The Entertainment Studies Program strives to bring you the most current and relevant experience that allows for practical application. This starts with our instructors who are working professionals in the entertainment industry. In addition to our current roster of expert instructors, hundreds of guest speakers from all facets of the industry visit our classes each year to share practical advice and insights with our students on what it’s like working in the entertainment business today. Get the real insider experience with our talented pool of instructors!
Film and Television
Peter J. Abrahams, Producing
Mr. Abrahams specializes in entertainment development, management, and production. Over the past decade, Mr. Abrahams has had the opportunity to work for, and with, the studio, network, and independent sectors of the entertainment industry. During that time, he has overseen the development and production of scores of projects spanning the fields of feature film, television, digital content, and music. As a manager, clients of Mr. Abrahams have generated television projects for ESPN, Discovery Channel, and HBO, while on the feature front have adapted several award winning novels.
Kim Adelman, Producing
Filmmaker who began her career as a co-producer of the independent feature Just Friends. Ms. Adelman then produced 19 shorts that have played in more than 150 festivals, winning more than 30 awards. She has authored two film books, Making It Big in Shorts, Third Edition and The Ultimate Guide to Chick Flicks, and currently writes for Indiewire, the leading news source on independent film. Ms. Adelman received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Outstanding Instructor of the Year Award in 2014 and the Distinguished Instructor Award in 2016.
Scott Agostoni, Development
SVP of Development & Production and In-House Consultant at Dick Cook Studios. Scott also runs his own management and consulting practice. Previously, Mr. Agostoni was a Motion Picture & TV Literary/Graphic Novel agent with WME and Non-scripted & Alternative TV agent with WMA.
Marcelo Alvarez, Producing
Producer and director for commercials for television and web platforms. Mr. Alvarez has worked on over 100 commercials for clients such as Carl’s Jr, Kraft, Ford, Verizon, Got Milk, Visa, and many others. He also produced television pilots, ENF, and documentary films.
Jennifer Akana Sturla, Directing
Writer/director whose festival award-winning short films have found distribution to Amazon and Netflix. A 20-year Hollywood veteran, she has taught short filmmaking for the past few years and is currently directing a feature film about Hawaiian singer-songwriter “IZ.”
Benjamin Arfmann, Directing
Writer/director who was mentored by fellow Bruins Alexander Payne and Dustin Lance Black while attending UCLA. Mr. Arfmann wrote and directed numerous shorts, and helped produce Jason Kohl’s The Slaughter (SXSW 2013). He is currently working with the History Channel to develop a scripted anthology based on the concept of his short film Random Stop, which was a BAFTA Student Award finalist and premiered at SXSW in 2014.
Toni Attell, Acting
Emmy-nominated actor, comedian, and mime whose background includes a variety of work in theater, film, and television. Ms. Attell has opened for Jay Leno, Steve Martin, and Robin Williams, and has guest-starred on numerous television dramas and sitcoms.
William Barker, Cinematography and Directing
Award-winning producer, director, and writer on several short films.
Simone Bartesaghi, Directing
Writer and director whose work includes the Accolade Award-winning feature Downstream, and Run, which won the 2013 Milan International Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay, and 2013 3D Film Festival Award for Best Director to Watch. Mr. Bartesaghi is also the writer-director of several award-winning short films and the author of the book The Director’s Six Senses.
Peter Bevan, Producing
Executive vice president of production at uMedia, an international film group that has produced 170 films to date. uMedia filmography includes such films as the multi-Academy Award winning The Artist, Oscar-nominated Outside the Law, and Paul Verhoeven’s Blackbook. Prior to joining uMedia, Mr. Bevan co-founded and was co-CEO of Entertainment of Motion Pictures, one of the UK’s leading independent production companies.
Bob Boden, Producing
Executive Vice President, Development and Production at Entertainment Studios, President of TV Bob Productions and Executive Producer of the Emmy-nominated game show The Chase. Mr. Boden’s previous roles have included Senior Vice President of Reality and Game Show Production and Development at Hasbro Studios, Senior Vice President of Programming, Production, and Development at Fox Reality Channel, and Senior Vice President of Programming at Game Show Network. He has served as a producer on numerous shows, including Family Feud, To Tell the Truth, Don’t Forget the Lyrics, Match Game, Superhuman, GREED, Paradise Hotel 2, American Idol Extra, Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular, Family Game Night, and the upcoming Funny You Should Ask.
Jason Boldt, Cinematography
Cinematographer whose projects have premiered and won awards at various festivals. His short film The Discovery of Dit Dodson funded by New Form Media recently premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival.
Christina Carrea, Directing
Award-winning cinematographer and director whose credits include the comedy series Don’t Tell My Mother, as well as many short films, web series and commercials.
Susana Casares, Directing
Filmmaker and winner of the Emmy Foundation’s prestigious College Television Award in Drama. Her narrative and documentary work has been shown in festivals around the world, and she has received both the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award and the Mary Pickford Award for two consecutive years, as well as the support of institutions such as the Tribeca Film Institute and IDFA. Ms. Casares has been showcased in Variety‘s Cannes edition as one of the 10 Spanish talents on the rise.
Luis Cayo, Post Production
Visual effects and 3D artist who has worked on features such as Green Lantern, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and I Am Number Four. Mr. Cayo has designed visual effects for television series including The Originals, Game of Thrones, and Vampire Diaries.
Barbara Chiodo, Producing
International finance executive and entertainment and business consultant who has worked with companies such as 120dB Films, Claridge Capital-Strategic Advisory, Citi Global Markets, Barclays Capital, and Aria Films West.
Monica Chuo, Producing
Ms. Chuo started her career in development and acquisitions at The Samuel Goldwyn Company collaborating with internationally renowned directors such as Zhang Yimou. Her other positions held include head of Business Development at DNA Studios, where she developed new media strategies for such companies as Miramax Films, Focus Features, and Elektra Records, Atlantic Records. She also has worked Artisan Entertainment (now Lions Gate) and later moved to Paramount as VP of Worldwide Acquisitions & Co-Productions. More recently, Monica created “On The Menu,” a food competition reality show. She partnered with Mark Burnett and the series premiered on TNT.
Jim Coane, Producing
Emmy award-winning television producer, writer, director, and development executive. Mr. Coane is credited as executive producer and director on many network, syndication, and cable series, including Walking the Bible, Totally Hidden Video, America’s Most Wanted, and Futurequest. He has executive produced hundreds of series’ episodes, specials, and pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, USA Network, Turner Entertainment, Discovery Channel, TLC, PBS, FX, and other broadcasters.
Andrew Cochrane, Producing
Digital and Interactive Director of Mirada Studios, an independent creative studio co-founded by Guillermo del Toro. Mr. Cochrane has created immersive entertainment content for Google Cardboard, GearVR, and PC-based HMD’s. His recent work includes overseeing a VR tour of Google’s retail program and the introduction for Google’s Jump 360 video platform. Mr. Cochrane was the technical supervisor on VR experiences for Mr. Robot, The Strain, GE, and Michigan Football and has worked on visual effects teams on many films including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Terminator Salvation, and Spider-Man 3.
Quinn Coleman, Producing
Previously served as VP of Acquisitions at Regent Entertainment and Director of Worldwide Co-Productions and Acquisitions at Warner Bros. studio where he was instrumental in negotiating and acquiring certain distribution rights to over 125 feature films, including such box office hits as A Cinderella Story, My Dog Skip, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Formerly, Mr. Coleman has worked for such leading companies as Turner Broadcasting, Disney, and Twentieth Century Fox. He has participated in top film festivals such as Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Telluride; along with negotiating licensing rights to feature films throughout the world.
John Cones, Business and Management of Entertainment
Securities/entertainment attorney who advises independent feature film producers and others on matters relating to investor financing of feature film and other entertainment projects. During his 25-year career, he has prepared or participated in more than 250 business offerings for feature films, television pilots, documentaries, infomercials, and Internet companies. He has authored 10 books on film business and legal affairs.
Brady Connell, Producing
Executive Producer/Showrunner of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and is currently Executive Producer of the ABC holiday series The Great Christmas Light Fight. Mr. Connell received two Emmys for his producing work on CBS’s The Amazing Race, an Emmy nomination for his multi-camera directing/producing on Eco-Challenge, and he was senior producer of Survivor in its Emmy-winning season. Over a 25 year career in nonfiction television, he has produced and directed hundreds of hours of programming.
Brynach Day, Directing
Director who was named as a BAFTA Brit to Watch, and whose short film Role Play was selected by the Munich Student Film Festival, The London Short Film Festival and Slamdance. He previously worked for the BBC for such TV shows as Torchwood and Doctor Who. The feature script he is currently working on, Low Tide, was a Sundance Labs finalist in 2014.
David Dodds, Post Production
Los Angeles-based motion graphics designer; his experience spans eight years in motion graphics, special effects, broadcast design, character animation, and infographics. He has worked for studios such as Stardust, Mirada, Logan, and NFL Networks. Dodds has been invited to lecture at Otis College of Art and Design, and Laguna College of Art and Design.
Brooks Elms, Development
Writer and director who has written 20 scripts for companies such as Base FX and Broken Road, and recently sold a thriller entitled Snowfall to Gold Circle Films.
Corey Field, Business and Management of Entertainment
Former president of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. (New York), and principal author of Entertainment Law: Forms and Analysis, published by Law Journal Press, New York (2011). Mr. Field concentrates his practice in copyright and entertainment law and serves on several leading entertainment industry boards of directors, and is Of Counsel in the Los Angeles office of Ballard Spahr LLP.
Dan Fisher, Business and Management of Entertainment
Dan Fisher, Senior Director of Acquisitions for Gravitas Ventures. Mr. Fisher previously served as Director of Worldwide Acquisitions at Entertainment One, licensing theatrical and home entertainment content for domestic and international distribution. His experience extends to film packaging, finance, and production.
Asher Garfinkel, Development
Author of Screenplay Story Analysis: The Art and Business. Over the past 20 years, Mr. Garfinkel has worked in production and development for studios and indies and has evaluated thousands of scripts. He is the founder of Readers Unlimited, a screenplay coverage and consulting service for producers, directors, development executives, and writers, and regularly serves as a content analyst for Netflix.
Peter Gend, Post Production
CGI artist with many years of experience in the film, animation, and video game industries. Some highlights include Fox’s The Simpsons, The Fantastic Four, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, Sex and the City, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Mr. Gend has also been working in higher education for the last 8 years teaching a variety of topics that include digital sculpture, dynamic simulation, traditional modeling, character rigging, MEL scripting, lighting, texturing, and more. He also spent time working in curriculum development and as a director of media arts at several schools. Some of Peter’s most recent clients include Nickelodeon and Pluralsight.
