CLAY STAFFORD

About

CLAY STAFFORD

About

 


Internationally distributed author, screenwriter, playwright, producer, director, and actor of film, television, and stage, showrunner, publisher, songwriter / composer, CEO, educator, speaker, activist, environmentalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur

MAJOR STUDIO / EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE
“It is difficult to imagine an individual better suited to be a working member of the entertainment community.” — Liz Ramirez, Universal Studios / Hanna-Barbera Studios

Clay Stafford has worked behind-the-scenes in staff positions for PBS, Universal Studios, and MCA Records in the departments of development, production, publishing, packaging, distribution, accounting, casting, legal, personnel, publicity / advertising, transportation, and union relations. He started his executive climb in the mailroom of Universal Studios, worked his way up and was offered a production and development executive position with Universal Studios before landing at PBS and then his current CEO position at American Blackguard Entertainment. He has produced special events for all three traditional networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) and PBS. His studio support experience comprises both Emmy and Academy Award winning productions including the movies Back to the Future, Hannah and Her Sisters, Legal Eagles, Mask, The Money Pit, Out of Africa, Psycho III, Weird Science, and the television shows Airwolf, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Amazing Stories, Dynasty, The Equalizer, Knight Rider, MacGyver, Magnum, P.I., Miami Vice, Murder, She Wrote, Simon & Simon, among others. Clay is currently President / CEO of American Blackguard Entertainment where he has overseen and developed projects and/or publicity activities involving such literary giants as Stephen King, Jeffery Deaver, and Peter Straub, and has been a consultant to the Tennessee Film Commission and the Tennessee State House and Senate on the entertainment business and financial incentives for companies filming in Tennessee. Because of his championship of writers and his influence in the literary world, Publishers Weekly recognized Clay Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.”

AUTHOR / SCREENWRITER / PLAYWRIGHT / JOURNALIST
Stafford has no shortage of material . . . Ever the Renaissance man.The Atlanta Journal / The Atlanta Constitution

From the Watergate era forward, Clay Stafford wanted to be a journalist and followed the traditional journalist route of school newspapers and freelance work, but eventually decided that fiction and long-form documentaries were more of his interest. As an award-winning author, screenwriter, TV series creator, and head writer, Clay Stafford’s media and literary clients have included ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, numerous independent production companies, and Esquire Magazine, to name a few, and his short stories, essays, and poems are published periodically in national literary journals including the Best Poems series. As a playwright, he has had four of his plays premier in Los Angeles. As a journalist and columnist, he has worked freelance for Gannett and Ochs-Sulzberger newspapers, and Killer Nashville Magazine. His books and tapes on the entertainment business have been offered at notable “media” bookstores including Oxfords and Borders (both now defunct), Samuel French, Larry Edmunds, and others, and have been used as teaching tools at several major universities. He also critiques books, plays, and films for a domestic and worldwide print and media audience (examples include BookPage, CitySearch, Killer Nashville, and Killer Nashville Magazine), where he conducted interviews with authors and filmmakers about their works. Major publishers such as Harcourt Brace and Gallery Books have used his influence on book jackets as a part of their international promotion. As a literary executive, he has edited several books and companion guides for PBS to accompany national TV series, and has been Editor-in-Chief, Publisher, and Book Packager for PBS and American Blackguard Entertainment. An active member of the literary community, Clay was formally Chairman of the Board for The Council for the Written Word (which he founded) and the Williamson County Arts Council, president for several years of the Southeast Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA), and has served on such national or regional boards as Mystery Writers of America, Nashville Adult Literacy Council, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and maintains his professional membership with national writers’ organizations including The Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and more. His novel retellings for children for Dalmatian Press have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into several languages; the books even made a guest appearance on the bookshelf behind Diane Lane in the film Must Love Dogs! Clay Stafford’s film work is in over 14 languages. His most recent book as Book Packager and Editor was Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded for Diversion Books (in which he included a short story). Sony Pictures Television optioned his most recent TV series. His most recent screenplay was Pork Pie Hat, based upon a novel by Peter Straub. His documentary feature film One of the Miracles: The Inge Meyring Smith Story has received rave reviews from film festivals and critics alike. His has written under the pseudonyms Roberta Bendell, John Mariani (travel editor of Esquire Magazine), the Russian author Yalc Droffats, and others.

