Founder / Executive Director
Ben oversees all operations for Patton Veterans Project, from strategy and development to recruiting and marketing to relationships with military, medical and film professionals. Ben is directly involved with every workshop, along with each instructor team, reaching out to veteran participants individually before and after the workshops. He also periodically participates as an instructor. The youngest grandson of WWII’s General George S. Patton Jr., Ben is co-author of Growing Up Patton: Reflections on Heroes, History and Family Wisdom (Berkley-Caliber, 2012). Formerly a producer and development executive at New York City’s PBS affiliate, he also operates Patton Productions, LLC, a full-service video production company specializing in marketing and promotional videos and high-end family biographies for private clients. Ben has a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University-Teachers College and a BA from Georgetown University.
Patrick Downey is a freelance film director, producer and editor with an affinity for storytelling. Developed through the BFA film program of Regis University, his award winning short films have been featured across the state of Colorado. Over the past year he’s worked on both amateur and professional film sets working with the likes of Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and the band Train. His skills include proficiency in Final Cut Pro, Photoshop and a working knowledge of After Effects and Soundtrack. When Patrick isn’t freelancing as a filmmaker he passes his time working at REI in Denver. There he works with their Outreach program to get kids and adults outside to explore new activities and inspire a love for the outdoors he has long since enjoyed. He’s also pursuing his Colorado teacher’s license in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a high school creative arts teacher with an emphasis in film studies, photography and ceramics.
Thom is a Producer & Writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He has created work for Adult Swim, Comedy Central, IFC, among others. Most of his work is focused on Comedy and Animation Production. He is currently producing a few animated projects plus a series of his own.
Kyle is a freelance cinematographer with extensive experience in both documentary and fiction production. He is currently finishing post-production on his documentary directorial debut: Train Keeps A Rolling, about Jazz Guitarist, Jeff Golub. He is also in production on feature documentaries, Good OlGirl, about female cattle ranchers in Texas, The Sound One Project, about a former post-production facility in New York City, and The World of Myst, the story of one of the early titan’s of indie video games. He is also in pre-production for three fiction feature films, two of which will shoot this summer. http://www.kylekelley.nyc/fiction/reel01
Minos Papas is a British born Greek Cypriot filmmaker. He is the son of internationally acclaimed film director Michael Papas. Minos has been working professionally in New York’s independent film industry for the past ten years. He earned a BFA in Film at the School of Visual Arts and was awarded the school’s top award for Cinematography. Minos’ first independent feature film, Shutterbug (2009), was released theatrically in 2010 in New York and L.A. Minos made A Short Film About Guns (2102) to spread awareness on the illegal arms trade. The film won BEST ONLINE SHORT at the Tribeca Film Festival, 2013. He is currently in post-production on his second feature film, Behind The Mirror.
Jason has been making films & art most of his life. Before opening a boutique video production company Heliorana Filmworks, with his wife Jeanne, he worked in television doing a variety of Telly Award winning outdoor adventure, reality & documentary shows for The Outdoor Channel, FOX Sports, The Speed Channel & the Smithsonian Channel. He holds degrees in Art & Psychology with post graduate work in Media Studies. He is currently at work on his 3rd feature documentary. His previous documentaries have played around the world including the Lincoln Center & won awards at festivals in the US & Canada as well as being featured on CNN. “Connecting with people through art & film & sharing my love of the craft is what brought me to I Was There Films.”More info at helioranafilm.com
Chelsey is a commercial freelance video editor based out of the Carolinas. An Army Brat, she grew up moving around different bases in the south and overseas, but considers Ft. Bragg, NC home. She graduated with a double degree in Photography and Digital Media Arts – Cinema from John Brown University, and enjoys shooting documentary style short films. Editing is one of her true passions, using Adobe Premiere and Final Cut.
Dani began making movies in Israel and refined his craft at Minshar film school. His short film “Guides” was accepted into a variety of international film festivals including the Jerusalem Film Festival and the San Francisco shorts festival as well as winning the grand prize at the New York Indie Works short festival. After moving to New York City, Dani continued to make compelling cinema, winning a cinematography award for the short ‘Zoe’ in the 48 Hours International Film Festival. He continues to create a buzz for himself both in New York and Israel.
Chris Ungco has been using filmmaking as an excuse to explore the world and meet new people for the last ten years. He believes in the therapy and clarity that working on a film can bring to people from any background. He hopes that soldiers and their families will benefit and enjoy telling their honest stories and gain new perspective on what’s coming ahead. Chris is a Brooklyn-based cinematographer and works primarily in commercials, documentary, and narrative films.
Andi Obarski is a New York based cinematographer whose work includes short and long form narrative fiction, music videos, web series and commercials. She has shot in South Korea, France, Canada and and is a member of IATSE Local 600, ICFC, Film Powered and CXX Nuwave. I would also probably say that my favorite IWT project was my first one (I forget the title of it but it was my first instructor session in Bedford). Reel: https://vimeo.com/306592391