SFTV Ramps Up its Slate of Guest Speakers During Covid-19

The downside: Productions are shuttered. Classes have gone virtual. In-person events, workshops, and seminars are a thing, for now, of the past.

The upside: Film and TV folks are very good at coming up with Plan Bs. (And Plan Cs, Ds, Es, and Fs when necessary.)

Faced with the challenge of moving to online instruction for the spring semester, SFTV’s faculty and staff adapted. They reached out to their network of industry pros to see who was able and willing to Zoom it up—and nearly 40 of them gave the thumbs-up. This spring’s series of online classroom lectures, AMA sessions, and panel discussions—including a special session with top industry advisors from SFTV’s Executive Council—have helped students keep learning, stay connected, and gain insights into a biz that itself is quickly adapting to today’s circumstances. Our full slate of Covid-era guests and dates is below.

March 20

  • Josh Dragotta, director and producer (Satan’s Angel, Southland Tales, Because I Said So)

April 2

  • Elise Chung, executive producer (The Real World, Project Runway, Surviving R.Kelly)
  • Stephanie Lyra, editor (The Real World, Project Runway, Surviving R.Kelly)
  • Jon Edwards, writer and veteran developer (Orange is the New Black, Here and Now)

April 3

  • Alyssa Brocato ’13, cinematographer (You Are Going to Explode, Garbage, Beauty and the East)
  • Megan Stacey ’14, cinematographer (On Pointe, Hold Fast – Good Luck, Taking Stock)

April 6

  • Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, SVP of Branded Entertainment at Shaftesbury (Carmilla, Upstairs Amythe Avenue)

April 7

  • Robb Rothman, talent agent and founding member of UTA and sole founder of Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston Agency

April 13

  • Stephanie Ouaknine, Vice President of Digital at Shaftesbury Entertainment (Carmilla, Best Scripted Digital Series 2017, Canne, Best Digit Film 2018 Canne).

April 14

  • Lynda Reiss, property master (Stranger Things, True Detective)
  • Melissa Ritz, Assistant to Robb Rothman at Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston Agency

April 15

  • Octavia Bray ’18, screenwriter and podcast writer (Raven’s Home, Bojack Horseman)
  • Tasha Henderson MFA ’15, screenwriter and 2020 Walt Disney Television Program fellow (Dating Now, Hard Medicine, Labyrinth, Jace and Aarav Exposed)
  • Jack Hicks ’18, executive assistant to the CEO of Lionsgate Entertainment
  • Philip Harrison, editor and producer, ACE Eddie Award nominee (Mr. Robot, Bam Bam Celeste, Glee, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, 13 Reasons Why, Vito)

April 16

  • Justin Yngelmo ’10, content creator (Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin?, Baked Goods, Seedlings)
  • Michael Engler, three-time Emmy-nominated director and EP on new HBO Series The English Game (Downton Abbey30 RockSex and the City)

April 17

  • Shane O’Connor ’11, dailies colorist at EFILM
  • Sam Zook ’16, colorist (The Walking Dead, Prodigal Son)

April 20

  • Katie Ford, showrunner and writer (Miss Congeniality, Prayers for Bobby, Desperate Housewives)

April 21

  • Paul Buscemi, production sound mixer (Back Home with the Bradys, Food Paradise, Steve)

April 23

  • Ashly Burch, Emmy-winning writer and voice actress (Adventure Time with Finn & Jake, Horizon Zero Dawn, Life is Strange)
  • Michelle Harrison, editor (Tell Me a Story, Channel Zero, Boys Don’t Cry, Creed, Carrie)
  • Victor Dubois, editor (Braveheart, Last Samurai, Fear of the Walking Dead)

April 24

  • Kelly Park, director (Alexa & Katie, The NeighborhoodFamily ReunionThe Big Show Show)
  • George Mooradian, cinematographer (Escape from New York, Cyborg, Dick Tracy)

April 27

  • Troy Tataki, ACE, editor (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Desperate Housewives, Hitch, Ally McBeal, Walker Texas Ranger, Sweet Home Alabama)
  • Amy Pellouchoud ’18, assistant editor (Inside Joke with Asif Ali, Grand Army, Chicago Fire)
  • Irene Chun, assistant editor (Scandal, Be the Light, How to Get Away with Murder, Minari)

April 28

  • Anthony Berenato, Jr. MFA ‘13, cinematographer (The Omega Series, Ways to Look at the Moon)
  • Richard J. Lewis, producer and director (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Person of Interest, Westworld)

April 30

  • Jasmine Chiong ’14, writer’s assistant (Imaginary Mary, The Tick, The Goldbergs)
  • Jessica Nicholas ‘13, localization screenwriter for games, Sega of America (Persona 5 Royal, Yakuza Remastered, Etrian Odyssey Nexus)

May 1: The Industry Post-Covid | A Special Zoom Discussion with SFTV’s Executive Council

  • Steve Younger, entertainment attorney and partner at Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light
  • Melissa Blake ’95, writer-producer (Sleepy Hollow, Heroes, Criminal Minds)
  • Steve Mosko, CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group

May 4

  • Heather Brewster, VP, Development scripted digital at Keshet-TV

May 5

  • Ben Haigh, Development Executive for David Shore (The Good Doctor)

May 7

  • Jason Clodfelter, President SONY drama development and programming (Bloodline, Masters of Sex, Justified, The Night Shift, Damages)