PRODUCER / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / FILMMAKER PRODUCTION MANAGER / SHOWRUNNER
An excellent member of any production team. — John Whitesell, Senior Vice-President, Warner Brothers International Television Distribution

Taking law courses at the University of Miami, working his way up the management track at Universal Studios, and getting first-hand-in-the-field experience as a production manager has given Clay Stafford a distinct advantage as a producer, executive producer, and showrunner. Clay Stafford has produced, line produced, and been a production manager on over 90 stage, film, and TV award-winning productions including the nationally acclaimed TV talk show Proud to Be Me, several national how-to TV series, documentaries, special events, music videos, commercials, and dramas for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and several independent production companies. All productions have come in on time and under-budget. As Assistant Director of Program Development for PBS in Miami, he was responsible for the creation, development, packaging, production, and marketing of PBS local, national, and straight-to-video PBS programming. His most recent live stage events include the annual packaging of the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference and his most recent media work is as producer, executive producer, director, and writer for the documentary film One of the Miracles: The Inge Meyring Smith Story. Being of European Jewish descent, the making of the documentary of a Holocaust survivor was a film he felt he needed to make.

DIRECTOR / FILMMAKER
A great source of advice and information, a tremendous addition to your team. — Cynthia Payo, Hollywood Pictures / Walt Disney Motion Picture Group

Like many child filmmakers, Clay Stafford began shooting 8mm edited scenes around ten, but he really learned the art of editing (and directing) while working at Universal Studios, mentored off-the-clock by professional 35mm editors within the Universal Television family. An award-winning director of screen and stage, and a technical director for live television, Clay Stafford’s over 50 directing credits include such a diverse mix as the PBS TV drama Michael, the PBS documentary Patterns of Power, and the A Little Night Murder staged mystery series. Like most young filmmakers, Clay wanted to “do it all” in his early days (forced by budget and an irrepressible auteur mentality), and, as a result, has served as cinematographer, cameraman, casting director, sound editor, composer, and production designer on many of his productions. In studio support, he got to see auteurs at work through creative innovators as Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen, both of whom he was honored to work under through Universal. Clay’s media directing experience includes both film and tape, single- and multi-camera shoots, and multi-camera live broadcasts. He has served as a production and post-production consultant for the TV series Walker, Texas Ranger and the feature film Bad Girls and has seen his work on TV, on videocassette (DVD now), and in theaters in the United States, and on foreign TV and DVD abroad. As a photographer, he has done publicity photos for such personalities as Jane Seymore, Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, and for organizations such as USAir and Smith & Wesson.

ACTOR / MODEL / SINGER / DANCER
The fun and excitement never stops. — Paul Ryan, KNBC-TV, Los Angeles

An award-winning method actor, Clay Stafford has created over 90 roles on stage, film, and TV including Two on the Town (CBS) and Days of Our Lives, and leads in touring and regional theater productions such as Androcles and the Lion, Lonestar, and The Lion in Winter, in addition to his high school experience as a radio D.J., a college voice-over artist, and an early reader for audio books. As an “actor who danced”, Clay had the wonderful opportunity to study with such renown instructors as the Dance-Theatre Workshop, Martha Graham Studio, Luigi (often instructing shirtless), and New York choreographer Frank Pietri (of A Chorus Line fame). As a model, Clay has appeared in promotional ads for national companies such as Service Merchandise, Saturn, Opryland Hotel, and American National Bank. As an “actor who sings”, he has appeared in operas such as Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro under the tutorage of David Pennebaker and David Aiken, as well as leading roles in such touring musicals such as The Fantasticks (El Gallo) and The King and I (The King). Productions in which Clay has appeared have been sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts, The Lyndhurst Foundation, the National Opera Institute, the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Allied Arts Fund, among others.

