SFI Faculty and Staff

BA in Acting (Boston University)

Susanna Burney is a professional voice over artist, actress, director and teacher.  For over 20 years, her voice has been heard on radio, TV, promotional and training films, and the web. Her talent has also been featured on video games, including Hoyle Casino and Kids Games, and she is the character Jin in F.E.A.R. (Monolith, Sierra, and Warner Bros.) She has narrated dozens of audiobooks in a range of genres for BBC America, Harper Collins, Listen and Live, High Bridge, Writers Coffee Shop, Brilliance, and more. Her stage work has taken her to New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New England, Florida, Nevada, and Scotland. Film credits include The Beans of Egypt, Maine and John Carpenter’s The Ward.

Programs: 
BA in Film
Certificate in Film
Concentrations: 
Acting for Film

Chris is Producer of Marketing & Distribution at Xenon Pictures where he’s worked on several feature-films including Freedom’s Path, Traveling Light, and Hunting BigfootPrior to that Chris was Producer of Marketing & Distribution at ShadowCatcher Entertainment where the feature-films he worked on include Burkholder, The God Four, Old Goats, A Not So Still Life, and OutsourcedChris is an alumnus of the Seattle Film Institute and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. 

Programs: 
BA in Film
Certificate in Film
Concentrations: 
Acting for Film

Seattle University, UCLA

Phan spent about ten years in Los Angeles, where he earned an MFA in Cinema and Television and co-founded a camera, grip, and lighting business with a classmate. Their production services business worked on numerous indie films, music videos, and commercials.    

A film romantic to the core. Phan believes in the irreplaceable nature of film as not only an aesthetic medium but is also fascinated by the way it changes and focuses the human dynamics of actors and crew on a set. While he loves to shoot on film, he recognized camera technology was moving towards digital cinema. He embraced this change and was an early adopter of the first 4K Red One digital cinema camera. He was part of a young generation of filmmakers who helped usher in digital camera technology into the industry.   

Phan then returned to the Pacific Northwest to raise his two children among family and friends. He is currently developing narrative, documentary, and television projects. Teaching is an integral part of his filmmaking artistic practice as he gets to explore ideas of camera, lighting, and storytelling with his students. He finds that working with aspiring student filmmakers is a privilege and is excited to witness his students’ growth and development as artists.   

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy – Seattle University   

MFA in Cinema and Television – The University of Southern California 

Jason Devore

BA in Music (California State University, Chico)

Jason has been working in the field of music and audio post-production since 1985. He has worked on sound design projects for long-format documentaries and feature films, as well as for companies including Microsoft, AT&T and Nike.

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing
MA (UC Berkley)

Sue is a nationally recognized songwriter, best known for her work co-writing over 70 songs with the platinum-selling Seattle rock band Heart. She has also written award-winning jingles, children’s songs for a puppet theatre, and songs to accompany everything from fireworks to fund raisers for ladies’ groups. She has earned 10 gold, 4 platinum, 1 triple platinum and 1 quintuple platinum albums. Her songs have also been included in the feature films “The Golden Child” starring Eddie Murphy and that blockbuster film for the four year old set, “Thomas and The Magic Railroad.”

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing
JD (Washington and Lee, Lexington, VA), BA in Sociology (Brandeis University, Waltham, MA)

Cynthia Grace is an accomplished educator, attorney, leader, and manager of people, systems, and events with a wide range of experience in the higher education, publishing, and nonprofit sectors. She blends a life-long commitment to Humanities, Liberal Arts, and Fine Arts with expertise in Law and technology. Cynthia has taught Copyright Law, Contracts, Business Law as well as Live Audio, Concert Promotion, and Production. Her goal is to empower all to self represent and to properly negotiate their way through and around their legal environments.

Programs: 
MA in Producing
Concentrations: 
Filmmaking
BFA (Cornish College of the Arts)

Alyssa is an actor, dialect coach, puppeteer, and educator. Her years of experience include teaching artists how to effectively communicate through vocal expression and text analysis.  Her professional career has covered a wide variety of acting roles, and also includes dialect and vocal coaching, leading voice workshops, and assorted voice narration projects.

Programs: 
BA in Film
Concentrations: 
Acting for Film

Paul Kikuchi

MFA in Music (California Institute of the Arts)

Paul, is a percussionist, composer, and instrument builder. Kikuchi is involved in a wide variety of musical projects, including percussion ensembles, Balkan brass and drum bands, toy instrument ensembles and jazz quartets and he co-founded the Prefecture Music Group and Empty Cage Quartet.

