Since early in 2002, Jack Oswald and his creative associates have been working on “The Malt Project”. It is a documentary series taking an in-depth look at single malt whisky distilleries of Scotland. During October and November 2002 their crew visited 28 working distilleries, several private bottlers, restaurants and retailers in Scotland, taping material for their productions. They returned for two weeks in May and June 2003 to produce the Islay Malt and Music Festival, which was released in late 2003. The Highland and Lowland Distilleries (Vol III) was released in 2004. The Distilleries of Speyside (Vol IV) was released in 2005.In 2004 and 2005 they returned to film The Spirit of Speyside Festival (Vol V) which was released in 2006. The Coastal and Island Distilleries (Vol VI) was filmed in 2007 and was released in 2008. Islay Revisited and Hidden Treasures was filmed in 2007 and 2008 and (Vol VII) was released in fall of 2009.
THE TEAM BEHIND THE CAMERA
Executive Producer & Director – Jack Oswald has been involved in the production business for over 40 years. In 2002 he retired from the presidency of GOAL Productions, a successful Pasadena, California production company he owned for over 30 years. GOAL Productions is one of the industry’s leading corporate and documentary production companies. GOAL serves a vast array of clients including over a 20 year history with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses producing films, videos, satellite feeds, managing their archives and documenting all major events.
Jack was also a faculty member for 20 years at the University of Southern California’s coveted School of Cinema-TV, teaching graduate Documentary classes. And, all this was after a 20-year hitchnn in the Air Force as a navigator, public affairs officer and filmmaker. He retired as a Lt. Col and during those years flew and lived all over the world; including four years in Scotland. Since then Jack has returned to Scotland several times and visited most of the working distilleries during the past five years.
Jack’s always been an innovator. He grew up in northern Illinois; got his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in Radio-TV; went on to do graduate PR work at Boston U and got an MA in Cinema at USC.
Now, after retirement from GOAL Productions, Jack is working as an independent producer and consultant and operates Jack Oswald Communications (OSCOM); part of the year from his suburban Phoenix home and the remainder from the High Sierra resort of Mammoth Lakes, California. He has been a Malt Whisky fan and collector since the early 80’s.
Co-Producer and Editor – Dylan Weiss grew up as a TV brat! He has lived in the east, midwest and west coast but considers himself a Californian. His college education was at USC in the School of Cinema where he earned a BS degree.
In addition to working on various projects with Jack the past six years, he founded his own production company Cry Havoc Productions. Dylan is an accomplished filmmaker. He was a high school quarterback, played college football for two years but his true love has been film. He has leaned towards postproduction as a specialty. But Dylan hasn’t limited himself to film and video production. He’s also a writer. In his not so spare time he’s written two novels and working on his third. He has co-produced and edited a variety of projects from short promotional videos, television programs, to show openings for Fox Sports and complex DVD authoring. In the past three years he has produced a series for Discovery HD Channel titled “Twist the Throttle” along with several other TV documentaries and has also produced and directed several documentaries for National Geographic Channel.
Cameraman/Producer – Todd Rainsberger joined the Malt Project team for the Spring 2004 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and has contributed to Vol IV and shot Vol V, VI and VII.
After receiving his PhD in Film Production/Communication from the University of Southern California, Todd has produced nearly 300 shows for ESPN, been an award winning sports cameraman, produced and directed hundreds of commercials authored a book on cinematography, become an internationally renowned lecturer and been a frequent sports commentator for ESPN, ESPN 2, Outdoor Life Network, Sports Channel and Prime Sports.
From 1990 to 2002 Todd was primary producer; editor and writer for ESPN's bi-weekly program Running and Racing. And, he became a regular host for the Outdoor Life Network's Outdoor Adventures, hosting everything from snowboarding to ice climbing to ultra marathons.
Todd and Jack Oswald have been professional associates since 1980 but not until 2004 did Todd acquire a taste for great single malts. And, after a week in Speyside we returned him to his Gainesville, Florida home as a true malt lover. Since then he has contuued to return to Scotland to work on The Malt Project and has become at expert on single malts.
Editor - Griff Partington is the newest member of The Malt Project team. Griff joined us in February 2008 as editor of Volume VI "Coastal and Island Distilleries". He hails from, Indianapolis and is a recent Ball State University grad where he was a Telecommunications major.
He moved to the LA area in the fall of 2007 and has been a freelance cinematographer and editor since. In February 2008 he joined GOAL Productions in Pasadena as Post Production Supervisor and became the editor of The Malt Project volumes VI and VII.
Although Griff had sampled some blends from time to time he really wasn't a single malt advocate. That has changed. Following his involvement with the Malt Project it's safe to say that Griff has become a near expert in a large variety of malts. It doesn't take long to catch the bug!
Cameraman and Associate Producer – Michael Smith hails from Michigan; got his BA in English lit from Wheaton College, spent a year with the Peace Corps in Africa and three years in corporate video production in Peoria, Illinois. Mike produced marketing, training and informational videos for multi-national corporations.
He then decided to improve his formal film education and went on to get his MFA in Cinema at USC. He worked with Jack for a year or so on various projects including a very intense week at the 2002 national BCS championship Rose Bowl and Rose Parade. In his two years after graduate school he has worked on numerous projects, both dramatic and documentary in both film and video. Mike's camera work has varied from Nintendo promos to being director of photography for the recent two one-hour specials on ESPN "The Season". The programs documented the 2001 University of Arizona football season. He is currently a faculty member at Azura Pacific College and completing his docorate at UCLA.
Mike Smith is a creative, soft-spoken visualist with a great eye and a disciplined mind for production. He proved during production of "The Malt Project" that he has an amazing nose and palate for the world's finest single malt whiskies.
Assistant Producer – Jean Oswald is Jack’s wife (and mother of their three children). Jean graduated from Northwestern with a degree in Radio-TV; worked with GOAL Productions after raising a family, and held various other broadcast and entertainment posts including a stint as office manager for National Geographic Productions during their Los Angeles based operation. Along with her involvement with GOAL Productions, for the past 20 years Jean has been operating her own business, Computerworks, specializing in accounting software for the not-for-profit business sector. Her input in pre and post production is behind the scenes but very significant. Jean also handles the business management for Malt Project distribution.
Production Assistant – Jeff Oswald has been part of the Malt Project since it's inception. He was born in Prestwick, Scotland while dad Jack served in the US Air Force. Jeff returned to visit Scotland after completing Computer Science studies at the University of California at Irvine. It didn't take him long to acquire an appreciation for visiting distilleries and nosing and tasting fine malts.
Jeff is a very sought-after consultant in high tech, his professional life, which leaves him plenty of time and money to pursue his other interests in whisky, women, motorcycles, and exotic foreign travel. Growing up in a production family, he hasn't been able to avoid working on various films and videos with father, Jack.
Jeff was overall production assistant, still photographer and assistant cameraman on two of the major trips in the fall of 2002 and spring 2004.