MUSIC PRODUCER / COMPOSER / MUSICIAN
Clay is invaluable on any production. His knowledge of music and his ability to communicate well with other people are great assets. — Kitty Morgan, President, Malabar Productions

As a music producer, composer, arranger, songwriter, and performer (piano and vocals), Clay Stafford has written songs, composed scores, and/or produced soundtracks for several film and television productions including the PBS drama Michael (producer) and the theme song for the Republic Pictures pilot Tag It! (composer / arranger / musician). A music composition and arrangement major in college (specializing in orchestral scores), he has also been a singer / musician with two Top 40 bands, a performer in such operas / musicals as Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, The Fantasticks and The King and I, and an orchestral celesta musician. Early in his career, Clay served as a music supervisor and sound editor on several independent low-budget films. His most recent music project as a songwriter is with fellow thriller author Jeffery Deaver (The Bone Collector) where Clay served as music producer, music composer, and arranger for Jeff’s lyrics on their compilation CD XO, which produced a Top 10 single (Near the Silver Mine) in numerous regional AM radio markets. Through American Blackguard Entertainment, Clay heads American Blackguard Records, AbGun Records, and the music publishing company American Blackguard Music.

UNIVERSITY EDUCATOR / PRIVATE CONSULTANT
Delivered more than was expected. — Kandell Bentley-Baker, Director of Planning and Development, School of Film and Video, Miami-Dade University

Clay Stafford has a B.A. and M.F.A. and has been a professor or guest lecturer to several universities including the University of Miami and the University of Tennessee. During one of his engagements as an academic consultant, he co-designed Florida’s official two-year university film program at Miami-Dade University, which is currently being used to train technical and creative personnel for independent production companies and major Orlando film studios, including Disney and Universal. Individual clients have used Clay Stafford’s consulting advice to secure opportunities on the New York stage, with major networks nationwide, and on such feature films as Mighty Joe Young (1998). His books and tapes on the entertainment business have been offered at notable “media” bookstores including Samuel French, Larry Edmunds, Oxfords, and Borders (the latter two now defunct), and continue to be used as teaching tools at several major universities.

CORPORATE & ORGANIZATIONAL SPEAKER
We are proud to have had you on the Army Team. — Gary L. Anderson, Directorate of Logistics, US Department of Defense

As a guest speaker and award-winning lecturer for national organizations, associations, and academic institutions, Clay Stafford’s seminars on creativity, achievement, business, communication, literature, and film—as well as his presentations as a master of ceremony—have been delivered live onstage to a total of more than 1 million people. A past member of the National Speakers’ Association and Toastmasters International, Clay’s organizational, corporate, publishing, educational, and entertainment clients have included such diverse groups as the U.S. Department of Defense, the Miami-International Press Club, the Financial Executives Institute, Belmont University, South Dakota Festival of Books, Southern Festival of Books, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), and the Chongqing Acrobats of China, among many more.

ACTIVIST / ENVIRONMENTALIST / PRESERVATIONIST / PHILANTHROPIST

Clay Stafford currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee in the Civil War town of Franklin, but has not wandered far from Hollywood and New York. Clay continues to write and create entertainment projects through American Blackguard Entertainment while championing support for literary, cinema, environmental, educational, and social issues worldwide. As an entrepreneur, Clay has created, owned, and sold numerous businesses, some not related to entertainment. Clay views the best part of being an entrepreneur is taking an idea and seeing it become flesh. Believing that education is the key to all problems, Clay works as an activist against prejudice and social unfairness. For Clay, being an activist ties closely to his spiritual and central beliefs of making the world a better place when one leaves than when one arrived. Part of his activist activities is being an educator and helping new activists find their voices for tomorrow. As a philanthropist, Clay feels it is our responsibility to support those giving their lives to helping others on the grassroots level. Being a philanthropist means being loyal to the human race, not any particular restrictive ideology. His donations have helped numerous libraries, schools, environmental victims, educational missions, preservationist causes, and military personnel. As an environmentalist and preservationist, Clay works with organizations to preserve the planet for future generations. Many of his creative works address environmentalist and human activist interests.

