Meet the Team
MD Neely leads the team at CIY's Æffect Films. He has directed and produced films in 14 different countries, including “Love Costs Everything,” “Becoming Sons & Daughters” and “Aullido.” MD is a graduate of Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in Documentary Film and Editing. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 5 children, teaching students about filmmaking, eating Cadbury chocolate, and watching “Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Eric Epperson is the senior director of Æffect, CIY’s digital resources and film department. Eric has written and produced award-winning short films – such as “Aullido,” and compelling documentaries – such as “Love Costs Everything.” Eric holds a BA from Ozark Christian College and a Master of Arts from the University of Oklahoma. He has studied writing and improvisational comedy at the Second City in Chicago and is the co-founder and owner of Siblings Improv. He currently lives on Route 66 with his wife and two daughters.
Michael J. Hartnett
Director of Photography
Mike Hartnett is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based director of photography and co-founder of VINEGAR HILL and The New American Storytellers. His father was a rocket scientist for NASA and his mother was a painter. He considers cinematography to be the meeting point where his passion for art and science collide. Mike has a strong background in documentary work and has traveled to 28 countries around the world. When he’s not behind the camera, he can usually be found behind a piano, eating sushi, playing Legos, or with his wife and 3 daughters.
Stephanie Whonsetler is a feature, commercial and shorts producer from Louisville, Kentucky. Stephanie has had features at SWSX and Cannes, and received an Emmy for her commercial work. She has produced films in more than 30 states and eight different countries. Stephanie is an honors graduate of Denison University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, English and Business. She is a founding member of the Kentucky Film Association, where she sits as Chair over the Special Events committee. Stephanie loves to travel, outdoor adventure, and spend time with her niece and best buddy, Adeline.
Liam O’Neill was born in the U.S. but has been living in Ireland for most of his life. He has produced several short films, documentaries and five feature films. His most notable project was “How Harry Became A Tree,” which screened in the main competition at the Venice Film Festival and received Gala Screenings at the Toronto Film Fest. Other feature films include “Meteor,” which received a Crystal Bear in the KinderFilmFest of the Berlinale of 1999, and “Five Day Shelter,” which received the Best First Feature Film aware at the Mons Film Festival.
Mental Health Professional/Actor
Bob Carley is a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a pastor, a psychotherapist, an actor, a writer, a radio performer, a messer, a campaigner, and a lover of chips. He has spoken to audiences across the globe from Ballymun to Barbados. He has coached executives, government officials, athletes, media personalities, and students and recognizes that our global common denominator is that we need to discover why we are here and why that matters? His deep personal faith and belief that love never fails has carried him through life's darkest valleys.