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to•hu•bo•hu 'to hü ‘bo hü\ n -s [Heb tohu wa-bhohu without form and void, fr. tohu formlessness, confusion + bohu emptiness] : CHAOS, CONFUSION ‹bringing order out of the ~ of human relations — Walter Lippman›

Tohubohu Productions is an independent digital filmmaking troupe comprising a regular roster of writers, directors, actors, and producers — along with a healthy smattering of new talent. Although our work takes us all around the “DMV” area, our primary offices are located in the woody community of Burke, Virginia. We produce professional-quality independent entertainment, always viewing financial and scheduling constraints as opportunities rather than obstacles.

The Usual Suspects

A quick rundown on several of our regular contributors (and yes, we realize there’s a strong streak of nepotism in evidence — a combination of executive producer’s privilege and the fact that family is easier to talk into working cheaply)

Jesse Achtenberg

A second-generation filmmaker, Jesse Achtenberg is an independent producer specializing in environmental issues. He has been a producer and editor with New Media Mill in Washington, DC, since 2007, where his clients have included the Save Darfur Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Environmental Defense Fund. After receiving his degree in anthropology from Colorado College, he pursued his passion for environmental filmmaking as an editor, producer, and cameraman with the National Geographic Channel, where he helped create the television documentaries Master of the Arctic Ice and Surviving Paradise. Jesse was also the filmmaker-in-residence at the National Zoo, where, among other projects, he produced the installation video for the baby panda Tai Shan.

Robin Brande

Robin Brande writes young adult fiction. Her first novel, Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature, was published by Knopf/RandomHouse in August 2007, and her second, Fat Cat, in October 2009. Her new novel, Parallelogram, will be published in 2011. She is a former trial attorney (and very glad not to be anymore), yoga instructor, black belt, entrepreneur, community college professor, Wilderness First Responder, insurance agent, outdoor adventurer, Girl Scout leader, and Sunday school teacher. Robin spent her high school years in the make-believe worlds of books and Drama, and finds that she still prefers it that way. She lives with her husband and dogs in Tucson, Arizona, and blogs at www.robinbrande.com.

Anna Coughlan

Anna Coughlan has been acting since elemetary school, and has studied wth the Acting for Young People program for several years. She performed and coached her school’s improv program, and has been recognized for her work in the group’s Theatresports competitions. She is also an accomplished writer, and her short play “A New Perspective” was performed as part of the Generations Playwriting program at George Mason University in the summer of 2008.

Erin Rose Coughlan

Erin Rose Coughlan has been performing since the age of three. An accomplished singer, dancer and songwriter, Erin has performed on stage in several talent competitions and recitals, studied wth the Acting for Young People program, and composed music for The Advisory Board Company’s 30th Anniversary celebration (in addition to providing temp track and background vocals). In the summer of 2010 she attended the Broadway Artists Alliance singing and dancing program in New York City.

Kenneth J. Coughlan  (“Legal Eagle”)

Ken Coughlan has been an attorney since 1998, currently practicing in Baltimore, Maryland. His focus is in various types of litigation, but he’s been more than generous in lending his considered advice to our little troupe. Not content to remain behind the scenes, however, Ken has lent his voice acting talents to “The Big Lie (That Solves Everything),” and stepped in front of the camera for “Machinations” and “Liability.” In 2012, he advanced into producing with “Remorseless,” and directing with his own short film “The Flag,” produced in conjunction with the Havre de Grace Drama Guild. A loving husband and father, Ken is also the founder and president of the nonprofit Ten Minas Ministries.

Pam W. Coughlan  (“Creativity Maven”)

As the daughter of teachers-turned-artisans, Pam Coughlan grew up saturated with the values of education and art — adding literature to the mix as a result of surviving long weekends on the craft show circuit with her precious books. Exposed to many styles and forms of art, her own talent tapered off at doodling (and the occasional clay dragon), though she regularly found expression in stage and vocal performance. A former member of the Springfield Chorale, she has gone from being an occasional Tohubohu performer to a full-on producer. She frequently assists in children’s drama training, and writes regularly at the literary weblog MotherReader, where she reviews children’s literature from board books to young adult novels. She also worked as a children’s library assistant (a children’s librarian without the master’s degree or chance of promotion) in a public library for nine years, was a featured columnist for the online literary magazine The Edge of the Forest and the PBS blog Booklights, serves as the organizer of the annual 48 Hour Book Challenge, maintains the online portal site Kitlitosphere Central, founded the tongue-in-cheek organization Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors, and works with the Cybils online book awards. She’s also a movie lover, Girl Scout leader, and humor aficionado — and in a return to her childhood roots, creates unique paper-bead crafts at WeBeadAgain.com.