Ric Gibbs, Development
Writer and filmmaker whose work includes Shadow Conspiracy starring Charlie Sheen and Donald Sutherland. Mr. Gibbs has worked with producers such as Mark Wahlberg & Stephen Levinson, Jon Landau & James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, and Lawrence Bender, as well as with Paramount Studios, Universal, USA, Fox, NBC, and Warner Brothers Television. In addition to his screen work, he has written two novels. His current non-fiction book Quick, Where’s My Cape? explores the world of myths and superheroes and their role in pop culture.
Harris Goldberg, Directing
Writer, producer and director whose credits include Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Without A Paddle, The Maid Of Honor, and a long list of features for every major studio. Mr. Goldberg also wrote and directed the award winning feature NUMB starring Matthew Perry, Mary Steenburgen and Kevin Pollak which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Feature Audience Awards in Chicago and the Ojai Film Festival. He was partners with his brother Dan Goldberg, writer/producer of the movies Stripes, Meatballs, Old School, Road Trip and producer of The Hangover, Hangover 2 and 3 – where the two had an overall deal at Universal. Mr. Goldberg has also written pilots for HBO, SHOWTIME, NBC, ABC, CBS, TNT, FOX and USA. His latest feature film, THE LIST, will be released this summer.
Ernesto González, Acting
A bilingual actor whose credits include co-starring roles in TV shows such as No Tomorrow (The CW), Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC), Top 10 Criminals (Discovery Channel), Animal Witness (Animal Planet) and series regular on Yet 2B Named (Punch TV). Mr. González has also performed in regional theatre across the country, and in national commercials for Ride Aid, Lowes, and Nopalina. He is an alumnus of the Improvisation Conservatory at The Second City Chicago, where he is a former performer/writer in the outreach/diversity ensemble.
Patrick Gorman, Business and Management of Entertainment
Patrick Gorman is an entertainment attorney in private practice in Los Angeles. Mr. Gorman represents both start-up and established entertainment companies, domestically and globally, in the motion picture, music, and television industries, as well as producers, actors, directors, screenwriters, and recording artists. He is currently “of counsel” with the firm of Pumilia & Adamec LLP.
Eric Scott Gould, Acting
Actor, director, screenwriter and producer. As an actor, Mr. Gould has performed in over 50 stage productions in New York City, Los Angeles, and regional theater. On television, he has appeared on shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), Numb3rs (CBS), The District (CBS), Diagnosis Murder (CBS), Another World (NBC), and recurred on Without A Trace (CBS) for the first four seasons.
Beverly Graf, Development
Vice President of Development, Abilene Pictures (Primal Fear, Fallen, Frequency, Hart’s War, Fracture).
Oscar Grau, Directing
Sound mixer who has worked on numerous films, TV series, and commercials. His recent work includes the Hulu-distributed documentary Becoming Bond, the feature Pet which premiered at SXSW, the Spanish late night show Buenafuente, and the BBC documentary mini-series Louis Theroux: LA Stories. Mr. Grau was nominated for a Gaudí Award for Best Sound in 2013 for the film Son of Cain.
Randy Greenberg, Business and Management of Entertainment
Executive producer of MEG, Cowboys & Aliens and past studio senior entertainment executive; founder of The Greenberg Group, a global entertainment investment and content strategy consultancy whose campaigns have produced over $5 billion at the box office. Previously Mr. Greenberg was the Senior Vice President/Head of International Theatrical Marketing and Distribution for Universal Pictures, where he created the overseas releases of such films as 8 Mile, Intolerable Cruelty, The Mummy Returns, Jurassic Park III, The Fast and the Furious, and American Pie.
Richard Greenberg, Post Production
Richard Greenberg has enjoyed teaching “Post Production for Film and Television” at the UCLA Extension annually for over ten years. He has experienced technological change on a regular basis and has stayed abreast of the industry in order to remain relevant to his students and to his colleagues. Mr. Greenberg is a successful producer, corporate executive, relationship-based salesman, and post production evangelist. His diverse interests currently keep him active in the technically challenging electronic post-production, distribution, and entertainment marketing industries. Richard understands that not everyone loves technology and, as a result, is known to be an entertaining, patient, and capable communicator who specializes in explaining complex things in simple terms.
Shaleece Haas, Directing
Shaleece is a documentary filmmaker based in Los Angles, CA. She produced and directed the ITVS-funded film Real Boy (2016), which will be broadcast nationally on Independent Lens in 2017. The film has earned 20 festival awards including an Audience Award at the Frameline Film Festival and the Iris Prize for Best Feature. Shaleece co-produced The Genius of Marian (2013; Tribeca, POV) and produced the short films Awardwinninggir (2012; SF DocFest) and City Fish (2011; Hot Docs, Documentary Channel). Shaleece associate produced Extreme by Design (2012, PBS) and The Art of Doing It Yourself (2011, PBS). Her documentary short, Old People Driving (2010, Mill Valley Film Festival), was broadcast on PBS News Hour as part of the Economist Film Project and won best documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival.
Shaleece’s films have received support from ITVS, California Humanities, Berkeley Film Foundation, Fledgling Fund, Film Independent, IFP, among others. She is a member of the Queer Producer’s Collective, a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) Fellow and a 2010 Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellow.
In addition to filmmaking, Shaleece teaches at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and leads video storytelling workshops for the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute and the NY Press Association. Shaleece previously worked as an editorial photographer and radio producer and was a founding staff member of the national oral history project, StoryCorps. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Petra Haffter, Producing
Writer and director of more than 100 feature films, TV movies, series, and documentaries. Ms. Haffter’s many credits include Rock of Ages, The Colors of the Deserts, In Search of America, feature films such as A Demon in my View (Germany/Great Britain), The Kiss of the Tiger (Germany/France) and the television shows The New Adventures of Robin Hood (Warner TV) and The Egyptian Book of the Dead (History).
Pete Hammond, Entertainment Studies
Producer, five-time Emmy-nominated writer, film commentator, and film critic for Maxim. Mr. Hammond’s writing has appeared in USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Variety, among others. His numerous TV appearances include NBC Nightly News, E!, Extra, and The Evening News with Brian Williams on MSNBC.
Peter Hanson, Development
Screenwriter, director, producer, and educator. Among his credits are hundreds of print and online articles, three books on cinema, and films including the feature-length documentary Tales from the Script, which features interviews with dozens of Hollywood screenwriters.
Steven M. Harper, Development
TV writer, playwright and actor, who is the Executive Story Editor on the 3rd season of the ABC TV drama American Crime, has written for the TV show Covert Affairs, and who is the creator of the award-winning web series Send Me that just premiered on BET.com. Mr Harper’s plays have been professionally produced at venues such as the American Theater Company in Chicago, Juilliard in New York and The Celebration Theatre in LA.
Kristin Harris, Business and Management of Entertainment
Kristin Harris, consultant in entertainment, film and distribution strategy. Ms. Harris’ former positions include executive director, Content Acquisitions and CoProductions at Cinedigm and creative executive at Overture Films.
Matt Harrison, Directing
Director whose feature film credits include Rhythm Thief (Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival), Kicked in the Head (executive producer Martin Scorsese), Spare Me, and The Deep and Dreamless Sleep and whose television directing credits include Sex and the City, Popular and Dead Last. Mr. Harrison received the UCLA Extension Outstanding Instructor Award in 2008.
Paul Hellerman, Producing
Paul Hellerman, award-winning veteran independent producer, production executive, and production manager who has worked on such projects as Reservoir Dogs, My Own Private Idaho, Pulp Fiction, From Dusk Till Dawn, Jackie Brown, The Mexican and Black Snake Moan.
In 2003 he produced Showtime’s Bang, Bang, You’re Dead, which honored him with an Emmy Award and the George Foster Peabody Award. Some of his more recent credits include Powder Blue (Co-Producer), produced by and starring Forest Whitaker, Honey 2 (Producer) for Universal Studios, the indie film Gimme Shelter (Executive Producer) starring Brendan Fraser and Vanessa Hudgens, and the upcoming “Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving” (UPM), which premiered at Sundance 2016.
Greg Hemstreet, Producing
Senior Director, Production Finance, Universal Pictures
Gina Holland, Business and Management of Entertainment
Entertainment executive with extensive corporate and entrepreneurial management experience in technology and media who is currently president of 4&4 Enterprises Inc. Ms. Holland’s previous positions include production executive and executive producer at Ruby Red Inc., a production services company for film and TV content; senior vice president at Black Entertainment Television; and manager of production at NBC. Ms. Holland was named one of 25 Women to Watch by Multi-Channel News.
Cynthia Hsiung, Producing
Producer, writer, director, and executive who served as a producer and head of production for Young Hercules starring Ryan Gosling. Ms. Hsiung was part of the team which launched The Larry Sanders Show and Taxi Cab Confessions at HBO, and was a creative executive for MTV’s The Real World and Road Rules. Additional credits include her award-winning feature Shades of Love, as well as the TV series FanAddicts! and Catching Hell.
Wes Irwin, Post Production
Executive Director of Post-Production for Fox Television Studios. Currently working on The Americans (FX), Queen of the South (USA), Legends (TNT) and several other pilots and series. Mr. Irwin has been a post-production executive for three production companies over the course of twenty (plus) years. He is a Member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Production Executives Peer Group) and is an Affiliate Member of the American Cinema Editors. He has been an instructor at UCLA Extension since the Summer of 2008.
Judith James, Producing
Producer whose credits include Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford, Mr. Holland’s Opus, starring Richard Dreyfuss, and Trigger Happy starring Jeff Goldblum, Gabriel Byrne, Diane Lane and Ellen Barkin. Ms. James has produced movies for HBO, TNT, ABC and CBS. In addition she has served as consulting producer on many of Richard Dreyfuss’ films.
Ray Jimenez, Producing
CEO of Embolden Entertainment, a management firm that boasts over 60 clients including the co-host of the top online news program in the world, one of the top digital musicians online, and industry-leading technology companies in the hologram and virtual reality spaces. Prior to creating Embolden Entertainment, Mr. Jimenez worked at CAA, NBC and The Firm.
Kathryn Miller Kelley, Development
Writer, script development consultant, story analyst, and former studio executive who has worked for a variety of entertainment companies including CBS Television, Anonymous Content, Miramax, Participant Media, Bristol Bay Productions (Walden Media), The Kennedy-Marshall Company, Beacon Pictures, and Universal Pictures. Ms. Miller Kelley recently served as a writer on CBS’ summer legal series, Reckless.
