faculty

Film & Video

film-school-director

Pedro Cohen Graduated with Honors from College with a Degree in Communications, from then he went to Europe to specialize both in Filmmaking and Acting at the Madrid Film Institute. He has participated as Director, Actor, Producer, and Scriptwriter in Motion Pictures, Short films, Documentaries, Commercials, and Music Videos. In the United States, he has worked as a Senior Creative video Producer for E-Tech Companies such as Genius Plaza and MedTech Momentum. Before joining F.I.R.S.T  Institute he was the Director of Talent Development and Head Acting Instructor for John Casablanca’s International Centers. director, actor, scriptwriter, and editor in over sixteen short films. Upon his return to Venezuela, he worked in motion pictures, documentaries, commercials, and music videos. His short films have participated in film festivals around the world, winning awards and critical recognition. Pedro has ten years of experience as a filmmaking and acting instructor in Latin America, Europe, and the United States and has founded his own production company called Internal Victories.

pedro cohen

film-instructor

 Jamile Johnson is a passionate video professional from Sacramento, California. Jamile received his degree from Valencia College where he studied graphic design and motion graphics. He started his career at the University of Central Florida where he honed his chops as a producer creating promotional and educational motion graphic videos. He then moved on to work as a Creative Producer for ABC Network Television, creating hundreds of compelling commercials and video marketing ads for local and national businesses. Outside of the world of video marketing and production Jamile is known in the local Orlando art scene as a fine artist. Jamile creates paintings and drawings of realistic portraits using an expressive style. Jamile has has been showcased in many galleries across Orlando such as City Arts Factory Galleries and the Orlando Museum of Art. With almost 10 years of experience working as a creative producer he has gained the knowledge and skill to be respected among his peers as a leader and educator in the field. 

JAMILE JOHNSON

film-instructor

William got his professional start in video production when he first attended Daytona State College after high school. There, he was part of a 3-semester long program where he got valuable, hands-on experience. He was a part of the crew that alternated roles each week for episodes on locally-produced programs that aired on WDSCTV Channel 15 in the Central Florida area. After this, he took the next step in the television industry and worked as a Studio Operator at WFTV Channel 9 News in Downtown Orlando while he was earning his Bachelor's at UCF. At Channel 9, he was responsible for coordinating all the anchors, reporters, and meteorologists so everyone was well-prepared and on the same page for live news broadcasts. He also maintained and operated the equipment from microphones and IFBs to robotically-controlled cameras and replacing light fixtures high above in the studio ceiling. Two years passed, a degree was framed, and then he began a similar position at WKMG Channel 6 News. And now after spending a little over a year at Channel 6, William wants to effectively train and prepare the next generation of the production industry. From producing independent student films in college to working in a competitive, fast-paced TV market, he feels he has learned a great deal not only from his personal experience, but from the advice of his many peers who had been in the industry longer. Coming from a close family that's deeply rooted in education, William is determined that he will instruct his students to be so well-versed and prepared in the world of video production that they will surely prosper from what they have learned at the F.I.R.S.T. Institute.  

William bowden

Film-Instructor

Michael is an award winning director, producer and editor from Wasilla, Alaska. He's come to F.I.R.S.T. excited to share his passion for film, which has led him to find success creating three feature length films, a dozen short films and countless commercials and various forms of media. Michael's films have traveled the world In countless film festivals, acquired for distribution and available to the public for viewing in various streaming outlets. In-between developing his films, he's also a freelance editor and acting instructor.
"My greatest passion is to bring stories to life that hold a strong message and leave an impact on the audience"

Mike Burns

film-instructor

As a kid, Jonathan was a screen junky and loved the stories of the movies he watched.
Jonathan’s parents got him a VHS copy of Star Wars that he watched so many times the tape eventually wore out and became a scrambled blur.
As a student at California State University Northridge, he discovered and mastered the tools to tell his own stories as a director.
After getting a degree in Cinema and Television Production, Jonathan landed an internship with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his 10 years with the Dodgers he worked his way from starting as a grip to producing and directing live, game day content and post-event coverage.
A native Californian, he has 15 years of experience in live production and extensive directing experience for the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, Kings hockey, concerts and corporate events.

Jonathan dietrich

film-instructor

Faith’s passion for visual storytelling began at a young age while playing with her father’s camcorder around her home and at family holidays and events. Her creative eye for finding candid and unique stories of everyday people and places in their everyday lives shines through her successful career in wedding and event videography/photography and pursuit of documentary film projects. As a recent graduate of Montclair State University with a BFA in Film, Faith is eager to share both her education and experiential knowledge of the video production industry with young storytellers who are just as eager to have their visions, voices, and stories heard.”

Faith DeLorenzo

instructor

Josh’s interest in film and television production began at a young age, eventually leading him to Full Sail University where he received his bachelor degree in film production in 2006. Since then, Josh has worked on a number of short films, commercials, and documentaries as a freelancer. Along with a partner, Josh ran a production company that brought student filmmakers onto each project so they could have the chance to gain experience on set. He also has experience in other fields, including live television, theater, and software development. Most recently, Josh taught film and video production to high school students here in Orlando.

josh graham

Jason Hasse 1

Based in Central Florida, Jason has been an event photographer and videographer for over 10 years specializing in portraiture and documentary style films and promotional pieces.  With a passion for film and motion pictures, Jason attended F.I.R.S.T. Institute Film School to learn storytelling and cinematography.  In May 2021, he graduated valedictorian from the film production program. He currently shoots projects ranging from short films, commercials and documentaries. 

His work covers a range of styles and genres from inspirational lifestyle pieces to compelling moody and suspenseful scenes.  Jason is committed to creating and producing films and content of all genres that impact and inspire others. 

