Film-Makers & Doctors
When you read interviews with the great directors, Kubrick, Scorsese, Lynch, Hitchcock, Speilberg, and Malick, you hear tremendous advice about the key elements that go into creating “movie magic” - a gripping story, powerful emotion, craftsmanship, vision, dedication, luck, and more. When you start filming your "own" movie, you discover it's all true. Additionally, one thing becomes crystal clear – you need a strong team. Here are the talented professionals helping bring Thryvor to life.
Joe Arnao (left) is the owner of Los Angeles based production company Precision Productions + Post. He is also the executive producer of the documentaries Into The Body and Terminal 5. As a producer, his guidance, talent, and friendship throughout the journey of Thryvor uniquely positions him to deliver this one-of-a-kind documentary.
Drew Lahat (Right) is a multi-talented production partner bringing critical technical acumen and artistic vision to Thryvor. Drew is an accomplished cinematographer and the editor of multiple films including the feature documentary On The Map about Tel Aviv's 1977 European Championship.
The question I get asked the most regarding production is "How did you get all that graphic hospital footage"? There are 2 motivating factors behind this question. 1: Who in God's name has the inclination, stomach for, and ability to document a cancer patients punishing treatment as it's happening? 2: How did that person get around the strict HIPPA laws that regulate hospital privacy? Answer: my wife and a cell phone with a high definition video camera.
My wife was a professional ballet dancer in the Boston Ballet for 15 years so she has always had a remarkable eye - a keen understanding of composition, style, emotion, and rhythm. She was also motivated to document this journey for our children. This picture captures the glamour of Hollywood. We flew to Boston (where both of us are from) to see our families. Then we took a Greyhound Bus for $17 dollars to NYC to film interviews with doctors at NYU Medical Center.
Interviewing Dr. Elliot Abemayor, my lead surgeon for my 2012, UCLA treatment. He is the Picasso of surgeons - a true artist. Dr. Abemayor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he obtained both his MD as well as a PhD degree in Biochemical Pharmacology. He is currently Professor-in-Residence, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine and the Co-Director of the UCLA Head and Neck Cancer Program.
Interviewing Dr. Bernadine Donahue, my radiation oncologist for my 1995, NYU Medical Center treatment. Dr. Donahue received her MD from Boston University School Of Medicine. She is affiliated with multiple hospitals in New York City. We filmed our interview at Maimonides Cancer Center in Brooklyn.
Interviewing Dr. Steve Lee, my radiation oncologist for my 2012, UCLA treatment. Dr Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics, an M.S. in Biomedical Physics, a Ph.D. in Radiation Biology, and he received his medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Lee is affiliated with multiple hospitals in greater Los Angeles and was recently appointed as the Director of the Radiation Oncology Residency Program at UCLA.
Interviewing Dr. Tibor Moskovits, my oncologist for my 1995, NYU Medical Center treatment. Dr Moskovits is both a hematologist and oncologist, having received his MD from SUNY-Downstate College of Medicine, his residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, and his fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Bellevue Hospital.
Interviewing my Clinical Social Worker for my 2012 UCLA Treatment, Pam Hoff LCSW. After decades of service Pam has recently retired from UCLA but graciously granted us an extensive interview on guiding cancer patients and their families through the challenges of medical treatment and survival.
Interviewing Dr. Avraham Mendelsohn, my Davinci Robot surgeon for my 2012, UCLA treatment. Dr. Mendelsohn is an all-star having been voted "Super Doctors Southern California Rising Stars" (2013,14, 15). Dr. Mendelsohn received his Medical Degree, Internship, Residency, and fellowship at UCLA. Dr. Mendelsohn also received fellowship training in Trans-Oral Surgery (TLM) and Trans-Oral Robotic Surgery (TORS) at The Universite' Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. He is currently assistant Professor-in-Residence, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Interviewing Dr. Malcolm Taw, my Medical Doctor specializing in my pain-management and cognitive function for my 2012, UCLA treatment. Dr. Taw is Director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine and Associate Clinical Professor, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He received his B.S. and M.D. from the Joint Biomedical Sciences program at the University of California and the UCLA School of Medicine. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology.
Interviewing my therapist, Mary Beth DeLucia MFT ( Marriage & Family Therapist) from The Cancer Support Community Los Angeles (CSC). CSC is an extraordinary organization providing a variety of support programs for cancer patients and their families for FREE. Mary Beth is a cancer survivor and our sessions were enormously beneficial during my recovery. Mary Beth received her degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles.
Interviewing my primary care physician Dr. Daryl Lum. Dr Lum graduated from Stanford University, with a degree of Honors in Biology. He obtained his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA Medical Center. He subsequently joined the faculty at UCLA i where his practice has focused on primary care and he presently serves as Professor of Clinical Medicine. His clinical interests include primary care and cancer screening.