Kelly Kiernan, Producing
Veteran producer, line producer, production manager, assistant director and consultant who has worked with directors and producers including Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Tony Scott, Brian Singer, and Nicholas Roeg. Ms. Kiernan’s film credits include Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Apt Pupil, as well as the Steven-Spielberg produced documentary A Price for Peace and the Genesis Award-winning children’s television series Animal Rescue Kids. She has also consulted for various global companies in management, production, logistics, budgeting and scheduling. Most recently, Ms Kiernan was a production executive with New Regency Pictures and has worked on such films as Man on Fire, starring Denzel Washington, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Just My Luck, Big Momma’s House 2, Deck the Halls, and REXX the Firehouse Dog; as well as on the spoof comedies Date Movie and Epic Movie, and Meet The Spartans, Shutter, Mirrors, and Bride Wars.
Dallas King, Directing
President of Red Rabbit Pictures, director, producer, writer that specializes in creating Sci-fi, Action, Horror, and Fantasy projects. Mr. King is the winner of the (MPAA) Motion Picture Association of America Award, The Caucus Foundation Award for Directing, a 3-time award recipient of the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts, and 1st place for the 2012 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing of his film Most Wanted.
Richard Kiratsoulis, Business and Management of Entertainment
Richard Kiratsoulis, Financial Advisor and Executive Consultant to high net worth individuals and a private equity fund. Professional services entail evaluating and negotiating selective film financing, production, and distribution transactions. Recent financing transactions for feature films in the $25-$80 million production budget range include Summit’s September 2013 release The Tomb (Stallone & Schwarzenegger), Joe Carnahan’s The Grey (Liam Neeson), Killing Them Softly (Brad Pitt), and Machine Gun Preacher (Gerard Butler). Clients have provided funding for production budgets in excess of $450 million in the areas of senior and subordinated debt, mezzanine, bridge, tax credits, P&A, and equity financing.
From 1994-2005, Mr. Kiratsoulis was President and COO of Media 8 Entertainment, where he served as the principal production executive on the Academy Award winning Monster (Charlize Theron), Upside of Anger (Joan Allen, Kevin Costner), Havoc (Anne Hathaway, J. Gordon-Levitt, Channing Tatum), and Eye of the Beholder (Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd), to name a few.
Previously, held Chief Operating positions in other diversified industries with direct responsibility for up to 6,000 employees. Began career as a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts.
Phil Klucsarits, Cinematography
Director of photography on independent movies, short films, and TV series. Mr. Klucsarits’ work has been showcased at the Camerimage Cinematography Festival, The Telluride Film Festval, Palm Springs Short Fest, and many international film festivals.
Matt Knudsen, Cinematography
Cinematographer, producer, writer, and director with over 13 years of production experience. He holds a BA in Production from LMU and an MFA in Directing from UCLA. His recent directorial work includes the feature Cassidy Red, which won the 2015 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholarship Award. Mr. Knudsen is the editor of the website We Like Movies on which he co-hosts a weekly podcast.
Vanessa Knutsen, Directing
Award-winning writer, director, and producer whose short film The Promised Land, was the winner of several awards including the UCLA Spotlight Award for Excellence in Filmmaking, Best Student Short Film at Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and Cinema Without Borders Short Film Festival, and the 2012 BAFTA Student Film Award. She is also a recipient of the 2008 Motion Picture Association of America Award, the 2010 Stanley Kramer Fellowship in Film Directing, the 2010 Edie and Lew Wasserman Film Production Fellowship, the 2010 Women in Film Foundation/Verna Fields Memorial Fellowship, and the 2011 Caucus Foundation Grant. Ms. Knutsen has directed several other short films and was the segment producer on the reality series Living in LALA Land.
Jason Knutzen, Cinematography
Experienced Cinematographer, DIT and Colorist. Jason is a member of the development team at Gamma & Destiny Co., makers of the popular DIT software solution, 3cP SET + POST. He also serves as an educational contributor to the Global Cinematrography Institute in the areas of Image Management, Color Correction and Digital Cinematography.
Igor Korosec, Acting
Actor and educator who has worked as a Private On-Set Acting Coach for the American Artists Group and Actors’ Acting Academy. He has appeared on shows such as Grimm, Chuck, and Rizzoli & Isles and in the feature The Good German starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett.
Dana Shelayne Kroeger, Cinematography
Cinematographer who has worked for many years on big budget films in the camera department under the tutelage of such greats as Conrad Hall Sr., Caleb Deschanel and Emmanuel Lubezki, working side by side with the likes of Michael Mann, Sam Mendes, Brad Silberling and Terrence Malick. Along the way, she continued to work on independent features, commercials, music videos and PSAs™. Since 2006 Ms. Kroeger has been working steadily as a Director of Photography on indie films, festival pieces, web series, episodic and features.
Henry LeBlanc, Acting
Henry LeBlanc, Actor, Producer, Writer: Mr. LeBlanc’s TV credits include appearances on ER, JAG, 24, Everybody Loves Raymond, Law and Order, Scrubs, Boston Public, The Bold and The Beautiful and others. He is also one of Jay Leno’s regular comedy sketch actors.
His film credits include lead roles in Custom Mary (HBO Int’nl Latin Film Festival), Resilience, West New York, and Antebody (Worldfest Gold Jury Winner). He holds an MFA from Rutgers University.
Carol Lefko, Acting
Carol Lefko is a veteran casting director of many features, television, and theater. Ms. Lefko has recently cast two sitcoms, Pineapple Inn and Lawrence of Suburbia, as well as the feature films the Klansman for director Charles Daniels and Soul Drought for director Dakota Lupo.
Carrie LeGrand, Producing
Carrie LeGrand has produced dozens of acclaimed and award-winning projects and supervised multiple studio features and network television shows. She has been the Line Producer credits on several projects including Some Boys Don’t Leave starring Jesse Eisenberg, Murder on the 13th Floor for Lifetime, the animated series Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 for FOX, and the cult-favorite Sushi Girl starring Mark Hamill and Tony Todd. Most recently, she has successfully line produced and produced four features and is building her production company in Los Angeles.
Jamie Lieberman, Producing
Manager of physical production at Screen Gems, a division of Sony Pictures. Ms. Lieberman has worked on projects including Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, Think Like a Man, Battle of the Year, The Dream Team, About Last Night starring Kevin Hart and No Good Deed starring Idris Elba.
Adam Lieblein, Acting
Adam Lieblein graduated from the film department of UCLA in 1986, and spent eight years as a producer of films, commercials and television projects until 1993, when he opened a talent agency. Adam was the president of Acme Talent & Literary for sixteen years, and represented actors (adults and children) for film, television, commercials, print modeling, and voiceover work. Acme was a bi-coastal agency (LA and NY), and its 18 agents also represented writers for film, television and books. At the end of 2008, Acme’s several divisions were sold to other agencies, and Adam returned to the business of producing, and chose to spend more time teaching at UCLA Extension and seminars across the country.
Daniel Lifschitz, Business and Management of Entertainment
Senior litigation attorney with the entertainment firm of Pierce Law Group, LLP, has worked on numerous high profile entertainment and copyright cases in the realms of music, film, and television including: Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc.; Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Pandora Media, Inc.; Melissa Ferrick et al v. Spotify USA Inc.; Quincy Jones et al v. MJJ Productions Inc. et al; and Mark Stevens, et al v. CBS Studios, Inc. Mr. Lifschitz has written or co-written many articles on copyright and entertainment law for publications including the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, Los Angeles Lawyer, Computer & Internet Lawyer, and Techdirt. Mr. Lifschitz is also Of Counsel to Gradstein & Marzano, P.C., a boutique entertainment litigation firm, and heads the Project Committee of the California Society of Entertainment Lawyers (“CSEL”), an artists’ rights advocacy group.
Kate Lupo, Entertainment Studies
Founder and CEO of EntryLevelHollywood.com, Ms. Lupo is a career mentor who assists college students and recent grads in obtaining internships, entry-level jobs, and coordinator-level jobs in the business side of entertainment. In 2013, Ms. Lupo was named one of 10 Hollywood Assistants to Watch by Variety while working at ICM Partners, one of the world’s top talent agencies. She also worked as a consultant for Mark Zuckerberg’s political organization, FWD.us, where she helped organize celebrity partnerships with Academy-Award winning actor Jared Leto and TV actors Paul Wesley and Joely Fisher.
Debra Magit, Acting
Debra Magit has been teaching presentation, communication and team building skills for over sixteen years. Working in both corporate and educational settings her innovative approach and techniques have helped thousands of people become more effective in shaping the content and style of their communication. She has helped hundreds of inexperienced presenters find ‘the performer within’ and has worked with many experienced presenters to refine and develop their inspirational skills. She has also worked with teams to develop their creative synergy, improve communications within the team and to give tools for avoiding and resolving conflict. Her corporate clients have included Experian CheetahMail, Deloitte Touche, Ernst and Young, Los Angeles Federal Public Defenders, Disney Online, The Raytheon Corporation, and the non-profit organization Common Ground.
She is also a private Performance Coach for a growing number of corporate executives and attorneys. In the educational field she has created and is the lead instructor for many innovative and successful classes for UCLA Extension and Otis College of Art and Design. These classes include, ‘Acting for the Non-Professional’, ‘Enhancing your Courtroom Performance’, ‘How to talk to Anybody’, ‘Presenting your Creative Self’, ‘Critical Thinking through Improvisation’ and ‘Acting for Animators’. Debra’s coaching and workshops use the techniques of the actor/improviser to elicit the individual’s authentic communication and presentation style.
Debra’s acting credits include the feature films, Few Options, All Bad, Frankie and Johnny are Married, Bark starring Lisa Kudrow, and No Place to Hide starring Drew Barrymore. Her live theater credits include the plays All My Son’s at the Odyssey Theater, A Delicate Balance at Pacific Resident Theatre Ensemble, and the original play Three. She has also peformed improv with numerous improv groups around Los Angeles and is proud to be a member of “Fake Radio,” a group that performs 40’s radio shows live, which have included guest stars such as, Fred Willard, Dean Cain, Jeff Garlin, and members of Kids in the Hall.
Stephan Manpearl, Business and Management of Entertainment
Consultant on all aspects of marketing on over 500 feature films, including The Karate Kid, Jacob’s Ladder, Star Trek, Flashdance, Out of Africa, Airplane!, Misery, and Revenge of the Nerds, as well as numerous television programs, for virtually all major studios, networks, and many independents. Currently is the head of Thunder Independent, the film division of Thunder Studios. TI acquires and distributes films in all media worldwide.