Jason Haase

film-instructor

Jason got an early start in the industry as a child actor in Chicagoland. After years on stage and in front of the camera, he transitioned to producing, writing, and directing during his time at Southern Illinois University, earning a degree in Television and Radio Production. Since then, his place has been behind the camera; filming news, commercials, feature films, documentaries, and nationally distributed television shows. For a decade and half, his career has taken him to every corner of the nation, including Southern California, where he earned an Emmy for a commercial he produced. He previously taught Digital Filmmaking at The Los Angeles Film School, including Screenwriting and Advanced Production.

His work covers a range of styles and genres from inspirational lifestyle pieces to compelling moody and suspenseful scenes.  Jason is committed to creating and producing films and content of all genres that impact and inspire others. 

Jason Janes

film-instructor

Apple’s road to filmmaking was one filled with passion, determination, and a few bumps in the road. At the age of twenty, Apple became the Executive Chef of her grandmother’s restaurant on a small island in the Bahamas, known as Nassau. In 2002, Apple relocated to the United States where she worked as an Executive Chef for several restaurants and eventually owned her own. After 15 years of working in the restaurant industry, she went back to school and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Web Design and Development and her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film Production. Apple has won several awards for filmmaking and writing. For Apple, she believes filmmaking allows her the opportunity to live out her dreams and help others fulfill their dreams as well at F.I.R.S.T. You will often time hear her say “It’s not where you start, it is where you end.”

APPLE LEE

Bryana

Bryanna, a filmmaker and photographer was born in Chicago, IL but spent her high school and college years in Memphis, TN. At age 14, she obtained her first camera, where her interest in film and photography became a passion. She spent years dialing in on her interests in cameras and the visual arts. Over seven years, she produced, directed, shot, and edited over 200 music videos for local/independent artists and shot countless portraits for clients all over the southern United States. She graduated from Rust College in April 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. Later that year, she moved to Orlando, FL, to attend Full Sail University. She recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production.

Bryanna Mayes

film-instructor

Tim has been capturing moments since he discovered his first tape recorder when he was just 7 years old. Born into a family of artists, he jumped at any opportunity he could to tailor his craft by intentionally surrounding himself with the right people. Since learning the basics of video and audio production at an early age and refining himself through college, Tim eventually landed his first job in the industry as a Producer/Director for Time Warner Media. From conception to delivery and everything in between, his tenure at Time Warner landed him many other projects with the likes of NCAA Woman’s College Sports, Reality Check of New York State, and more. All the while, in his spare time, producing EDM music with releases on various labels around the globe. Tim’s journey has since taken him from the frigid climate of the Northeast to the wonderfully warm and welcoming climate of Orlando Florida. During his time here in Florida, he has been certified as a legal videographer as well as assist his local church build and maintain media departments with everything from live video to creative media content creation. Fun Facts about Tim: • Loves Transformers, so much that he has tattoos • Produces House music and has major releases on various record labels • Loves the beach, body boarding, and FPS games • A big fan of cultural foods • Born and raised in Syracuse, NY 

tim owens

film-instructor

Born in Canada but growing up in Florida, Noah found his passion for filmmaking starting with stop-motion animation in high school. Settling on the digital video production track in college he set about to get a part-time job as a media assistant at a large church. While producing a video for a local private school the Superintendent offered him a teaching position to start a media program at the school.  Reluctantly he accepted. However, after the first year of teaching Noah realized that this was even better and more rewarding than simply producing his own videos. Seeking to teach full-time he transferred to UCF to study film and education. While in college he produced, directed and edited several short films, promotional, interactive and conference videos. Moving to Baton Rouge, LA he built another media program at a private school in Baton Rouge LA, delving into high school sports live stream broadcasting while teaching video and photography. After 5 years he moved back to Florida to be closer to his family and pursue freelance production. Now returning to education at F.I.R.S.T, Noah is excited to share his knowledge and experience with the next generation and hopes to continue his professional development in the areas of writing for the big screen and producing feature length original films. 

Noah Seta

film-instructor Jocelyn is fresh from Seattle and eager to join the Orlando media scene. She brings with her 3 years of experience as a digital media specialist for a Seattle private school and a bachelor in Film Production from Central Washington University. At the private school, Jocelyn created promotional and informational content for the Admission and Development department that showcased community engagement and welcomed new families to the school. This past fall she created a three-part video series for the UCDS Fund, a campaign the Development department runs every fall, that helped raise over $400,000 for UCDS with 100% parent and guardian participation. Once the campaign was over, Jocelyn created a thank you video for the community that was shared on social media in order to celebrate this momentous occasion. Jocelyn is also incredibly passionate about screenwriting. In 2020 her script “November 1st” was a finalist in the New York International Screenplay Awards. All in all, she hopes to share what she’s learned over her career with other filmmakers and is grateful that she was able to find a community in F.I.R.S.T. Institute.

JOCELYN WAITE

film-instructor

After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 1994 with a Bachelors in Technical Theater and Design, Michael “Spoon” Wotherspoon received his first internship at Nickelodeon Studios. After showing is outstanding skills and talents in the art department, he was hired on, for the art department for the following shows, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Guts, and Allegra’s Window.

He is currently enrolled back at UCF to receive his Masters and then PhD. In the Summer of 2015, he was hired by the Orlando Magic in a new role as a Head R.E.F. This opportunity offers new challenges in the area of the fan experience and sports hospitality. Most recently, he was brought on-board as a part of the faculty for FIRST Institute. He is truly excited to be in this new path in life!

Michael Wotherspoon