What makes us unique is our instructors. Unlike many schools that offer classes by retired professionals, our teachers are active in the industry, and at the top of their game. You will learn your craft not just in theory, but directly from people who actually use the techniques they teach every day, which ensures you are not only informed but up to date on the actual practices your future employers need.
Supervising Sound Editor
Daniel Colman is a Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer at NBCUniversal with over twenty-five years of experience in audio post production for television and film. His main focus has been working on the sound of very VFX intensive shows, such as Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13, Eureka, The Event, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Agent Carter.
Daniel won an Emmy Award for his sound editing on Battlestar Galactica and has been nominated six times for various shows, including most recently for Deadwood: The Movie for HBO. He has received twenty-one Motion Picture Sound Editor (MPSE) Golden Reel award nominations, for 11 different series and films, and won three times. He has guest lectured at UCLA and Cal State Northridge.
Writer/Producer David W. Higgins runs the independent company LAUNCHPAD PRODUCTIONS. His producing credits include the critically-acclaimed independent film HARD CANDY and the $200 million grossing comedy BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE and its sequel.
Under the Launchpad banner, Higgins credits include THE DAMNED, a bilingual supernatural thriller shot in Bogota, Colombia; SEXY EVIL GENIUS, a dark comedy starring Seth Green & Katee Sackhoff; JUJITSUING REALITY, an Academy Award short-listed documentary about a screenwriter paralyzed by ALS who continues to ply his craft; BURNING BRIGHT, and multi- festival winner DISFIGURED, written & directed by Glenn Gers.
As a writer, he has set up projects for television and film, with ABC Studios, Amasia Entertainment and Endeavor Content.
He is in development on several features including DEFENDER, an original thriller he co-wrote with Rich D’Ovidio; REBORNING, based on the stage-play by award-winning writer Zayd Dohrn, with Mora Stevens to direct; FAIL, A LOVE STORY, written & to be directed by Glenn Gers for BlumHouse; and JEREMY, a thriller with Kevin Greutert to direct.
Higgins writing credits include co-story credits on BURNING BRIGHT and THE DAMNED and uncredited for BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE and HARD CANDY.
Previously Higgins spent nine years with Mark Amin’s SOBINI FILMS, running the production and development department. His Sobini credits include the Brad Anderson directed STONEHEARST ASYLUM, starring Kate Beckinsale, Michael Caine & Ben Kingsley; CHRISSA, AN AMERICAN GIRL, for HBO and Mattel and sequels to the PRINCE & ME franchise.
As an executive, Higgins has worked in the industry for twenty years, including stints with the producers Martin Bregman, Dan Jinks, Mark Gordon, Walter Latham, David Friendly and Marc Turtletaub. He has set up multiple projects at nearly every studio in town and has a long list of relationships with writers, directors, agents, studio executives and outside financiers. He is also a frequent guest lecturer for both the Communications and MBA departments of the University of Texas at Austin and sits on an advisory board for the groundbreaking Burnt Orange Film Financing Fund.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Higgins worked as an assistant at Brian Grazer & Ron Howard’s Imagine Films and Writers & Artists Agency before becoming an executive.
Vice-President Television Post-Production – Marvel
Paul Leonard has supervised all aspects of TV series and mini-series finishing, as well as coordinated production and directed second unit production. Of his twenty-two years in freelance post-production, Paul’s favorite credit was a five year run as Co-Producer on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, a show TV Guide and Time Magazine called “the best show on television.” For its four seasons, “BATTLESTAR” earned 11 Emmy nominations in the following categories he supervised: Editing, sound editing, visual effects, and sound mixing, with visual effects winning two Emmys and sound editing winning one Emmy. Paul won a Streamy Award as Producer for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE FACE OF THE ENEMY in 2009 for Best Dramatic Web Series.
