Cast & Crew

Dwayne Johnson-Cochran | Writer, Director, Producer

Dwayne Johnson-Cochran is a writer, producer, director and educator based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Chicago, Johnson-Cochran trained as ageologist atthe University of Illinois at Chicago,worked for an oil company briefly until he found his true calling as a filmmaker. Accepted into the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, his concentration was filmmaking and film history.

After working as a journalist/cameraman for local newspapers and television stations, he found a position as a writer/producer with Burrell Advertising producing numerous commercials and short films. A few years later, Johnson-Cochran joined the local PBS station WTTW-Chicago producing, writing and directing documentaries including “Going Home to Gospel with Patti LaBelle (producer), “Babies at Risk”, on infant mortality in Chicago (producer) and “School Reform-Power to the Parents”, (associate producer). He also was a field producer for the nightly news show ‘Chicago Tonight featuring John Calloway.’

With the award-winning novelist An Chee Min (Red Azala, Katherine), Mr. Johnson-Cochran was invited to The People’s Republic of China to create and produce “Stories from America,” a 20-part television series, focused on the lives of Chinese-American students, scholars and professionals living and working in the United States returning home for the first time. As a writer, Johnson-Cochran transitioned into screenwriting. He moved to Hollywood after his very first spec screenplay ‘My Tribe is Lost’ sold to Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks. Johnson-Cochran was the co-creator of NBC hit series “Minor Adjustments” and wrote and produced on “Angel Street,” executed produced by John Wells (The West Wing, ER). Johnson-Cochran’s directing debut, “Love and Action in Chicago” (HBO) featuring Kathleen Turner, Courtney B. Vance, Jason Alexander, Regina King and Ed Asner was purchased by HBO and sold to sixty countries around the world.

Johnson-Cochran makes documentaries through his company Johnson-Cochran Films; “Story of a Village”(2007), starring actress/producer Regina King and “Side by Side”(2008), executive produced by Secretary of State Madeline K. Albright and theNational Democratic Institute(NDI); “Be Known” (2015) about jazz percussionist Kahil El-Zabar, edited/ co-produced by Christopher Scott Cherot and executive produced by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance. “Be Known” was nominated as the 2016 Best Independent Documentary by The Black Reel Awards.

In 2015, Johnson-Cochranproduced the period feature film “White Water” for the cable network TVONE, starring Larenz Tate and Sharon Leal, directed by Rusty Cundieff. The film aired to record high ratings in Feb, 2015 and The filmhas been nominated for two 2016NAACP Image awards –Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Mr. Johnson-Cochran has taught screen writing for eleven years as a instructor at USC in the Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller Screenwriting Fellowship Program. He has taught screenwriting workshops for UNESCO in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Russia, Sierra Leone and South Africa. Heis a two-time winner of the ‘Mentor of the Year” for the Fulfillment Fund of Los Angeles and hasworked with Oxfam, Save the Children, NDI and Doctor’s without Borders on various missions in Africa.

Johnson-Cochran is in pre-production to direct “Men of Granite” a film about a group of poor immigrant high school boys in Granite City, Illinois who defy all odds and go on to win the 1940 state championship in basketball to star Kelsey Grammar and Shirley MacLaine.

Christopher Cherot | Co-writer, Co-producer, Editor

Christopher Cherot wrote and directed the independent film “Hav Plenty”, a 1998 Sundance favorite that went on to worldwide distribution through Miramax.  He followed that in 2005 with “G”, a hip-hop re-telling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, produced by Ralph and Andrew Lauren.  During that time, Mr. Cherot also collaborated with Tracey Edmonds and B.E.T. to bring the premiere season of the first African-American reality series to the screen, “College Hill”, and directed two successful shorts: the film festival darling “Andre Royo’s Big Scene” and “The Male Groupie”, the latter was a finalist for the American Black Film Festival HBO Short Film Competition and had a two year run on all HBO channels.  Mr. Cherot edited the first season of MTV/Logo’s first scripted gay black drama, “Noah’s Arc”, and recently edited Gillette’s Fusion Pro Razor campaign starring JB Smoove, and the indie film “Mooz-lum”, currently nominated for the 2011 NAACP image award for Best Independent Feature.

Nina Nichols | Executive Producer

Nina brings the talents and skills of a self-made entrepreneurial superstar to the promotion of Be Known. She is the CEO and founder of Resolution Research, a 24-year old market research firm in Denver, whose robust list of services include creating custom research packages to rate movies, music, books, consumer products, and more. Nina likes to keep her finger on the pulse of what’s driving audiences worldwide and strives to provide businesses and consumers with ideas and insights that are clear, insightful, thought provoking, meaningful, and honest.
In addition to her role as a market research maven, Nina has directed a number of successful ventures and has spent time rubbing elbows with a bevy of Hollywood superstars like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jacqueline Stallone, and Mr. Blackwell (of “Best/Worst Dressed List” fame), among others. She also helped launch NetQuote, one of the top insurance shopping services for consumers. She’s been called a visionary and a connector and she plays well with others who embrace her joie de vivre.