LifeSteps was produced by Heartland Media, an award-winning educational production company in San Francisco. Heartland was founded in 1995 by Michael Pritchard, veteran producer Jim Watson and Ed Werz, President and CEO of The Guidance Channel and The Bureau For At-risk Youth. Its past productions include Saving Our Schools, a trenchant look at the aftermaths of Columbine, and PeaceTalks, as award-winning 10-part series on teen violence prevention. PeaceTalks was part of PBS's SAFE NIGHT USA, and has win critical acclaim in the educational press as wells as 16 major national education and media awards.

Heartland Media has been widely recognized for its work and has received numerous awards, including: CINE Golden Eagles, Parents' Choice Gold Awards, Teacher's Choice Awards, Parent's Guide to Children's Media Awards, the Golden Camera and Creative Excellence Award at the US International Film and Video Festival, the Chris Statuette, the Gold Hugo Award, the Omni, the Platinum Aurora and the Silver-World Medalist award at the NY Festivals as well as two Emmy Award nominations.

Four years in the making,
LifeSteps was developed and produced by Jim Watson in conjunction with the Guidance Channel: Ed Werz, President and CEO and Sally Germain, Executive Editor. Maurice Elias, Ph.D, Rutgers University, Vice-Chair Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) was the scientific consultant for the series.

LifeSteps Production Credits:
Michael Pritchard, Host
Jim Watson, Producer/Director
Ed Werz, Executive Producer
Maurice Elias, Ph.D., Scientific consultant
Marta Wohl, Editor
Jen Speed, Associate Producer, Assistant Editor
Dave Drum, Director of Cinematography
Philip Perkins, Sound recordist and post production sound
Steve Shapiro, Music
Sally Germain, Editor-in-Chief of The Guidance Channel

Jim Watson, Producer/Director
Jim Watson is an award-winning writer, producer and director of educational television and video programs. He has produced a wide range of non-fiction films and videos in his thirty year career. He has produced and directed 5 critically acclaimed Public Television series for kids of all ages, including: Saving Our Schools, PeaceTalks, You Can Choose!, Big Changes - Big Choices and the current
LifeSteps. These series have been highly acclaimed in the educational press and received many major awards including: the CINE Golden Eagle, the Parent's Choice Gold Award, the Teachers Choice Award, and the Golden Camera Award at the US International Film and Video Festival. In 1995, Mr. Watson founded Heartland Media with Michael Pritchard and Ed Werz.

Mr. Watson began his professional media career working on a variety of public television documentaries, which include: The Cost of Cotton, a thirty-minute exposé on DDT poisoning of Guatemalan cotton workers, The I Hotel on senior housing, Mad River, an environmental documentary for the PBS Crisis-to-Crisis series and Talking Dustbowl, a personal portrait of Okies in the central valley of California.

In 1983, he co-founded Fine Line Productions, where he produced a series of educational programs, including The Yosemite Institute, narrated by Robert Redford, Classrooms Without Borders, a six-part series on bilingual education for elementary schools and co-produced Finding the Solutions.
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Edward W. Werz, Executive Producer
Edward W. Werz is a marketer, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of The Guidance Channel, which owns The Bureau for At-risk Youth, Great Events Publishing, Childswork/Childsplay,, Homework Hotline Educational Services and Red Ribbon Resources, a group of companies focused on providing guidance and educational resources for children, teens, parents and professionals.

Mr. Werz began his career in the New York City Public School System teaching emotionally disturbed youth and earned a Master's degree in psychology from The New School for Social Research.

From 1976 through 1990, Mr.Werz was Executive Vice President of Caddylak Systems and founder of Asher-Gallant Press, where he was responsible for product development, advertising and marketing and created more than 150 management books and audio programs. Mr. Werz is the author of many marketing books, including Letters That Sell (Contemporary Books, 1987), The Complete Customer Service Letter Book (McGraw Hill, 1993), Phrases That Sell (Contemporary Books, 1998).

The Bureau For At-Risk Youth, launched in 1991, has developed and published more than 1,500 publications and videos. Many have won national awards for their content and educational value. Mr. Werz serves on the advisory boards of WLIW Channel 21 and Working Organization for Retarded Children.
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Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., Scientific Consultant

Maurice Elias began his emotional intelligence work as a graduate student in the 70's. Working with disturbed underprivileged children at The Children's Village, he found that social-emotional learning was the key to reach kids. His work in communities has continued, and Dr. Elias is now a Professor in Psychology at Rutgers University and Vice-Chair of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.