Kevin Mardesich, Business and Management of Entertainment
Kevin August Mardesich began his career running the Story Department at Oscar-winner Oliver Stone’s development company, Ixtlan. Next, he helped execute corporate communications for Fox’s sports/entertainment cable channels. He currently runs KevinMardesich.com, a communications practice for film, television, and industry leaders — helping each client tell their story.
Kenneth Markman, Business and Management of Entertainment
CEO, KKM Global Brand Strategies, a diversified brand strategy and licensing management company. Mr. Markman’s career spans the marketing of over 400 motion pictures. He has held senior marketing positions at Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, MTM Entertainment, J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency, and Mattel Toys. Mr. Markman received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award in 2010.
David Martin-Porras, Directing
Award-winning director and writer whose credits include the shorts Inside the Box, La Viuda (The Widow) for which he won the DGA Student Film Award, and Ida y Vuelta (Round Trip) which was a finalist for a student Academy Award. He also directed the feature Stealing Summers. Mr. Martin-Porras was picked as one of the top ten Spanish filmmakers on the rise by Variety magazine in 2013, and was nominated for a Goya Award in 2016.
Scott Mazak, Post Production
Editor and writer. Mr. Mazak has extensive teaching experience in all areas of filmmaking and also has written on Lucasfilm in the book George Lucas’s Blockbusting.
Kellynn Meeks, Acting
Actor, producer, and educator whose credits include the lead in the Funny or Die Exclusive Web Series The Snooze Room and 10 years’ experience as an actor and company member of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company. Ms. Meeks is a Lessac-certified trainer who has studied under Arthur Lessac.
Judith Merians, Business and Management of Entertainment
Entertainment attorney and published author, whose former positions include Associate General Counsel Warner Bros., senior vice president of business and legal affairs, Saban Entertainment; Director of Business Affairs Paramount Pictures Merchandising and Publishing Division, Vice President Business Affairs ABC Motion Pictures; COO, The Hollywood Experts Online; literary agent, Media Artists Group; professor of film production Filmakademie Wurttemberg, Ludwigsburg Germany.
Joanne Moore, Development
Joanne Moore is a producer and film & TV executive. Former President of Dustin Hoffman’s production company, Ms. Moore has developed projects for Warner Bros, Universal, Disney, Fox, Paramount, USA Networks, ABC, NBC, Nickelodeon, HBO and Showtime. As an executive, Ms. Moore developed The Hurricane, A Brother’s Kiss, A Walk On The Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, For Richer or Poorer and Bogus. She also produced the award winning film Swimming With Sharks and the shorts Rockboy and Big Al.
Andrea Morgan, Acting
Andrea is an actor, stage director and was a dialect coach for film, TV, and stage. She has dialect coached such actors as Hugh Bonneville, Joseph Fiennes, Lena Heady and she coached Anna Friel for two seasons on the TV series Pushing Daisies. She was the artistic director and co-founder of Chrysalis Stage (2008-2015), a nonprofit, professional theatre company in Los Angeles. Andrea received her MFA from the University of Delaware Professional Theatre Training Program.
David Moser, Business and Management of Entertainment
David Moser, entertainment attorney; former professor at Belmont University, where he taught courses in copyright law, music publishing, and legal issues in the music industry. Mr. Moser currently teaches at Xiamen University of Technology in China and is co-author of Music Copyright Law. He has also published numerous articles on copyright and entertainment law, taught at a university in Hong Kong, and received a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research on copyright enforcement in the Philippines.
Nijla Mu’min, Directing
Nijla Mu’min is a writer and filmmaker whose short films “Two Bodies” and “Dreams” have screened at many festivals across the country including the Pan African Film Festival, Urbanworld and Outfest. In 2014, she was selected for the Second Annual Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive and also won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the Urbanworld Film Festival. Ms. Mu’min is a recipient of the 2012 Princess Grace Foundation- Cary Grant Film Award for her short film Deluge. Her writing appears in VICE, Shadow and Act on the Indiewire Network, Gawker, and The Los Angeles Times.
Deland Nuse, Cinematography
Cinematographer and director of independent films whose credits include the indie feature The Chilling and the documentary The Other Bridge; recipient, UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Award, 2007. Mr. Nuse won the Triple Play Award for Cinematography at the 2006 Long Island Film/Video Expo for the film The Showdown.
Miebaka Opuiyo-Yohannes, Acting
Actor and writer whose background includes various performances in film, television, and theater. His credits include acting roles in the films South Bronx Heroes and Spike Lee’s 25th Hour, along with numerous stage performances.
Scott Paulin, Acting
Scott Paulin, actor and director whose extensive film and television acting credits include The Right Stuff, Cat People, NCIS, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Boston Legal, Lost, JAG, and 24. His television directing credits include multiple episodes of Early Edition; Melrose Place; Beverly Hills, 90210; and Northern Exposure; among many others.
Justin Perkinson, Cinematography
Director, producer, and cinematographer whose production credits include narrative and documentary feature films and shorts, television, branded content, and Virtual Reality projects. His clients have included VICE Media, Samsung, GE, LinkedIn, PBS, among others. He was a finalist for the Gordon Willis Student Heritage Award from the American Society of Cinematographers for his work on the short film, Random Stop.
Wendy Phillips, Acting
Actress who has worked extensively in television dramas, sitcoms, feature films, and independent cinema. Ms. Phillips played the female lead in seven network telesision series; guest-starred or had recurring roles on such shows as Joan of Arcadia, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Big Love and ER; and played principal roles in such feature films as Bugsy and I am Sam.
David Pierce, Business and Management of Entertainment
David Pierce, attorney, Pierce Law Group, LLP who specializes in representing entertainment companies in matters regarding corporate operations, intellectual property, and labor and employment issues. Mr. Pierce’s clients include Lions Gate Entertainment, Earthview, Inc. (producers of The Amazing Race), The Comedy Store, and John Morrissey (producer of American History X).
Felix Pire, Acting
FILM: 12 Monkeys, Phat Girlz, Dear God, It’s My Party. TELEVISION: How to Rock! (Nickelodeon), Prison Break (FOX), NYPD Blue (ABC), Gideon’s Crossing (ABC), The Rerun Show (NBC), Matt Waters (CBS). STAGE: 1997 New York Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown, Off-Broadway; also winner of Best Play in a Smaller Theatre at 1995 Los Angeles Ovation Awards. The Origins of Happiness in Latin, penned at Mark Taper Forum’s Latino Theatre Initiative, won the California Community Foundation’s Brody Grant and the 2001 National Latino Playwriting Award. Pire’s screenplay, Hurricane Nena, written at HBO Latino Screenwriting Workshop, won a “Certificate in Recognition of Creative Excellence” from ABC Television. Producer of commercials for AZTECA Television; 2008 Producer’s Guild of America Diversity Workshop participant. Producer of two ongoing webisode series: the YouTube puppet webisode series LosTiteres.TV and a Latina “Sex in the City”: Latinas En L.A. Puppeteer member of the 2010 Drama Desk Award nominated Jim Henson Company’s improvised puppet show: Stuffed & UnStrung. BFA from Southern Methodist University and the New World School of the Arts high school in Miami, Florida. Professor of Acting in Film at UCLA (2008-09); Acting at UCLA Extension (2011); Solo Performance and Improv at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Alex Pirolini, Directing
PhD in American Film History, University of London; author of Rouben Mamoulian (published by Il Castoro Cinema, Milan). Dr. Pirolini also has written numerous articles, essays, and film reviews for such publications as Cineforum, Otto e Mezzo, and Il Nuovo Spettatore.
Ellen Pittleman, Business and Management of Entertainment
Veteran studio executive, entertainment strategist, and founder of Hybrid Entertainment, an entertainment consulting firm focusing on worldwide theatrical, television, and home entertainment production and distribution. Hybrid also develops its own slate of original films from Australia, Brazil, China, and the United States. Formerly, Ms. Pittleman was senior vice president of international co-productions and worldwide acquisitions at Paramount Pictures International. She blogs for Baseline on various distribution issues and wrote a worldwide box office review for Screenline (The New York Times).
Eben Portnoy, Directing
Director, writer and producer of numerous short films and music videos. His recent work includes Killing Animals produced by James Franco. He currently has several features in development including Companion, a Sundance Lab finalist, and Kaksori, a documentary set in South Korea.
Ken Raich, Post Production
Managing Partner,One Quarter of One LLC whose former positions included Director of International sales and marketing at Empress Media and post-production supervisor on The ’60s (an NBC MOW). Mr. Raich has edited several TV series, including Miami Vice (nominated for an Emmy Award for the “Smuggler’s Blues” episode) and Fantasy Island, and has directed and produced five feature films along with producing numerous TV shows.
Julio Ramos, Directing
Born and raised in Lima, Julio O. Ramos is a Los Angeles based writer and director. In 2012, he obtained an MFA in Film Directing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. His student body of work has received top honors by the Directors Guild of America, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles, the Emmys Foundation, and the Ministry of Culture of Peru.
His recent work includes ¡Una Carrerita, Doctor! and Detrás del Espejo. Both short films, made in his native Peru, screened in over two hundred film festivals around the globe including the 2011 Telluride Film Festival, 2011 CFC Worldwide Film Festival, and 2012 Camerimage Film Festival. They also picked up top awards at the 2012 Palm Springs Shortfest, 2012 La Habana Film Festival and 2012 Zinebi Bilbao Film Festival.
¡Una Carrerita, Doctor! aired nationwide on KQED’s premier season of Film School Shorts, featuring the best student work across the US, while Detrás del Espejo had its online debut on ShortoftheWeek.com and was recently named a Vimeo Staff Pick.
Julio is currently in development for his first feature film while working as part-time instructor in the Entertainment Studies program at the UCLA Extension.
Samantha Rebillet, Directing
Samantha is an award-winning short film director, performer, singer/songwriter and tertiary level teacher. She has worked as an actor in feature films, TV drama and commercials – but always wanted to be behind the camera and began directing when in her thirties. Her short films as a director have picked up major awards and screened at prized international festivals (among them IDFA, Clermont-Ferrand and the Cinema des Antipodes alongside the Cannes Film Festival).
After studying her Masters in Directing Drama at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) Samantha was chosen as the Australian representative at the 5Sur5 Artist Residence in Belgium, where she directed her first French language docu-drama. She was also head-hunted to direct a series of commercials for McDonalds, and spent several years in the commercial/corporate realm.
She was offered a part-time teaching position at Macquarie University in 2005, and has continued to enjoy both film and academia, with many semesters taught at the College of Fine Arts (UNSW), NIDA, Metro Screen and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In 2011 she furthered her academic experience by enrolling as a tutor and Doctorate Candidate at UTS (exploring the use of the hand-held camera and emotional filmmaking). Her most recent film, the Franco-Australian 55 minute drama ‘The Last Goodbye’ forms part of this study.
