The Filmmakers

Roland Emmerich
Executive Producer

Roland Emmerich began his career in his native Germany. He went on to study film at the film school in Munich, Germany where his student film THE NOAH’S ARK PRINCIPLE went on to open the 1984 Berlin Film Festival.

Roland Emmerich is one the world’s most talented and sought-after directors to date. His recent controversial feature ANONYMOUS explored the theory that William Shakespeare’s plays were written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. The stellar cast included Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans and Joley Richardson.

In 2010 Roland directed the box office hit 2012, an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an ends to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors. This major blockbuster starred John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton.

As well as directing, Roland has also produced some of our most popular ‘disaster‘ movies including 10,000BC , a fantasy drama which tells the story of the world’s first hero, who brings down an evil empire to save his love. In 2004 he produced THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, which follows a climatologist’s struggle to figure out a way to save the world from global warming.

In 2000, Roland directed THE PATRIOT based on the American Revolution. The film starred Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger and Joely Richardson. 1994 saw Roland direct the cult hit UNIVERSAL SOLDIER , which was followed by STARGATE the same year. 1996 and 1998 saw two of the most popular action films that the world had ever seen; in 1996 Roland directed INDEPENDENCE DAY a film that grossed over $800,000 worldwide. INDEPENDENCE DAY secured Roland the title of one of Hollywood’s top film directors. In quick succession, Roland released another Hollywood blockbuster GODZILLA , which he directed and produced.

Roland’s other directorial film credits include his first American film UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, STARGATE and TRADE.

In addition, to his work in film and television, Roland has also made considerable contributions to many charities, including, but not limited to the Gay and Lesbian Education Network (GLSEN), the Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, the Cambodian Children’s Fund, the Trevor Project, Global Green, and The Gay and Lesbian Center of Los Angeles.

Lisa Wilson
Laura Wilson Matthias

Director/Producer

Lisa Wilson (left) graduated from the University of Minnesota, where she was first introduced to the Shakespeare Authorship Question. Over the course of several months performing Shakespeare, she began to suspect hidden allusions and double-speak in the plays that would ignite a passion for the truth about the concealed author.

Laura Wilson Matthias (right) attended film school at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and later studied Film Theory and Art History at the University of Minnesota. She, too, would join the quest, engaging her passion for the cinematic arts in the pursuit. In 1997, they co-founded 1604 Productions and set out for Beaufort, SC to interview author and Oxfordian pioneer, Charlton Ogburn. Twelve hours of archival footage was recorded in what was to be his last interview. In his honor, they’ve been documenting the Shakespeare Authorship Question ever since.

The next decade would include travel to Canada, Italy, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, documenting Authorship sites and compiling a multi-media archive of portraits, properties, tombs, monuments, engravings, documents and artifacts. Highlights include reconnaissance in Italy for Richard Roe’s Shakespearean Baedeker, three expeditions to Oak Island and years of privileged access to research on the cutting edge of Shakespeare Authorship studies, including the published and unpublished works of Dorothy Ogburn, Charlton Ogburn Jr., Joy Hancox, Roger Stritmatter, Hank Whittemore, Richard Roe, Charles Beauclerk and Jamianne Reinelt.

Oak Island, Nova Scotia is the site of one of the most expensive and unsolved treasure hunts of all time with intriguing ties to key Elizabethans. 1604 Productions (in association with National Geographic) scouted the island, conducted rare interview with the island’s custodians and recorded Global Satellite Positioning of the alleged Templar and Rosicrucian stone markers. It was on the first expedition that Laura met her husband Paul Matthias, whose company Polaris Imaging was hired to put a camera down the famous Borehole 10X.

In September 2003, 1604 Productions spent ten days in the United Kingdom with independent scholar and author Joy Hancox, and for the next decade, Laura would continue to work closely with Joy and The Byrom Collection of 514 esoteric drawings, including designs for medieval Templar churches, King’s College Chapel - Cambridge, Rosslyn Chapel, Westminster Abbey and several of the original Elizabethan playhouses.

Beginning in 2005, Lisa and Laura provided script consulting services to the motion picture ANONYMOUS (Columbia Pictures) and addressed the international press corp on the film set in Berlin and at Sony Pictures’ press junket in Cancun, Mexico. In 2010, they established First Folio Pictures with Executive Producer Roland Emmerich and Producers Aaron Boyd & Patrick Prentice to bring two decades of authorship investigation to a worldwide audience. LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT is the product of that partnership and represents Lisa and Laura Wilson’s directorial debut. It was made possible by Roland Emmerich’s generosity and genuine commitment to advancing open inquiry into the Shakespeare Question. In April 2012, LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT premiered in the United Kingdom on Sky TV, where it continues to broadcast. Later that month, the Vero Nihil Verius Award of Artistic Excellence was conferred on Lisa and Laura by the Shakespeare Authorship Research Center at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

The North American premiere of LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT was Sunday, October 21, 2012 at the Austin Film Festival - two days before its release nationwide On Demand and iTunes - October 23, 2012. Additional foreign distribution and world-wide educational outreach is slated for 2013/14.

Aaron Boyd
Producer

Aaron Boyd currently serves as Director of Development for Centropolis Entertainment, a major motion picture and television production company. Having worked in film production for over 15 years, Mr. Boyd started his career as an assistant in the writer’s room for NBC and FOX on the TV series’ The Visitor and Providence. Having joined the Centropolis family in 2000, he has been instrumental in the development and production of films including The Patriot (Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger), Eight Legged Freaks (Scarlett Johannson), The Day After Tomorrow (Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid), and Trade (Kevin Kline). Mr. Boyd has since developed and Co-Produced the features 10,000BC (Steven Strait, Camilla Belle) and the box office success 2012 (John Cusack, Amanda Peete), on which he also served as the second unit director. Most recently, he produced the award-winning feature documentary film Last Will & Testament, which is currently airing on PBS and being distributed by PBS International.