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing
MM in Film Composition (Seattle Film Institute)

Todd Kovell has been teaching music theory and composition for twenty years. He conducts three community orchestras and has an online sheet publishing company and is an active free-lance composer.

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing

Steven Kramer

Ph.D (Walden, Art Education), MFA (UCLA, Film and TV-Animation)

Steven, is a 3D artist specializing in modeling, visual effects, and motion graphics. With a background in film and video games, he is a long-time instructor, most recently having taught at Art Institute of Seattle.

Programs: 
BA in Film
Concentrations: 
Motion Graphics & Visual FX
BA (Berklee College of Music); Doctor of Musical Arts, (University of Salford)

Dr. Hummie Mann  is a two-time Emmy-award winning composer/arranger who has collaborated with some of Hollywood’s most celebrated directors in both theatrical and television films. His motion pictures projects have ranged from Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” to Peter Yates’ “Year of the Comet”. He is a sought-after educator and has given master classes across the globe—from China to Scotland.

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing
MFA (Yale University School of Drama)

Michael, is a actor, director, producer, and teacher originally from Seattle. He presently divides his career time between New York City and Seattle where he has appeared in a variety of acting roles over the past decade. He is associate artistic director for P3/East and has trained in Suzuki Method and Ohta’s Slow Tempo.  Michael is the founding creative producer of One Coast Collaboration, an annual new play lab connecting national playwrights with Seattle based theater companies.

Programs: 
BA in Film
Concentrations:
Acting for Film
MA in Digital Media (University of Washington)

Vaun, specializes in documentary and non-fiction filmmaking.  He produces educational, promotional and fund-raising films for government, corporate and non-profit organizations including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, King County, Port of Seattle and City of Hope cancer research hospital.

Programs: 
BA in Film
Concentrations: 
Filmmaking
BM in Music (Berklee College of Music)

Akash, has created soundscapes and designs for a variety of gaming studios such as Zachtronic Industries, Heart Machine, and Galaxy Trails Studios. He has also directed voiceover work on multiple projects. He sound designed on the popular game Hyper Light Drifter (2014), and composed original music for the game City Quest (2013). He studied music and composing at the Berklee College of Music.

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing
B.S. Film Production (Montana State University) MFA in Filmmaking (Seattle Film Institute)

David also studied both screenwriting and fiction writing at the University of Washington. His many adventures with the pen include scripting film documentaries, writing for television, and a newspaper writing career as reporter, editor, and columnist. David was awarded the national Writer’s Digest grand prize for his screenplay Under High Wood.

Programs: 
BA in Film
Concentrations: 
Filmmaking
BFA in Communications (Pacific Lutheran University)

Heidi Walker has been working in film and television for over 30 years, launching her career in Los Angeles as a producer and writer on a national talk show for USA Network. She later transitioned to writing for the Disney Channel, produced and directed several fitness videos and documentaries and has had the privilege of directing numerous theatre productions.

Heidi found her true calling as a Casting Director while working at Warner Brothers Studio and, after moving to Seattle, was fortunate enough to continue casting for both film and television. A partial list of her film credits include Wallflower, Better Than Love, Grassroots, 7 Minutes, Eden, Fat Kid Rules the World, 10 Things I Hate About You, Prefontaine, The Vanishing, Life or Something Like It, Fire Walk with Me, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and Singles. Television credits include Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure, Rose Red, Tales from the Crypt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Fugitive and the most recent reboot of Twin Peaks. Cameron Crowe, Richard Donner, Stephen King, Stephen Herek, George Sluizer, Curtis Hanson, Steve James, Matthew Lillard, Stephen Gyllenhaal and David Lynch are among the directors she has collaborated with. Commercial casting includes AT&T, Rainer Beer, Ivar’s, Key Bank, Seattle Sounders, Mariners and Seahawks, Virginia Mason, Macy’s, Boeing, Microsoft, WA State Lottery, Nike, Lowes, Cheerios, Starbuck’s, Coke, Pepsi, Nintendo, Ford Explorer, McDonalds, Nordstrom, Blue Cross, Dairy Queen, and Apple. Major film searches include The Polar Express, What Women Want, Forrest Gump, 8MM, Where The Wild Things Are, Speed Racer, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Free Willy, Look Who’s Talking, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Kid and Jerry Maguire.