As a mother to two boys, Samantha brings a wonderfully nurturing quality to her classroom. She takes great pleasure in helping her students realise their own vision, and inspire their independent strengths.
Cynthia Riddle, Development
Writer and Producer who has worked with CBS, Lifetime, Showtime, MGM, Starz, Disney Channel, Hallmark Channel, Nickelodeon, PBS, and MarVista Entertainment. Ms. Riddle penned the award-winning CBS/Hallmark Hall of Fame film Crossroads; the highly-rated movie Puppy Love for Hallmark Channel; and the celebrity biopic The Brittany Murphy Story. She is a finalist in the Sundance Episodic Story Lab 2015 for her TV pilot script “Blood Brothers” and an honoree of the 2014 WGA’s prestigious TV writing competition, the Writer Access Project.
Crystal Robbins, Acting
Actress whose work includes film roles in Time Changer, The Long Walk Home, Great Balls of Fire and theater acting and directing. Ms. Robbins’ international contributions include work with Canadian choreographer Michelle Malmberg. She completed studies in voice, speech, and body work with teaching legend Arthur Lessac and is a certified Lessac Trainer.
Charlie Rose, Cinematography
AIC, cinematographer who has received numerous international awards (Cannes, Venice, New York, Tokyo Film Festivals) for his work in feature films, commercials, documentaries, and music videos; recipient, UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Distinguished Instructor Award, 2008.
John Rosenberg, Post Production
John Rosenberg is a feature film editor whose many credits include Mannequin, On the Move, Totally Blonde, Made in Heaven, Poison Ivy 3, The Convent, Mac and Me, Body Count, Horseplayer, Brush with Danger and Prancer. He is also the former head of post-production for several independent studios, including LIVE Entertainment (Now Artisan/Lionsgate). Recently, he edited the award winning feature documentary More Than the Rainbow and the TV series Gift of Fear, based on the #1 bestselling book. Mr. Rosenberg is the author of Tincture of Time (World Nouveau, 2012) and The Healthy Edit (Focal Press, 2011).
Nick Roth, Directing
Nick Roth is a writer and producer of short films, features, documentaries and web series. His 2015 short Coming To won the jury’s Grand Prize for Fearless Filmmaking at Slamdance and his short film Hanky Panky won the Audience Award for Best Film at the 48 Hour Film Project and is now being made into a feature film.
Gary Rubin, Business and Management of Entertainment
Gary Rubin is Executive Vice President of Cohen Media Group (whose pictures include My Old Lady starring Maggie Smith and last year’s foreign language Oscar nominee Timbuktu).
Earlier, Rubin has held such positions as President of First Independent Pictures. Executive Vice President of Artisan Entertainment and Vice President of October Films.
In each of these, he has had responsibility in both acquisition (over 80 films) and distribution capacities
Peter Russell, Development
Peter Russell is a longtime script reader and story consultant for companies like Imagine (A Beautiful Mind), Participant (Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth), Walden Films (Chronicles of Narnia), CBS Television Network’s Movies of the Week, Viacom, and a dozen others. He currently works for ReelFax and Participant. Peter is also the author of How Movies Work, an upcoming book for Focal Press, as well as creator of How Movies Work, a website for film and television story creators. Peter won UCLA’s 2009 Instructor of the Year at the Entertainment Division of the Extension School. He lives in Malibu, California.
Beverly Sanders, Acting
An accomplished actor, writer and director, Beverly Sanders has been performing in theatre, films and television for the past 40 years.
Beverly’s appearances in episodic television include co-starring roles in the acclaimed series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, CPO Sharkey, and Lotsa Luck, to name just a few. More recently, she can be seen in a recurring role on the HBO series Entourage.
Her co-starring roles in feature films include And Justice for All, Magic, and Beaches.
Her made-for-television movies just completed, Scooby Doo at the Monster Lake, All I Want For Christmas for Hallmark, and less recently, her Emmy-nominated performance in Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.
Chosen to participate in the American Film Institute Directing Workshop for Women, Beverly wrote and directed the film Callback, which aired on A&E and won a film festival award at the San Francisco Film Festival.
The process of adopting a child led Beverly to write a one-person show, Yes Sir, That’s My Baby. It has been performed in New York and in various theaters throughout the country and was the recipient of the Artistic Director Achievement award.
Following this, Beverly created a class for UCLA Extension focusing on developing one-person shows, which she has been teaching for 10 years and has resulted in her co-writing and directing five successful shows that have emerged from this class. She also teaches a UCLA Extension class on Acting for the Camera and a class in Acting for Writers at USC.
Beverly’s love for the theater propelled Beverly to co-found the Room for Theatre, where she served as artistic director. The Los Angeles Company was devoted to the works of American Master playwrights. Among other productions, Beverly was thrilled to re-introduce her audiences to S.N. Behrman’s Old Acquaintance and Preston Sturges’ Strictly Dishonorable.
In 2007, Beverly began presenting seminars titled “So You Want to Tell Your Story?” which introduce participants to memoir writing.
Aved Savoulian, Producing
Audit Manager and Production Accountant, NBC Universal Feature Pictures, who has has held previous positions at CBS Television and Fox Sports Networks.
Robert Scheid, Producing, Post Production
Robert is an Apple-certified Final Cut Studio Master Trainer. He teaches classes on Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Color and DVD Studio Pro. He is a television producer; film and television editor and colorist. Mr. Scheid received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Outstanding Instructor of the Year Award in 2014.
BJ Schwartz, Producing
Writer, director, and co-founder of Vanishing Point Media, a virtual reality production company whose clients include Banana Republic, Stan Lee’s POW!, and Meltdown Comics. Mr. Schwartz’s short film Wolves in the Woods was officially selected for the Telluride Film Festival in 2006.
Soraya Sélène, Cinematography
Director and Cinematographer in features, short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials. Ms. Sélène is the recipient of several awards including a CINE Golden Eagle Special Jury award, the Mary Pickford Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, a Motion Picture Association of America award and a Hollywood Foreign Press award. She has studied under renowned ASC cinematographers and has written, directed and produced several award-winning shorts.
Bita Shafipour, Directing
Award-winning director and writer whose short film Last Night in Edinburgh was nominated for a BAFTA New Talent Award and shown to film festivals around the world. Her short narrative The Colour of Friend was premiered at LA Short Fest and nominated for best foreign short at the 5th Miami Short Film Festival. Ms. Shafipour is also the co-producer of the feature documentary film The Rumi Project, currently in post-production.
Moana Sherrill, Producing
Award-winning director, producer, and line producer who has worked on several features, web series, and short films.
Monika Skerbelis, Development
Writer, producer, and artistic and programming director for the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival whose former positions include vice president of creative affairs and executive story editor, Universal Pictures Story Department; story editor, 20th Century Fox; and story department assistant, Paramount Pictures.
Monique Sorgen, Development
Ms. Sorgen has been hired to write both scripted and unscripted television and film, for independent productions as well as major studios and networks, local and foreign. Ms. Sorgen has also directed short films and music videos that have been picked up for distribution. Most recently, her romantic comedy novel, How Long You Should Wait to Have Sex, became available in several foreign languages.
Christine Steele, Post Production
Director, producer, and lead editor at Steele Pictures Studios, providing production and post-production, consulting, and training for clients all over the world. Ms. Steele is an Adobe Master Trainer and has worked for such companies as Disney, ABC, BBC, FOX, Paramount, Warner, Showtime, Frontline, Electronic Arts, VH1, and PBS.
Nikki Stier, Producing
Nikki Stier runs Development/Production at Good Deed Entertainment, an independent studio where she oversees a diverse slate of films. Previously, she worked at Twentieth Century Fox where she assisted in the development/production of projects including Maze Runner and Independence Day: Resurgence.
Paul Stroili, Acting
Paul Stroili’s Television credits include Undercover Bridesmaid along with Malcolm in the Middle, Brother’s Keeper, Getting Personal, Chance of a Lifetime, Help Me and The Untouchables, as well as the films Gratitude, Introducing Dave Cook, Cold Justice, The Wrong Profile and The Real Whatever. Paul recently wrote the screenplay and portrayed the role of Dr. Richard Mazza in THE BEATING, a short film by Cyrus Mirakhor which received its premiere at the Sedona International Film Festival and has also been featured at the San Jose International Short Film Festival, San Diego Film Festival, Bel Air Film Festival and The College Town Film Festival with screenings at Penn State and Ohio University. In addition, the film was utilized as an instructional tool at Columbia College, Chicago, for their course of study in short film production. Paul was nominated for an Ovation Award for Best Solo Performance and an LA Weekly Award for Paul Stroili’s Straight Up with a Twist, which enjoyed over 1400 performances nationwide, including a twice extended Off Broadway run. A native of Connecticut, Paul attended the State University of New York at New Paltz, then headed westward; first to Chicago then on to Los Angeles. His other stage credits include A Flea in her Ear, Ghosts, Wonder of the World, Confessions of a Catholic Child, the ACE Award-winning literary parodies A Christmas Twist and Of Grapes and Nuts, as well as Under Milkwood, Oedipus; A Requiem, and the original Chicago production of Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding. Other writing credits include the plays Cheese Louise, My Dinner with Arlecchino and The Day the Arts Stood Still. He has written for Los Angeles Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, NY Blade Magazine and the LA Stage Alliance. Paul cohosts the top-rated arts podcast in Los Angeles; State of the Arts with Michael Sterling and Paul Stroili.
Julia Swain, Cinematography
Cinematographer of numerous short films, music videos, commercials, and features. Her recent work includes Killing Animals, written by and featuring James Franco, and episodes of the TV series CollegeHumor Originals. Ms. Swain was the 2014 recipient of the Women in Film Foundation/Loreen Arbus Fellowship in Cinematography.
Jaia Thomas, Business and Management of Entertainment
Entertainment and sports attorney. In addition to her practice, Ms. Thomas is a contributor for Uptown Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine, where she regularly authors articles pertaining to the intersection of sports, entertainment, entrepreneurship and the law.
Mary Thomas-Sala, Acting
Mary Thomas-Sala, Certified Lessac Trainer, has been performing on stage and teaching theater, acting, voice, speech, and movement for many years. She is also the president of the Lessac Training and Research Institute. Ms. Thomas-Sala’s acting credits include the TV series Greys Anatomy.
