Golden Paw Productions Officially Partners With California Magazine!

August 22nd 2016

This week, Cal’s film club known for its Sundance Programme, partnered with California Magazine, a publication of the Cal Alumni Association.

This major move sets the club up for a successful semester by offering its members an exclusive opportunity to work with and be a part of the magazines editorial content. Students who are members can actually look forward to writing for and being published in the magazine. This partnership stems from a mutual goal: Both entities highlight Cal alumni and that’s why this year California Magazine is serving as the clubs official media sponsor for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. With their sponsorship, members will be able to gain access to the most exclusive areas at Sundance including the red carpet to interview famous celebrities and iconic alumni who are having their films featured.

Best Coast Beer Fest @ Embarcadero Marina Park South
Justin Bieber @ Valley View Casino Center

Entertainment March 1 2016


How an educational sequel led to celebrity encounters

BY: Brennan MacLean, published in Pacific Magazine

I applied to the impossible-to-get-into Berkeley, because I thought getting their rejection letter would be cool.The impossible happened: I got accepted.

Brennan MacLean and Elijah Wood

Brennan MacLean and Danny Glover

Then, reality set in, and I realized that leaving my job just wasn’t in the cards for me, financially.In 2013, I reapplied, and the impossible happened again. This time, the offer included a complete free ride with full scholarships. I was one of the unimaginably lucky ones that not only got into Berkeley, twice, but also was selected to study there for free. A couple months later, my son, Sebastian, and I bid a sad but temporary adieu to our PacificSD family, headed north to Berkeley and settled in.

Now 32 years old, I’m one of the oldest college sophomores I know. Soon after arriving back at school, I felt like a kid again, only this time more eager to learn and grow. And it didn’t take long for me to find my niche as an aspiring writer/director and president of a film-networking organization called Golden Bear Productions, which led me to another opportunity — the chance to attend, report on and create a web series surrounding the Sundance Film Festival. The festival requires all red-carpet reporters to have an official media property submit applications for their press credentials, so I reached out to my old boss at PacificSD to see if he’d write a letter to Sundance on my behalf. He said yes.Then, so did Sundance. It gives me the chills just to think about it.Robert Redford, Jack White, T Bone Burnett (far right) and other cool people on the red carpet.

It was mid-September, and the January 2016 film festival was fast approaching, so I hit it hard. First, I hosted a recruitment event, hired 28 students for a production crew, raised $17,000 through crowdfunding and set out to take Sundance by storm.

The next thing I knew, I was on the red carpet, interviewing celebrities.On the first day, I talked with director Kevin Smith about his new movie Yoga Hoser. The next day, I had brunch with Danny Glover and met Spike Lee. Then, Katie Couric talked with me about gun control, and Nick Jonas and I had a serious conversation about the rising violence in frat houses across America. I also  met the likes of Elijah Wood, Robert Redford and  Jack White, and I’ll never forget the thrill of  those priceless moments.

In the end, the feeling I’m left with is gratitude — gratitude to Berkeley for giving me another chance, gratitude to my PacificSD family for sticking by me, and gratitude to my son for helping me grow to become the father he deserves. Hey, that actually gives me an idea for a movie script…

Seeking Funding for Sundance: {Golden Paw Productions}

{Golden Paw Productions GPP}, UC Berkeley’s newest film networking club founded in 2015, recruited 28 UC Berkeley undergrads to take on Sundance Film Festival.  They raised $18,000 and have found the necessary funding to travel to the Sundance Film Festival cost free!

GPP filmed a web series profiling Cal alumni and filmmakers.  The web series officially began last year when three students partnered up with a Cal alumna. They experienced a life changing opportunity to be on the press line at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, interviewing Cal alumni and countless celebrities who are among the most prolific and successful filmmakers in the world like Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig and Megan Mylan. This year by being involved in this completely student initiated production, these students are carving their own path, going beyond the classroom to learn hands on production skills that otherwise wouldn’t be possible in the current school climate at Cal.

This endeavor immediately brought on sponsorship from the Cal Alumni Association, the Film & Media Department and now that all 70+ episodes are being edited into a short doc, it’s awaiting selection from the most popular film festivals around the world!

GPP is all about aiding students in finding jobs in school and post graduation.  In fact, GBP has recruited 24 undergraduates to be a part of a production crew that would film GBP’s Sundance journey. GBP aims to raise the money ($18,000) to get them all to Sundance cost free. Why? So they could cultivate a culture of mentorship between alumni in the industry and current students.

Please check out their revamped website and YT channel to see this amazing web series and to learn more about this exciting project!

Project Website:

Twitter: @bfilmfriends

Instagram: @bfilmfriends

YouTube: Golden Paw Productions


Publications & Media Center
LEAD Center | ASUC Student Union | University of California, Berkeley


Kevin Smith’s Composer and Friend Christopher Drake Makes Magic with Music

Daisy of Berkeley Film Friends (and reppin' PacificSD) with Composer Christopher Drake
  Daisy Dai with Christopher Drake

Bio provided by CW3PR

Christopher Drake’s music empowers a diverse array of projects, transcending medium and genre. Drake has collaborated many times with beloved cult filmmaker Kevin Smith, and will head to Sundance 2016 for the premiere of their most recent collaboration, “Yoga Hosers,” starring Johnny Depp and Kevin Smith, as well as their daughters Lily-Rose Melody Depp and Harley Quinn Smith. This follows Christopher’s work on Smith’s genre-bending horror-comedy “Tusk,” which premiered at TIFF, featuring the same cast.