In 2012, Paul produced BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME, a two hour pilot shot entirely on green screen that featured over 1800 visual fx shots. Other credit highlights include three seasons as Co-Executive Producer of DEFIANCE for Syfy and two seasons as Producer of THE SON for AMC.
Paul has also enjoyed teaching a college course for ten years on editing and post-production for the University of Texas’ satellite program in Los Angeles. He is currently VP of TV Post Production at Marvel. Paul earned degrees in Communication and English from the University of Texas in Austin and his MFA from USC’s Peter Stark Producer Program.
Todd Leykamp has spent more than a decade learning all aspects of post production. Throughout his career he has worked the different sides of the entertainment industry, both as an artist and as a producer. These experiences have given him a unique perspective and a creative eye for the process.
As a final colorist his artistic experiences range from music videos to dozens of globally distributed independent films. As a post production producer he has worked on such shows as Fargo for FX, Longmire for A&E, Dallas for TNT, Weird City for Youtube Originals, and High Fidelity for Hulu, just to name a few.
Since Todd currently works on both the creative side as an artist and the administrative side as a producer, he will bring the experience of a seasoned professional, as well as the ambition of a freelance independent filmmaker, to the classroom.
As Vice President of Production for Academy Award winning visual effects facility, Rhythm & Hues Studios, Rodney has supervised production for a number of studio features including Hellboy (2019), and the forthcoming 20th Century Fox film The King’s Man.
Working in production Rodney has served as visual effects associate producer on numerous projects like Fate of the Furious, Geostorm, and 47 Ronin. He has also worked at various visual effects facilities on such projects as The Matrix: Reloaded, The Matrix: Revolutions, The Cat In the Hat, Fantastic Four and Inglorious Basterds.
As a feature producer, Rodney completed the independent project Mother Ghost starring Kevin Pollak, Dana Delaney, Joe Montanga, James Franco, and Charles Durning. The film played the festival circuit winning several awards including the Audience Award at the Long Beach International Film Festival. Other feature producing credits include Natural Selection starring David Carradine and Michael Bowen, which premiered on ShowtimeX. Rodney’s first produced feature On The Border starring Casper Van Dien, Bryan Brown, and Daniel Baldwin won the Silver Award for best action feature at the Worldfest International Film Festival, and later was a World Premiere Movie on HBO.
John’s entertainment career spans over thirty years during which he has worked in nearly every aspect of filmmaking, including cinematography, visual effects, writing, producing and directing. With the unique skillset that allows him to bridge the creative and business arenas, John has both managed companies or divisions, including Amblin Imaging, Pixomondo and Shade VFX, as well as led artistic teams on a variety of feature film and television projects. John also won an Emmy Award in 1995 for his work on STAR TREK: VOYAGER, and has supervised or produced visual effects on such wide ranging projects as HUNGER GAMES, OCEANS 8 and IRON MAN.
John currently manages public relations and industry communication for Blackmagic Design, while continuing his filmmaking under his Lucamax Pictures banner. John enjoys working with a variety of companies to expand their impact on the filmmaking community through education and philanthropy.
John has taught Filmmaking and Cinematography courses at Gnomon School of Visual Effects & Animation, and has been a guest lecturer at USC School of Cinematic Arts, UCLA Film, the Produced By Conference, and has been a part of panels discussing the future of visual effects, cinematography and filmmaking.
Classes taught by John
VISUAL EFFECTS FACILITY MANAGEMENT
Assistant Editor, “The Rookie”
Brett Roach is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film and over 10 years of experience in post production. Since starting his career as an intern on SyFy Channel’s Battlestar Galactica, Brett has been working as an assistant editor, post production coordinator, and VFX assistant on a variety of network series, MOWs and feature films. His numerous credits include such high profile projects as Defiance, Castle, Shooter, Channel Zero, The Village, Billionaire Boys Club, #Reality High, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, BH90210, and The Rookie.
When not in the editing room, Brett is an avid traveler, with a goal to visit each National Park and NFL stadium.