Anne Thompson, Entertainment Studies
Film columnist who has covered the Hollywood beat for more than twenty-five years. She launched Indiewire’s daily film blog “Thompson On Hollywood” for Variety in 2007. She has written for the LA Weekly (and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate), followed by Filmmaker magazine and The Hollywood Reporter. Before that, she was West Coast Editor for Premiere, Empire, and Film Comment, and senior writer at Entertainment Weekly. She has also reported on film for the magazines Vanity Fair, More, Wired, Sight and Sound, Filmmaker, and New York. Ms. Thompson also moderates and participates on industry panels, and does media interviews, especially at Oscar time, for such networks as MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN. She has recently published her first book, The $11 Billion Year.
Cle Thompson, Acting
Actor, director, jazz vocalist and educator with extensive experience in film and theater whose credits include the Off Broadway plays Stompin at the Savoy and Dunbar. Her film credits include Funny Valentines and The Cemetery Club.
Jennie Tugend, Producing
Ms. Tugend has over three decades of expertise in the Hollywood motion picture business, including film and TV development, production financing, marketing and distribution. Ms. Tugend has produced and co-produced some of the industry’s most memorable franchises: Free Willy, Lethal Weapon, and HBO’s Tales from the Crypt. Other produced credits include Return to Me, Local Boys and One Missed Call. She was co-President of Kadokawa Pictures USA (KPUSA),which exploited Japanese intellectual properties for adaptation and remakes in the English language for American audiences. Currently, Tugend is developing several film projects in a variety of genres ranging from sci-fi thrillers to family entertainment.
Leigh Underwood, Cinematography
Leigh Lisbão Underwood is an award-winning director of photography whose work has been seen at festivals including Cannes, Tribeca, and Palm Springs, and on national television. Mr. Underwood works primarily in short and feature-length narrative, as well as documentary and commercials, and his credits include the upcoming independent features 1915, Brasil Meu Amor, Death Clique (Lifetime) and Sugar Baby (Lifetime). He studied under seasoned cinematographers including John Simmons ASC, John Bailey ASC, Richard Crudo ASC, and Vilmos Zsigmond ASC. He was the recipient of the award for best cinematography at the Palm Springs International Shortfest in 2013 for his work on the short film The Boy Scout.
Elia Urquiza, Producing
Elia Urquiza has written, shot, and edited many films, often at the crossroads of documentary and fiction. As a producer, Ms. Urquiza has worked in a number of commercial, fiction and non-fiction projects. Her recent documentary Next has been screened at festivals around the world.
Stephanie Varella, Development
Independent producer and former Vice President of Jerry Bruckheimer TV, who has worked on shows such as CSI, CSI:NY, CSI:MIAMI, Without a Trace, Cold Case, Charmed, Seventh Heaven, Any Day Now, and the new Love Boat. She has developed shows with all the major studios- 20th, Warner Brothers, Sony and all the broadcast and cable networks as well as the newer streaming outlets. She recently sold a show to Freeform (aka ABC family).
Chris Ward, Directing
Director, cinematographer, and producer who has shot and produced videos for clients such as Wired, Ted-X, and Stanford Medicine. His work has appeared on Netflix and in The New York Times, as well as numerous film festivals.
Jeremy White, Directing
Writer-director of narrative and documentary film. His work has been distinguished at film festivals around the world, from Los Angeles to Cannes. Jeremy is the Series Producer of Vice World of Sports, a new documentary series airing on Viceland that features compelling stories set at the intersection of sports, culture, politics, and place. The show premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 and a second season, Rivals, premieres February 2017.
David Wienir, Business and Management of Entertainment
David Wienir is a talent lawyer and author, Business Affairs Executive, United Talent Agency. Before UTA, Mr. Wienir practiced law at two of the top talent boutiques in the world where he represented Steven Spielberg and Madonna. He has been awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Award from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, named a “Rising Star” in 2009 and 2010 by Super Lawyers Magazine, and named to Variety’s 2014 Legal Impact Report. He is the author of several acclaimed books, including Making It on Broadway. Mr. Wienir was educated at Columbia University, Oxford, The London School of Economics, and UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall).
Janet Wilcox, Acting
Writer, producer, and actor with extensive experience on both sides of the microphone. Ms. Wilcox has written and produced promos for HBO, ABC, and The History Channel, among others. As a voice over talent, she has been heard on Lifetime, HBO, E!, Cinemax, and AMC. She is the author of Voiceovers: Techniques and Tactics for Success. Ms. Wilcox received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award in 2012.
Howard Woffinden, Producing
Producer for commercials, music videos, and documentaries. Mr. Woffinden is currently a commercial line producer at Chelsea Pictures, whose clients include Chantix, CVS, Gillette, United Airlines, Ford Motors, and Dixie paper products.
Amotz Zakai, Producing
Vice President, Echo Lake Productions. Mr. Zakai has worked on such projects as Tsotsi (Oscar winner, 2006), Water (Oscar nominated, 2007), Away from Her, and Thirteen Conversations about One Thing. He also represents writers and directors. Mr. Zakai received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award in 2013.
Brandon Zamel, Producing
CEO and Co-Founder of Springbok Entertainment, a multi-media production company whose work includes virtual reality documentary The Ark and the first narrative virtual reality music video, Galvanized Souls’ New Generation, which won Digital Hollywood’s Best in Virtual Reality and Immersive Entertainment Music Video Concert Experience award in 2015. Mr. Zamel was the Executive of Digital and Interactive Content at Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil.
Andrew Zucker, Business and Management of Entertainment
Entertainment and Internet attorney, and member of Isaacman, Kaufman & Painter, a firm ranked in the first tier nationally by U.S News and World Report in the areas of Media and First Amendment Law. Mr. Zucker has over 25 years experience representing clients in all aspects of the entertainment industry. Such clients have included Emmy-winning actors, producers, show-runners, personal managers, motion picture and reality television production companies, computer software developers, Internet concerns, and television networks in both domestic and international settings.
Brad Aarons, Music Business
Manager and Senior Executive at New Community Management / Roc Nation. An artist management company, record label, and music publishing house. Owner of The Shepard, an independent creative consulting firm. Previously, Mr. Aarons was the VP of A&R at Warner Chappell Inc., VP of Creative at Liberal Arts Music Publishing (EMI), and Director of A&R at BMG Music Publishing. While working in music publishing, Mr. Aarons was awarded Music Publisher of the Year by both ASCAP & BMI three times, Song of the Year by BMI, and has worked with numerous Grammy award winning artists, songwriters, and producers.
Fletcher Beasley, Film Scoring
Composer for film, television, commercials, video games, and interactive exhibits who recently released Fictional Radio, an album of cinematic electronic music. Mr. Beasley has worked with some of the top composers in the film and television world, contributing writing, orchestration, and programming. Mr. Beasley received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Outstanding Instructor of the Year Award in 2016.
Charles Bernstein, Film Scoring
Emmy Award-winning composer, has music in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill, and has scored A Nightmare on Elm Street, After Innocence, Cujo, The Entity, and Love at First Bite. Mr. Bernstein’s television credits include Darwin’s Darkest Hour, Miss Ever’s Boys, Enslavement, The Sea Wolf, The Long Hot Summer, and Drug Wars, among many others.
Michael Vail Blum, Music Production
Award-winning Music Industry Producer/Engineer whose works have contributed to the combined sales of over 100 million records, as well as making significant contributions to film, TV, commercials, and gaming music. Mr. Blum has engineered several LPs for Madonna, and has worked with such artists as Pink Floyd, Bryan Ferry, Kenny Loggins, and Julian Lennon, among others. Mr. Blum has designed more than 60 recording studios in Los Angeles, and in his own Titan Recording Studio, has produced platinum artist Anastacia and discovered, recorded, and produced Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol winner.
Bobby Borg, Music Business
Major label, international, and DIY recording/touring artist with over 25 years experience in the music business. Mr. Borg is a music business consultant and A&R advisor to music supervisors and independent labels, best-selling author of numerous music business books and articles, and the Vice President of Special Events for The American Marketing Association. He received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award in 2009.
Lucas Cantor, Film Scoring
Composer, producer, and Emmy Award winner who has worked in NBC’s music department for the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Athens, Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, London, and Sochi. With Michael A. Levine, he co-produced Lorde’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. Recently, Mr. Cantor was an executive producer of Score!, an orchestral concert celebrating music composed for television presented by ASCAP and the Television Academy, and the musical director of The Lyric Project, a musical presented by ASCAP.
Dana Childs, Music Business
President of Sound As A Pound Music Consulting and Creative Services, co-owner Spira Records and veteran personal manager in the music industry. Prior positions include stints at Gold Mountain Entertainment and Gallin-Morey Associates in artist management as well as time spent at Next Wave Management and Tsunami Entertainment where she managed a roster of top producers, engineers and songwriters before delving deeper into music publishing and performance rights at SESAC, Inc. Ms. Childs is a member of The Association of Independent Music Publishers, the California Copyright Conference and The Recording Academy and actively advocates for songwriters, music publishers and recording artists through the lobbying of U.S. Congress for better music legislation on behalf of content creators and copyright holders.
Chris Costello, Music Business
Tour director who has planned and executed large-scale tours for many top tier artists, such as Alicia Keys, deadmau5, and The Strokes, among others. Ms. Costello leads artists and tour groups around the world, producing shows in venues ranging from clubs to stadiums for hundreds of thousands of concert goers. She has worked at record labels, including RCA and Arista, and she has produced iHeartradio, a live concert series for Clear Channel Digital that was broadcast live across the U.S. and featured artists such as Adele, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West.
Nahshon Craig, Music Business
Currently an Adjunct Instructor at UCLA Anderson’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports (MEMES). He recently served as Sr. Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at Rush Communications, the holding company for Russell Simmons’ worldwide fashion, entertainment, digital, and philanthropic activities, and as Chief Operating Officer of All Def Digital/All Def Music (ADD/ADM), a digital media company in partnership with Awesomeness TV/DreamWorks, YouTube and Universal Music Group.
Otto De Togni, Music Production
Maurizio De Togni (better known as OttO) has been a music-maker since 1990. His background includes wide experience as a musician, composer, producer, and audio technologist for Italian (F. Battiato, Zucchero Fornaciari, R. Cacciapaglia) and international artists (Nikka Costa, Samantha Fox , Sandy Marton, DenHarrow, Marvin Gardens) in the classical, pop, rock and dance fields, as well as for international commercials (Heineken, Subaru, Campari, Lindt, Aspirina) and TV award-winnings programs/movies (+1K episodes) with major Italian networks(Mediaset, RaiTV). His Apple Logic Pro© and Avid Pro Tools© credentials (with 48 certifications) include “Apple Logic Pro X Certified Pro/Trainer (since v.7), “Apple Distinguished Audio Professional” and “Avid Certified Pro Tools HD Instructor Expert” (since v.7). Since 2005, OttO’s been teaching/writing curriculums for the Academy of Entertainment Arts and Professions at Milan’s “Teatro alla Scala”, Soho Editors (London, UK), Espero (Milan, IT), Grammy Museum, Stanford University, UCLA Extension. He received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award in 2012.
