Elizabeth Coffman and Ted Hardin created the media company Long Distance Productions in 2010. Together they produce films, media and art projects that document literary figures, communities in crisis, and environmental challenges around the globe. In addition, Elizabeth and Ted are scholars and college professors who mentor young filmmakers and create educational projects through their nonprofit Long Distance Educational Media.
Elizabeth grew up in Jacksonville, Florida loving southern literature, film and dancing. She studied at Duke University, moved to New York City and opened mail in the Letters department at Newsweek magazine, before earning a Phd in English and Cinema Studies at the University of Florida. Elizabeth both writes about documentary film and produces/directs/edits them with Ted Hardin. They have produced features and media installations about communities in crisis—trying to rebuild after war, hurricanes, oil spills and trying to prevent the crises that climate change will provoke. Many of Elizabeth’s projects include or are about writers, such as the NEH-funded documentary on Flannery O’Connor. For five years, Elizabeth wrote the column “Long Distance Mom” for the blog “Mama PhD” on Inside Higher Ed. She is currently taking flamenco lessons with her daughter in Chicago.
Ted Hardin is a film producer and director of photography whose work has been broadcast internationally and featured on the BBC and New York Times sites. After receiving his M.A. from Florida State University in German Film Studies and an M.F.A. from the Ohio State University in Film and Video, Ted Hardin worked with a variety of artists at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada as DP, director, editor, lighting director, and assistant director. He has collaborated with the alternative media collective Paper Tiger Television in New York, researched and shot work for German Television. Ted’s own experimental narratives and movement-based films have shown at festivals and galleries throughout the U.S. and Europe. For the last decade, he has been collaborating with his partner Elizabeth Coffman on experimental shorts and documentaries as seen on these pages. Ted is currently working on an experimental short about vision; several experimental shorts shot in Venice, Italy; a documentary about the first ever staging of ‘The Merchant in Venice’ in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice during its 500-year anniversary; and the trans-media project “The Lost German Slave Girl” involving German immigration, slavery, and identity in New Orleans.