Act One has blessed over our history to have a wide ranging and diverse faculty of writers, producers, executives, agents, industry professionals and more. Each session, our faculty rotates. Over the coming days and weeks, we will be adding to the faculty pages to reflect those that have blessed our students with their knowledge and grace.
Luke Avery has lived in California for 11 years, and has worked as an in-house After Effects VFX Artist for 8 years. He’s worked on the TV shows Moonlight (1 season), Chuck (4 seasons) and The Vampire Diaries (5 seasons). Currently, he works on the 8th season of Vampire Diaries as the head of the in-house VFX department. His work includes blue screen and green screen comps, wire removals, phone and TV comps, magical effects, beauty, and set removal.
Justin Bell is a creative feature film, TV, and commercial producer based in Los Angeles. A graduate of USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program (MFA), Bell’s films have ranged from studio movies (AWAY WE GO and OUR FAMILY WEDDING), to notable independents (ELSA & FRED), to faith-infused projects (FULL OF GRACE). He recently completed a TV pilot called JOURNEY TO THE EAST, and produced two TV movies on NBC – GAME TIME and FIELD OF VISION. Bell’s commercial clients include: Gillette, Covergirl, SK-II, Crest, Pantene, and others. He’s also served as a creative marketing consultant for studio movies such as SON OF GOD, THE GOOD LIE, CAPTIVE, and THE YOUNG MESSIAH. Justin is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary (MDiv) and Wheaton College (B.A.) in Illinois. Visit: jbellproductions.com.
Sunday “Sunny” Boling started her career in casting in the Feature Casting office of 20th Century Fox, working on such films as Ice Age, Dude, Where’s My Car?, From Hell, One Hour Photo, and Behind Enemy Lines. She then entered the independent casting world, working with casting directors Sheila Jaffe, Debi Manwiller, Eyde Belasco and Francine Maisler.
In late 2004, Sunny joined Meg Morman in forming Morman Boling Casting. With a focus on indie films, they have cast many award winning films including Hello, My Name is Doris, I Believe in Unicorns, Natural Selection, Dear Lemon Lima, 16 to Life, Mississippi Damned, and Waitress, as well as the crowd-pleasing films Unconditional, Take Me Home, Serious Moonlight, Small Town Saturday Night and The Grudge 3.
Recent theatrical releases include, Hello, My Name is Doris (starring Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly, Stephen Root and Wendy McLendon-Covey), I Believe in Unicorns (starring Peter Vack, Natalia Dyer), Life Partners (starring Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody), A Leading Man (starring Jack Yang, Heather Mazur), and Nightlight (starring Shelby Young, Chloe Bridges, Carter Jenkins, Mitch Hewer). On VOD, recent releases include The Last Light (winner of Best Thriller Feature at Shriekfest) and The Republic of Two (winner of Exceptional Debut Feature Director at San Diego Film Festival.)
Sunny also has several directing credits to her name, including a web series entitled DATING A PUPPET.
John Burd hails from North Dakota, the flattest and greatest place on the planet. He earned his bachelor’s from the University of Mary in North Dakota, his law degree at Ave Maria School of Law in Michigan, and his master’s in screenwriting from Pepperdine University in Malibu. He blames childhood cartoons for telling him to stay in school. He also worked for five years at two different Applebee’s. He does not know who to blame for that.
While at Pepperdine, John applied to internships at all his favorite production companies and was promptly rejected across the board, so he took an internship at MarVista Entertainment in TV movies. When the assistant went on vacation and never came back, John’s ability to search the Getty archives for stock footage of running buffalo snagged him the job. The buffalo went on to appear in the Syfy spectacular Super Eruption.
At MarVista, Burd has worked on projects for Lifetime, Hallmark, Syfy, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Nickelodeon, Ion and UpTV. His most recent project is Jessica Darling’s It List, a digital-only release. Buy it on iTunes so he can make the sequel.
MarVista produces and acquires 60 movies a year, and distributes its library of content worldwide. If you want to know what happens next, read the book.
