Meet the Filmmakers

Jim McSilver, producer, director and editor of Oakland Originals, has worked on documentaries, shorts and feature films since 1990. He has edited documentaries on history, health care, foreign policy, and the environment. He recently produced and directed a series of immersive video experiences for a Youtube 270º surround theater. He edited an episode of Aerial America for the Smithsonian Network; the pilot for the Reality TV series Good Works; and the final episode of the Lucasfilm documentary series Manifest Destiny, which was broadcast internationally and nationally on PBS.

He edited and co-produced the feature documentary, Blau Jeans, about American popular culture in Germany and co-wrote, produced and edited the award-winning PBS documentary, The Split Horn: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America. He cut the investigative documentary Drug Money for CNBC and the historical documentary The Treaty of Versailles for Lucasfilm/Paramount. He has also directed and edited projects for such Fortune-500 clients as Coca-Cola, Intel, Genentech and Oracle.


Erin Palmquist, director of photography and producer for Oakland Originals, has worked for such companies as Lucasfilm, National Geographic Explorer, and PBS.  Versatile and curious Erin’s work as a filmmaker has allowed her to experience and learn from a  variety of fascinating subjects including: the refugee experience, Autism, pioneering girl coders, obsessive inline skaters, artists turning garbage into art, urban fruit foragers, BDSM, and so much more.  She is currently proud to be serving as director of photography on 5 Blocks – a documentary about the revitalization of Central Market Street Project in San Francisco California – and her first feature length documentary, From Baghdad to The Bay, is now in post-production.


Daniela Rible, Associate Producer

Daniela Rible is a media professional in the writing, journalism and communications sector. She loves storytelling, making connections with new people and asking lots of questions. A curious cat overall.

She’s a San Francisco resident who spends a lot time crossing the bay to explore all the cool spots in Oakland and stay connected to her native East Bay.

You can find her at one of the numerous film festivals in the Bay Area, listening to live music, walking through parks, rummaging through second-hand stores and running to catch a Muni bus when she’s not on her bike.


Cava Menzies, Composer (Asiya Wadud, Vanessa “DJ Agana” Solari Espinoza documentaries)

Cava Menzies is a Jazz Pianist and Music Educator based in Oakland, CA. She is a founding faculty member at the Oakland School for the Arts and chairs the Music Department at OSA.  Cava performs regularly throughout the Bay Area with her instrumental quartet, and recently released an album, “Moment to Moment” that received 4 stars from Downbeat Magazine and national acclaim.

To learn more about Cava and her music, go to:


George Gousis, Composer (Tim Monroe and Michael Christian documentaries)

George Gousis has established himself as a versatile, dynamic composer with an impressive list of credits and accomplishments.

Originally from Athens, Greece, George attended the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied Piano and Orchestration. After college, George relocated to San Francisco where he opened and managed a multi-media production company and recording studio. There he composed and recorded original music, developed songs with a songwriting team, and collaborated with successful local artists including The Greg Kihn Band.

Since 1997, George has scored numerous productions including films, documentaries, TV series, commercials, and other multimedia projects. He is working with clients in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in Los Angeles, New York, and the U.K. George is represented by Joel Turtle of Riot Media.

Professional Reel and Personal work

Philip Perkins, Sound editor and mixer

Philip studied art and motion graphics with David Foster and Robert Mullen (Univ. of Oregon, UOP) and was mentored by “Blue” Gene Tyranny in music composition and performance.  He played in many rock, country and experimental music bands and was a member of The Residents performance ensemble 1979-84, as well as serving as their cinematographer and lighting designer.  He has released 18 albums of his own work 1979-2014 on the Fun Music, Artifact and Captured Tracks labels, and was a member of The Bifurcators with Scott Fraser 1990–2008.  His music, audio and radio works have been heard on NPR, CBC, European, Australian, and Japanese radio networks in addition to hundreds of local stations around the world.  Perkins has mixed hundreds of film and video productions from Hollywood feature films to indie documentaries.   Film directors he has worked for include Errol Morris, Oliver Stone, John Korty, Nancy Kelly, Jesse Dylan, Finn Taylor, Debra Chasnoff, Bill Couturie, S. Leo Chiang, Rob Nilsson, Albert Maysles, Debbie Lum,  HP Mendoza, Emiko Omori, Roger Sherman, Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, David L. Brown, Gene Corr, Dyanna Taylor and many others.  Since 2011, Perkins has advised the Alonzo King/Lines Ballet on the audio aspects of many new ballets and video projects.



Phil Perkins

Dave Murray, Motion Graphics Artist (Oakland Originals Open)

Dave has been working in motion graphics in the Bay Area for 25 years, initially as an art director at Video Arts digital media studio in San Francisco and currently through his own studio, Spectacular Opticals. Having studied experimental film in college, Dave found it exciting to apply many of his ideas using digital media, especially during the early years of computer graphics. He co-directed, shot, and edited the comic documentary LIVERMORE, which aired on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2003.

Read the rest our profile on Dave here.

Dave Murray

Simon McCourt, Composer (Oakland Originals Open)

Hobbyist musician by night and global sales director by day, Simon has been working with music in his spare time for years. He has composed and recorded numerous genres of music, released songs on iTunes and Amazon, has played in several bands and had been interested in composing music for film and television. A few years ago he won a songwriting contest in San Francisco after entering one of his compositions, which was then published on Beatport, a hub for electronic dance music. Read the rest our profile on Simon here.

Simon’s music can be heard at Electronica Tracks and Singer/Songwriter tracks

PressPlay Transcription, Karen Ruggles

Karen Ruggles transcribed many of the interviews for Oakland Originals.  She’s a native Bay Area  resident, lived in Temescal for over 10 years and has been in the transcription business since 1989. Karen states:  “Many things have changed in the industry since 1991 and my son and I are thrilled to continue this fascinating business.  Every day is something new and exciting and we love the variety of projects we work on.”

Go to: to learn more about Karen’s business

Phil Perkins