Welcome to the Rational Middle

During these tumultuous times, informed civil discourse has become a rare commodity. Histrionics have ruled the day and started a firestorm of debate on almost every issue you can think of. Debates have largely been slimmed down to buzzwords and short news segments that fail to dive deep in a way that facilitates real change. This back and forth with less and less substantive information has led to misinformation and finger pointing on both sides and widened the divide on this important national issue.

As there is no information standard bearer, the two sides of any debate will continue to drift farther apart, leaving the vast majority of Americans no place to begin real work on fixing the issue before us. Rational Middle has and will continue to work to change that by creating films on important issues that present the facts and frame them with historical context, focused on reaching those who really do want to see change. Through the medium of short, cinematic documentary films, social media, and live events, we can an open path for the public at large to have a civil, solutions-based conversation.

The Rational Middle Creative Team

kallenberg

Gregory Kallenberg
Director, Writer, and Producer

Gregory is the director and a producer of the Rational Middle of Immigration. He deeply believes that people can come together to find balanced and rational solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including immigration.

Before the Rational Middle, Kallenberg directed and produced Haynesville: A Nation’s Hunt for an Energy Future, a documentary chronicling a large natural gas discovery in northwest Louisiana and its effect on three individual’s lives. Haynesville played at conferences, universities and prestigious festivals like SXSW and the Aspen Ideas Festival. The film also received its network television premiere on CNBC in November 2010.

Kallenberg’s background includes writing and story editing for the award-winning production house Bluefield Productions. He has also written for Esquire Magazine, the New York Times, the Austin American Statesman, among other publications.

lorensteffy

Loren Steffy
Executive Producer

Loren is managing director of the communications firm 30 Point Strategies and a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly. He is the author of Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit, published by McGraw-Hill in 2010 and The Man Who Thought Like a Ship, published by Texas A&M University Press in April 2012.

Steffy’s writing has been published in newspapers and publications nationwide, including Forbes.com and The Houston Chronicle, where he was the business columnist for nine years. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business, MSNBC, the BBC and the PBS NewsHour. Steffy is a four-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, business journalism’s highest honor, along with numerous state and national awards.

lyon

Chris Lyon
Writer, Producer

Chris has been making films with the Rational Middle team for more than a decade, starting with the acclaimed documentary Haynesville: A Nation’s Hunt for an Energy Future, directed by Kallenberg. Through that time he has also contributed to a wide array of projects including narratives, documentaries, television shows, and music videos, and has worked in creative capacities on films released by Warner Brothers, Paramount, and HBO.

In his capacity at Rational Middle, Lyon serves as the research lead and oversees the compilation of facts and figures which serve as the core of the data-driven aspects of the films, diving into the most wonky whitepapers and studies available in order to understand the information at the core of contentious issues so that they can be simplified and effectively conveyed on screen.