Johnny Bivera is executive director and producer of Visual Media One and the founder of Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops. He is a freelance photojournalist with over 20 years experience in visual communication and has captured images worldwide from everyday life to the hostilities of war. He was an official videographer to the President of the United States Bill Clinton and executive photographer to Chairman of the Joint Chief's of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. He's covered combat and humanitarian missions to maritime operations like the Bosnia/Herzegovina conflict, the Israeli-Jordan Peace Treaty, Turkey's tragic earthquake and the war in Afghanistan.
He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2006 and has since traveled extensively around the globe to places like Antarctica, Galapagos and Papua New Guinea. He currently documents news and media events for a variety of clients where his work has appeared in major newspapers, magazines and video documentaries. He has been personally profiled on PBS's Jim Lehrer NewsHour, C-SPAN's American Journal and NFL Films 'American Postcards'.
Juan continually demonstrates a passion for storytelling, striving to create compelling content that is both entertaining and informative. He has over 16 years of experience in documentary production, graphic design and multimedia.
In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom he produced multiple award-winning documentaries, including “The Trial of Saddam Hussein” and “Inside Abu Ghraib”. Juan also edited the documentary “Journey of Courage: Women In The New Iraqi Army” for the State Department. For his work in Iraq, he was named the 2004 NPPA & DoD Military Videographer of The Year. His work has been seen on FOX, CNN, MSNBC, BBC News, and featured at the New York International Film Festival.
Juan currently works for the Air Force as a civilian Multimedia Producer in The Pentagon. He’s also a producer and co-owner of Femath Media, a production company that specializes in post-production and multimedia design. In recent years, Juan has volunteered his services as a judge for the Department of Defense Visual Information Production Awards, the Air Force Media Contest and the Telly Awards.
Anna Femath | Web Guru & Workshop Coordinator
Anna Femath has nine years of experience in video production and documentary. After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force she completed training at the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Anna was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. In 2004, she became lowest ranking person ever accepted to the Military Motion Media Studies Program at Syracuse University. The program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication is a ten month program with an accelerated curriculum in motion media production and documentary.
After graduation she joined the 1st Combat Camera Squadron at Charleston, SC. As a combat videographer, Anna was deployed to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to document military operations and humanitarian aid. For her efforts she was named the 2005 DOD Military Videographer of The Year. In 2006 she was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and her work was broadcast worldwide on the Pentagon Channel and various news outlets.
Dan Wiltshire | Workshop Producer
Dan Wiltshire is always looking for a new way to tell a story. With BS in Communications, 10 years of Army storytelling, and 6+ years as a government civilian doing video production, he still believes that his audience comes first and that it's his job to suck them in and keep them entertained.
After he accomplished all his goals in the Army (basically out ranking his three siblings and having all the fun jobs) he laid down roots in Maryland and went to work for the U.S. Border Patrol at their HQ in Washington D.C. There he put all his Army broadcast training to good use and started a Border Patrol HQ news program.
It wasn't long after that that he was asked to jumped over to Customs and Border Protection's Advanced Training Center in Harpers Ferry, WV to build a video production shop from the ground up.
He's learned over the years that if you want something you can't sit on the sidelines and hope it happens. You have to have the guts to go ask for it...or take it.
Blake Stilwell | Program Director
Blake Stilwell is an award-winning video producer, writer, and photographer with more than 15 years of experience in photography, journalism, entertainment and other communications fields. An Air Force-trained video producer, he is a 2005 graduate of the Military Motion Media Studies Program at Syracuse University. He also holds degrees in Audio-Visual Production and Graphic Design, as well as Master’s degrees in Television, Radio, Film, Public Relations and International Relations.
His résumé includes the Aboriginal People’s Network of Canada, ABC News, NBC Olympics, HBO Sports, The White House, and the Near East Foundation. He is currently the Managing Editor and Director of Communications for We Are The Mighty. Blake is based in LA, but often found elsewhere.
Ray Flores | Workshop Producer
In government communications, we are given sour lemons more than the sweet stuff. So, Ray has learned to make good lemonade. His work primarily involves communicating difficult topics as simply as possible. Need new rules or policies explained clearly? He's your guy. Need legalese translated so your grandma gets it? Send it his way. Science stuff? Ray has got you covered. As the Director of Creative Services at Department of Labor his mission is to keep creative teams of conflicting interests and priorities focused on what is ultimately most important: the viewer.
He has worked as a producer/videographer for over 15 years, cutting his teeth as a Soldier/storyteller in Iraq. Was trained at Syracuse University. Received his first Emmy as a Soldier in Washington, D.C. Then a second as a civilian with the Department of Veterans Affairs. And his third with the Environmental Protection Agency. Each time, his work competed against civilian projects with bigger budgets and more manpower.
Ray's mantra: when you are given the opportunity to communicate, no matter how sour the lemon is, learn to make good lemonade. Our audiences deserve it.
Maureen Stewart | Workshop Producer & Designer
Once upon a time Maureen toted around a 15lb VHS camera to shoot “stories” happening around the campus of her southern CA high school. She would cut together shaky footage to the beat of Nirvana for all her peers to ignore during first period. For this she got an extra photo in her yearbook.
Following HS she dove headfirst into community college, which she paid for by developing rolls of film at the Carlsbad Mall, most of which came from the young Marines stationed at Pendleton. She has stories about these photos. Ask her sometime.
Maureen quickly tired of paying for school while surviving off of Ramen and mall food and decided to aim higher, so she joined the Air Force where she narrowly avoided being placed into security forces, likely because of her video experience. Maybe. Plus she scored pretty high on the ASVAB.
She served for 10 years shooting video all around the world. As an aerial videographer she vomited on dozens of C-17’s. She went on to teach at the Defense Information School only to learn that the knowledge she imparted was all for naught as once her students left, they were told to “forget everything you learned at DINFOS.”
While serving Maureen earned her BFA in digital design, because it’s easier to do that online than it is to earn a film degree, (plus she's a better designer than videographer anyhow) and she is now the art director for Airman Magazine. She has a few awards. I mean, she knows what she’s doing. Trust me.