In addition to casting projects with her companies Casting by Walker and Big Pants Casting, Heidi teaches acting at the Seattle Film Institute, hosts a weekly workshop called The Actors Drop-In and co-hosts an Actors Intensive with fellow acting professionals in the Seattle community.

Programs: 
BA in Film
Concentrations: 
Acting for Film
MM in Instrumental Conducting (University of Washington)

Jacob, is the Artistic Director for the Seattle Girls’ Choir and the conductor of the Prime Voci.  He has also written and produced soundtracks to several video games on the Nintendo DS and Apple iOS platforms including The Simpsons Game and Iron Man 2.

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing
MM in Film Composition (Seattle Film Institute)

Doug, is a musician, composer, arranger and producer.  His composer credits include work for films such as Anatomy of a Fly and The Clearing and for clients such as Alaska Airlines.  He has also done sound design and audio post work for Discovery and National Geographic channels.

Programs: 
MM in Film Composing

Sammy Applegate

Master Degree from the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program

Sammy Applegate is an award-winning filmmaker and accomplished composer.  In 2012 she became the first woman to earn a Master of Music in Film Composition degree from the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program at the Seattle Film Institute. In 2014 she joined the program as Assistant Director and continues to help train and guide new generations of aspiring composers into the film, television, and video game industries.

Bridget Terry

Northwestern University

Bridget Terry has produced, written or directed a variety of award-winning television, including productions honored with the George Foster Peabody Award, ACE award, Christopher Humanitarian Award, Video Hall of Fame inductee, Action for Children’s Television, three Emmy nominations, and a Writers Guild Award nominee. A film history buff, Terry produced, directed and co-wrote “Without Lying Down,” an indie documentary feature about early women filmmakers. As a writer-producer, Terry continues to be active in television movies, series and limited series having written and/or produced for Netflix, ABC, CBS, PBS, Showtime, Lifetime, TNT and Hallmark. 

Trevor Murray

BFA in Theatre (Texas State University)

Trevor Murray is a location Sound Mixer and Boom Operator who boasts a diverse and extensive understanding of the entertainment industry. He continues his professional career by capturing audio on a wide range of projects ranging from corporate and commercial work to documentaries, short and feature films, and web series, including work for notable companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Nike Diamond. 

Kate Jaeger

BA in Theatre and Communications (Whitworth University)

Kate is an actor, director, improviser, and teaching artist. She has been teaching for more than two decades and specializes in corporate training, private coaching, and theatre education for ages ranging from K-12 through post-graduate. Kate has taught for Seattle Film Institute, Intiman Theatre, Seattle’s Children’s Theatre, Village Theatre and Jet City Improv. She has performed with Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Taproot Theatre Company, ArtsWest, Wooden O, Macha Theatre Works, Jet City Improv, and Teatro Zinzanni.

Shannon Davis  

PhD candidate in Marine Science and Technology (University of Massachusetts-Boston)  

MS in Environmental Science (University of Massachusetts-Boston)  

BS in Chemistry (Oregon State University)  

Shannon is a current PhD candidate in Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts – BostonShe studies what affects the carbon in the coastal ocean and how it affects oyster aquaculture. She was an NSF IGERT fellow and has worked on projects ranging from developing science curriculum for elementary and middle schoolers to building and deploying sensors to understand what happens to carbon concentrations in rivers and the coastal ocean when it rains. 

Nicole Beerman

BFA in Acting (Cornish College of the Arts)   

Nicole is a professional actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, and teacher. For 25 years, she has been working in Theatre, Dance, Film, and Television from Seattle to New York City. Nicole specializes in Theatre and Dance education and has taught for Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, Hunter College High School, 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, and VAM Studios. She has performed with The Samuel French Festival, HERE Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 5th Avenue, Village Theatre, Seattle Rep, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Nicole can also be seen in commercials and ads for Nike, LG, and T-Mobile. She is a certified Simonson Technique Teacher and a member of Actors’ Equity. www.nicolebeerman.com 

Leslie Meisel

Actor, Writer, Director and Teacher

On screen, Leslie appeared on the NBC show RISE, Difficult People, Broad City, Netflix’s The Characters, and the feature film Bachelorette (w/Rebel Wilson & Kirsten Dunst). As a director, she has worked on many shows at the UCB Theatre, including AzN Pop!: Live in Concert!, All In Favor, United Federation of Teachers with Natasha Vaynblatt (IFC, Funny or Die, McSeeney’s), co-directed Stone Cold Fox: Sexy Idiots with Aaron Burdette, (Man Seeking Woman, The Onion), several Maude sketch teams, co-director/writer of He Said She Said with Kate Riley-Zelensky (MTV, Two Guys Named Josh) and worked with Bridge & Tunnel‘s staged show for Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival.  

