Perspectives: Newsletter of the College of Arts & Sciences

Behind the Scenes in Film

A&S alumni are making their mark in the film industry as screenwriters, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, and independent filmmakers. Here are six alums with behind-the-scenes careers in film—some well established, others just starting out. Special thanks to those who answered questions about their work and revealed their all-time favorite flicks.

Teresa Cheng

Teresa Cheng, Producer, DreamWorks Animation (BA, Communication, 1979),
Teresa Cheng has more than 20 years of production experience on animation projects that include Shrek Forever After, Shrek the Halls, Madagascar, The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. She is currently consulting on the startup of Oriental DreamWorks in Shanghai. Read Teresa Cheng's Q&A.

Sean Porter Sean Porter, Cinematographer (BA, General Studies, 2004)

Cinematographer Sean Porter recently photographed the indie drama  Eden, which won the Audience Award at SXSW, and Grassroots, starring Jason Biggs and Lauren Ambrose. His latest film, It Felt Like Love, premiered at Sundance 2013.
Read Sean Porter's Q&A.

Marcella Ernest

Marcella Ernest, Filmmaker (MA, Communication/Native Voices, 2007)
Ernest describes her films—which have screened at New York's Museum of Modern Art and Design, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and the Seattle International Film Festival—as "documentaries, but within a non-linear experimental approach to both the visual and sound."
Read Marcella Ernest's Q&A.

Matthew Salton

Matthew Salton, Video Editor and Filmmaker (BA, CHID and BFA, DXARTS, 2008)
Salton has spent the last seven years producing film projects ranging from music films to documentaries to shorts. His first feature length effort, Dwarves Kingdom, was filmed in China and will be released in 2013.
Read Matthew Salton's Q&A.

Ron Simons

Ron Simons, Founder, SimonSays Productions (MFA, Acting, 2001)
Simons created his production company to develop stories "that dig deeply into the outsider's struggle for dignity and acceptance." The company's first two films, Night Catches Us and Gun Hill Road were Sundance favorites, with the latter selected as a Sundance Grand Jury nominee. Blue Caprice and Mother of George screened at Sundance 2013.

Loren Carpenter

Loren Carpenter, Co-Founder, Pixar Animation Studios
(BS, Mathematics, 1974; MS, Computer Science, 1976)
Carpenter invented the Reyes algorithm, which renders all of Pixar's movies. His presentation of the computer-generated film Vol Libre at a 1980 conference led to a job at Lucasfilm's Computer Division, which would later become Pixar. He has received Academy Awards for scientific and engineering achievement in software for visual effects and an Oscar statuette for fundamental discoveries in rendering.

Return to Table of Contents, January 2013 issue