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Production Team

Saving the City is being made by a team of seasoned storytellers, many of whom have worked together for years on a wide range of projects covering local, national and international issues.

Ron Blatman

Executive Producer/ Producer

Ron created Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis as a result of years of traveling to and studying cities from a variety of perspectives. He also created and produced the acclaimed Saving the Bay national PBS series narrated by Robert Redford about the history of San Francisco Bay.

Ron previously worked in real estate development and finance in his native San Francisco and on Wall Street in New York, as well as serving as Director of Business Development in the San Francisco mayor’s office in the early 1990s.

He earned an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a concurrent Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley.

James Kennard

Director/ Editor

James has worked on independent commercial and documentary productions for over 10 years, shoots, writes and edits. His most recent feature was directing The Book Makers, seen nationally on public TV. Previous credits include a trilogy of films about European winemaking released on Netflix. James holds BA in History from Oxford University.

James Kennard

Director/
Editor

Lisa Landers

Writer/Co-Producer

Lisa is an award-winning producer and writer whose work includes documentaries, museum exhibitions and educational multimedia. Over the past two decades, she has traveled the globe producing and developing films for networks such as the Smithsonian Channel, Discovery and National Geographic. She served as the managing editor and series producer for an award-winning KQED/PBS multimedia science series (Quest) — and received a national Emmy nomination as one of the producers of a Discovery film and educational series (Year On Earth).

Lisa’s work also includes writing, short films and interactive media installations for the American Museum of Natural History, National Building Museum, Tech Museum of Innovation and Papalote del Nino in Mexico City. Lisa holds a degree in Architectural Studies from Tufts University.

Blair Gershkow

Editor/Co-Producer

Blair has been a celebrated film editor for over 35 years. He served as editor for the Saving the Bay series as well as all nine parts of the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score series and the acclaimed Judge and the General documentary all on PBS.

A Minnesota native, Blair has credits on all the major broadcast networks including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and Great Performances on PBS, ABC’s Nightline, 60 Minutes on CBS and Oprah. His projects have received numerous national awards including Emmys and the duPont-Columbia. Blair also co-directed and produced the recent Surviving Skokie documentary and a biopic about Wynton Marsalis for PBS.

Blair Gershkow

Editor/Co-Producer

Stacy Waters

Producer/ Director

Stacy is a content development executive and producer of non-fiction programming for broadcast and cable networks. Her programs have appeared on NBC, PBS, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, LMN, A&E Biography, HGTV, DIY and Travel Channel, many of them while she was VP of Content at Indigo Films.

Stacy’s programs have garnered over a dozen awards including six Northern California Emmys and three national Telly awards.

Stacy has also headed content development and video production for various start-up companies and oversaw the television division of a non-profit media organization committed to helping television newsrooms better cover under-reported issues in science, the environment, education and the arts.

Joan Saffa

Senior Producer

Joan has been producing and directing award-winning documentaries and non-fiction television programs for over 35 years. Joan’s work has appeared everywhere from PBS and CBS to HBO and the Disney Channel as well as internationally. She has been honored with national and regional Emmys, a Peabody Award and a flock of Cine Golden Eagles.

Her work has enlivened such national series as We The People with Peter Jennings, Over Easy with Hugh Downs, Money in America with Sylvia Chase and The Religion and Ethics Newsweekly – all on PBS. Most recently, Joan worked with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony crafting the 9-part Keeping Score series for PBS.

Joan Saffa

Senior Producer

Rob Weiss

Coordinating Producer

Rob has over 35 years experience as an editor and producer. He served as Coordinating Producer for the Saving the Bay series as well as the Judge and the General documentary, both seen nationally on PBS.

Rob previously contributed to ABC’s Good Morning America for over 10 years as an editor and segment producer. He has also edited and/or produced for ABC News, ABC Sports, 20/20, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, Oprah, the BBC and the Discovery, Disney and Learning Channels. Rob’s contributions have resulted in numerous awards from local and national Emmys to national Clios and the prestigious Peabody and duPont-Columbia. He is also a founder of West Wind Productions.

Sandra Baer

Special Advisor

Sandra, who is helping with strategic planning and fundraising, is President of Personal Cities, a smart city company focused on city identity and placemaking, social inclusion and equity, climate actions and the acceleration of digital technology investments to support innovation and entrepreneurs. She is a longtime champion of creative collaboration between the public and private sectors. Sandra has worked worldwide with city leaders and smart city companies for over 25 years, including at the Smart Cities Council, Bloomberg Government, Ridge Global and Sprint/Nextel Communications.

Sandra Baer

Special Advisor

Alex Safron

Associate Producer
lex has been independently producing and editing videos for non-profits, academics and small businesses for over 10 years. He worked as an Editor and Associate Producer at Full Frame Productions in San Francisco and museum exhibits for NOAA, The California Museum, Port of Stockton, NextEra, Applied Materials, USFS, US Fish and Wildlife and more.

Jamie LaJeune

Technical Advisor/Camera

Jamie is an expert in all things technical and has been advising the Saving the City team on a number of matters. He also shoots and edits, having worked on projects spanning the globe.

Jamie LaJeune

Technical Advisor/Camera

Mad Dog

Web Developer

Mad Dog is a writer and web developer. He wrote a humor column for 14 years, has had three books published, created and marketed novelty gift items including Croc O’ Shirt, Earl the Dead Cat, and the Silent Vigil Foam Rubber Wind Chimes, and has taken innumerable other twists and turns in his jagged career path.