Production Team


Megan Harris - Pyewackitt Productions LLC

Megan Smith-Harris
PRODUCER / DIRECTOR

Megan is the president and co-owner of Pyewackitt Productions (www.pyewackitt.com) an independent documentary television production company. Her career encompasses documentary, television, film, theater and radio. She conceived of Trial by Fire: Lives Re-Forged, after reading a magazine article on burn survivors in an airport lounge. The subject gripped her heart and has not let go for two and a half years.

Most recently, Megan executive produced and directed SURROGATE STORIES, a two-hour documentary special about surrogate mothers and their intended parents for the Women’s Entertainment Network. Previous documentary projects for WEtv include CHILD BRIDES (Producer/Director/Writer) and POLYGAMY (Producer/Writer), both for the anthology series, SECRET LIVES OF WOMEN.

In Canada, Megan produced 24 documentary profiles featuring celebrated Canadians. She launched her career in Toronto as an actress with THE SECOND CITY Touring Company and then went on to co-write and produce MAD IN CANADA, a comedy revue, which ran for over a year in Toronto and Montreal. She also co-wrote and performed 50 live episodes of THE NORM, a popular national CBC radio series.

Megan was a Producer Resident at the Canadian Film Centre and a participating director in the inaugural year of Women In The Director’s Chair. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and business partner, Bill Harris and their son, Jack. Trial by Fire: Lives Re-Forged is her first independent feature documentary.

Bill Harris

Bill Harris
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Bill Harris is a television programming executive with 30 years broadcast and cable experience with ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS, with the last 16 years as head of production for the A&E Television Networks, which includes A&E, History, Lifetime and Biography channels, among others.

Bill joined A&E in 1994 overseeing Documentary Programming, including the development, launch and unprecedented success of the Emmy Award-winning BIOGRAPHY® series. As SVP of Production and Broadcast Operations, he headed strategic initiatives to launch and manage new A&E Television Networks’ digital networks, was instrumental in the expansion of AETN’s Interactive Media and Web-based activity and been architect to the technical strategies to digitize content distribution and provide digital production and playback capabilities globally.

Previous to his tenure with AETN, Bill was an award-winning Producer, Photographer and Editor with career experiences ranging from news, sports, entertainment and documentary. A multiple Emmy, Telly, Ace, Cine and Vision Award winner, Bill has been inducted into the National Association of Minorities in Cable (NAMIC) Hall of Fame and was named a Cable Maverick by the Cable Center in October, 2008. A graduate of St. John’s University, he also teaches courses in media and communications. Bill is co-owner of Pyewackitt Productions.

Jeff Reilly

Jeff Reilly
EDITOR

Jeff Reilly is a director, writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the television and film industry. He won an Outstanding Editing Emmy for his work on the documentary ALI’S 65 and was nominated the year prior for Outstanding Documentary and Outstanding Editing.

Jeff is a flexible filmmaker having worked on commercials, films, long form documentaries and reality shows. He has done work for Sony Pictures, HBO, NBC, CBS Sports, ESPN, Travel Channel, A&E, Biography Channel, and WEtv.

In addition to broadcast work, Jeff has also produced and edited PSA’s and documentaries for The Hole in the Wall Camps and the Boomer Esiason Foundation.

Recently, Jeff completed editing THE OFFICIAL FIFA WORLD CUP 2010 documentary in 3D for Sony Pictures & FIFA to be included in the Sony Bravia 3DTV roll out, as well as the HBO documentary, MCENROE/BORG: FIRE & ICE.

Prior to working on Trial by Fire: Lives Re-Forged, Jeff and director/producer Megan Smith-Harris collaborated on SURROGATE STORIES.
More at FaceFirstFilms.com

Laela Kilbourn
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Laela Kilbourn has been working as a director of photography on a wide range of projects, from immersive documentary verite and etilde; to multi-unit television shows, feature films, commercials, and conceptual installations, bringing her training and experience with film, tape, and drive cameras and workflow to bear on both traditional and unorthodox challenges.

Her credits include the documentary features AMERICAN TEEN, the Emmy-nominated WORD WARS, and SYNC OR SWIM, which was awarded the 2009 Billie Award for Journalism by the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the History Channel’s eleven-part docu-series SANDHOGS, for which she spent months underground filming urban mining in NYC’s subway and water tunnel systems.

Laela has also worked on series, specials and campaigns for NBC, A&E, Nick Jr., ESPN, MTV, VH1, WeTV, the Trio Channel, TruTV, and TV One. Her narrative work includes the award-winning JUNE WEDDINGS, starring Tom Noonan and directed and written by playwright Barbara Hammond, and HIC! OPEN A DOOR IN THE USA, winner of the BAMKids Film Festival Best Live Action Short Award and Prix Jeunesse International Finalist. She was 2nd Unit DP on the recent feature BEWARE THE GONZO, starring Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller, Campbell Scott and Amy Sedaris.

Laela is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild and New York Women in Film & Television. She has served as a Juror for the Brooklyn International Film Festival, Documentary Feature Awards, and as a guest speaker at The New School, Department in Media Studies & Film, Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media Studies. She has a degree in social anthropology from Harvard University.
More at LaelaKilbourn.com

Sara Allan
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Sara Allen is a career songwriter/lyricist best known for countless recordings with partners Daryl Hall and John Oates including the hits PRIVATE EYES, MANEATER and I CAN’T GO FOR THAT (No Can Do).

Along the way she has worked in research and production for television documentaries and music videos from PBS to MTV.

Devon Higby
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Devon is a Producer/Director with more than 10 years experience in theatre in film. Most recently she was Co-Producer with Oscar-nominated Worldwide Documentaries on their feature length film NOT MY LIFE.

Previous TV/film work includes several episodes with Testtube.tv and the ABC and HGTV syndicated home-improvement show Ron Hazleton’s House Calls.
Selected theatre directing credits include productions at Centerstage in Baltimore; Berkshire Theatre Festival; HumanaFest at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Off-Broadway (Variety Arts and Rattlestick Theatre); and two years at Westport Country Playhouse under the Artistic Direction of Joanne Woodward, where she was assistant director on OUR TOWN with Paul Newman.

Devon holds a BA in Drama from Kenyon College and an MFA in Directing from the University of Exeter in England. She is also an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab in NYC.