William D. Caballero, Creator/Director/Producer
William D. Caballero is a 2001 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient and an alumni of Pratt Institute and NYU Graduate School. Gran’pa Knows Best is his fifth directorial project since his graduation in 2008. His first, an autobiographical documentary, American Dreams Deferred, aired nationally on PBS and chronicles the stark contrast of college life, as the first in his family to attend, and his life back home where he resides in a trailer with his mother and ailing father undergoing dialysis. His film Seed Story premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival, followed by the award winning short film How You Doin’ Boy? Voicemails From Gran’pa, which like Gran’pa Knows Best, uses 3D printer technology to create miniature models of Caballero’s real grandfather. Through his work Caballero’s mission is to empower, enlighten and express. --
IN THE WORDS OF OUR CREATOR/DIRECTOR:
Hi! My name is Will, and I like telling big stories using small figures (this is the part where you excitedly say "Hi, Will!", as if we are in A.A.).
To me, there's more reality and humanity in the anecdotes and lives of regular people than there are in the Kardashian's and Kanye's of the world. You see, my Gran'pa was always there for me when I was young. He would drive me to the library (sitting on two phone books, nonetheless), and sit in the car while I browsed for hours. He was present at my high school and college graduation. He was always there to knock some sense in me whenever he felt I wasn't 'doing the right thing', encouraging me to 'go straight ahead!' Now, he lives all alone, watching his gospel shows and lighting his prayer candles; even Gran'ma doesn't talk to him!
I wanted to create "Gran'pa Knows Best" because it enables me to examine into who I am and where I came from, and preserve a bit of my Puerto Rican culture. It allows my grandfather to feel needed again. He's now able to provide advice for ALL young people, not just his grandchildren. He's 86, and you just never know how much time you have to capture your elders before they're gone forever.
All it took was the perfect creative team for the idea to become a reality. We have all toiled for two years to make this project a reality, and I hope you will all take a moment to learn about each of them. These folks means the world to me!
To learn more about Wil's work, visit www.wilcab.com
Elaine Del Valle: Executive Producer, Producer
Elaine Del Valle is a WGA-East writer, stage and screen performer. Elaine is a noted Latina trendsetter becoming popular by way of her comedy web series Reasons Y I’m Single and Off Broadway autobiographical one woman play Brownsville Bred - critically acclaimed Brownsville is her triumphant coming-of-age story set in the tough projects of Brownsville Brooklyn during the height of the crack and AIDS epidemic. Elaine owns and operates Del Valle Productions, Inc., a full service, bilingual film production and casting company that offers services from concept to delivery. Its mission is to infuse entertainment with Female and/or Latino driven truths, insights and perspective, through original programming and its use of talent in front of and behind the camera. --
Upon viewing William's short film HOW YOU DOIN’ BOY? VOICEMAILS FROM GRANPA, I knew I wanted to connect with this filmmaker. While the character, dialogue and honesty was fulfilling in this well-told story, it was the art of the project that was amongst the most creative I have seen in film, that made me need to hop on board and become a team member in the creation of the series. As a previous web series creator, writer and producer, I knew well the intricacies of web series, social media marketing, copyright, trademark and licensing, and I knew exactly who I wanted to show it to for acquisition. When I'm not producing Gran'pa, I run my own production and talent casting studio, Del Valle Productions, Inc./Del Valle Casting. I am a WGA-East writer, DG Playwright, Casting Producer, SAG-AFTRA signatory producer and a Performer most noted for my autobiographical off Broadway one person play, Brownsville Bred.
Chang Kim: 3D Character Modeler
I was born in South Korea, went to Sejong University (BFA, painting) and now live in Queens, New York. I was attracted to the project when I met with William and found out that one of his short films made it to the Slamdance Film Festival. Anyways, I'm the one who created every single pose of Gran'pa using a few reference photos in the program ZBrush. I think this means that I know Gran'pa very well!
Seth Burney: 3D printing specialist, set designer, 3D furniture designer
I'm from Massachusetts and went to Pratt Institute (BFA, Industrial Design) with my fraternity brother Will. When I found out that he was in need of a 3D printing specialist, I gave him a ring. Each of the characters were printed in polymer resin. I also created Gran'pa's kitchen, and 3D modeled all of the furniture. When I'm not helping Will on his projects, I work full-time at an architecture firm in NYC.
Chris Cookson: graphic design, text animation
I'm an animator currently working at an ad agency in New York City. I also helped with some of the graphic assets for the Gran'pa Knows Best web series and made the 2D animated text overlay for the original How You Doin' Boy short film. When I'm not animating stuff, I like to make puns and eat $5 Vietnamese sandwiches. I believe Gran'pa does, in fact, know best, and treasures the wisdom he imparts to the YouTube generation.
Amy Yamashiro: Painter & Prop Builder
I was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii, moved to New York in 2009 and graduated from New York University in 2013 with a baccalaureate in music education. I worked with Will as a musician on his project SPEAK! So the World Will Listen! Uganda, as well as a prop maker for his award-winning short film, Seed Story. I currently teach music at a high school in Manhattan, while continuing to perform as a musician and paint miniatures for Gran'pa.
Kate Keisel-Caballero: Production Assistant
Behind every great man, there's a great woman. I'm married to the director, and have seen this project grow from an idea into a web-series over the past two years. I've been there for him throughout all the stress and moments of self-doubt, offering my support for him in just about every aspect of the project. I work full-time at an organization dedicated to eradicating modern day slavery and am working on opening up my own non-profit later this year.
Michael Caballero: Production Assistant
Will is my cousin. I help him out on his films and he buys me Portuguese BBQ. I also weld.