William R. Coughlan  (“Cinéaste”)

William R. Coughlan is an award-winning screenwriter and director, and is one of the founders (and primary financier) of Tohubohu Productions — which basically means that even on pictures he doesn’t direct, he can at least squeeze in an Executive Producer credit. He is also a director with The Advisory Board Company in Washington, D.C., where he began as a graphic designer before segueing into video and multimedia, and then eventually into the ranks of creative department management. As of 2015, he has served two terms on the Board of Directors for TIVA, the Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC, Inc. He also enjoys acting, voiceover performance, design and illustration, editing, three-dimensional animation, and writing autobiographical comments in the third person. He is the illustrator of the therapeutic workbook Stories for Children with Problems & Wishes, has provided schematic graphics for several HBS case studies, designed the acclaimed Protégé clay poker chip line, served as the Critic at Large for the online literary magazine Inkblots, was a judge for the TIVA Peer Awards from 2010 through 2014, voiced the iHealthBeat and California Healthline weekly podcasts, and is an accomplished animator and ambigram artist. He currently resides at a secret compound in Burke, Virginia, with his wife Pam and their two daughters.

Nello DeBlasio  (“Expert Dilettante”)

Nello DeBlasio is an accomplished actor and director, and has performed with several Washington-area theatre groups, including Project Y Theatre, Classika Theatre, Cedar Lane Stage, The Arlington Players, Shakespeare in the Parque, and the McLean Theatre Alliance. Recent performances include roles in “The Sea Gull” with the Quotidian Theatre Company, “Saturday Sunday Monday” and “Rehearsal For Murder” with the Providence Players of Fairfax, “Dinner with Friends” with the Montgomery Playhouse, “Romeo and Juliet” with the Silver Spring Stage, and a 2010 Washington Area Theatre Community Honors-nominated turn as Mark Antony in “Julius Caesar” with the Capital City Players. In addition to performing in films for Tohubohu Productions and Team Jabberwocky, he has climbed into the director’s chair for both “Quite Contrary” and “Homemade Hero.”

Shawn “Felt” Felty  (“Switch Hitter”)

Shawn Felty caught the acting bug while attending the University of Pittsburgh. During an elective course in theater his senior year, something clicked… After arriving in D.C., he was cast in multiple community theater roles, relishing castmates’ forgotten lines — thus launching his improv career. Since that time, Shawn has been a member of the Willis improv troupe, helped teach improv with the Washington Improv Theater, was a member of the Outer Loop comedy improv troupe, and worked as a corporate performer for Cast of ThousandsShawn passed away on December 13, 2009, after a long struggle with colon cancer. Shawn was not only an incomparable collaborator, but a good and valued friend. The world is poorer for his passing, but richer for his having been here.

Ginny Filer  (“Digital Construction Officer”)

Ginny Filer works at The Advisory Board Company in Washington, D.C., where in addition to spearheading department and leadership development initiatives, she heads up the firm’s video production arm. In this capacity she serves the full gamut of videographic functions, from preproduction planning to shooting, directing, editing, and distribution. She graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Media Arts and Design and a minor in Advertising. For Tohubohu, her “behind-the-scenes video magic” work has included camera operation, script supervision, editing, producing — and frankly, whatever else needs doing at the time. In addition to being an avid photographer and graphic designer, she regularly produces special-event videos and short-form documentaries, including several works highlighting the struggles of children in Uganda. She maintains a portfolio of her video, photography, and design work at GinnyFiler.com.

Dan Foster

Dan Foster has been working with Tohubohu Productions since 2007, and is generally regarded as our team’s Jack-of-All-Trades. In addition to his regular work as a grip, he has done makeup, regularly serves as our behind-the-scenes still photographer, appears in front of the camera at a moment’s notice, and recently stepped into the role of Director of Photography for 2011’s “Touched by a Lawyer.”.

Brian Wilbur Grundstrom

Brian Wilbur Grundstrom’s compositions for film, orchestra, piano, quintet and other ensembles demonstrate an innovative use of harmony and melody, which although firmly rooted in the tonal tradition is entirely new. Classically trained in piano as well as music theory from Gettysburg College, he has continued orchestration and composition studies with John David Earnest. His awards include a Peer Award from TIVA-DC, Encore from American Composers Forum, ASCAPLUS from ASCAP and Composers Assistance Program from the American Music Center. He received three grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and was a finalist for the Mayor’s Arts Awards. The “Bridge Club” song from his musical Pepe! The Mail Order Monkey Musical was nominated for a 2009 OUTMusic Award. He is represented by Jeffrey James Arts Consulting, and his compositions can be heard at www.brianwilbur.com.