Stacy Epps, Music Business
Entertainment attorney at Epps Harrell, LLC, her boutique law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, where she focuses on supporting her client artists in a variety of fields, including entity formation, business and career advising, intellectual property matters, and contract drafting and negotiation. Concurrently, Ms. Epps is also an entrepreneur who founded her own entertainment company, Japanubia Musik, LLC, as well as a professional artist who has released several solo albums and has toured internationally.
Charles Fernandez, Film Scoring
Emmy- and Annie-nominated composer who has worked for most of the major studios as a composer on such animated series as Casper, 101 Dalmations, Doug, Aladdin, Mermaid, and Robot Chicken as well as many live and animated features.
Richie Gallo, Music Business
Music career consultant and president of the Richie Gallo Group. Formerly, Mr. Gallo was senior vice president, One Catalog Group at Rhino Entertainment; executive vice president of Universal Music Enterprises New Door Records; senior vice president of catalog sales at Universal; and senior vice president of sales, distribution, and production at A&M Records. He has implemented strategies to develop the careers of such artists as Sheryl Crow, Bryan Adams, and Sting, and has worked with such artists as Elton John, Lionel Richie, Johnny Cash, Janet Jackson, Van Morrison, and Peter Frampton.
Gary Greenberg, Music Business
Attorney with over 25 years of experience in the music industry, representing such clients as Jimmy Cliff, Sergio Mendes, Fantasia, Dave Koz and the producers of Kendrick Lamar. He co-wrote the popular music industry book, Everything You’d Better Know About the Record Industry and the American Bar Association handbook How to Build and Manage an Entertainment Law Practice. Mr. Greenberg also is a professional drummer, whose credits include Nipsey Hussle and Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony.
Tricia Holloway, Music Business
Music supervisor whose credits include the documentary Ukraine Is Not A Brothel; the movies Columbus Circle, Addicted, Black Marigolds, Honey 2, Touchback and Rambo; and the TV movie Rags.
Owen Husney, Music Business
Music manager and executive who discovered Prince, signed several up-and-coming artists to various major record labels, and whose clients have garnered 10 gold- and platinum-certified albums. Mr. Husney also has done marketing and promotion for such notable talents as Sonny and Cher, Alice Cooper, and the Rolling Stones. Currently, with his First American Entertainment Inc. company, he buys, sells and brokers artist catalogs of music, and consults for major record labels and artists.
Dave Isaac, Music Production
Over the last 33 years, Dave Isaac (a 3-time Grammy-winning producer, mix engineer, musician and educator) has shared his talents across the music, film, and television industry. He has worked with such superstars as Madonna, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, and Luther Vandross. Mr. Isaac’s recent projects include mixing for Prince, Robin Thicke, and Printz Board. Dave mixed the entire series of Everybody Hates Chris, and such films as Lethal Weapon II, A Low Down DIrty Shame, and more. Dave helps with product development for companies such as Universal Audio, Native Instruments, Sonnox, and Tascam. Dave is also wrapping up his own Pop/R&B CD featuring Marcus Miller, Patrice Rushen, Cameo, and James “D-Train” Williams to name a few.
Kia Kamran, Music Business
Los Angeles based attorney who handles a variety of music, entertainment, new media/Internet, technology, and trademark/Intellectual property related matters, with an extensive background and employment experience in music, touring, recording, and music publishing.
Tim Kelly, Film Scoring
Award-winning composer and orchestrator for film and television, whose credits include Warner Bros. animated shows Steven Spielberg Presents: Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Batman: The Animated Series. His techno-influenced music was used in the feature film The Taking of Pelham 123 and movie trailers for Spiderman 3 among others. He recently completed work on a series of Lego DC Superhero direct-to-video movies for Warner Bros. Animation. Mr. Kelly has won two Emmy awards and has been nominated four times.
Jason Kramer, Music Business
Currently the concept music supervisor for Elias Arts, a prestigious music production company based in Santa Monica and New York. Elias Arts specializes in original music composition, sound design, music supervision, and audio branding for television, film, and commercials, and has won countless awards over the years. Jason’s extensive knowledge of music coupled with a great intuition makes him an integral part of the Elias Team. Jason also curates an interview/ recording session with artists that have visited the Elias Arts Santa Monica studio.
Starting off in the 90’s Jason was working with Skunk Records, the label known for the band Sublime. Jason has been in all avenues of the music business from radio to publishing. He was also one of the original music supervisors for Fox Sports TV in the 90’s. He also wanted to get familiar in radio so he answered phones at KLOS radio which led him, years later, to producing syndicated radio shows for Fox Sports. Besides music supervision, Jason has been on air at KCRW radio in Los Angeles for the last 15 years on his radio program every Tuesday night giving you, the listener, a very special unique musical adventure on his widely popular show.
Jon Kull, Film Scoring
Film orchestrator who has worked on more than 175 films with many of the top composers in Hollywood, including James Horner (Avatar, Troy), James Newton Howard (Maleficent, King Kong), and Elmer Bernstein (The Deep End of the Ocean, Twilight). His composition credits include a large catalog of production music that is heard daily in theatrical trailers and network promos in the U.S. and worldwide. Mr. Kull has also written music for commercials, and is currently working on a stage musical, Plug.
Dina LaPolt, Music Business
Entertainment attorney at LaPolt Law, PC in Los Angeles, a boutique transactional entertainment law firm whose clientele includes recording artists, songwriters, producers, musicians, authors and writers. Ms. LaPolt is also an artist rights activist for creators and celebrities in the areas of privacy, copyright, and fairness in radio, often becoming involved in legislative matters that affect the rights of her clients and advocating on their behalf. In 2015, Ms. LaPolt was named to both the Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers 2015 Top Music Business Attorneys and Billboard’s Music’s Most Powerful Attorneys. Ms. LaPolt received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award in 2010.
Marjorie Light, Music Production
I have taught DJing to high school students in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley at the Youth Policy Institute afterschool program for 8 years. I am a DJ/Producer, vocalist and percussionist and I have performed at several events including Coachella 2015, as well as coordinated art and music events. I have released an LP, EPs and singles with independent labels. I received my B.A. from Pitzer College in 2005 in World Performance Traditions and Women of Color Art and Activism, which were self-designed majors.
My expertise lies in DJing using Serato with turntables and music production with Ableton Live. In my music I incorporate various percussion instruments, vocals and synthesizers with electronic beats, such as the kulintang (gongs) which I perform live. My music is a blend of electronic music, hip hop and global sounds.
I believe in learning by doing, preparing students for real world situations and giving them the tools and skills they need to become self sufficient. I also believe in focusing not only on technical aspects of music making but connecting creation to self expression and community.
Norman Ludwin, Film Scoring
Instrumentalist; composer; orchestrator; author; professional bassist who has played on hundreds of feature films, television shows, and records. As an author he has written eight books on composition and orchestration and as an orchestrator, Dr. Ludwin has worked on the recent films: Jurassic World, Inside Out, Star Trek Into Darkness, Super 8, and John Carter.
David Majzlin, Film Scoring
Emmy-nominated composer and music producer who has worked with a diverse array of directors including Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer), Chris Miller (Puss In Boots), and Pulitzer-Prize winner David Turnley (Shenandoah). FIlm credits include The Loving Story (HBO), Sins of my Father (HBO), and Sunshine Cleaning, starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. His music has appeared in a wide variety of television shows and promos, including House of Cards, Parenthood, Person of Interest, Ugly Betty, CSI, and Grey’s Anatomy. Mr. Majzlin is also an award-winning commercial composer who has also worked in live theatre and animation.
Brian Malouf, Music Business
Multi-platinum music producer, engineer, and mixer, owner of Cookie Jar Recording. Mr. Malouf has worked with acts such as Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews Band, Cage The Elephant, Barbra Streisand, Alabama Shakes, O.A.R., Colbie Callait, Smokey Robinson, Andy Grammar, The Dirty Heads, and Allen Stone. Mr. Malouf was previously vice president and head of A&R at Walt Disney Records where he worked with artists Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and the Jonas Brothers.
Arlene Matza-Jackson, Music Production
Songwriter, producer, independent A&R, publisher, and music supervisor who has co-written songs with Kenny Loggins, David Foster, Guy Thomas, Bennett Salvay, Snuffy Walden, Paul Buckmaster (renowned arranger for Elton John, Taylor Swift, and many more), and Maurice White (EWF). Ms. Matza-Jackson also co-wrote two albums with the Grammy Nominated Swedish rock band, Grand Illusion. Ms. Matza-Jackson is a recipient of the UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Award, 2006. Her other credits include songs for Earth, Wind & Fire and Lulu, and many song placements in TV & Film.
Jonathan Merrill, Film Scoring
Award-winning composer, conductor, and producer whose vocal and instrumental music has appeared in hundreds of commercials and television episodes.
Lennie Moore, Film Scoring
Composer of music for Watchmen: The Motion Comic and video games Dota2: The International 2016 (Artist Music Pack); CS:GO (Artist Music Pack); Halo Master Chief Collection; Halo 2 Anniversary; Fighter Within; Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm; Kinect Disneyland Adventures; Star Wars: The Old Republic; Magic the Gathering: Duel of the Planeswalkers; Dirty Harry; Dragonshard; The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Ring;Plague of Darkness; and Outcast (Infogrames, AIAS Best Music Nominee 2000). Mr. Moore also has composed and orchestrated music for feature films, television movies, and commercials.
Adam Moseley, Music Production
Record producer, engineer and mixer who started his career at the legendary Trident studios in London, where he worked with Phil Ramone, Tom Dowd, Mutt Lange, Steve Lillywhite, Tina Turner, The Cure, Wet Wet Wet, Roxette, Kiss, and Rush. Mr. Moseley recorded the likes of Beck, Nikka Costa/Lenny Kravitz, Wolfmother, Spike Jonze, U2 and many more. Recently, he has recorded and mixed new albums with John Cale, the score for The Big Wedding featuring Robert De Niro, other TV and film music.
Liz Myers, Film Scoring
Vice President, Trivers/Myers Music; composer and pianist for commercials and films who won a Clio Award for the arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue created for United Airlines. Co-composer of the theme for the CBS Evening News, running nightly with Scott Pelley as the anchor.
