Zant is the founder and creative visionary of Wild Heart Ranch Inc.
Wild Heart Ranch was created to build a company that reflects time-honored
values in the form of non-violent content, entertainment and toys. Wild
Heart Ranch blends the founder's creative passion with her extensive
industry experience in the business and investment community.
Interview with Books and Authors:
Award winning producer, Russell Naftal has a wide-ranging background. With a degree in advertising, he first used his skills in the garment industry as the Designer/Creative Director designing children’s clothing for companies such as Nautica, Calvin Klein Kids, Absorba, and Doe Spun. Russell also designed and implemented those company’s advertising/marketing campaigns and personally helped increase revenues to over 85 million dollars. After ten years of success, Russell moved to Los Angeles utilizing his talents as an illustrator and cartoonist, to position his way into the entertainment industry.
Mr. Naftal started as a segment producer for NBA entertainment and produced several projects including the NBA and NBC program “NBA Hollywood” featuring Jerry Sienfeld, Mathew Perry and Michael Jordan. Simultaneously, Russell founded a broadband distribution company called FuelNetworks, which was a pioneer in the unique implementation of video on demand and had supporting partners such as Sun Micro Systems, Oracle, Exodus and Excite at Home. Russell used the combination of his relationships and strong experience in branded programming and quickly found himself producing for Mandalay Entertainment in their Sports division.
At Mandalay, Russell had produced and consulted on a variety of programming including the highly popular “WCW Superstar video series” for Warner Bros. This was a top-selling biographical series that focused on the stars of World Championship Wrestling. This video series won him several Telly Awards and Videographer Awards. Russell is currently developing and producing several projects for television, animation and features. Recent completed projects include "Shoot Out Online" featuring Peter Guber and Peter Bart. “The Catch”, a short film by Philip Atlakson, edited the highly acclaimed hip-hop documentary, "Street Dreams: Volume One" for Chinavision Films, “Dogg Pound Uncut” the true story of the hugely successful west coast rap group, wrote, produced and edited two national commercials for “Strana Racing” and for ABC Family, 39 episodes of the award winning children’s game show called “Go For IT TV”, the number one rated kids program on the ABC Family network. In 2002 Russell partnered with professional BMX rider and action sports producer, Todd Seligman to develop a Core Sports and Youth Culture Division focusing on television, film and live events. Up coming programming for 2004 includes an extreme sports game show called “X-It Ramp”, a feature film “SLEDGE” starring Brad Pitt and Ben Stiller and a surf documentary for Billabong the largest action sports company in the world.
Following five years at Mandalay, he has formed a new company as a developer, producer and distributor of action sports entertainment, including television, live event, theatrical and home entertainment programming.
Mr. Fred Roos, Executive Producer in the recent film Lost in Translation, standing alongside Francis Ford Coppola and actor Bill Murray, brings a long list of feature films and a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry to Wild Heart Ranch’s executive board.
Producing the feature film Young Black Stallion in 2003, Fred also worked on the original Black Stallion back in 1979 and The Black Stallion Returns in 1983. When asked what kept him coming back for more of the films, Fred once told a Big Movie Zone interviewer, “I love the Black Stallion books and the original Black Stallion movie is one of my proudest achievements.” With an avid interest in horses and a long line of movie industry achievements behind him, Fred will both compliment and bolster Wild Heart Ranch’s vision as a content driven toy and entertainment company, that seeks to bring kids and adult collectors a unique blend of fantasy and imagination in all of its products.
Mr. Roos first began producing in the 1960’s in Director Monte Hellman’s film, Backdoor to Hell. The film, shot on location in the Phillipines, starred one time unknown actor Jack Nicholson. Roos’ ability to spot hidden talent won him a long list of feature films as well as a 30 year collaborative partnership with Director Francis Ford Coppola. This relationship began when Coppola had originally asked him to cast the movie, The Godfather in 1971. His first film producing for Coppola soon followed, with the release of the movie, The Conversation which in turn drummed up three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and won him the Palm D’or at Cannes.
Certainly the start of a successful stream of achievements in his career, Roos has maintained a steady presence in the movie and entertainment industry, going on to co-produce popular films such as The Virgin Suicides and Apocalypse Now Redux, to name a few. Taking credit for assembling the casts of such classic films as American Graffiti and The Outsiders, Roos certainly helped to reveal the talents of Tom Cruise, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze and Harrison Ford to the rest of the world. Touted as “the movie business equivalent of the A&R talent scout who first heard the White Stripes in a noisy downtown club,” by Los Angeles Times reporter Patrick Goldstein, Roos certainly has an eye for quality entertainment.
For the full filmography of Mr. Roos, please click here.
Mr. Trow has experience as CEO, COO and consultant with proven expertise in developing and managing businesses, strategic planning, business development, acquisitions, mergers, corporate organizational development, supply chain management and logistics, executive compensation, succession planning, senior management mentoring and board development. Management experience includes from 1999 to present, Chairman and CEO with Seafood USA, Humarock, MA. From 1993 to 1999, VP & President, UNICCO Service Company, Boston, MA. Also, Mr. Trow has served as Vice President of several universities and colleges in MA, NJ, & NY. His education includes:
McCarter brings years of entertainment marketing and advertising experience
to the Board. Mr. McCarter is currently the Director of Entertainment
Marketing at OMD USA. OMD USA is Omnicom’s media
services company that handles media strategy and execution for the clients
of BBDO, DDB and TBWA/Chiat Day.
Ms. Cali Van Zant: Kids Club Newsletter Feature Writer, Sales
A lifelong horse lover, Ms. Kim McElroy began her professional equine art career while pursuing a degree in fine art. She began with vibrant line drawings, quickly expanding to a broad variety of artistic expression and style, celebrating the full breadth and wonder of the horse. Kim, with her partner and mother, Kay, exhibit her original pastels and limited edition prints nationally and internationally, in special and private showings, and at many major horse shows. Collectors of Kim's work seek her out because of her unique approach to equine art. Her work appeals not only to those familiar with horses, but also to all who marvel at their majestic presence. Ranging from expressive, lifelike studies to impressions of line and motion, her style captures what you would like to remember of the horse.....their expression, their action, their dynamic power, their fundamental beauty. Through the imagery of movement, Kim has found a way to bring alive the expression of the horse as an art form rather than simply a portrait or as part of a landscape. Her love for horses and her artistic insight combine to capture the essence of the horse so that all can appreciate its majesty and beauty. Kim's destiny seems to have been set out from birth. She was born in 1966, the year of the Fire Horse, a rare sign in the Chinese calendar occurring only once every 60 years. Her birth sign not only describes her work, but perhaps also explains her uncanny ability to create horses with a life of their own.
Ms. Callan Van Zant, I Sea Horses, From Sky to Sea
Nineteen-year-old Callan Van Zant has been an avid horse lover from the age of three. She was lucky enough to be given her first pony at the age of seven. Lucky Penny, her spotted appaloosa, was the first of several great friendships and partnerships. Callan still rides and shows to fulfill a lifelong passion. Callan's major influence in her art came from well-known equine artist, Kim McElroy.
Mr. Alexander Levitas, Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop
Alexander Levitas was born in the Uzbekistan, formerly known as Tashkent where he studied at the Pedagogical High College. He worked as both a teacher and interior design artist before immigrating to Israel where he now lives and works on a kibbutz. Alex first began illustrating in 1994 and has lent his talents to more than 30 books. His illustrations can be found in a variety of historical literature, classical and young adult fiction in 4 different languages.