Podcast | Acclaimed Filmmaker and Acting Class Guru
Santa’s Boot Camp began with an idea that the Jolly Old Elf would be audited by the IRS and ended with a tale of Santa teaching poorly-behaved teens a lesson in good behavior.
Producer and director Ken Feinberg said the project began two years ago when he had a whole year of short films made at Creative Studios of Atlanta’s Film Academy of Atlanta, which he founded in 2009. That year, his students shot so many short films that his editor told him with all the time and effort they’d put in, they could have made a feature-length film. Feinberg began the 2011-2012 year hoping to make movie that would appeal to people outside of the CSA Film Academy.
Ken Feinberg is informed by breadth of industry knowledge, from his long career behind the scenes to his award-winning performances on stage and screen. Feinberg calls upon a productive four dimensional career that includes producing, directing, writing, and acting for over 25 years in award-winning films, hit television series and major theater projects in Los Angeles, New York, Florida and Atlanta. He has won numerous awards in more than 100 productions, and he has achieved a great deal in the years he’s been in Hollywood after nurturing his career in New York and Atlanta.
As the Founder and CEO of Creative Studios of Atlanta, Feinberg was honored last year with the Outstanding Achievement Award for contribution to the film industry in Georgia at the Georgia Film Awards. An award-winning producer and director with over 100 films to his credit including, four which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Feinberg has won numerous awards for his work behind the camera. including: FOREIGN EXCHANGE, COMING CLEAN, SEVEN GENERATIONS and the Fellini homage 3 1/2.
Feinberg is currently finishing two new feature films: the family Christmas film SANTA’S BOOT CAMP with Oscar nominated actor Eric Roberts, Erika Bierman (Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1) and Storm Reid (12 Years A Slave) and SLICES OF LIFE.
As CEO of Creative Studios of Atlanta, Feinberg casts film, TV, commercials, voice over, music videos and print here in Atlanta. Some of his clients include: Turner Studios, Cartoon Network, The Weather Channel, Georgia Lottery, TNT and others.
Feinberg’s acting career started on stage in Atlanta and New York before moving into television series in L.A. He s known for memorable characters on such popular series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The District with Craig T. Nelson, J.J. Abrams’ Alias and Star Trek: Enterprise. Some of his film highlights include the Alma Award winning film No Turning Back, Pray Another Day, the Britney Spears music video Lucky and most recently Space Warriors with Dermot Mulroney, Mira Sorvino and Josh Lucas.
Additionally, Feinberg has produced and directed theater since 1992 in Los Angeles and Atlanta. As a member of the prominent Hollywood Repertory Company in Los Angeles, Feinberg co-wrote and produced Real Life Photographs, a drama about a family dealing with mental illness. The production was nominated for a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award. Feinberg adapted Peter and Wendy in Neverland for a deaf theater company, which was published by Yale University Press. Additionally, Feinberg directed the hit A Tribute to Saturday Night Live at the Hollywood Fight Club in Los Angeles and also directed original shows at the Stella Adler Theater and the Long Beach Playhouse.
Mr Ken teaches more than acting. He teaches kids of all ages how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. He helps actors develop strong, dependable, healthy & lasting relationships with their peers. At CSA we don’t want to put anyone into a box. We want every actor who walks through our doors to be the best actor & person they are. We help actors see how they can inject themselves into their work and thrive in their own unique way. Working predominantly with kids, we know that not everyone who trains with us will continue to act their whole life. Our students will learn life skills they can apply to any field they choose to go into with a focus on acting. Mr Ken does not tell actors what they should or should not do; instead he helps them discover what they are capable of. At CSA we foster independence, confidence, self-awareness and the ability to be a responsible risk-taker.
Ken Feinberg, the founder and CEO of CSA, calls upon a productive three-dimensional career that embodies directing, casting and performing. For over 25 years Feinberg has been directing, writing, producing and acting in award-winning films, hit television series and major theater projects in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta. Feinberg now passes his knowledge and experience on to students through a diverse curriculum covering acting, directing, and screenwriting at CSA. He established The CSA Film Academy for Young Actors, a highly selective, 9-month intensive program to mentor talented young actors and their parents for professional careers in the industry. Many of Feinberg’s students have starred in feature films, series regulars on television, commercials, voice over, print, billboards and even Broadway.
LOS ANGELES — Filmmaker Ken Feinberg doesn’t exactly have the profile of a guy who just finished making a movie about Santa Claus. In fact, the Atlanta-born, Jewish-raised Feinberg used to make a nice living in Los Angeles, portraying big, bad-looking meanies (bikers, demons, etc.) on shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed — and now here he is directing a family holiday movie called “Santa’s Boot Camp,” starring a bunch of kids, with a cameo by Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts? Now how exactly did THAThappen?
In fact it was Feinberg’s constantly running into the brick wall of typecasting that prompted him to return to Atlanta a little over 10 years ago and launch the Creative Studios of Atlanta Film Academy. Having learned the harsh realities of how to make a living as a working professional actor, he decided that he wanted to bring that knowledge back to the young actors who lived and worked in his hometown. The focus of the academy is not just traditional acting instruction, but also an opportunity for every student in the year-long program to actually work on a real motion picture.
So now, after having produced dozens of short films featuring his students over the course of several years, Feinberg and his team have produced their very first full-length feature film, SANTA’S BOOT CAMP, a hilarious adventure behind-the-scenes at Santa’s Workshop, where Santa’s Elves decide to go on strike — and it’s up to a handful of regular kids to save the day. A story with valuable lessons that speak to contemporary issues and celebrate the universal holiday themes of generosity and kindness, the film was recently awarded the Director’s Gold Award at the International Family Film Festival, and will be distributed by SP Releasing on November 15th. Roberts portrays a beleaguered shopping mall Santa, and there are nearly 50 young performers who have speaking parts.
Writer-director Feinberg is eager to spread the message of SANTA’S BOOT CAMP: that when young people put their best efforts forward, they can accomplish ANYTHING — and that message is delivered both on-screen, by the team of kids who come together to rescue Christmas, and by the talented young artists who bring their characters and their story to such vivid life.
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