Peter Neff, Film Scoring
Composer whose credits include the film Mostly Ghostly (Universal Studios); video game Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly (co-composed with Stewart Copeland); promos for over 100 television shows, including CSI: Miami, The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, and 60 Minutes; commercials for BMW, Miller Lite, Pfizer, and the Arizona Diamondbacks; 40 music library album projects; and music placed in such television shows as Parks and Recreation, Jane the Virgin, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, The Sopranos, Dirty Sexy Money, America’s Got Talent, Hannah Montana, and The Amazing Race.
Alexandra Nickson, Music Business
Current Executive in Charge of Music for Dreamworks Animation Television where she oversees the musical creative direction for the Television Studio and music supervises all of the shows in the DWA-TV slate. In 2014, under her creative guidance, the theme song “Who Da King” from All Hail King Julien was nominated for an Emmy. Prior to joining DWA in 2013, Ms. Nickson oversaw all of the music for ABC Family’s television series and original movies and was head of A&R for Persimmon Grove Music. In 2012, she was chosen as one of the ten recipients of the Game Changer award for the ABC/Disney Television Group. She began her career in feature films working in music production at MGM Pictures and then went on to become a music coordinator at Format Entertainment prior to jumping over to DreamWorks Pictures where she helped create the music team that oversaw all of the live action films. Ms. Nickson holds a BS in Music Industry from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband and two young children.
Chris Nilsson, Music Production
President of 10th St. Entertainment, one of the world’s leading independent artist management firms. He is also the manager of iconic rock band Mötley Crüe. Mr. Nillson has helped create and market New York Times bestselling books, top grossing concert tours, globally syndicated radio shows and is currently working on turning Mötley Crüe’s notorious autobiography, The Dirt, into a feature film. He also oversees all global marketing for clients’ concert tours, albums, sync licensing and publishing, merchandise, appearances, endorsement and books for clients including Blondie, Steven Tyler, JET, Eve, Five Finger Death Punch and Nico Vega.
Marty Panzer, Music Production
Lyricist and producer with 35 gold and platinum records and four BMI Million-Play Awards; lifelong collaborator with Barry Manilow. Mr. Panzer’s songs have been recorded by such artists as Kenny Rogers, Julio Iglesias, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Frankie Valli, Dolly Parton, and Diane Schuur. He also has written lyrics for Lion King II, Pocahontas II, Mommy & Me, and has written and produced over 100 songs for Walt Disney.
Mr. Panzer is currently planning a touring version of “An Evening With Marty Panzer,” and has both a Broadway musical (featuring songs from his catalogue), and an animated feature film, in development.
Anika Paris, Music Production
CRIA (Canadian) Double Platinum award-winning songwriter with songs published by Universal/Polygram. Her songs and voice are featured in major motion pictures and on television. She recorded three solo CD’s, toured the world sharing the stage with luminaries Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and John Mayer. She is the author of Five Star Music Makeover and Making your Mark in Music published by Hal Leonard and a book of poetry Woven Voices nominated for the International Latin Poetry Award.
Cameron Patrick, Film Scoring
Composer, orchestrator, and arranger who has worked on over 100 film, television and theme park projects. Recent orchestration credits include Jurassic World, Inside Out, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Once Upon A Time. Mr. Patrick’s concert works include “Lines of the Southern Cross,” commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and “Impressions of Erin,” a commission from the Camerata of St. John’s Chamber Orchestra. He is also a published arranger, with an anthology of String Quartet and String Orchestra arrangements released by Alfred Publishing.
Vic Pesavento, Film Scoring
Arranger and orchestrator whose orchestrations can be heard in such feature films as Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Rio 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Monsters University, and The Avengers. In addition, Mr. Pesavento also provided orchestrations and arrangements for the Academy Awards from 2010-2014. His arrangements have been recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and have been featured in the Ghent Film Festival, the Tenerife International Film Music Festival, and the 2012 season finale of American Idol.
Brian Ralston, Film Scoring
Award-winning film/television composer whose credits include the 20th Century Fox lacrosse film Crooked Arrows (2012) starring Brandon Routh; the action thriller Awaken (2015) starring Daryl Hannah, Vinnie Jones and Natalie Burn; the Magnolia Pictures bank heist film Graduation (2008); and additional music in Season 4 of the WB Television production Angel (2004). Mr. Ralston is also a long time co-host of the SCOREcast podcast, a popular industry insider radio show for film and television composers.
Gale Rosenberg, Music Production
President of Rock ‘n Retail, LLC; an independent music marketing and PR firm, and Web ‘n Retail, its online marketing and PR division. Ms. Rosenberg has over 30 years of music marketing experience, including positions held at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, Billboard Magazine, Mix Magazine, Creem Magazine, ABC and MCA Records, PolyGram Distribution, and Wherehouse Entertainment Corporation. She has been President of her own company for over 25 years.
Steve Rothstein, Film Scoring
PhD, composer of numerous orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Mr. Rothstein received the UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Award in 2013.
Patrick Russ, Film Scoring
Orchestrator on over 200 films including Ghost, King Kong, Spider Man 3, and The Day After Tomorrow; 60 published symphonic concert arrangements; and video games including Call of Duty and Batman: Arkham Origins.
Steven Saltzman, Film Scoring
Respected Hollywood music editor, Steven Saltzman has recently published Music Editing For Film and Television, The Art and The Process with Routledge / Focal Press – Taylor & Francis Group. Saltzman earned a Bachelors of Music in composition and film scoring from Berklee College of Music in Boston and studied composition with Boston Conservatory composer John Hess and in Los Angeles with Dr. Albert Harris.
Steven has been music editing for over twenty years and in addition to current projects his work includes: Ballerina, The Revenant, Queen Of The Desert, Brick Mansions, Priest, Straw Dogs (remake), Bewitched, A Guy Thing, and Heartbreakers, to name a few. He has worked with many composers, currently with Tyler Bates and others including Klaus Badelt, Mark Mothersbaugh, Nathan Furst, Robert Revell, Dave Robbins, and J.A.C. Redford. He has also received a Golden Reel Award and four nominations for his music editing. Saltzman is a certified Avid Pro Tools instructor and created a music-editing course he has taught and lectured over the past twelve years at various institutions including UCLA Extension, Moviola Digital Arts Institute, PRI, Video Symphony, Community Colleges in Los Angeles and Riverside California, Musicians Institute, Motion Picture Editors Guild, Ex’pression College in San Francisco, The Media Institute in Minneapolis, and California State University. He serves on the Board of Directors for Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE), and the Advisory Boards of Los Angeles City College. He is a member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, the Society of Composers and Lyricists, and MPSE.
Thom Sharp, Film Scoring
Emmy Award-winning composer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor whose composition credits include the television series Casper, Toonsylvania, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Bonkers, as well as such films as Return of Jafar and The Land before Time.
Mark Smythe, Film Scoring
Composer and arranger who has scored over 20 films including Chris Sun’s Australian feature Daddy’s Little Girl which won Best Composer at the Australian Screen Industry Network Awards; The Things She Did (starring Daryl Hannah) which was nominated for Best Short Score – 2013 Hollywood Music in Media Awards; and the New Zealand docu-drama Flying South, recorded with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. His arrangements include choral settings of songs by Radiohead and Massive Attack.
Barry Squire, Music Business
Former A&R executive at Columbia, Geffen, and Warner Bros. Records. Currently, Mr. Squire works as an independent A&R consultant, television talent scout, and assists recording artists seeking musicians. His client list of over 400 artists includes Katy Perry, the CeeLo Green Experience, Lady Gaga, Slash, Emblem 3, Selena Gomez, 30 Seconds to Mars, Chord Overstreet, Avril Lavigne, Spearhead, Randy Jackson, Rihanna, Artist Publishing Group, Zedd, Nine Inch Nails, Mariah Carey, MTV and over 15 American Idol artists.
Billy Sullivan, Film Scoring
Composer and musician who has worked on over 150 albums, TV soundtracks and film scores including Behaving Badly (Selena Gomez), Big Momma’s House (Martin Lawrence), Five Flights Up (Morgan Freeman), Monster in Law (Jennifer Lopez) and Norbit (Eddy Murphy). He’s written music for TV including Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), Veep (HBO), The Bachelor (ABC), and he was the music supervisor and composer for the series Running Wild from Ted Nugent (CMT).
Darryl Swann, Music Production
Grammy Award-winning independent record producer and audio engineer who has worked with such artists as Macy Gray, producer Rick Rubin, Mos-Def, John Frichante of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Erykah Badu, and the Black Eyed Peas.
Mark Winkler, Music Production
Mark Winkler is a platinum award winning singer/lyricist who has had over 150 of his songs recorded and/or sung by such artists as Dianne Reeves, Randy Crawford, Liza Minnelli, Bob Dorough and Lea Salonga. He has written lyrics for tunes by such esteemed composers as Wayne Shorter, Dexter Gordon, Joshua Redman and David Benoit. A composition he co-wrote with David Benoit, “Land of the Loving”, is the Philippine National Tourism Board song for all their TV commercials in 2008/2009. He has released 9 CDs in the US. His new CD of mostly original Winkler lyrics, “Till I Get It Right” will be released in March of 2009 on Freeham Records. It features such musicians as Anthony Wilson, Bob Sheppard, Jamieson Trotter and Cheryl Bentyne of Manhattan Transfer (she will sing a duet with Mark on an original Winkler composition called ”Cool”) Mark has written songs for the hit Musical Review Naked Boys Singing! which is in its 10th year playing Off Broadway, and is now available as a movie on DVD. He is the creator and co-writer of Too Old for the Chorus which has played successful engagements in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego. He has won both LA. Weekly and Backstage West Awards for best score for Naked Boys Singing! He was also a co-writer of songs for the musical revues Bark! and Hangin’ Out. His jazz musical Play it Cool, which premiered in Los Angeles in 2007, got a “Critics Choice” in the LA Times. It was chosen to be part of the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival in September of 2008 where it sold out all performances and got excellent reviews. It has just been nominated for Best Musical- Off Broadway by GLAAD.
As an educator, he has taught seminars in lyric writing at The Songwriters Guild and the Learning Annex, and he now teaches “Crafting Great Lyrics: A Songwriters Workshop” at UCLA Extension.
Lindsay Wolfington, Music Business
Music Supervisor, Lone Wolf Music Supervision whose credits include the TV series One Tree Hill, The Sing Off, The Ghost Whisperer, Unhitched, What Goes On, Crumbs, the feature Self Medicated, and the documentaries Swing State Ohio and Recyclers.