writer – producer – director
Valentine was born on Valentine’s Day in 1957 and raised on a Virginia farm near the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River. He skipped eleventh grade, then graduated from the University of Virginia in 3 years. He ran precinct operations for a US Senate and US Congressional campaign, roughnecked in the Texas oil fields, modeled in New York with Elite doing TV commercials and dabbling in acting. When the AIDS scare hit, Valentine traveled the world modeling, doing TV commercials, studying governments, and writing songs, singing once with the Singapore orchestra. He returned to the US, studied music in Las Vegas at UNLV, and wrote the music and stories for the 50 songs he had created while abroad.
In 1987 at age 30 Valentine moved to West Hollywood where he studied screenwriting and producing at UCLA but never pursued acting because he didn’t like any of the roles or any of the movies Hollywood was producing. Instead he wrote 3 musicals and 50 dramatic feature screenplays over 12 years, made some money consulting and ghost writing but sold only one script.
In 1989 Valentine financed and starred in a motion picture entitled THE DISCONTENTED, using the old crew of legendary low-budget indie writer-producer-director-actor John Cassavetes and co-starring the talented daughter. Everyone involved called in many favors and freebies to get the picture made for $25,000. The black and white, super-16mm movie served as Valentine’s personal film school. John Daly at Hemdale wanted to get in during post production but Valentine’s director and co-producer partners stupidly outvoted Valentine to decline, and later regret it, since the film never found distribution.
In 1991 he wrote, produced, directed, financed ($25,000) and starred in NAILED, shot on video tape in one location in one weekend, and clandestinely edited it on a linear machine at a TV commercial production company which his employee friend snuck him into, having to lock him in each night for two weeks. He found no distributors and received only minor interest from a little direct-to-video producer named Cassian Elwes who offered him $100,000 to make one of Valentine’s scripts into a movie, but Valentine declined since Elwes wanted it on super 16 film at that budget, wanted immediate ownership of Valentine’s script, and wanted it too sexual for Valentine’s tastes. He sold the NAILED screenplay for $25,000 to a production company which spent $1 million to remake it as CAPTURED for the home video/cable market.
In 1992 he moved to South Beach to find a TV commercial production company willing to make a movie on the side, but instead was redirected by a Fininvest exec to move back to LA to make movies. Valentine did him the favor of renegotiating Fininvest’s cable deals with Playboy and Warner Brothers, got stiffed his fee, and never heard from the exec again! Valentine then sublet rooms in a huge house on the cliffs of Redondo Beach where he studied government for seven long 90-hour-week years and wrote 12 amendments to the US Constitution and writing the odd screenplay to break things up.
In 2000 he finally moved to South Beach where he rented an apartment next door to the offices shared by Independent Film Project and the local Audio Visual nonprofit, and became as active as possible in the sparse local film scene.
From 2002 to 2004 he wrote, produced, directed, edited and starred in the self-financed the PG-13 ROMANTIC SCHEMER, a 90 min, PG-13 romantic comedy shot on super 16mm color film. Romantic Schemer has the rare if not unique distinction of having only two actors/characters in the entire movie. The ingenious idea is so cleverly crafted that this severe limitation goes unnoticed. What’s more, Valentine used a leading lady (Diane Sorrentino) who’d never acted before, and a crew who’d never made a movie before. The well acted, written and produced feat came in on budget at $125,000. But there was no interest from Hollywood, or Elwes who by then had become a force in indie film distribution, so Valentine returned to his political studies taking PhD taxation classes at the University of Miami.
From 2004 to 2006 Valentine wrote, produced, directed, edited and starred in the self-financed the PG-13 ‘4/11’. Once again 90% of the cast had never acted before, including the leading lady (Jennifer Copeland) who again carries the picture well. And again the crew had never made a movie before, except the DP from Romantic Schemer. The movie has a cast of 30 and is beautifully shot on numerous locations in a Valentine to Miami. It came in on budget at $250,000, but Elwes and the rest of Hollywood had no interest in this movie either so Valentine left it in post hell opting instead to return to creating his new constitution.
In 2007 recorded 7 test songs in Nashville, then was drawn back to his political work by the financial crisis. From 2010 to 2012 Valentine moved to Nashville and recorded 40 more songs, including 12 political songs, and made numerous political videos and music videos. From 2013 to 2015 Valentine returned to Miami to do post production on the songs, videos, music videos, and ‘4/11’ and Romantic Schemer, which had never been fully post produced. From 2015 to July 2016 he made an unsuccessful attempt to get his constitution to the press and an unsuccessful run for President. He’s spent most of 2017 getting his life back in order, is a Presidential candidate for President in 2020, and is soon to make a push for the ratification of The Valentine Constitution.
Both Romantic Schemer and ‘4/11’ are available on VIMEO.
Neb Chupin was born on 15 October 1964 in Zagreb and grew up on his family farm on the Dalmatian coast where his grandfather grew olives and figs. Chupin spent many peaceful summers helping his grandfather while learning to grow figs and olives and make tapenade and fig spread. A big, strong, healthy kid, Neb made the Croatian Olympic Rowing Team for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles where he felt the lure of Hollywood and decided to pursue acting.
Those plans were interrupted, however, by the Croatia-Bosnian-Serbian war which spread their horrors throughout the region Neb called home. Later, at the insistence of his father who fought in the war, Chupin moved to America to ply the family trade. His eventual success came from getting QVC and later Whole Foods to carry the fig jam and tapenade spread his grandfather had taught him to make as a boy. At the same time Chupin’s restaurant Il Fico pioneered the foodie renaissance in Miami.
With the family business stable, Chupin was then finally able to semi-retire and pursue his true love, acting and storytelling. He studied acting for only one year before landing a co-starring role in Valentine’s “4/11”, a color feature shot on film which deals with the next terrorist threat after 9/11. Opposite the gorgeous Jennifer Copeland, Chupin plays an Interpol agent who goes undercover in Dalmatia to infiltrate an Al Qaeda terrorist cell that sends him to Miami to join two other cells in striking the cruise ships in the Port of Miami and the commercial jetliners at the Miami International Airport. In a pivotal scene Chupin delivers a critical monologue, connecting passionately with his real life past as he emotionally recalls Bosnian soldiers coming to drag his father away.
Just as acting offers started coming in, Chupin was again dragged back into business when one of Chupin’s staffers was discovered stealing the family recipes for his own business! Eventually he managed enough time off to play a soldier who corresponds by post with General Gotovina in the 2009 “Gotovina, Letters From Hague”. Exposing how profiteers took over after the Croatian war, the beguiling role enabled Chupin to further his philanthropic work to stop genocidal and wartime atrocities. Likewise he co-produced “What Anne Frank Means Today”, a 2014 feature shot in the Arabic language to inform Arabs of the atrocities against Jews during WWII, something the vast majority of Arabs are unaware of. Chupin also performed in the 2014 “In Between Engagements”.
Playing a horrified father whose daughter was a victim of human trafficking in the 2016 short film “Final Stop” landed Chupin several roles in 2017. He plays a soldier who saves survivors from zombie attacks in the popular TV series “Feel The Dead”. He plays a mafia boss in the Scottish film “Isolani”, which already has Oscar buzz for best foreign film. And he has a part in the upcoming YouTube movie “Uploading”.
Still in love with food and people, the social Chupin has finally stabilized his life with marriage, a son and a daughter, and is once again able to practice his favorite pastime, acting.