NANTALE ‘NONI’ CORBETT
Originally from Wisconsin, Nantale “Noni” Corbett moved to L.A. to pursue a career in the film/TV industry. Noni earned a BFA in Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. During college, Noni worked for Trojan Vision Television, beginning as an editor before rising to co-executive producer. Later, she worked as a freelance editor, doing commercials and reality television projects. Noni then served as an assistant editor at UFO Films, working on MOWs for the Syfy Channel. After completing ABC’s Production Associates Program, training in post production management, Noni was placed on “Castle” as a post-production assistant. She then moved to “The Vampire Diaries” for five seasons, eventually moving up to Associate Producer. Currently, Noni supervises post-production on “Time After Time,” a new sci-fi show produced by the Warner Bros. Studio for the ABC Network. She loves working as a crew member in the fast-paced world of episodic television.
Outside of work, Noni has a passion for fantasy novels, Japanese anime, and board games. She is also obsessed with rock music, ice cream, and her two (rather fat) cats. Though she has been in Los Angeles for a decade now, Noni considers herself a Midwest girl at heart. She misses the wide-open spaces and deep snows of her hometown, but has come to treasure the quiet, charming city of Glendale as her favorite stomping ground.
Someday, Noni hopes to write and produce science fiction character dramas with spiritual content. Until then, she is excited to see what God has in store for her next in the City of Angeles.
Cory Edwards made his feature film debut with Hoodwinked, but he has already had a long career as a filmmaker. Involved in almost every creative area of the business for over twenty years, he has served as writer, director, producer, actor, animator, art director, and editor. Since his childhood “Super 8mm” days, Cory has been making movies. He shot everything from adventure serials to superhero comedies, complete with storyboards, miniatures, animation, and pyrotechnics. From grade school to college, Cory would turn any class project into a film or video project, sometimes winning national contests. He interned at an animation studio in Ohio during his collegiate summers. After college, Cory worked at a Tulsa production company, directing music videos and commercials.
After founding Blue Yonder Films in 1995, Cory produced and acted in his brother’s feature debut, Chillicothe, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. Soon after, Cory and his brother Todd pitched a Red Riding Hood crime story to a private investor, and Hoodwinked was born. Made totally outside of the studio system and for a tenth of the cost, the film was picked up by moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Cory worked with the voice talents of Glenn Close, Anne Hathaway, Chazz Palminteri and Jim Belushi, and voiced the coffee-addicted squirrel, “Twitchy” himself. He also wrote two of the songs for the soundtrack. Hoodwinked was one of the top grossing movies during its theatrical release in spring of 2006, and has since grossed over 150 million dollars worldwide.
Since Hoodwinked’s success, he’s written its sequel, the sci-fi feature Escape From Planet Earth, the web series Krogzilla Gets A Job, Roger Cosmonkey (the world’s first Twitter Series) and a ton of Veggie Tales episodes. Cory has developed projects for industry greats like John Davis (producer of the Predator franchise, Chronicle), Paul Schiff (producer of Rushmore), John Shestack (producer of Air Force One) and Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Taken) and most notably Fraggle Rock: The Movie for the Jim Henson Company.
Cory Edwards resides in Los Angeles, where he continues to write and direct feature films. He is attached to direct Frog and Toad for the Jim Henson Company and is currently directing Wish, an animated action fantasy.
Luke Granlund is an Act One alumni (Executive Program ’06), and has spent the past 8.5 years as the Head of Distributor Relations for Landmark Theatres, the nation’s premiere independent theatre chain. Before Landmark, Luke held temp positions with DreamWorks Animation, Walden Media, and Buena Vista Distribution, where his department sold ticket sales for the famed El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. During his senior year at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he received his bachelors in Communication, Luke served as the city leader for two grass roots marketing campaigns seeking to grow both faith based and family oriented group interest in Disney’s 2005 holiday release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Luke grew up in the suburbs of Portland, OR and takes pride in his tree and mountain loving northwest roots. Luke currently lives in North Hollywood and enjoys fixing up his house, teaching tennis, and his active participation, leadership, and service to his local church.
