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About Paladin Communications

Robert and Mary Matzen of Paladin Communications are Friends of Mount Vernon and members of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Robert sits on the board of the Braddock Road Preservation Association.

Making George Washington's First WarAt left, Paladin's production team coordinates more than 110 French & Indian War reenactors on a location shoot at Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, Pennsylvania. Paladin worked closely with park staff to assure a successful experience for all.

Paladin's production team has created hundreds of programs and shot in locations all over the world. We take projects from original concept through scriptwriting, production, editing, creation of animation, graphic design, and release to broadcast, videotape, and DVD.

Paladin also creates the highest-quality print materials for education and entertainment and recently launched its publishing imprint, GoodKnight Books.

 

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Mary Matzen, Principal  
Mary Matzen, producer of When the Forest Ran RedMary serves as Paladin's main point of contact and project manager. In addition to making certain the organization runs smoothly day to day, she tackles all the tough logistical issues inherent in film and print production. Maybe as a child she didn't see herself getting caught in the middle of an 18th century war, with cannons going off unexpectedly by her ear, but that's the way it turned out. Mary served as associate producer of WHEN THE FOREST RAN RED: WASHINGTON, BRADDOCK & A DOOMED ARMY and produced GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FIRST WAR: THE BATTLES FOR FORT DUQUESNE. In addition, she managed the creation of the nationally recognized education kit, GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FRENCH & INDIAN WAR (2005). Her greatest career challenge to date was overseeing production of the 2006 Paladin release, PURSUIT OF HONOR: THE RISE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, which was shot in several states and involved the coordination of complex shoots and scores of actors and living historians, particularly for the bloody recreation of Braddock's Defeat shot near the site of the actual battle in May 2006.

A graduate of Ohio University, Mary was instrumental to the quality that has earned Paladin 17 major awards; her work has also received three Distinguished Technical Communication awards from the Society for Technical Communication.

Mary Matzen, producer of When the Forest Ran RedNo one manages projects better than Mary.  She has spearheaded important corporate communication efforts in a number of venues.  She has also edited all types of print materials, including business books, marketing and public relations collateral, training materials, Web sites, magazine articles, and book-length fiction.  Mary served as editor and project manager for the recent hardcovers, ERROL FLYNN SLEPT HERE (2009) and ERROL & OLIVIA (2010).

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Robert Matzen, Principal 
Robert Matzen, author of Errol & OliviaRobert wrote the landmark French & Indian War documentary, WHEN THE FOREST RAN RED and co-directed with his mentor in filmmaking, Mike Foster. This 2001 film earned six national awards, continues to aire on more than 70 PBS affiliates around the United States, and has gone on to serve as a cult classic and the most popular documentary ever produced about the French & Indian War.

In 2003, Robert wrote and directed the feature documentary, GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FIRST WAR. This sequel to WHEN THE FOREST RAN RED earned six more national awards for Paladin. In November, 2006, PURSUIT OF HONOR completed Paladin's trilogy of documentaries chronicling the young George Washington. Robert wrote and directed this motion picture as well, utilizing historic locations that included Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William and Mary, working from a story conceived with creative consultant John Metzger.

As a senior writer at a Pittsburgh PR firm, Robert works with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). His films for NASA include THE SPIRIT OF EXPLORATION for the Johnson Space Center, which included more than a dozen current and former astronauts as well as most of NASA's senior leaders. For NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, he wrote and directed the popular and award-winning DREAMS OF AVIATION, as well as TODAY'S RESEARCH...TOMORROW'S FLIGHT for the Paris Air Show, FROM HERE TO THERE IN 2025 for NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program, and an hour of programming for NASA Television.

Robert’s print career includes authorship of a mass-market how-to paperback on the art of research (Bantam Books, 1987), a biography of actress Carole Lombard (Greenwood Press, 1988), and co-authorship of the business book, ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE THAT WORKS (DDI Press, 1997), now in its third printing.  He also edited the landmark, EMPOWERED TEAMS (Jossey-Bass, 1992), which has sold more than 100,000 copies in hard and soft cover. Matzen wrote the coffee table hardcover ERROL FLYNN SLEPT HERE with Michael Mazzone in 2009, and followed this volume up with the genre bestseller ERROL & OLIVIA in October 2010.

Robert has appeared as a guest on a number of local and national radio and television programs. He served as an on-camera expert for the television documentary, LIVING FAMOUSLY: CLARK GABLE on BBC Two, and for the radio documentary Robin Hood and the Cuban Revolutionaries for BBC radio. Robert also appears in MAKING OF ... mini-docs for the Washington DVDs. He has presented for the National Park Service and Daughters of the American Revolution, and lectured at many national and regional educational seminars.

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Michael S. Foster, Consulting Producer/Director
A graduate of the USC Film School, Mike Foster has worked within the discipline of film and also in top television markets.  He has produced and directed several national TV spots, and is a past recipient of a New York Festivals Gold Medal, two Platinum Aurora Awards, Gold, Silver, and Bronze CINDYs, three CINE Golden Eagles, the International Monitor Award for film direction, and many others.

In 2000 Mike helped to conceive When the Forest Ran Red and worked with Robert Matzen to establish the creative vision for a documentary that went on to broadcast in top markets while earning five national awards.  Mike directed interviews with top historians, and produced and directed large-scale French & Indian War battle reenactments.  His production work led to action-packed footage on several intense location shoots involving multiple 16mm packages and crews in combat-style photography.

Mike has directed and produced in locations around the world.  He has worked in the shadow of the Sydney Opera House and at Stonehenge, at the pyramids of Egypt and atop the Andes Mountains.  His creativity extends from the field to post-production, where he often comes up with the final little touch that makes a good motion picture great.

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Support Staff
Paladin maintains an on-call staff of highly qualified communications specialists that help us to make great movies. Every one of these enthusiastic, hand-chosen professionals embodies the Paladin spirit of quality and customer service.  All are committed to our goal of making history with every production.

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