Our Feature Production Team
Stan Armstrong is an African-American and Choctaw film-maker, and founder of Desert Rose Films. He has spent over a decade exploring hidden or forgotten aspects of History, Culture and Race, deliberately asking the often controversial questions others would rather avoid. By uncovering the human stories, with all their strengths and frailties, and the complexity within many historical events, Desert Rose Productions has helped inform new generations in documentary and academic circles.
Born in San Francisco, California, and moving later to Las Vegas, Nevada, he was educated in the turbulent 1970s, later to inspire his hard-hitting documentary ‘The Rancho High-School Riots’. After graduation he gained a degree in Communications and Film History, and was appointed Instructor in African-American Film and Ethnic Studies at UNLV, also lecturing throughout the US, and in other local schools and colleges. Armstrong has witnessed first-hand the staggering growth and social change in his home city, and has drawn effectively on this unique position in his most recent films. Documenting the fascinating history and development of his local community in West Las Vegas, he shows how their stories have so often been a microcosm of the wider African-American Experience.
After starring in a string of blaxploitation movies in the early '70s, such as his role as Link Brown in the movie Foxy Brown and in Across 110th Street, he gained worldwide recognition as the streetwise informant "Huggy Bear" in the mid-'70s television series Starsky and Hutch.
Antonio has been acting nearly 40 years, appearing in over 50 films and many TV shows. His stage career is most extensive with appearances both on and off Broadway, these include Melvin Von Peeples' 'Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death', the on-Broadway production of 'The Great White Hope', North Carolina Repertory's 'The Contract', Stage West's 'The Rainmaker' and 'The Emperor Jones', and numerous other productions. And he continues to add to his long list of achievements in film, theater and music.
He has narrated the ‘The Misunderstood Legend Of The Las Vegas Moulin Rouge for Desert Rose (also appeared in its dramatic sequences,) Rancho High School Riots and Invisible Las Vegas II.
Graduating from the UNLV Film Studies Department in 1992 with a focus on screenwriting, Terrence Williams would eventually work for years in the insurance industry before finally coming back to filmmaking to help his friend and fellow UNLV alumnus Stan Armstrong with his 2011 documentary The Rancho High School Riots, which would also be Mr. Williams’ debut as an independent filmmaker. His partnership with Desert Rose Productions would continue with Invisible Las Vegas Part II and the upcoming A City Within a City: The Story of the Las Vegas Paiutes and the Native America Peoples of Nevada. Previously, Mr. Williams has worked on differing local productions in varying capacities; for example, serving as a production assistant on Star Trek: Generations during the film’s location shooting at the Valley of Fire.
Besides his screenwriting contributions to Desert Rose Production features, Mr. Williams also has provided innumerable contributions in terms of general promotional copy, specializing in updating the entries for DRP on the Internet Movie Database and assisting in the creation of grant proposals for the State of Nevada on Desert Rose’s behalf.
Current Production Staff
Leon was originally a rodeo rider in many Western films, and portrayed Stand Watie in ‘Native Americans of the Civil War’. He was a producer on that film, and recently on ‘City within a City’. Leon also works part-time as a jeweller.
Jordan is a UNLV graduate and producer of films and music bands in Nevada. He has worked with Desert Rose for 3 years as a Producer.
Jennifer is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, and has worked at UNLV since the mid-1990s with UNLV TV. She has worked with Desert Rose for the last 15 years as cameraman, writer and producer.
BJ is a union representative, originally from Louisiana, and is one of the original Desert Rose members having both advisory and production roles on the team.
Roger is a business owner and college teacher, originally from Lansing in Michigan, now living in San Diego. He was executive producer on the ‘Rancho High School Riots’ and ‘Invisible Las Vegas part 2’.
Jerushia is one of the talented ‘ McDonald Sisters’ who appeared at the Las Vegas Hilton in the 70s, and was also a ring girl at Caesar's Palace. She is now a minister, travelling to Africa, and public speaker. Jerushia started working as a producer with Desert Rose productions on ‘Invisible Las Vegas’.
Marc is a graduate of USC and UCLA, and a university lecturer in Electronic Media and Film and has been one of the main writers for Desert Rose beginning with the first Invisible Las Vegas documentary film and continuing to date.
Mike was DRP cameraman, co-writer and producer on Rancho High School Riots.
Georgie is one of our premier young cameramen and has worked for Desert Rose for 2 years.
AJ is a freelance writer and director and has worked for Desert Rose as a cameraman with his crew, and as an Editor. He has produced the Invisible Las Vegas trailers and some promotional material for DRP.
Jim has been the Desert Rose cameraman and Editor on many films. He has many skills and has also managed sound and lighting.
Nick is an honours-graduate of UNLV's prestigious film program, and has won Editing competitions throughout America. He is also a filmmaker and has done all the editing for Desert Rose since 2010.
Michael Gordon Shapiro
Michael is a composer for film, television, video games, and theatre, and has arranged music and scored three documentaries for Desert Rose.
Jonathon L. Luff
Rev Luff is Minister of music and arts and choir director for Second Baptist Church in Las Vegas. He scored all the music for Invisible Las Vegas 2
Maurice is an actor and voice-over artist from Las Vegas, who has narrated for Desert Rose on the ‘Native Americans of the Civil War’.
Jariselle Marie Cortijo
Jariselle is a freelance hair and make-up artist for Desert Rose and has worked on all the recent documentaries.
UNLV film graduate Devin has won awards for his artistic work and lighting, and has worked on many DRP films.
Kim is the clerical operational officer and secretary for Desert Rose, keeping books and records in order.
Lori is Desert Rose’s liaison officer.
Gail is an original member of DRP and producer. She has worked also with Jay Leno and JJ Walker.
Jackie was an original member of Desert Rose, working on and producing films throughout the 1990s. She produced ‘Black Confederates’, ‘Native Americans of the Civil War’, and ‘The Forgotten Battle of Fort Pillow’.
Living in Oxford, Eileen heads up Desert Rose's European offices as the director of research, a graphic artist, as well as an assistant to the producer on the last two documentaries for Desert Rose .
Heather is an associate producer and a researcher for Desert Rose Productions. She also helps in as a music arranger for DRP.
Josef is one of the original members of the Desert Rose team, starting out as a writer and a producer for the company. Now he, as a graphic artist, has created artwork and covers for many Desert Rose documentaries and is the company Webmaster.
Michele is an assistant to the producer for Desert Rose.