. He began a new career in Los Angeles writing and editing HBO specials and DVD content for such films as Almost Famous, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Ali, and Collateral. Four years ago he returned to the set as a DP, shooting behind-the-scenes for Memoirs of a Geisha, Miami Vice and The Golden Compass. He has since photographed several feature documentaries and is currently shooting the cutting-edge PBS series, Wired Science.

Laura Davis

Having grown up in Pittsburgh where she was Allderdice High School Senior Homemaker of the Year, producer Laura Davis first found success as a disc jockey for the legendary L.A. rock station KLOS. She then segued into a career producing "behind the scenes" documentaries for some of the world's most respected directors including Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Jim Brooks, Cameron Crowe, and Michael Mann. Over two decades, Laura Davis Productions has done countless productions that have ended up on HBO and Showtime for such movies as Collateral, Miami Vice, Memoirs of a Geisha, As Good As It Gets, Ali, and Dances With Wolves. She has also produced several television movies for CBS as well as the one-hour special The Architect and the Chef for the Food Channel. Laura also volunteered her services to produce Steeltown's short film, "Pittsburgh: Hollywood's Best Secret," as described above and is currently involved in producing the documentary on Manchester Craftsman's Guild.

Jonathan Wayne
Web Design

Jonathan Wayne is a 2002 University of Pittsburgh graduate and a full-time freelance webdesigner and independent filmmaker. In addition to designing the site for "My Tale of Two Cities", Jonathan has designed many other innovative websites including that of which was nominated for a VH1 website award. He also co-founded the student organization Pitt In Hollywood of which Carl Kurlander is a faculty adviser and created which connects Pittsburgh with Hollywood. Jonathan is currently filming his own documentary that is being shot in both Israel and the United States of America.

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