Drake’s big break came when his music was discovered by Oscar-Nominated filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. Working with del Toro, Christopher scored the animated films “Hellboy: Sword of Storms” and “Hellboy: Blood and Iron,” featuring the voices of Ron Perlman and Selma Blair, as well as the video game “Hellboy: The Science of Evil,” and the Director’s Cut re-release of del Toro’s short film, “Geometria.”

Drake is a powerhouse in both the animation world as well as the video game world. Warner Bros. Animation entrusts Drake to bolster the action of some of their most successful superhero franchises. For the hugely successful DC Universe Animated Original Movies series produced by DC Animation legend Bruce Timm, some of Drake’s most recognized work can be heard in adaptations of Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novels “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Parts 1 & 2,” and “Batman: Year One.” He also scored “Batman: Gotham Knight,” “Wonder Woman,” “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,” “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights,” “Justice League: Doom,” and many more. Drake’s best-selling video game credits include “Batman: Arkham Origins” and “Injustice: Gods Among Us.”

He continued his exciting 2015 with his work on horror sci-fi film “Harbinger Down,” directed by Oscar-Nominated and creature special effects pioneer, Alec Gills. Drake then contributed his music to two of the ten segments included in the horror-comedy film anthology entitled “Tales of Halloween,” starring celebrated comedy director John Landis.

Check out the filmed interviews with Drake and Kevin Smith here and check out more content on Drake in the March issue of Pacific Magazine:


PacificSD’s and GPP’s exclusive interview with YouTube Star who made Sundance History this year with her hit web series The Skinny. Meet Jessie Kahnweiler.

The Skinny, starring Nina Hosseinzdeh, Jessie Kahnweiler, Sadie Calvano and Fabianne Therese.

Jessie Kahnweiler & Illeana Douglas

One of my favorite interviews from the festival was the one I had with YouTube star Jessie Kahnweiler, whose web series “The Skinny” made history by being the first webisodes ever to premiere at Sundance.

Kahnweiler writes her own stuff, stars, directs and produces. Plus, she lived in San Diego for a year and had this to say about her experiences:

San Diego will always have a special place in my heart. I plan on returning there again when I’m old, rich and fat, and ready to die. I followed my ex boyfriend there right after college… got an apartment in Golden Hill that was like walking distance from the Turf Club. My roommate and I would split a drink — because we were too broke to each get our own — and plan our epic world-takeover. Being an east coast Jew, I was initially not used to the SD vibe: everyone was tan and friendly and just chillin’. I thought they put Xanax in the water. It was lovely to spend my first year as an ‘adult’ in San Diego. The whole place just feels like one long hug. Unfortunately, after a few months of making lattes and movies, I found out that my boyfriend was putting his carne asada in some tacos all over town. I was both devastated and empowered at the same time, and soon after got a U-Haul and booked it for L.A. to chase my dreams. I’ll cherish my time in San Diego, from dancing my ass off at Scolari’s Office to eating my face off at Big Kitchen. I’d like to come back soon for a visit, maybe hit up the Turf Club, but this time I’d get my own drink.

—Jessie Kahnweiler

Kahnweiler is hilarious, and her story is so cool, so I wanted to share a portion of the interview…

Jessie Kahnweiler: I am so sorry, I have no excuse [she had missed our original interview time]. I was writing, but then I wanted to go write at the pool, and then I had therapy.

Me: I thought you made films because you couldn’t afford therapy?

JK: No, I got to change that. I actually have two therapists.

Me: That’s probably good. Well, I watched the premiere of “The Skinny.” I loved it.

JK: Oh, my god. You were the only white guy in the audience.

[Much of the interview deleted here for space.]

Me: The difference between those people and you is that you actually have the balls to say it. And not only say it, but freaking film it for millions of people to see. That’s ballsy.

JK: I do have a mustache, but I don’t actually have balls.

Me: I know, I saw it, it looks nice. [We both laugh] Just playing. Where is this chin hair

you keep referencing? I’m not seeing that. You must have a really good, uh—

JK: Oh, honey, I’m glad you’re not, because I’ve got a date tomorrow. Wait, so where do you live in San Diego?

Me: Right now, I live in Berkeley, actually.

JK: Oh. I thought… isn’t this for San Diego something?

Me: Yeah, you’re gonna love it. Let me show you the magazine. Have you seen it?

JK: Oh, it’s an actual magazine. Cool!

GPP at Sundance will be releasing the full interview-BONUS! Be on the lookout  here for this, and also check out the magazine for more content of Jessie. For other celebrity interviews from Sundance visit our YouTube  channel at GPP at Sundance to watch more of our web series.

For more information about “THE SKINNY,” please visit Join the conversation by using #TheSkinnyTV, @Refinery29 and by visiting Refinery29 on Facebook.


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