 

Patrick Prentice 
Producer 

Patrick Prentice is a six-time Emmy award winner who has been writing and producing documentary films for 25 years. He spent five years as Senior Writer for National Geographic Explorer, and another five years as the show’s Senior Producer. His producing credits include the Emmy-award winning TANGO! with actor Robert Duvall; PEARL HARBOR: LEGACY OF ATTACH, (two-hour special, NBC); and PASSION OF THE SAINTS, (four hour series for TLC).

His writing credits include the nine-part PBS series AFRICA; the three-hour PBS series Islam: EMPIRE OF FAITH; and LOST LINERS, a two-hour show for Discovery.

 

Michael Flores 
Editor

Michael Flores has worked on several award-winning films since moving to Los Angeles and attending the University of Southern California, where he received a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema-Television Production. While studying at USC, Michael was awarded several scholarships including the John Frankenheimer Directing Scholarship for merit in directing, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Entertainment Scholarship, and the Rodolfo Montes Memorial Scholarship. He was also selected to participate as a fellow in Film Independent’s Project: Involve in which he was personally mentored by Jeffrey Blitz: director of the Academy-Award-nominated documentary ­SPELLBOUND (2002). He edited the Student-Emmy-winning TV pilot, COST OF LIVING and wrote and directed the award-winning short film ESPERANDO (Waiting/Hoping). After graduating from USC, Michael worked as an assistant editor on Tamra Davis’s documentary JEAN-MICHELBASQUIAT: THE RADIANT CHILD (2010), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; on Lisa Leeman’s documentary ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT (2010), which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival; and on Bess Kargman’s documentary FIRST POSITION (2011), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Before working on LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT (2012), Michael edited Nick Broomfield’s documentary SARAH PALIN: YOU BETCHA! (2011), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. He has also worked with a number of other directors such as Jeffrey Blitz, Tommy O’Haver, and Renee Tajima-Peña and has worked on a variety of projects including narrative shorts, music videos, and commercials. He is currently working on a narrative feature for director Terri Hanauer.

Graeme Revell
Composer

Since Graeme Revell first appeared on the film scoring scene with his chilling score to the Australian thriller DEAD CALM, he has gone on to score more than 100 film and television projects for such high-profile directors as John Woo, Wim Wenders, Robert Rodriguez, Ted Demme and Michael Mann. Born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1955, Revell graduated from the University of Auckland in economics and politics.

A keen observer of both traditional ethnic music and natural sound, Revell started his scoring career after picking up on rhythms in patient vocalizations at an Australian hospital for the mentally ill, where he was working as an orderly. He incorporated recordings of the patients into his music in an early example of the creative use of sound, which would become a hallmark of his later work in motion pictures. His experiments with recordings of insects and industrial machinery led him to create the early industrial band SPK. Revell’s unusual sound convinced directors George Miller and Philip Noyce to employ him on DEAD CALM which won Revell an Australian Oscar for best score.

Revell has since gone on to create highly influential scores in every genre of film. From the deeply lyrical ethnic sound collages of TO THE END OF THE WORLD, through horror/action/comedy classics with frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez, serious action dramas such as Ed Zwick’s THE SIEGE and THE NEGOTIATOR, cult classics like THE CROW and science fiction such as his extraordinary Dante-inspired score for MARS: RED PLANET, he has contributed a unique voice. Although Revell is as comfortable in big budget Hollywood blockbusters like LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER as in serious dramas such as Ted Demme’s BLOW, David Twohy’s WWII military thriller, BELOW and Michael Gondry’s comical HUMAN NATURE, he devotes time to work on projects of passion. The poignant documentary Darfur NOW and the Shakespeare authorship documentary LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT are examples of this commitment.

Revell also won the award for best music at the Venice Film Festival for his score to Wayne Wang’s film CHINESE BOX. Recently, Revell was honored with BMI’s Richard Kirk Award for Career Achievement.

Revell is also a producer and the CEO of a startup tech company in Silicon Valley.

PIERS WEHNER
NARRATOR

Piers graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2009.

His theatre work includes OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR and MACHINAL at the Tobacco Factory, ‘Octavius’ in ANTHONY & CLEOPATRA at the Nuffield Southampton Theatre, THE MISANTHROPE at The Bristol Old Vic and‘Jimmy Porter’ in a mid-scale tour of LOOK BACK IN ANGER directed by Amanda Knott. Most recently Piers appeared in KING LEAR and THE CHERRY ORCHARD at The Tobacco Factory, who will be taking both productions to The Rose Theatre, Kingston in May.

Piers has extensive radio credits, and received the BBC Carleton Hobbs award in 2009. Credits include THE CHANGELING for BBC Radio 3, COLD, PLANTAGENET, SHIRLEYMANDER, THE DECOY, GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT, THE MAN IN BLACK, WEIRD TALES, TOO MUCH INFORMATION, SHERLOCK HOLMES, TINKER TAYLOR SOLDIER SPY, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY, SMILEY’S PEOPLE and BEWARE OF PITY for BBC Radio 4. He was also ‘Jude’ in THE ARCHERS.