Jessica Grasl is a graduate of the ’01 Act One program. She has been a writer/producer on Leverage and Hawaii Five-0, with then-partner Melissa Glenn (also an Act One grad.) After a extremely amicable separation, Jessica went on to work as a writer/producer on White Collar (USA), Proof (TNT), and The Player (NBC). She is currently a Supervising Producer on NBC’s Shades of Blue.
As the Chief Storyteller and Co-Founder of One 3 Creative, Houston has been a recognized thought leader in the entertainment and branding communities because of his unique and proprietary transmedia approach to story. Advising entities such as Mattel, Disney Imagineering, Reliance Media Works, West Coast Customs, Samuel Goldwyn Films and Harper Collins Publishing, as well as designing a number of transmedia-focused projects for Fox, the CW, TNT, Slinky and the writers of Toy Story, Houston has an impressive amount of of experience designing projects that are primed for the 21st Century.
When he’s not outlining a new slate of transmedia design books, setting up international coproductions for current transmedia projects or leading a wildly diverse creative team, Houston is educating professionals on how to adapt to an ever-changing entertainment landscape. This has included leading workshops for the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, Act One, Storyworld USA, The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Houston is planning a series of international transmedia masterclasses across both Brazil and Africa throughout 2016.
His latest book – Make Your Story Really Stinkin’ Big: How to Go From Concept to Franchise and Make Your Story Last For Generations – has been a go-to manual for creative professionals on how to leverage a variety of media platforms, maximizes revenue potential and engages audiences in new and innovative ways.
Learn more about how Houston builds projects that exist at the intersection of branding and entertainment at one3storytelling.com.
A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Amy Heidish earned a BFA in Motion Picture, Television & Recording Arts at Florida State University. Heidish attended the Act One Writing Program in 2006. Her feature film credits include 2 MILLION STUPID WOMEN (2009 Cinequest Film Festival, released on DVD in November 2010), A STAR FOR CHRISTMAS (Ion Network, December 2012 & 2013) and THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU, (released on DVD and streaming platforms in January 2015.)
She created the webseries BECKY & KATE: WORKS IN PROGRESS in 2015, writing all six episodes and directing two of them. The webseries has screened at film festivals across the country.
Her feature contained thriller screenplay SCARED LITTLE GIRLS, is a Finalist in Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Screenplay Contest.
Amy currently works in the Warner Bros. Story Department and enjoys in no particular order: dogs, aerial fitness, horror movies, airplane turbulence and tequila.
RJ Hume’s career has been a stepping stone towards producing. RJ started his film and video career in the Midwest in the mid 80’s after graduating from the University of Wisconsin as a Communications major. Starting with a production company as a Grip, Electrician, Camera Operator and Stage Manager for four years, he then went on to operate camera for broadcast sporting events for baseball, basketball and hockey. After working on his first feature film, “Major League”, and utilized as an Assistant Director, though not credited, he moved to Los Angeles in 1989.
Upon arrival, RJ started working as a 1st Assistant Director on the top ten television show, “Unsolved Mysteries” for the primary productions with Robert Stack. He continued Assistant Directing on commercials, videos and Sam Raimi’s cult classic “Army of Darkness” as well as other features. RJ then moved into the production office on the hit feature “Stuart Little” and the TV pilot for “Judging Amy” before being hired as the Production Coordinator for the CBS show “The District” with Craig T. Nelson for the four year run.
Features have always been his passion and made the move to Coordinate Fox’s “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” and the Sony/Columbia film, “Reign Over Me” with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. In the summer of 2007, he served as the Production Supervisor on the independent children’s adventure, “The Rainbow Tribe” with David James Elliott. RJ finished 2008 with two Sony TV movies in Detroit, “Gifted Hands”, with Cuba Gooding Jr. for TNT and “America” with Rosie O’Donnell for Lifetime. He wrapped 2009 with two shows for CBS and in 2016 he is finishing the 7th and final season of the hit TV show “Pretty Little Liars” for ABC Family. He has started a new show called “Famous In Love” while working Pretty Little Liars.
