Meet The County's Creatives
Filmmaker, Writer, Photographer
Based in Salida CO, Nathan Ward is an Emmy Award winning director and cinematographer who has worked on media projects around the world. He specializes in telling stories about unique communities, native cultures, adventure sports and environmental/conservation issues. His work has appeared in documentaries, TV series, film festivals, theaters and promotional films for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Clients have included: The National Geographic Society, PBS, United Nations agencies, CNN, USAID, Australian Aid, HGTV, DIY Network, Outside Television, Discover Channel Network and many more.
Grit & Thistle
Documentary Director, Editor
Over seven years she created films exploring Arab-American identity post 9/11, the power of music after tragedy, and a Corps' movement grappling with its problematic past. She is drawn to stories with deep emotional truths that transcend our differences. An intrepid camera operator she can get the shot in highly technical and remote environments: her work has been done climbing, skiing, as well as deep in the backcountry for extended periods.
Sarah Hamilton Films
Writer / Producer
Lee Ross began his career as a mime in front of the Metropolitan Museum on fifth Avenue before moving to Paris for further movement theater studies, eventually landing him the lead clown role in Cirque du Soleil's hit show Saltimbanco. As a screen writer Lee's first feature went to Sundance with Maria Bello & Jason Patric in 2008 directed by Emmy winner of HBO Chernobyl. Since then Lee has written and produced a half dozen
award winning short films as well as his second feature, a dark comedy, Benjamin Troubles. Lee moved to Salida 4 years ago and loves the idea of filmmaking within Chaffee County and has taught authentic writing and screenwriting here in town with Colorado Mountain College.
Executive Producer / Producer / Director
After earning BAs in Film and Government from Connecticut College, Lyman Smith worked on various independent film projects, and after a short stint at CNN, began his career in earnest editing historical and natural history films for NOVA and National Geographic. His Emmy nominated special “Soldiers of Berga” about the only known American GIs sent to work in Nazi labor camps was seen by over 7 million people worldwide.
After 5 years in the television space, Lyman turned to editing independent feature films. His second film Racing Extinction directed by Louie Psihoyos premiered at the Sundance film festival, went on to be viewed by over 36 million people worldwide, win numerous awards including Best Editing and was honored with a special screening at the United Nations. “Be Right Back” about Maurizio Cattelan, the Italian artists and trickster behind the infamous solid-gold toilet, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and continued on to festivals worldwide including the Venice Biennale. "YOUTHvGOV" which follows the story of 21 youth plaintiffs and their lawsuit against the federal government over it's role in contributing to climate change, won numerous awards including Best Editing and had a highly successful launch on Netflix. His film "Justice" directed by Doug Liman premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
He currently lives in Salida Colorado and enjoys all that the outdoor lifestyle has to offer there.
Photographer / Videographer
David Curtis has always enjoyed adventure and creativity. “I have expressed my creativity as far back as I can remember.” David started to draw at a very young age and even did illustrations for his grade school newspaper. This eventually led to other art mediums such as charcoal, water color, oil painting, woodcut print making and video production.
“I always new that what ever I did in life it would connect me to the world through visual expression, telling a story and other’s stories.”
David has worked in video production for over 2 decades. “I still look forward to my job every day. I am always growing and constantly learning to stay on pace with the constant improvements to the industry.” After college he worked briefly for a post production facility in Denver, CO as an assistant editor. Moving on to Gunnison, CO working for Rocky Mountain Television as a camera operator and video editor for 8 years. While at Rocky Mountain Television, David worked on several award winning productions that helped guide him to go independent and work as a freelance producer.
“One of my most treasured opportunities is volunteering at a youth camp in the French Alps during the summers. I have a chance to work with teenagers and share my passion for video production by leading a Film and Video workshop where they can produce there own short film during a two week camp.”
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