Crew Bios

bioSteven Barber

Steven C Barber is a writer and film maker living in Santa Monica, California. He was born in Syracuse, New York in 1961, and is the great nephew of Edith Wharton, the first female writer to win the Pulitzer Prize.

After a three year stint at Augusta Military Academy in Ft. Defiance, Virginia in the late 1970’s and then graduating from Western Kentucky University, Mr. Barber headed west to give his writing and acting chops a workout.

Having worked on many films and a series of television shows in the early 1980’s, he took a break from Hollywood and found work and adventure on 19 cruise ships in the 1980’s and early 1990’s that would take him to more than countries and over 5,000,000 nautical miles. His first novel, “Below the Waterline,” a fictional and whimsical tale of love on the high seas, is a big seller on

Upon returning to Hollywood in the mid 1990’s, Mr. Barber found some success on a series of reality shows and, after a falling out with a large corporation he had been working with, decided to bank roll everything he had with $50,000 worth of camera equipment and give documentary film making a shot. This fortuitous and serendipitous action has paid off in a big way.Mr. Barber’s first film, “Return to Tarawa” ( is an award-winning documentary that has been able to get congressional legislation passed in Congress to bring home MIAs from World War II. Actor Ed Harris lent his voice to this tremendous story of redemption and healing of 90 year-old, World War II veteran Leon Cooper.

Mr. Barber’s second film “Unbeaten” ( is a magical story about 31 Paraplegics who take on the world most grueling road race and push their wheelchairs 267 miles in six days between Fairbanks and Anchorage. This amazing film will have narration from Dan Aykroyd. “Unbeaten” is scheduled for release in early January 2010. Mr. Barber’s mission is to raise the profile of the disabled athlete and the disabled American.

He is working on three more documentaries for release in 2010 and 2011 and considers himself extremely fortunate and is very grateful to have had this early success in the documentary film world.

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Inspirational filmmaker Tamara Henry, MA is a producer for Unbeaten, and the co-founder/creator of Vanilla Fire Productions. She is the associate producer for the World War II film “Return To Tarawa: The Leon Cooper Story,” narrated by Ed Harris.

Ms. Henry is a producer for various television shows including “Metro Motion,” a half-hour show featuring the impact of traffic in Los Angeles on the environment, carpooling and public transportation, which airs on a dozen cable television outlets across greater Los Angeles. She is one of the reporters for Santa Monica City TV 16, producing positive news and interviewing city leaders about issues that impact the community. Ms. Henry is a former WB and Fox evening news anchor who produced health and medical news. She also created and produced her own spiritual talk show interviewing actors, producers and directors, “IN with Tamara Henry,” which aired on Time Warner Cable Los Angeles.

Tamara has worked in television production for more than twelve years and produces in the studio and in the field with extensive coverage of red carpets for film festival circuits, award shows and celebrity events. She is a registered producer at Discovery Communications, having co-produced a film currently showing on the Military Channel. The movie appears on CNN Larry King Live Dec 19, 2009.

Tamara has also appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Access Hollywood,” Animal Planet, Oxygen, Style Network, Bravo, and USA Network. Tamara’s film acting credits can be seen at IMDb. In her newest venture, she is creator, producer and host of “Green T with Tamara” (which rhymes with “camera”) on www.GreenTwithTamara.TV.

Ms. Henry was Miss Arkansas USA 1997. She won the Fruit of the Loom – Quality of Life Award and the Community Service Award for an inspirational program about mind, body and spirit she created entitled “Promoting Health through Whole Person Wellness.”

Competing in the Miss Arkansas Pageant earned her scholarship money she used toward her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism with an emphasis in radio, television and film. Since becoming a television news anchor in 1997, Ms. Henry has been giving back through a scholarship of her own: “The Tamara Henry Broadcast Journalism Award.” Now, she’s helping the nationally-televised 2010 Miss America Pageant to go green with the “Green Is Gorgeous” interactive eco-contest she produced for GreenTwithTamara.TV.