As a co-founder and Co-Producer of Circle Of Friends Productions, LLC, RJ has been working closely with co-founder and talented Writer/Producer, Danelle Hand. Through the writing talents of Ms. Hand, their company has an impressive library of scripts which have gained impressive recognition in the industry among producers, crew members and executives alike. RJ has been striving to produce features that will certainly entertain but also provide a message of social conscious while enlightening the audience in the cause for which each film represents.
Laurence Jackson is an alumnus of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems in 2010. Following his time at the University of Maryland, Laurence served as a Senior IT Auditor at Ernst & Young, LLP. He also served as a free-lance film producer, and worked with such clients as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, One School Media, Inc., Burch Builders Group, and the University of Maryland Alumni Relations. In 2012, Laurence enrolled at the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Producing for Film and Video. In the winter of 2013, Messenger Films hired him as a co-producer for their feature film Sabina K., filmed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was given responsibility over production budget management, contract review, and post-production service coordination. Upon graduating from American University in 2014, Laurence became an employee of Messenger Films, where he served as the Director of Operations for North America. In the summer of 2015, after relocating to Los Angeles, California, Laurence enrolled in the Act One program for Producers and Entertainment Executives. With a desire to work within union television, Laurence left Messenger Films in early 2016 to work for Warner Horizon Scripted, the cable branch of Warner Brothers Television, as an Office Production Assistant for Freeform (formally ABC Family) shows Pretty Little Liars (Season 7) and Famous In Love (Season 1).
Lindsay Kerns has written digital sketch comedy and branded content for a wide variety of celebrities and comedians, including Hannibal Buress, Chloe Grace Moretz, Margaret Cho, Grace Helbig, Abby Elliott, Mariah Carey, and First Lady Michelle Obama. She has written for Funny Or Die, AwesomenessTV, CollegeHumor’s Jake and Amir, Verizon go90’s BETCH Sketch Show, and currently writes for Dreamworks Animation TV’s animated series “HOME” on Netflix. Recently, she also wrote and co-produced a web series starring Alexander Skarsgard and Jack McBrayer, written and shot in Greenland on the Greenpeace icebreaker ship The Arctic Sunrise. Originally from rural Nebraska, Lindsay studied film, theatre, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Nebraska and the University of Oxford, England, before going on to earn an MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California. She resides in WeHo, near the Whole Foods with the terrible parking lot – you know the one.
SVP Sales – North America, Scott Kirkpatrick serves as DRG’s Senior Vice President of Sales for North America, overseeing finished program content sales, business development and new media expansion. Prior to joining DRG, Kirkpatrick served as Executive Director of Distribution for MarVista Entertainment, where he managed North American content sales and developed the company’s digital media strategies. Before shifting to the distribution side of the industry, Kirkpatrick worked behind the scenes on major studio productions, including Sony’s Talladega Nights: The Balled of Ricky Bobby and the CW’s One Tree Hill. Kirkpatrick has produced and directed TV series and feature films including Eye for an Eye, Muslims in America and Roadside Massacre and is the author of the book Writing for the Green Light: How to Make Your Script the One Hollywood Notices.
As a recognized DGA Production Manager and Line Producer, Stephen Marinaccio has gained experience working in various positions on feature film, television and reality productions since 1990. With a varied background working in development, production, post and marketing; shooting worldwide in 16 countries, Marinaccio understands the details of movie making while still keeping the larger-scope issues in mind.
He recently worked on a number of productions at Paramount Television, bringing his experience to multiple projects shooting around the world. Marinaccio has worked as the UPM on Marco Polo (the largest budget drama series in the history of television at just under $120M USD for 10 Episodes, shooting in three countries over a span of five months), and UPM on Ghosts of the Abyss, directed by James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic). He was accepted as a member of the Director’s Guild of America as a Unit Production Manager in 2008.
Marinaccio started as VP of Production & Post for Mpower Pictures in 2007 where he worked worked on a number of projects including The Stoning of Soraya M. and the family drama, Snowmen. Marinaccio also writes for LineProducing.com, a website he created to help people understand the sometimes perplexing details involved with the role.