EDUCATION
• Life / Hard Knocks
• M.F.A., Motion Pictures, University of Miami (FL) 1992. Majors: Screenwriting / Productionzz
• B.A., Film & Television, The Union Institute (OH) 1989. Major: Film & Television / Double Minors: Acting / Music Composition & Arrangement
• University of Tennessee, 1980-1982. Double Majors: Theater (Acting) / Music Composition & Arrangement
• Freed-Hardeman University 1979-1980, Undeclared Major
• Honors included: Valedictorian Scholar / Chancellor’s Scholar / Paul Koblentz Memorial Scholarship / Mortar Board Scholar (Pi Sigma Alpha – 4.0 GPA) / Dean’s Honor Student / Graduate Teaching Assistant

AWARDS / HONORS
• Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence Winner
• Parent’s Choice Awards Silver Honors Winner
• Aurora Awards Winner
• Davey Award Winner
• Children’s Video Magazine Four-Stars Winner
• Indie Excellence Award Finalist
• REBA Award Winner
• Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist
• Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist
• Best Book Awards Winner
• Amazon Bestseller
• SIBA Okra Pick
• American Council on Aging Poetry Contest Winner
• American Conference of Christians and Jews Citation
• 21st Century Award for Achievement – International Biographical Centre, Cambridge
• Man of the Year 2004 – American Biographical Institute
• The Contemporary Who’s Who
• National Register’s Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals
• 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century
• Marquis Who’s Who in America
• 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century Order of Excellence
• Living Legends (IBC)
• Outstanding People of the 20th Century
• Marquis Who’s Who in Entertainment
• Man of the Year 2003 – American Biographical Institute
• The Worldwide Honours List
• Da Vinci Diamond for Inspirational Accomplishment, 2004
• Great Minds of the 21st Century
• 2000 Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century (Cambridge: International Biographical Centre)
• The Contemporary Who’s Who of Professionals
• Dictionary of International Biography
• Academic Council of the London Diplomatic Academy
• America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals
• Marquis Who’s Who in the Media and Communications
• American Medal of Honor
• Marquis Who’s Who in the South and Southwest
• Strathmore’s Who’s Who
• International Man of the Year, 1999, 2000 (IBC)
• Lexington Who’s Who
• 20th Century Award for Achievement – International Biographical Centre, Cambridge (IBC)
• Contemporary Diamond Award, 2004

PAST & PRESENT MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS
• Authors Guild / Authors League of America
• International Thriller Writers (ITW)
• Mystery Writers of America (MWA – former board of directors)
• Sisters in Crime
• Southeast Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA – former president)
• Middle Tennessee Chapter Sisters in Crime
• Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
• Kentucky Colonel / The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
• Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
• Miami International Press Club
• Christian Country Music Association (CCMA)
• Tennessee Master Gardener Alumni
• FilmNashville
• Tennessee Writers Alliance
• Tennessee Screenwriters Association (TSA)
• Williamson County Chamber of Commerce
• Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
• American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
• National Geographic Society
• Toastmasters International
• National Speakers Association (NSA)
• Watkins College of Art, Design & Film (former board of directors)
• Nashville Adult Literacy Council (former board of directors)
• Franklin Citizens Police Academy Alumni
• FBI Citizens Academy Alumni
• University of Miami (FL) Alumni
• The Union Institute / UECU (OH) Alumni
• University of Tennessee Alumni
• Freed-Hardeman University Alumni
• Council for the Written Word (former chairman / former board of directors)
• Mortar Board Society (National College Senior Honor Society)