Priced Out is a largely volunteer-driven project that began in February 2015 when Nikki Williams, featured in our first film, NorthEast Passage, asked producer Cornelius Swart to do a sequel. Since then thousands of volunteer hours have gone into reporting the story and producing an update on what happened to Williams and her neighborhood. Along the way, the film has worked with a handful of contract producers and volunteers who have gone above and beyond expectations to make Priced Out a compelling and impactful film.
Cornelius Swart / Director/Producer
Cornelius Swart is the project’s director and producer. Swart co-produced the first film, Northeast Passage, with Spencer Wolf. Since then Swart has established himself as a reporter with a deep knowledge of the community. He published a community newspaper and hyperlocal website that covered St. Johns, North, and Northeast Portland, called the The Portland Sentinel, for five years. Since then he has worked on staff at the state’s largest newspaper, The Oregonian, the state’s largest television station, KGW NewsChannel 8, and as Director of Content during the startup of the web-based news platform GoLocalPDX.com. Swart volunteers his time to the project.
Eric Maxen / Senior Editor
Eric has helped guide post-production and led principal photography on the film since the fall of 2015 when he first came on board. Maxen has worked as a reporting photographer with the Sun-Times News Group and later as a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune. Maxen was also director of the In-Sight Photography Project, an educational nonprofit in Brattleboro, Vermont, dedicated to providing a creative outlet for youth. More recently, Maxen developed a program with the nonprofit NW Documentary where he produced and edited short films for area nonprofits.
Donovan Smith / Assistant Producer
Donovan Smith does reporting for Priced Out and helps coordinate interviews with important figures in the community and residents impacted by displacement. He's been a staff reporter at The Portland Observer and The Skanner News, the city's two historically African-American newspapers. A Portland native with deep connections in Northeast Portland, Smith has been adding to the gentrification conversation with his clothing line Ignorant/Reflections. He recently produced a photo and art exhibit in North Portland entitled Gentrification is Weird and helped to create a gentrification bike ride with the same name.
Martin Lendahls / Visual Effects
Martin has put in tremendous hours as a volunteer creating unique visualization designed to make complex data easy to understand. Lendahls is a Swedish animator who cofounded a boutique design agency, and led strategy and development of interactive projects ranging from websites and apps to corporate video promotions and trade show presentations. He has worked on brands such as Adobe, Coca-Cola, Dell, Nike and Verizon, and partnered with agencies such as AKQA, Frog Design and Venables Bell & Partners.
Farnell Newton/Music Supervisor
Farnell Newton is responsible for guiding the musical direction of the film and finding local artists who can support the emotional tones of the film. In 2002, Newton helped line up local musicians for Northeast passage. Newton is an accomplished local jazz musician, music producer and educator. When Newton is not teaching at Portland State University’s Jazz Department or working with his youth jazz group, PDX Jazz Project, he is touring, recording, and sharing the stage with Skerik, Lettuce, Slightly Stoopid, Karl Denson, Galactic, Nigel Hall, sax man Mike Phillips, the DooDooFunk All-Stars, and many more. His band, The Othership Connection, features an all-star lineup of local musicians. The band released its first album in 2016.
Mikensi Romersa / Assistant Producer
Mikensi started with Priced Out almost a year ago an associate producer intern. She has since worked on post-production, grant writing, reporting, and second unit camera. Mikensi produced, shot, and edited segments for Changing Home, a documentary about the changing economics of the rural town of White Sulfur, Montana. The film featured on Montana Public Broadcasting and recently won a Society of Professional Journalism Regional Award and is nominated for an SPJ National Award, as well as a Regional Emmy.
Brandon Giam/Senior Assistant Producer
Brandon Giam tracked all ongoing production and post-production projects. He was responsible for a vast array of logistical support. He helped acquire historical photos and documents, supervised interns, coordinated scheduling with staff and on-camera subjects, tracked and maintained all production databases and more. Giam is Malaysian citizen with years of experience as an assistant director. While in Asia he worked at major cable TV outlets including The Discovery Channel, Travel & Living and The Asian Cooking Channel.
Jim Rider / Second Unit Camera
Jim Rider has worked as a volunteer videographer throughout the spring. He has shot hours of shot pickups, R-roll and man-on-the street interviews that are vital visual elements needed to tell the story of a rapidly changing neighborhood. Rider brings a sharp eye and high level of expertise to the production. He has been on staff at the Indianapolis Star, The Orange County Register, Cleveland Plain Dealer and has been a contributor to the Associated Press, where his images appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and others.
Brenna King / Web & Graphic Design
Brenna is a graphic designer and fine artist who designed Priced Out’s brand, its web platform, and collateral products. King’s skills with design and branding will ramp up as production moves into outreach and distribution. King produces a podcast series that interviews local creatives at the website the BrennaKingShow.
Tuesday Blue/Assistant Editor
Tuesday Blue joined the Priced Out team as a interning associate producer and now works as a contract editor putting together and editing short sequences for the film. Blue spent countless hours grinding out the most tedious job in any documentary – transcriptions. We were happy to discover that she had a hidden talent for editing and she now belts out sequences under deadline faster than anyone we've ever worked with.
Spencer Wolf/ Composer and Contributing Editor
Wolf was the executive producer on NorthEast Passage. He returned to work on Priced Out by contributing original music for the film score. He was also a contributing editor throughout post production and in the final draft of the film.Wolf is technical manager of post production at 3 Ball Entertainment, a reality television production company in Los Angeles.
Priced Out has received invaluable contributions from a host of volunteer associate producers who have put countless hours into transcription, logging of footage, research, editing, and other vital tasks.
Harris Newman, Brittany Olson, Ryan Mosley, Sonal Dhingra, Parker Shoaff, Andy McNulty, David Groh and Zach Forster.