Garry Marshall is a man who likes to celebrate, and “Mother’s Day” marks his third holiday film, on the heels of “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve.”
Mr. Marshall is a veteran producer, director and writer of film, television and theatre. His five-decade long career in Hollywood is paralleled by his passion for softball, a game he still plays.
After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he created, wrote and produced some of television’s most beloved situation comedies, including “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Mork & Mindy,” and “The Odd Couple.” He is currently an executive consultant on CBS’s reincarnation of “The Odd Couple,” starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon, and consulted on Fox’s “Grandfathered,” with John Stamos.
Mr. Marshall is passionate about live theatre. His play, Shelves, was performed at the Pheasant Run Playhouse in St. Charles, Illinois. A renamed revival of the show, Everybody Say Cheese just had a successful premiere run at the Falcon Theatre. The Roast, a play he co-wrote with Jerry Belson, ran at the Winter Garden Theater in New York. In addition, he co-wrote Wrong Turn at Lungfish with Lowell Ganz, which he then went on to direct in Los Angeles with Hector Elizondo, in Chicago, and off-Broadway with George C. Scott. At the request of Placido Domingo, he made his operatic directing debut at Los Angeles Opera in 2005, with his own adaptation of Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess, starring Frederica von Stade. In 2007, he joined the San Antonio Opera to direct Elixir of Love, which received rave reviews.
Mr. Marshall has directed 18 movies. Among them are “Pretty Woman,” “Beaches,” “Overboard,” “The Princess Diaries 1 & 2,” “Runaway Bride,” “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve,” starring Robert DeNiro, Hilary Swank and Halle Berry. His latest film, to be released in 2016, is “Mother’s Day,” starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Julia Roberts. As an actor Garry’s played many memorable roles, including the devil in “Hocus Pocus,” Mr. Harvey in his sister Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own,” and Irwin in his son Scott Marshall’s debut feature, “Keeping Up with the Steins.” He’s done voice-over work in the Disney film “Chicken Little” (as Chicken Little’s father Buck Cluck), multiple episodes of “The Simpsons” and “The Looney Tunes Show,” and a “Scooby Doo” movie. Recently he has done several guest acting appearances, including Louis CK’s show “Louie,” CBS’s sitcom “Two and A Half Men,” TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland,” and Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Mr. Marshall has written two autobiographies with his daughter, Lori, Wake Me When It’s Funny and My Happy Days in Hollywood. And in 1997, Mr. Marshall built a theatre in Burbank, California with his daughter, Kathleen, called the Falcon Theatre, which every year presents a full season of plays, mostly comedies.
Lauren Cray Martinez, the oldest of five kids, was born and raised in sunny Tucson, AZ, before moving to LA for college. She attended Azusa Pacific University where she double majored in English Literature and Cinema Broadcast Arts luckily meeting the love of her life, David Martinez on a fantastically awkward film set their senior year. In 2007 she was (at the time) the youngest member of the Act One Program, and went on to pursue her love of storytelling through animation. She worked for the Mouse at Disneyland for almost 5 years, and after landing a brief contract as a production assistant at Nickelodeon’s “Fairly Odd Parents,” she was whisked back into the Disney fold, working her way up in production on “Penn Zero: Part Time Hero.” She is a freelance muralist and storyboard artist and working on finishing her MFA. Every year she and her husband travel to Kenya and volunteers at a children’s home that she has been involved with for almost ten years called Belwop. This past year she got married, moved to east Pasadena, and transitioned into a development executive position for Disney TV Animation. It has been an unexpectedly wild ride, one that only the greatest Author could write.
For the last three years director/producer Vincent Masciale has worked with Will Ferrell’s ‘Funny or Die’ to create some of most hilarious viral videos on the internet. On top of parody’s of Game of Thrones and The Newsroom, he co-created FOD’s Walking Dead series, The Walking Fred, which was nominated for two Streamy Awards. Masciale’s feature length directorial debut, a horror-comedy titled Fear, Inc., stars Lucas Neff (Raising Hope), Caitlin Stasey (CW’s Reign), and Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens). Fear, Inc. premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival where it sold to Dean Devlin’s (Independence Day) Electric Entertainment. Fear, Inc. will be released on October 21st.