Ms. Henry has continued her education, earning a master’s degree in spiritual psychology with an emphasis in consciousness, health and healing. She is dedicated to conscious content and positive programming, and belongs to various Los Angeles groups that are dedicated to meaningful media and enlightened entertainment. Ms. Henry has worked as in the media covering Women In Film events throughout the years. She can be seen at recent Los Angeles Film Festivals, asking “whether film can change the world.” Ms. Henry has interviewed film actors including Morgan Freeman, Glenn Close, Sir Richard Branson and many more on deeper issues facing humanity.

media galleryJoseph Kovar

When you hear that someone has taken a break for 3 months to drive across the United States snapping pictures, you might envision a typical, carefree retiree, living the good life and dabbling in photography.  However, in the case of the one-named Kovar-- the traveler featured in this article-- the vision of an affluent retiree is about as far from the truth as one could get.  When Kovar took his 3-month sojourn, a lust for exploration burning in his veins, the good life was only a figment of his artistic imagination.  At the time a 20-year-old kid from Detroit, he set off with nothing more than ambition, a new still-shot camera, and a small sum of cash saved up from working the assembly line, building Chevy Gears and Axels.  Nevertheless, Kovar credits that trip as the start of his career as a professional photographer.  Soon after his return to Detroit he got accepted into a premiere tech school, the Center for Creative Studies, where he majored in photography. 

Armed with a bachelor of Fine Arts, a degree that covered just about every aspect of photography: science, technique, philosophy, etc., Kovar’s professional career took off.  Right after college, he spent a couple of years in California shooting professional car advertisements for Corvette, Chevrolet, and Lincoln-Mercury; then moved to Chicago in 1988 where he pursued high-end commercial photography for many of the huge ad agencies including Leo Burnette and J. Walter Thompson.
In 1996, a successful and well-off Kovar moved to one of his favorite places, Santa Monica.  In common with many other transplants to the city, he loves the weather but also Santa Monica’s small-town, east coast feel.  On the professional level, while he still works with several ad agencies, Kovar has taken advantage of Santa Monica’s year-round, beautiful landscapes to compose photographs for the private collector (such as the sunset shown below left), and now concentrates on selling his photos through his website,

Embracing another aspect of his profession, Kovar travels often and world-wide, capturing images such as a bird flock in the Irish countryside (below right) as well as pictures from Maui, Detroit, and Africa, all shown on  One of his latest adventures came in 2008, when he was hired by to shoot a documentary about the youngest climber ever to scale Mount Kilimanjaro - a 7-year-old boy.

media galleryTim Shelton

Tim Shelton is a principal and executive producer for Vanilla Fire, Mr. Shelton is a principal and co-owner of Baume, a two star Michelin fine dining restaurant located in Palo Alto, Ca. Baume specializes in a twelve course customized tasting menu and wine parings.

Mr. Shelton is a executive vice president, chief financial officer and co-owner, of ISCS, a leading vertical software company headquartered in San Jose, CA. Mr. Shelton helps from and executes ISCS’s financial and overall company strategies. He has more than 15 years’ experience as an ISCS senior executive and three as an advisor to ISCS following its founding.

Mr. Shelton is a principal and co-owner of The Bazel Group, an arts and entertainment organization in Nashville, TN that coordinates and books concerts, comedians and speaker appearances for corporate conventions, conferences, fairs, festivals, fundraisers, performing art seriers, private parties and high society events here in the USA and around the world.

Mr. Shelton is a member of the board of directors for SENSE Theatre, a unique theatrical interception research program designed to improve the social and emotional functioning of children and autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

His experience prior to ISCS includes 16 years’ experience in the sales and marketing management roles, including tenure at EDS. He also worked in accounting and financial management at Sprint and NCR.

Mr. Shelton received his bachelor’s degree in commerce and accounting from the University of Santa Clara. He holds a property and casualty insurance license in California, Texas and Florida as well as a real estate broker’s license in California.

media galleryMatthew Hausle

With over 25 years of experience in Film, Television, and video production, Matthew brings a wide spectrum of talents to the VanillaFire Productions, Starting out in Feature Film and Commercial production, after six years, he moved into special effects as a creative director of Lasermedia, a leading Laser visual effects company. Collaborating on film, television, commercials, Broadway plays, and live action productions, he created laser shows and effects for large outdoor venues (Disney World, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Stone Mountain Georgia) Live performance, Paul McCartney, and many others) and hundreds of corporate clients, worldwide, After six years, he joined Sony Pictures Imageworks, as a computer Graphic Animation Supervisor, designing feature films and television visual effects. Five years later, he left Sony Pictures, to pursue independent video production. Since then, he has produced and directed over a dozen television commercials, industrial video, and documentaries, including “Return to Tarawa, The Leon Cooper Storu”, with credits as cameraman and producer. “Return to Tarawa” aired on Discovery’s’ Military Channel, and is now available on Netflix.

He is currently working on a sequel featuring JPAC, the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command. With experience in all facets of production from writing, producing, directing, camerawork, and editing, Matthew specializes in delivering high quality, cost effective productions tailored to clients specific needs.