Cast & Crew

A Miracle Mile is in development by Cognitive Dissonance Productions. The current members of the team include:

T.J. Volgare

T.J. Volgare, Writer and Director
T.J. is an award-winning writer, director, editor and producer from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing and Directing from the University of Southern California and a B.A. with honors in Writing, Acting, and Directing with an emphasis in Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University. In 2009, he finished an apprenticeship under legendary writer/director Terrence Malick in the making of Tree of Life. T.J. has written and directed 8 short films. His most recent project, The Abattoir, which he developed under the mentorship of acclaimed Southern auteur David Gordon Green, screened in over 10 festivals around the country, and received the Best Short Film Award at the New Hampshire Film Festival. In January 2011, he completed work as picture editor on the feature film Vinyl directed by Sara Sugarman (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen). He then moved into his current position as the Head of Editorial at the Agency For The Performing Arts (APA).

John Harrison

John Harrison, Director of Photography
John is a cinematographer from the Pacific Northwest whose films have screened in some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals and earned numerous awards, including an Oscar nomination for Best Live-Action Short Film (KAVI, 2010) and official recognition as one of the ten best short films ever to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival (Clear Cut Simple, 2007). He has previously worked with T.J. Volgare on projects including The Abattoir. He frequently shoots for National Geographic in Seattle where he lives with his wife, Jen.

Jason Beghe

Jason Beghe, “Atlas Coltraine”
Jason has been consistently working in both film and T.V. since he became an actor in the 1980s. He has worked with directors Ridley Scott, Paul Haggis (both twice), Mathew Vaughn, George Romero and Peter Berg to name a few. He is slated to return to the Showtime hit series “Californication” for the entire season starting in May 2011. Jason lives on a ranch in Malibu, CA with his wife and two young sons.

Brooke MacKenzie

Brooke MacKenzie
Brooke has been acting professionally for eight years. Her credits include the feature film Fragments alongside Dakota Fanning, and guest starring roles on the TV shows Traffic Light, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Medium, Free Agents, and Everybody Hates Chris. She has played lead in several short films, including Slasher 101, Dispatch, Five Days In June, Name of the Game and the award-winning The Abattoir. Brooke is currently attending college and wants to further her education abroad in Spain, go backpacking in Europe, and eventually live in New York City.

Ruth Christine De Jong
Ruth received her BFA in painting and photography from TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. Upon completing several painting commissions and a stint in Italy she moved to Los Angeles to work as a painter. After seeing her work, Oscar-nominated production designer Jack Fisk asked De Jong to come on board as Assistant Art Director on There Will Be Blood. She worked with Fisk and Art Director David Crank as the Assistant Art Director on the Academy Award-winning film, and again on legendary filmmaker Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. In 2010, Ruth worked as Art Director on three films: The Future, by award winning writer/director Miranda July, Water for Elephants by director Francis Lawrence, and then again for Malick on his Untitled Terrence Malick Project. De Jong is currently Art Directing alongside Fisk and Crank on Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest project.

Shane Hazen

Shane Hazen, Editor
Shane worked in the editorial department of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (Palme d’Or winner at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival) the entire duration of its editing. He is from Evansville, IN, where he wrote journalism and criticism on film, music, and comics, both online and for regional press.

Sara Akhteh

Sara Akhteh, Producer
Sara Akhteh was born in Tehran, where her father was an anchorman and Head of the New Sector for Iranian Television; her mother worked in the same field as a Segment Writer and Editor. Sara received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California with an emphasis in Production. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her films, including a Panavision New Filmmaker Award and a Fotokem Grant. Her thesis film, The Ambassador’s Wife, received honors from the ASC in recognition of Best Student Cinematography. Sara’s professional credits include such films as The Social Network, Water for Elephants, In Time, Snow White and the Huntsman, Dark Shadows, Argo, and most recently Parental Guidance for Fox 2000.

Paul Golightly

Paul Golightly, Producer
Paul spent his early childhood in Northern California and his later childhood in Eastern Kentucky, where he cultivated his imagination and developed his writing skills. He holds a degree in Theater and Creative Writing from Pepperdine University. Though his education and background is in theater, having directed plays including Endgame, Paul has been deeply involved in numerous film productions, including several developed by Cognitive Dissonance. He was a producer on T.J. Volgare’s previous project, The Abattoir. He is the co-owner of Bleicher/Golightly Gallery in Santa Monica.

Miranda Jackson

Miranda Jackson, Producer
Miranda came to Los Angeles to study Film and Theater Directing at Pepperdine University. She has since worked as a theater practitioner in Los Angeles at the prestigious Theater at Boston Court. She has extensive experience in production management, working for top animation studios DreamWorks Animation, Blue Sky Studios, and Starz Animation. Her credits include Horton Hears A Who, Ice Age 3, and Gnomeo and Juliet, in addition to many short films. Miranda has collaborated with fellow Cognitive Dissonance artisans on several films, including the award-winning The Abattoir. She has served as the Production Manager at Callaway Digital Arts, publishing innovative children’s and lifestyle applications for Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices. She resides in New York City where she is a freelance producer and writer.

Tyler Schwartz

Tyler Schwartz, Producer
In West Philadelphia, born and raised, Tyler F.T. Schwartz attended Kobe Bryant’s alma mater, Lower Merion High School—he was not on the basketball team. Throughout his youth, Tyler cultivated a passion for writing and performing. His one-act play, Untitled!, was selected as a top 50 finalist in the National Young Playwrights Competition. After being accepted into multiple theater programs around the country, Tyler emigrated west to study at the University of Southern California. Following his childhood passion for filmmaking, he continued his collegiate education at the Los Angeles Film School, producing, writing, and directing multiple thesis films. Tyler worked inside of Walden Media’s education division and helped in the development of such films as City of Ember and Charlotte’s Web. He’s the acting co-president and founder of, an independent music ranking website launching in January 2012.

Lendi Slover

Lendi Slover, Producer
Lendi was raised in a small rural town in Central California. She moved to Los Angeles in 2004 upon her acceptance into the film program at California State University, Long Beach where she graduated with a concentration in producing. Lendi has since produced a number of short films and commercials. She has worked with clients such as the Army, Navy, Sobe and Mountain Dew to name a few. She has also worked at a top talent agency, Creative Artists Agency, in the motion picture literary department where she worked with many top writers, directors, producers and studio executives. She has worked at Mandate Pictures (Harold and Kumar, Juno, Stranger Than Fiction, Drag Me To Hell) for the past year.

Michael Tringe

Michael Tringe, Producer
Michael worked at Creative Artists Agency as an assistant in the Film Finance and Sales Department, which sold the independent films Paranormal Activity, Black Swan, The Details, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Before CAA, he earned his MFA in Film at USC where he produced several projects, including the Student Academy Award winning short film A Day’s Work. He has recently worked in Creative Development at Vuguru, which is Michael Eisner’s multi-platform studio.