For more of her work please visit www.lesliemeisel.com   

Robert Horton

BA, Cinema Studies (University of Washington)

Robert Horton is a member of the National Society of Film Critics and “Historian-Programmer in Residence” at the nonprofit Scarecrow Video Project. He hosts the weekly radio program “The Music and the Movies” and for many years was film critic for Seattle Weekly and the Everett Herald, and a regular contributor to Film Comment. He leads regular online classes for Scarecrow Academy, has been a Fulbright Specialist (Romania, 2016), adjunct professor at Seattle University, instructor at the Architectural Association in London, president of the Seattle Film Society, and a speaker with Smithsonian Journeys.   

 For 10 years he curated the “Magic Lantern” film program at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. He has served on FIPRESCI juries in Odesa, Ljubljana, Seattle, Mannheim-Heidelberg, Hong Kong, Indianapolis, Berlin, Guadalajara, Montreal, and Palm Springs.  

His film books include Frankenstein (Columbia University Press) and Billy Wilder: Interviews (U. Press of Mississippi). 

For more of her work please visit www.lesliemeisel.com   

Stephanie Platter

MIT (Northwest University)

Stephanie Platter is a caffeinated screenwriter and educator from Seattle with 20 years of teaching under her belt, 16 at the high school level. She’s taught Masters level courses in Education and Writing at a number of universities and enjoys a uniquely active learning environment. She’s directed independently for both stage and screen and also enjoys working behind the scenes.  

Programs 

BA & MA Screenwriting 

Noah Weisel

Noah Weisel is an escapee from Hollywood, where he worked on films you’ve all watched but which he isn’t supposed to talk about. Before that he escaped from Broadcast TV, where he won some awards, you’ve never heard of for making stuff you’ve never seen. He long ago busted out of UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Film, then after nearly twenty years in the field locked himself away in school again, finally escaping with an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. But he’s done running and Seattle’s where he’s gonna stay. He makes narrative and sometimes experimental films that regularly play at festivals and has been recognized for his screenwriting and editing, none of which earned him a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Anyway, you’re more likely to find him at the pub…at least when he isn’t teaching film students about all aspects of Production or how to maniacally experiment on old celluloid. 

Steffen Silvis 

Silvis is a Ph.D. candidate and playwright. His plays have been produced in London, Edinburgh, Oslo, Portland, Madison and Los Angeles. He has worked in theatre all his adult life from administration at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London to toiling as a theatre critic in both Portland, Oregon, and Prague, Czech Republic. His writing has featured in “American Theatre Magazine,” “Time Out,” and other publications. Silvis has also been a Fellow of both the O’Neill Theatre Center and the NEA-Arts Journalism Institute. He was the co-founder of Madison’s In-House Theatre Company, in which he acted and directed.  

For University Theatre at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he was dramaturg for Norma Saldivar’s production of Summer and Smoke and Shannon Davis’s production of “Helen” and has appeared as an actor in Patricia Boyette’s productions of “The Beaux’ Stratagem” and “Stupid Fucking Bird.” He contributed the introduction to Robert Nichols’ “Daily Lives in Nghsi-Altai,” published by Verbivoracious Press (December 15, 2017). 

Anthony Tackett 

Anthony Tackett is a Filmmaker of 25 years working on commercials, narratives along with community support/outreach and as an instructor teaching people from 8 to 70 years old. He is the Founder of the African Diaspora Facebook group bringing together black and POC filmmakers to create a safe space for underrepresented filmmakers. Anthony was the Co-chair of the Seattle Film Task Force, the primary goal is creating opportunities for racial, financial equity and education for the underserved and underprivileged. Anthony directed and filmed his first feature documentary “Black June,” a film following Black Lives Matter protests that started on June 1, 2020 after the public lynching of George Floyd.