Bob began his writing career as a journalist for The Washington Post, Spin, and Rolling Stone. He has developed film and television projects for Centropolis Entertainment (Roland Emmerich), Weed Road Pictures (Akiva Goldsman), and Exhibit A (Seth Gordon). He co-wrote the acclaimed NBC/Universal web series, “CTRL,” starring Tony Hale, and he recently adapted a story by Stephen King into a feature script. He’s currently developing a mini-series about legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, with Neil Cross and Seth Gordon for Sony Television. Bob is represented by Madhouse Entertainment.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, by a family so dysfunctional it would have driven Tennessee Williams to drink even more, Steven is the Emmy Award nominated Writer and Executive Producer of Tin Man, the highest rated miniseries in the history of the Syfy Channel; Co-Creator/Executive Producer of the hit cult classic TV show The Pretender.
Along with his writing partner, Craig W. Van Sickle, Steven has written, produced and/or directed over 200 hours of entertainment programing, including feature films, TV movies, and has worked on series as varied as 24, NCIS, Medical Investigation, Alien Nation, Murder She Wrote and many more including a stint working hand in hand on a daily basis with George Lucas on a season of Clone Wars.
Steven currently resides in the Los Angeles area with seven females; one wife, three daughters, two dogs – is there any wonder why he has such little hair? To celebrate and/or commiserate with the increasingly follicle-less Steven, please contact him through his website and follow him on Twitter @pretendersteve .
Josh Nadler moved to Los Angeles 13 years ago where he got his start working in TV and Film production for studios HBO and FOX. 8 years ago he made the transition to the creative side of the studio system working for AFFIRM Films, the faith & family friendly division for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He works with filmmakers developing projects for the theatrical market as well as considering independently made films for distribution. Risen, Soul Surfer, Warroom, When the Game Stands Tall and Mom’s Night Out are just a few of the films he’s had a chance to work on these past years.
Leo Partible is a storyteller. He tells stories of fantastic worlds, emotional journeys, and explorations of truth through his screenwriting, comic books, music, and film. He began in the entertainment industry as a storyboard artist, mentored by legendary comic book and animation artist Nestor Redondo. In the film industry, Leo was a film executive for different production companies, developing comic books into feature films. As a writer Leo contributed to several books including Behind the Screen: Insiders on Faith, Film and Culture, The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion and Pop Culture (with a Forward by Stan Lee), the Forward to Who Needs a Superhero, Filipinas: A to Z and co-wrote the story for the comic book series Killer Stunts, Inc.
Leo has also written for InfuzeMag.com, IESB.net online and Risen Magazine in print. His public speaking includes panels and lectures at U.C. Berkeley, Azusa Pacific University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Biola University, as well as pop culture gatherings and film festivals such as the Damah Film Festival, Sunscreen Film Festival, Stan Lee’s Comickaze, Hollywood Black Film Festival, Fire Reel Film Alliance, Pan Pacific Film Festival and the San Diego Comic-Con. Leo has been interviewed by NPR, The Atlantic Monthly, Publisher’s Weekly, World Magazine, The Washington Post, Fanboy Radio, and many other outlets. His album “Parallel Worlds and the Eucatastrophe” will be released on iTunes in late 2016. He recently completed rewrites on the films “The Colors of Emily” and “The Reins Maker.” He is a screenwriting consultant and teaches online screenwriting and comic book writing programs for Act One and Regent University.
Jonathan Perkins graduated with double majors in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Colorado State University. He attended the Act One Executive Program and has worked at Alcon Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation before becoming a partner at Hoplite Entertainment. He’s worked in feature films and unscripted TV wearing a variety of hats: producer, writer, director, and show runner. He also created and runs The Industry Workshops, a workshop series at CBS Studios designed to teach and equip people in the entertainment industry.
