Daniel H. Birman
Daniel H. Birman is producing Finding Higgs Boson (working title) for Nova on PBS. This is a one-hour special about one of the great scientific discoveries in modern times, a tiny particle that explains how the universe was formed. Birman recently completed Chasing Speed, a one-hour special for Velocity. The program is about Leslie Porterfield, who broke the world record as the fastest woman on a motorcycle at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats. Previously, he produced Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story for Independent Lens on PBS. This is a documentary about a 16-year-old girl who is serving a life sentence for murder. Just prior, Birman produced the acclaimed documentary Brace for Impact: the Chesley B. Sullenberger Story for TLC, and which also aired on Discovery. Birman had the exclusive story about the pilot of Flight 1549 who landed his aircraft on the Hudson River and 155 people walked off. In addition, Birman produced, Europa: Mystery of the Ice Moon, a one-hour special for Science Channel about exploring a moon of Jupiter that just might support life, and Medical Maverick — two one-hour shows for Discovery Health that look at the work of a world-class trauma surgeon. Birman also produced The Team, a four-part and first-ever nonfiction series for Nickelodeon, and Chopper Rescue, a one-hour trauma pilot for Discovery Health. Before that, he produced Alternatives: Uncovered — a series of one-hour programs also for Discovery Health. Birman is a professor of professional practice at USC Annenberg School of Journalism.
Shari Cookson is a Primetime Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. Her latest project, HBO’s The Weight of the Nation for Kids, received two Primetime Emmy nominations. She produced and directed the series with filmmaking partner Nick Doob under their banner Mackerel Sky Films. In 2009, Cookson and Doob won an Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking for The Memory Loss Tapes, part of HBO’s Alzheimer’s Project. Cookson is also president of the documentary film production company Sceneworks. Her other HBO credits include the Emmy-nominated documentaries All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise and Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen; Skinheads USA, which earned her a DGA nomination; and Asylum, a Sundance selection. Additional credits include Lifetime’s Signature Series and On Campus, for which she won a Los Angeles Area Emmy. A graduate of USC, Cookson received the Television Academy’s college documentary award for her student film Gunshot. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children and husband, editor Charlton McMillan, with whom she has collaborated on numerous films.