R.D. O'Neal Plus

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Portland, Maine

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I am the producer/director of Switchback Productions LLC in Portland, ME, which was created in 2002 to produce independent short films and non-fiction video projects.
In that time, Switchback has produced three films, “She’s Gone Away” (20 minutes), “Life Insurance,” (7 minutes) and “Her Alibi” (10 minutes). All were financed privately, with a large portion of funding provided though my full-time work as a computer systems professional.
Switchback Productions currently is producing a documentary about the 36-year-old cold case murder of Mary Ellen Tanner in Kennebunk, Maine. "Girl on the Bridge" is in the second year (as of 3/7/15) of a 3-year production.
A directing/playwriting major in college, I began my video career in 1970 shooting 16 mm news film for a local television station using Bolex, Auricon and the venerable Bell & Howell 70DR Filmo. I eventually moved to shooting monthly 30-minute documentary programs, station promos and commercials. I was camera operator, director, writer and editor on many of those projects.
Using company equipment and film ends, I shot a 30-minute short that was never titled, the footage for which has since been lost.
A writing career followed, with 30 years as a newspaper journalist, graduate student in creative writing, a published novelist, and a frustrated writer of screenplays that were never produced because the costs for film projects, the way I wanted to shoot them, were so far out of reach.
The advent of consumer video in the 1980s brought me back to motion pictures, first 8 mm then Super 8 and DV. I spent those years learning from pros and slowly building the skills and confidence to write, produce, direct and edit short films and informational videos.

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