Peter Carolla '06, a former anthropology major, is finishing his MFA at Wake Forest University in documentary filmmaking. In April of 2013 his film The One Who Builds received the Best US/International Documentary Short award from the Kansas City FilmFest (http://kcfilmfest.org/2013/04/2013-award-winners/). It tells the story of the life and work of Dr. Omer Omer, once a Sudanese refugee, now an American citizen, who works as the director of a refugee resettlement organization in Greensboro, North Carolina. Carolla made this film with his graduate school classmates Hillary Pierce and Nick Gooler. It debuted at Davidson College in January 2013 as part of the College's celebration of the Martin Luther King holiday.
Alisha Damodaran ’08 works for a public affairs firm call APCO Worldwide in Seattle and volunteers with the Northwest Film Forum, a non-profit dedicated to Seattle’s growing film community. It brings in artists for seminars and workshops, hosts film festivals and assists local filmmakers with post-production. Alisha has helped coordinate weekend film screenings, discussion groups and workshops.
Jordan DeBree ’99 is a commercial and documentary filmmaker. Over the last nine years, he has shot, produced and directed projects for a variety of television and online outlets. Today, he runs a San Francisco-based production house (www.heistprojects.com) that services a mix of commercial and non-commercial clients.
Suzie Eckl '99 worked as a fundraiser for Davidson's Annual Fund after graduation before moving to Washington, DC to pursue a career in documentary and reality television. Her first gig in DC was for the History Channel show "Modern Marvels," for which she did a lot of fact-checking and stock and archival footage research. She also worked as a researcher for History's "How the States Got Their Shapes." Suzie got her first film credits while still at Davidson, working for free on a feature film shot in the Charlotte area, making connections with other filmmakers in the area through the Charlotte Film Community, and even bringing a crew together to shoot a short film she wrote and produced. Her best advice for aspiring film/tv students: don't be afraid to work for free to get those first few credits because the small, low-budget films have the greatest needs, will ask you to do a lot, and you'll have the opportunity to learn a ton and ask a million questions.
Brooke Edge ’02 took a job after graduation as a staff writer for a small, weekly newspaper from 2002 to 2006. Because of its small size she was able to pursue her own interests and take over the arts beat and review films. She later moved to a larger weekly newspaper abroad (The Prague Post), where she continued writing arts features. After six years of journalism, she returned to school to get a Master's in Cinema Studies in 2008. She is currently a graduate student at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and an intern in the production department at Sesame Street.
Jason Ferris ’99 moved to New York in 2001 and worked on various documentary productions for PBS. He was hired as a researcher for the PBS series Wide Angle and worked there for three seasons. On the side, he made short documentaries and worked as a freelance cinematographer. One of his films was shown in the Rural Route Festival in Brooklyn. Most recently, he was the cinematographer for the documentary "Miller's Tale," a feature length biography film about the actor Jason Miller. This film was co-produced by PBS and will be nationally televised in 2009 or 2010. After completing divinity school, he now does social work in New Orleans and continues to work on film projects with his wife, a documentary filmmaker.
Alex Gregor '09 worked at Davidson the year after his graduation as the Instructional Technology and Media Production Fellow. In that role, he co-taught an anthropology seminar in documentary filmmaking called "Visualizing Anthropology." He now lives in Charlotte, where he works for Susie Films, a production company specializing in documentary films and high-end television programming. He is currently working as a producer and camera operator on a PBS documentary about the US national debt, which is expected to air nationwide in fall 2011. Alex is also developing series for network television and is an editor at Charlotte ViewPoint, an online multimedia magazine."
Claire Sisco King '99 is Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Communication Studies and the Film Studies Program. Her research and teaching interests include horror/disaster cinema, gender studies, and trauma theory. She has published on such topics as Nazi cinema, cinematic responses to 9/11, and ritualized sacrifice as a film trope.
Thomas Lodato '07 is currently working towards his Masters of Science in Digital Media at Georgia Tech. His interests span from interactive design and expressive computing to experimental and non-narrative cinema and media theory. His graduate research assistantship explores camera controls in real-time animation engines for machinima production. Thomas plans to pursue his Ph.D. in a related media field upon graduation.
Derek Loh ‘04 received his masters from the University of Southern California in critical studies in film and TV. His program consisted of broad survey courses in various film histories and theory, as well as introductory courses in studies on television and new media. His research focused on the broadcasting of the Olympics and issues of race, sexuality, and national identity, as well as on Korean cinema. Two of his more notable electives included “Cool Culture,” a seminar on cinema, jazz, and the concept of "the cool" in American history; and "The U.S. Media and American Studies, which focused on media phenomenon like the King Tut exhibit in the 1970s, the rise of Los Angeles in the early 1900s, Vietnam, and HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.
Amanda McQueen ’06 is currently working toward her masters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and hopes to pursue her Ph.D. there as well and ultimately teach film studies. Her graduate program focuses partly on stylistic analysis, but more primarily on the nuts and bolts of film history and learning how to do archival research. Recently she wrote about the star image of a particular actress by examining archival publicity photographs. Amanda is currently considering writing about the revival of the film musical in the 2000s. In addition, she is on the editorial board of the Velvet Light Trap journal that publishes in conjunction with the University of Texas, and she enjoys seeing the process of reviewing and editing articles. She also praises UW's weekend Cinematheque, which screens several different, weekend film programs for free and on 35mm each semester.
Chelsea Staires ‘07 moved to Austin, TX after graduating and joined the inclusive film community on the "third coast." While interning/apprenticing with the Austin Film Society and projecting movies at the local Cinemark theater, she worked on projects like Fast Food Nation, Dear Mr. President, and Inside the Circle. After gaining some experience and making connections for about a year and a half, she has started her own projects in film and fine arts while working at a great tech startup, BuildASign.com. Although it doesn't have near the volume of jobs of NYC or LA, Austin, she observes, is a great place to live and start learning about film. It is also home to SXSW and the Austin Film Festival.
Leah Vonderheide '04 completed a Master of Arts in Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Encouraged to work as both artist and scholar at Canterbury, she completed several short films as well as an original thesis on the films of French filmmaker, Eric Rohmer. Her short film, Inside and Outside the Theatre, was awarded Best Foreign Language Film at Canterbury's 2006 Ed Wood Video Awards. Leah recently returned to the US and worked on the coordinating committee of the Washington, DC International Film Festival. Several of her short films can be viewed at her on-line portfolio: www.leahvonderheide.wordpress.com.
Jane Wagner '10 recently wrapped on "Unraveled," an upcoming feature documentary on which she worked as a post-production coordinator and archival researcher. She is now working at Zero Point Zero Production, the production company responsible for "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations." At ZPZ Jane is the production coordinator on "The Wild Within," a new show on Travel Channel.
Christian Williams ’07 transcribed for the A&E show Dog the Bounty Hunter for awhile and also contributed pieces to The Onion AV club, which reviews film music, etc. He also had a bit part in one of the videos at www.theonion.com, and wrote jokes that appear on the 'crawl' at the bottom of the Onion videos. Last year he did freelance work for Agathe Snow and her exhibit at the Whitney Biennial.
Cat Youell ‘06 is currently in her third year at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, where she is producing two thesis films and prepping her own. She has been able to take classes with directors like Alan Meyerson, Michael Watkins, Helaine Head, and the legendary Nina Foch. She recently finished an internship at Sander/Moses, which produces the CBS show Ghost Whisperer. She also runs the Student Production Office at USC. Two thesis films she is currently producing can be found at http://bradhcrowe.com/pottersfield and www.restinpeacefilm.com.