About the filmmakers: Mark Birnbaum
Mark Birnbaum is a veteran producer, director, editor and cameraman. With partner Jim Schermbeck, Birnbaum is the director/producer of the critically acclaimed documentary Larry v. Lockney, which chronicles Texas cotton farmer Larry Tannahill’s fight against mandatory drug testing in his son's school. The film made its broadcast premiere on the PBS program P.O.V., and will air later this year on LinkTV.
In addition to The Big Buy, Birnbaum has just completed a Holocaust story called The Harp Tree, a short documentary that follows two brothers through Europe as they trace the journeys forced upon their grandparents, uncles and cousins, most of whom finally perished at Auschwitz. He has also made films about salsa dancing, competitive sailing, The Second Vatican Council, female Ecuadorian garbage sorters, race and Nicaraguan politics.
Birnbaum began making films while serving in the Unites States Army as a photographer and filmmaker in Vietnam. When he retuned from his tour of duty, Birnbaum went to work for the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting. He left his roots in Baltimore and moved to Texas where he worked at Dallas’ PBS affiliate for several years, before becoming a successful independent filmmaker.
Also see: Jim Shermbeck's biography