00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190729103416624_COVER (1)

Our Approach

We have read the statistics, seen the numbers, and listened to the facts. The American "middle class" and its decline is a complicated topic that intrigues politicians, economists, and reporters alike. The topic has been exhausted by just about everyone besides those living in it.

One Paycheck Away focuses on the hardworking Americans who are living through the tumultuous transition from a stable middle class to one that is barely surviving. One Paycheck Away is not another top-down approached documentary rather, it is the true stories of individuals, families, and communities struggling to make ends meet.

Meet the Team


Duncan Sill


Duncan Sill has always been fascinated with exploring economic and community development. After completing a film about hunger, Duncan decided to look more closely into the state of economic inequality and was alarmed at what he found. He discovered that many of the issues that plagued the marginalized and working poor have now crept into the so-called American middle class. Duncan began researching how almost 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck which inspired him to make a film about the hardworking Americans who are just One Paycheck Away from losing it all.
Duncan is from Santa Fe, NM but has lived back and forth between Washington and New Mexico his whole life. He has been in Santa Fe for the past 20 years working on films, issues of inequality, and spending time with his Dogue de Bordeaux.


Amelia Howell

Social Media Coordinator & Production Assistant

A recent graduate of Emory University ('18C), Amelia Howell is pursuing a career in visual anthropology. As an anthropology major and media studies minor, Amelia focused her academic career on learning how to conduct ethical human-centered research and present the material in visually engaging ways such as film, photographs, or a combination of those with text. Her senior thesis "Booty Hop and the Snake: Race, Gender, and Identity in an Atlanta Strip Club" received high honors and the Marjorie Shostak award for excellence in ethnographic writing.
Amelia is from Santa Fe, NM and is passionate about fostering animals, fashion, and documentaries.


Aimée Flaherty

Producer/ Line Producer

With more than twenty years of experience in both independent and studio filmmaking, Aimée Flaherty has excelled as a producer and line producer in nearly all genres of filmmaking with numerous feature films, documentaries, commercials, and web content to her name. Aimee’s career spans all aspects of production from development to post production. She has always seen filmmaking as a collaborated
endeavor and has traveled the globe many times over to orchestrate elaborate film productions. Aimée received her education from Emerson College and FAMU in the Czech Republic. She has worked on such films as Moulin Rouge, Killing The Colorado, Street Gang, Light Girls, Tabloid and This Is It.


Joel Zain Rivers

Comic Creator

Joel Zain Rivers is a comic creator, freelance illustrator, storyboard artist and writer from San Francisco. His Xeric Grant-funded comic
series, “Along The Canadian", was self-published in 2004-5. He later collaborated with Sillywood Animation, a small independent animation
house in the San Francisco Bay Area on several animation pilot concepts. He was 1/3 of the artistic team “Out For Justice” formed in 2012 in Portland, Maine, pitching television concepts and working for an international cadre of clients for several years. He has illustrated “The Girl From Hollywood”, a webcomic on the Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Dr. Laurel Standley

Environmental Science Advisor

Dr. Laurel Standley is an environmental chemist and author living in Walnut Creek, CA. Her research and activism focuses on protecting water resources and reducing public exposure to toxic chemicals. Laurel is the author of a blog and self-help book on reducing personal exposure to toxic chemicals. She also writes fiction and is currently working on a dystopian trilogy about the world after climate change. As a member of the National Academy of Science’s Science and
Entertainment Exchange, Laurel advises authors and filmmakers on incorporating science into their work.
Dr. Standley received her B.S. in Chemistry from California Polytechnic State University, a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from Oregon State
University, and an M.A. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.