He is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators (ASCD, 1997). His recent books are Emotionally Intelligent Parenting: How to Raise a Self-Disciplined, Responsible, and Socially Skilled Child, with a foreword written by Daniel Goleman, published by Harmony/Random House in 2000, (see for information), and Raising Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers: Guiding the Way for Compassionate, Committed, Courageous Adults (Random House/Three Rivers Press, 2002). Just released is Engaging the Resistant Child Through Computers: A Manual for Social-Emotional Learning (available through and Building Learning Communities with Character: How to Integrate Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (ASCD).  For more information about Maurice's work, please visit
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Jen Speed, Associate Producer, Assistant Editor

Jen Speed is a video editor and associate producer for documentary films.  After graduating from UC San Diego, she began her career at KQED in San Francisco.  She has worked on award-winning documentaries, including TANGLED ROOTS, THE RABBIT IN THE MOON, and YIELD TO TOTAL ELATION: THE LIFE AND ART OF ACHILLES RIZZOLI.  She also produces her own short films, for which she has been awarded artist residencies in Scotland, Ireland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Iceland.  Jen also coordinates the Marin County Festival of Short Film and Video each year in San Rafael, California.
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Dave Drum, Director of Photography

Dave Drum is an award-winning Director of Photography with over twenty years experience shooting documentary, commercial, educational, and corporate programs for national and international markets.  His camera work has been featured in nearly 75 television shows for the BBC, as well as numerous programs for German, Italian, and Canadian television and ABC, NBC, MTV, HBO, Discovery, and PBS.  Dave enjoys shooting programs on a wide range of subjects.  His credits include science and technology programs (The Faces of Yellowstone, Gold Award, N.Y. Film Festival, and Horizon--Emerging Viruses, Best Documentary, BBC), art programs (Gerhard Richter, Granada Television, and The Spirit of 18th
Century Dance, N.E.A.) and cultural programs (The Last Tibetan Yogis, and LifeSteps with Michael Pritchard, Gold Telly Award.)  More info:
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Philip Perkins C.A.S., Production Sound Mixer, Audio Post Production

Philip Perkins has been involved in the creation of motion picture and television sound tracks since the early 1970's, recording, editing and mixing sound for every type of motion picture, video, radio and music production, including large scale Hollywood features, documentaries made all over the world, national TV spots, TV series, educational projects, internet and "new media" projects, "special venue" and theme park productions,  and radio specials for NPR, CBC, European, Australian, and Japanese radio networks.  He has also been involved in experimental music and films since the late 1960's, and has performed or collaborated with all manner of musicians, filmmakers, bands, ensembles and dance companies, including a 5 year period working with THE RESIDENTS 1979-84 and releasing many albums of his own work on the FUN MUSIC, and ARTIFACT labels.   His work as a sound editor and post-production mixer include the Emmy award winning documentary series Wonders of the World for the Disney Channel, the LifeSteps and many other series with Michael Pritchard for PBS, recent Sundance favorites Daddy and Papa and The Legacy, Downside Up, Alive In Limbo and Rising Waters (among others) for ITVS; the Thrill of Motion exhibit for the GM pavilion at the Atlanta Olympics, and many other documentary and dramatic projects.  More info:
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Steve Shapiro, Music
Steve Shapiro has composed music for hundreds of radio and TV commercials, documentary films, infomercials and other TV programs. He has a BA in Music from Brown University and an MA in Music from the Manhattan School of Music. He was the music director at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Films, which produced hundreds of award-winning educational films and recordings. He has just completed construction of a state-of-the-art recording facility in the South Market area of San Francisco.
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Sally Germain, Editor-in-Chief of the Guidance Channel
During her 25 years in the publishing industry, Sally Germain has been involved in every aspect of the publishing business. Most recently, she has served as Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of The Guidance Channel, creating unique, award-winning products for the educational and therapeutic markets. Through The Guidance Channel's Bureau For At-Risk Youth division, she has been responsible for the development of some 500+ videos, CD-Roms, curricula, books, booklets, posters and other resources for K - 12 youth, their parents, and the counselors and other professionals who work with them. In addition to her work with The Guidance Channel, Sally has co-written The Complete Customer Service Letter Book, McGraw Hill, Inc., and Phrases That Sell, Contemporary Books.
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