Vicki Peterson is an award-winning screenwriter. Formerly the Director of the Writing for Film and Television Program and the Producing and Entertainment Executive Program at Act One, she went on to co-found Catharsis, LLC with Barbara Nicolosi. Writing projects include Alum Rock Ave with Herrick Television, Judgmental Moose, with ReKon/Justin Bell, Mother at War with producer Ken Stewart, and Zoe and the Zebra, which won “Best Screenplay” at the Irvine International Film Festival and the California Independent Film Festival. She graduated from University of California, San Diego with a degree in Theatre Arts and worked at the Tony award –winning La Jolla Playhouse before working as a director of development in Hollywood. She is also an inaugural graduate from the MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen program at New Hampshire Institute of Art, for which she now mentors. Vicki is the co-author of Notes to Screenwriters, published by Michael Wiese Productions.
Tom Provost wrote Under Suspicion starring Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman. It was nominated for an Edgar Award. He wrote and directed The Presence starring Oscar winner Mira Sorvino. The film won numerous Best Picture and Best Director awards on the festival circuit before being picked up by Lionsgate. A graduate screenwriter professor at Pepperdine University, Tom is an honors graduate from UT Austin. His website is cinemalanguage.org and you can read some of his writing at his blog, onfoodandfilm.com
CARL O. ROGERS
Carl O. Rogers is from Augusta, Georgia and attended Georgia Southern University where he earned a B.S. in Physics. In 2005 he attended the inaugural Act One Executives program. He’s worked 11 years at Alcon Entertainment where he serves as the SVP of Development. He’s worked on such films as SOMETHING BORROWED, LOTTERY TICKET, DOLPHIN TALE 1 and 2, THE BLIDSIDE, BOOK OF ELI, PRISONERS and the current BLADE RUNNER SEQUEL.
Kurt Schemper is a producer and executive in the film and television industry. He began his career in production management at the sitcom powerhouse, Carsey-Werner (That ‘70s Show, 3rd Rock From the Sun). In 2004 he began freelancing and produced several independent films before embracing the frontlines of documentary television. He has produced award-winning content for many networks, including 138 episodes of the mega-hit series Intervention. He received an Emmy award for outstanding reality series in 2009 and nominations from the Producers Guild of America in 2010 & 2011 for his work on Intervention. He’s a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Producer’s Guild of America.
Chuck Slocum is an Assistant Executive Director at the Writer’s Guild of America, West, and previous worked at Paramount Pictures as a financial analyst, NBC as a show judge, and ABC as a Nielsen Ratings analyst. He has a BA from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Theology and Film from Fuller Seminary, where he wrote about the similarities between film and the Incarnation. He is currently finishing a second masters at Fuller looking at means of portraying interiority in Film. He chairs Act One’s board.
Nathan Taylor is a Director of Television Development and Current Programming at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios where he has worked since 2011. In this role, Taylor is part of the team that supervises all creative aspects of scripted television including development and production. He has worked on shows such as Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, Vikings, Teen Wolf, and Paternity Court. Before joining MGM, Taylor worked at Steve Stark Productions under a development deal at NBC Universal, and as an Assistant at The Susan Smith Company. In his spare time, Taylor is an aerobatic pilot and serves as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. Taylor graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University.
Ralph has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most profitable assets, producing motion pictures and television. Winter produced the first four X-MEN movies, Tim Burton’s PLANET OF THE APES, the FANTASTIC FOUR movies. He has also Executive Produced THE GIVER, and CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON: THE GREEN DESTINY for the Weinstein company.
Outside the majors, Ralph has made various indie movies. CAPTIVE, starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara, based on the true story of Ashley Smith. And from Spain, just finishing another indie, THE PROMISE with Christian Bale and Oscar Issac, an epic love story set against WWI. He is prepping a TV series for Netflix based on a sci-fi novel, Altered Carbon
A graduate of UC Berkeley, Ralph is active in community affairs and performing arts projects, speaks in the US, overseas at universities and film festivals, and serves on several film advisory boards. He is an active member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the DGA, and the PGA.