The Production Team
Production offices and studio are in Newport, RI.
Producers - John Taft and Patricia Cahill Taft
John Taft grew up sailing on Narragansett Bay. After college John spent four years
in the Coast Guard engaging in Maritime Search & Rescue and fighting marine
pollution, followed by a year as a foreign fishery inspector for NOAA. In the early
‘80s John joined his old sailing friend Don Glassie in renovating historic properties
as small inns and hotels, including Newports original 18th century jail, many of the
iconic Art Deco buildings on Miami Beach, and other properties from Manhattan to
Martha’s Vineyard. He and his associates continue to operate these properties under
the Atlantic Stars banner. John’s interests in maritime affairs also lead to the
creation of Classic Cruises of Newport, which besides the charter schooner
“Madeleine” also operates the excursion vessel “RumRunner II” , which is an original
Prohibition era contact boat used by New Jersey Mobsters to move their cargos of
liquor in from Rum Row in the late 1920s. For the past 25 years RumRunner II has done daily tours over the same waters that Charlie Travers and the crew of the Black Duck traveled the night of their fateful encounter with Coast Guard cutter CG290.
Cahill Taft is a film Producer and lifelong artist who grew up along the waterfront of Boston’s North Shore. Her father served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and joined the first class of the U.S. Underwater Demolition Team as a Frogman, which preceded the formation of the U.S. Navy Seals. He later served as head of Boston Harbor security for the U.S. Navy. This influenced her to take on a job as Lighthouse Keeper for four New England winters on a remote island between Gloucester and Marblehead, Massachusetts. Since then, she has resided in Newport, RI for the past 30 years and has won many awards for her paintings and photographs, one being winner of Canon USA and Ron Howard’s “Project Imagination”. She was also one of the founders of Classic Cruises of Newport, operating the schooner Madeleine and the restored1929 Elco motor yacht Rum Runner II which was the inspiration to Produce a documentary about the Newport Black Duck incident of 1929, using the Rum Runner II as the “contact boat”.
Writers - Screenplay by Paul M. Madden (WGA) with assistance from the researchers and production team.
Writer - Paul Madden
Paul Madden is a graduate of The National Film & Television School of England who has directed 4 feature films.
He has written several screenplays and is a member of the Writer's Guild of America, He wrote the first draft of Paramount’’s “A Show of Force” based on a non-fiction book about a political assassination that starred Robert Duval, Andy Garcia, Kevin Spacey and Amy Irving. He has directed 4 feature films, including 'Summer Job' for Sony Pictures and 'Medium Rare' for Limelight Films. He has been a resident of Newport on and off since 1980 when he restored The Astor's Beechwood Mansion and, with URI Drama Department, he founded the Beechwood Theater Company, which has entertained over a million visitors to the mansion with costumed Victorian theatrical tours and musical productions. He has served on the Boards of The Newport Music Festival and the American Sail Training Association (ASTA).
Line Producer - Anthony Ambrosino
For more than 14 years, Ambrosino, a West Warwick resident, has worked as a producer, director and production manager for feature films, commercials and corporate productions.. His films have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival, winning awards and being distributed by companies such as IFC and Showtime Networks. He co-founded and served as president of the Rhode Island Film Collaborative, a nonprofit bringing together the state’s film industry. As president, he accepted the Dream Makers Award in 2014 from the Rhode Island Film Television Office and the Producers Circle Award in 2016 from the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Director of Photography - Leif Husted Jensen.
Creative | Director for commercials and branded content. Proficient in live action direction, cinematography, visual storytelling and light comedy. I work with clients and colleagues to ideate and implement motion picture content that engages, entertains and informs audiences.
Second Camera Unit and Sound - Ric Murray
Ric Murray has been creating content for over 40 years. He owned the largest, independent still photography studio in Rhode Island. As digital video and the internet swept through advertising, he changed with the times to specialize in moving people with moving pictures. He has worked in both the business and creative branches of independent film production in many different roles. He is known for his work as sound mixer and producer on the feature film “The Wrong Todd” that premiered in 2018 at the LA Film festival, and won a number of awards at independent film festivals across the United States.
1st Assistant Director - Amadeus Finlay
Amadeus Finlay ~ "it all comes down to effective storytelling. I believe in engaging ideas that convey fact as well as emotion. Whether exploring the impact of music on the children of Palestine or undertaking investigative reporting in Washington D.C., my forensic approach to research is designed to draw the audience into the heart of the issue. Memorable assignments have included interviewing Michael Palin of Monty Python, and covering Comic-Con (because everyone needs a laugh now and again)."
Drone Cameraman - Halsey Fulton
Halsey Fulton is an experienced marine cameraman and drone operator who is also a direct descendent of Halsey Hereshoff. He grew up sailing the waters of Narragansett Bay.
Head of Wardrobe and Makeup: - Sissy O'Hara
Sissy O'Hara, from Providence, Rhode Island, has marveled in the film industry for most of her life, on both sides of the camera. Her roles have included, Producer, Actor, Wardrobe, Makeup, Props, and more. She is known for her work on Entropia (2018), Knockout Blonde: The Kellie Maloney Story and Slaybor Day 7 (2019).
Chief Researcher - Kevin Hodson
Kevin grew up near the Fairhaven saltwater farms that Charlie and Mildred Travers
owned and he has been researching tales of their exploits for more than 10 years.
Gaffer/Grip - Jed van Dale
Second Camera Assistant - Nick Brown
Production Coordinator - Sunny Kennedy
Locations Coordinator - Kim Paltridge
Props Master - Bonita Flanders
On-set Dress and Property Supervisor - Sarah Raff