MEET THE TEAM
Andrew (A.J.) is a missionary and filmmaker passionate about connecting people to a greater story. He considers himself to be a geek. A creative, who loves Science, majored in British literature, and likes Charlie Kaufman scripts. He enjoys “long walks on the beach,” comic books, and that “one” Taylor Swift song.
At Simplebulldog Studio he writes, films, and produces, but spends the majority of his time editing. This is how Andrew describes filmmaking; “The challenge of forcing something into existence through suffering and hard work is what draws me to the art of editing. I love the act of taking fragments of nothing, and molding them into something, into a story. Creating something that can transcend just the sum of its raw parts. And, I know that as I create, I too am being changed, forged - Just like I’m shaping the raw material, the process is also shaping me.”
David was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley near Los Angeles and graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Illustration. He started drawing as a kid and has since filled over a dozen sketchbooks. David took up photography in high school and soon became known as the camera guy in his friend circles. After dipping his toes into videography, David now considers himself as an all-around visual storyteller, regardless of medium. He is a fan of superheroes, movies, bowling, and good puns. He enjoys playing piano, listening to music in the car, and, of course, eating In-N-Out burgers.
Jonas was born and raised in beautiful Spain. He began working with Simplebulldog in 2004 helping with several projects. In 2008 he moved from Spain to the US and joined Simplebulldog full time staff in 2010. He enjoys producing films, brainstorming for new projects, traveling around the world, and telling compelling stories of life transformation.
In spite of being an introvert he leads the team bonding squad, always ready for a good conversation over coffee. He is married to Lisa and have 3 kids; Abi (7), Caleb (5) and Isaac (2)
Julie is a third generation Texan. She left the Houston area to attend Dallas Baptist University and then Texas Woman's University where she received her BFA in advertising design. She was involved with Cru at TWU where she met her husband, Rick —who also happened to be a graphic design major— at a Cru "Burger Bash" at the University of North Texas. During college, she longed to be a missionary. After 20 years of marriage, the opportunity to join the staff with Simplebulldog came about after seeking where the Lord would have them serve. She was able to take her lifelong design freelancing and work experience and fold it into her passion for ministry. She loves being on staff with fun people who are closer to her 19 yr old son's age than hers. It's never boring.
Kolten Macher was born in small town Canada and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. For the last 9 years he has been in ministry with Cru changing the world by helping students discover Jesus. Kolten married his wife Lauren in the spring of 2013 and is enjoying the adventure of marriage. He loves football, physics, sitcoms, reading, nature, motorcycles, peanut butter, and deep conversations.
Lauren’s first film was a stop motion film called GI Joe meets Barbie. The GI Joes were half the size of the Barbie and her younger brother did all the voice acting. Having grown up between a corn field and a lake near the small town of Scotts, MI, she freaked out a little with culture shock when her parents moved the family to Sweden when she was 7. Now, however, she points back to the experience as the thing that started her love for all things international and after she graduated from school she moved to the bustling Istanbul for a year. She loves snowboarding, running, playing tennis, camping, traveling, snorkeling, and, especially, talking about life over a good cup of coffee.
Lisa is a mom of three who has been on staff for almost 15 years. Half of those years were with the campus ministry in Spain, where she met Jonas. The last several years, she has teamed up with Simplebulldog to help the new staff and interns complete their initial training. She likes going on adventures with the family, being on mission in her neighborhood, and staying connected to the mission of Simplebulldog.
Melanie grew up in Bedford, Texas, and then moved a few hours south to attend the University of Texas, where she studied Radio-TV-Film, Plan II Honors (don’t ask), and German. She is beyond ecstatic to join the Simplebulldog team, and she doesn’t think it was a coincidence that they “happened” to be seeking a screenwriter just as she was mentally preparing to use her shiny new screenwriting degree to secure a barista job.
Her best-friend-slash-husband, Austin, works for National Instruments, doing engineery/mathy/computery things on a daily basis that Melanie only pretends to understand. He is also much more domestic than his wife could ever dream of being, and he handles her sub-par sous chef skills with an enormous amount of grace.
Among other things, Melanie is obsessed with Jesus, food, lists, dresses, cats, lists, quotes, languages, and lists.
Rick has been a graphic designer since before they were putting fruit on computers. Graduating from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, he has had the opportunity to see the design world change quite a bit over time. Through the years, Rick has owned two different advertising agencies where their predominant client base was the business to business sector. After many years, Rick felt God calling him into full time ministry. Rick is married to his amazing wife Julie, and they have a 19 year old son, Zane. When Rick is not designing on the computer, he would choose to spend his time doing woodworking, and/or watching YouTube DIY videos.