Joy Haynes

Joy Haynes is an actress and an academic. Born in Mexico City, Joy grew up in Washington, DC, and has lived in six states and four countries. With six brothers and sisters ranging in age from 15 to 42 she is neither the oldest nor the youngest. When she was just 12 years old she took herself by city bus to attend her very first audition, which was for the musical “Dick Whittington and His Cat.” From that experience she learned she can’t sing.Having been bitten by the acting bug, however, she attended the Duke Ellington High School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., where she graduated at age 16, and earned her BFA in Theater from Stephens College at just 19 years old. She earned her law degree cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. Currently working both in front of and behind the camera, Joy also practices immigration law, striking a challenging and exciting balance between her entertainment and legal careers. Joy splits her time between Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Geoffrey Long  (“Chief Storytelling Officer”)

Geoffrey Long is a media analyst, scholar, author, and creative consultant. He currently works at Microsoft in the Office of the CTO/CXO in the Entertainment and Devices division, examining storytelling, transmedia and design trends and how technology and entertainment co-evolve. Geoffrey is an alumni researcher with the Convergence Culture Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-editor of the Playful Thinking book series from the MIT Press, and an executive board member of the Interstitial Arts Foundation. His professional career includes working as a researcher and Communications Director for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab; a decade-long run as the editor-in-chief of the literature, culture and technology magazine Inkblots; and co-founding the software collective Untyped, the film troupe Tohubohu Productions, and the creative consulting company Dreamsbay. He is also a 2007 graduate of the Master’s program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, an avid scholar, a writer, an artist and a filmmaker. Geoffrey’s writing has appeared in PolarisGothikHika{fray} and The Comics Journal’s Guttergeek; he serves on the editorial boards of Eludamos, the Journal for Computer Game Culture and the Journal for Transformative Works and Cultures; and he is a frequent speaker at such conferences as SIGGRAPH, SCMS, the Game Developers Conference, Pictoplasma and FuturePlay. His personal site can be found at geoffreylong.com.

Kori A. Lusignan  (“Designated Expatriate”)

Kori Andreoli Lusignan recently completed a stint as a graphic designer before leaving Washington, D.C., for sunny Chicago. A founding member of Tohubohu, Kori began performing as a kid in her hometown community theater and has had the bug ever since. A classically trained singer, piano player, and oboist, Kori finds herself happiest studying improvisational acting, in great part due to classes she’s taken at the Washington Improv Theater.

Jennifer Massey

Jennifer Massey has been acting professionally for over 25 years. Her recent film credits include Wedding Crashers (opposite Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) and Graduation (opposite Adam Arkin). On television, Jennifer has appeared in dozens of commercials, as well as in principal roles in Surface, One Tree Hill, Hack, 7th Heaven, Charmed, Melrose Place, and Married… with Children. Jennifer is also a voiceover artist and most notably the voice of Dr. Li on the popular video game Fallout 3. In theatre, Jennifer has appeared on numerous stages across the U.S., including The Alliance Theatre of Atlanta; Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina; Victory Gardens in Chicago; for the new playwright’s project at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; and with the critically acclaimed L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Company in Los Angeles. Jennifer is also a member of the Virginia Screenwriter’s Forum and former writer/performer for the Richmond and DC 48 Hour Film Projects.

Bjorn Munson  (“Raconteur”)

Originally from the midwest, Bjorn grew up near Washington, D.C., where he took full advamtage of the Smithsonian and free film series. After studying film, theater, and anthropology, he naturally fell into editing Web content and IT project management. Wearing multiple hats is Bjorn’s usual M.O., and so he can be found having a hand in most Tohubohu productions in one form or another. When not working with Tohubohu, Bjorn is busy with his own company, Team Jabberwocky, which produces a mass casting event called Stonehenge as well as Jabberwocky Audio Theater.

Stuart Scotten

Stuart has had many jobs — none of them, however, in acting. On extended leave from England, he is a student of improv and generally makes it up as he goes along. It’s a fun thing to do, he has met a lot of great people, made some good friends and seen lots of new places — all from just playing around and satisfying his need for a creative outlet. He is a faculty member for the Washington Improv Theater’s Improv Training Program, as well as a proud member of the longform improv group Season Six (dot com). He thinks you should do improv too. 

Adam Young  (“Visualist”)

Adam “Six & 21” Young is a graphic designer and project manager for The Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC, as well as one of the founding members of Tohubohu. In addition to his work in the independent film arena, Adam is an accomplished artist and instructor, and regularly produces freelance illustrations. Well known for his pinup-style drawings, Adam regularly proclaims, “It’s the only way I know how to draw them.” His illustration portfolio can be seen at PerpendDesign.com.