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Meet the Beyond the Myth Team

Libby Sherrill
Writer/Producer/Director
Beyond the Myth: A Film About Pit Bulls and Breed Discrimination

This documentary is my first film and truly independent. I paid for the pre-production and production with my own savings, money from a few small fundraisers, and an investment from my father. I did not receive any sponsorships or endorsements prior to the production or completion of the edit that resulted in control over the content. It has always been very important to me to have the film unassociated with any particular animal organization.

I developed the concept as part of my senior project while attending graduate school at The University of Tennessee. After I received my M.S. in Communications, I left an eight-year career with Scripps Networks (HGTV) to produce Beyond The Myth.

This project holds personal significance for me because I have a “pit bull” (or what looks to be some variation of an American Pit Bull Terrier), Fern Blossom and a American Staffordshire Terrier mix , Joey.

Fern was rescued from the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee and when a co-worker approached me with her pictures…well, I just couldn’t resist. I adopted her just one month after starting production (back in 2007), and she has been an incredibly positive influence in my life. I adopted Joey from CHAKO rescue in California after attending a fundraiser for the film. He’s been the perfect companion to Fern and taught me a lot about myself as well; They are my family.

But even before I rescued Fern and Joey, there were two other rescued “pit bulls” who lived with me for a short while: Angus and Boris (shown at the top of the page). They won my heart immediately and after learning what discrimination they faced, I began to investigate breed specific laws eventually was inspired with the idea for Beyond the Myth. Before Angus and Boris came into my life, I really didn’t know anything about pit bulls or the discrimination they and their caretakers and families face.

Now, I am one of those people who have companion animals that are unfairly targeted my breed specific laws and policies. And, if I wanted to move to Denver, Co. or Miami, Fl. with Fern and Joey, I couldn’t do so legally or without putting my two sweet dogs in danger of being confiscated and killed by Animal Control.

Unfortunately, breed specific legislation (BSL) is not limited to Denver and Miami; it has spread far and wide in the United States, on a both local and state levels. You can find out more about BSL on this website or visit the resources section that will lead you to more in-depth information.

Angus in violetsI am grateful to Angus, Boris, Fern, and Joey and all the other wonderful dogs that have touched my life during this filmmaking journey. I’m happy to be able to say, with the help of all my doggie pals, and all of the supporters of this project, we turned the unconditional love these dogs gave me, into something that has and continues to dissolve prejudice and misunderstanding and bring a nation and perhaps others too, closer to the truth about what we need to do differently to live with dogs safely.

Recent update: Angus passed away Jan. 2014 peacefully after having a wonderful 12 years with a very loving family. Rest in Peace sweet Angus– you, my friend, changed the world.

Above photo of Libby & Fern by Leslie Karnowski

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Paul Izbicki
Videography / Technical Advisor / Mentor

Paul was a veteran of both the video production and multi-image staging industries, with his career starting as a Vietnam era Air Force Electronic Specialist. He had a 27 year history of broadcast and corporate video production, management and consulting, and before setting out on his own, was the Director of Broadcast Production at Jewelry Television Network, in Knoxville TN.

Paul was extremely proud to see this project come to fruition and enjoyed spending so much time with doggies on the set of our interviews, and came to know the unconditional love of a “pit bull” by spending many hours at my home playing and snuggling with Fern and Joey. His contribution to Beyond the Myth is truly immeasurable.

Sadly, Paul passed away from heart failure in August of 2013. At the time of his death he was serving as an Adjunct Professor of Video Production at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville and spent much of his spare time working as a freelance producer, director, videographer and editor and indie filmmaker. Paul was a great friend to me, and was a great asset and comrade to the entire indie film community in East Tennessee.

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Amanda Meyer
Graphic Designer

Amanda Meyer is a designer for HGTV (Home and Garden TV) working with the Creative Services and Marketing department to conceptualize ideas as well as design and animate on-air graphics for show promotions on HGTV. She attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2004. She is an animal advocate and finds joy in volunteering with the local Humane Society, and helping dogs in need whenever possible. The opportunity to help with the documentary, Beyond The Myth, seemed like a true fit.

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Leigh Shoemaker
Web Design & Development

Leigh is a web designer currently working for The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. When she freelances, it’s as Ditto Device Design. She is the proud owner of one of Fern’s friends, a pit bull mix named Matilda, and three rescued cats—Minnie (pictured), Pris, and Starbuck.

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Jimmy Hinson
Music & composition

Jimmy Hinson (also known to many as Big Giant Circles) is a composer based out of Knoxville, TN. He has written and produced music for Scripps Networks, including titles like Design Star, Showdown, HGTV Challenge, and many more. His most recent work was in BioWare’s highly anticipated blockbuster game Mass Effect 2, which is now the second highest ranked game for the XBox 360. When not writing music, he enjoys gaming, food, the outdoors, and playing with his two cats. Jimmy is a supporter of many good causes. Apart from this documentary, he is a contributor to the Songs for the Cure charity album, which can be purchased to aid research against cancer. To learn more about Jimmy, visit his website.

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Dylen Terflinger
Audio Engineer & Sound Designer

Dylen Terflinger has been an Audio Engineer for nearly a decade and has mixed, composed, and recorded for clients such as Discovery, MTV, A&E, History, SPEED, ESPN, and many other major networks and clients within the advertising, music and political media. Born and raised in California, Dylen is a graduate of SAE and is the owner of Knox Sound Studios.

When Dylen is not using his ears for media, he can be found acting like a husband and father to an 11 year old and a 4 year old. Fifteen years ago on his way to Knoxville, TN, Dylen found a Rottweiler puppy in Northern California. He was traveling via his thumb & Greyhound bus and managed to smuggle the pup 2500 miles. Gives new meaning to the phrase “road dog,” I’d say.

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Scott Gerow
Sound Designer

Scott Gerow is the owner of Battery Lane Music and works as independent producer, writer, and engineer in Nashville, TN. Currently, Scott spends his time writing, recording, and producing music. He has worked on numerous award winning records and for artists such as Christina Aguilera, Crystal Gayle, and Cedric Dent (of Take 6). He has also produced music for a large variety of television series including Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy, and Dexter.