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faculty

Film & Video

Film & Video

When Dave was 19, he moved from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA to Los Angeles, CA to work for Americorps and to see what LA could offer. One morning, his roommate woke him up. "Hey, a friend of mine is working on a film and they need production assistants,” he said. “If you can catch a bus and be there today by 9, you'll have the job." Needless to say, Dave caught the bus. After that movie wrapped, he moved on to a few more Hollywood projects, ultimately working as a story producer on a nationally-syndicated reality game show. Having found a career that he loved, he returned home to Pennsylvania to learn the basics of filmmaking at Temple University. While interning for a Philadelphia-based animator, Dave met a producer who got him started as a location sound mixer. He quickly realized that his love of music recording and acoustics could be translated into a career in sound for film. Since then, he has worked on a wide array of projects as a sound editor, camera operator, and director for clients such as Hulu, Nickelodeon, and Food Network. A natural innovator, he is always looking for ways to surpass expectations and challenge himself. His interests lie in directing documentaries and creating immersive binaural sound experiences. Dave would love to work on more science fiction pieces, and hopes to someday invent acoustical levitation.

Dave Willis-Lorenz

Film & Video

As a child, Taylor stayed up every night watching any film she could get her hands on. That passion for visual media led her to a career in film and television production. In 2015, She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Radio-Television. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from Full Sail University in 2018. After graduating, she started a career freelancing in Central Florida. Her experience on set includes live productions, feature films, short films, reality television, commercial shoots, and conventions. She has collaborated on projects with CNN, NASCAR, Lifetime, Uber, Universal Studios, and many others. 

taylor merced

Film & Video

Matthew's career in video production has spanned 20+ years, 6 continents, over 80 countries and a plethora of vocations.  After receiving his BA from the University of Central Florida in the early part of the 21st century, he has worked with live dolphins, shot & edited 100+ weddings, been responsible for the signal flow of countless live golf tournaments, produced everything from informercials to surgical research videos, and this doesn't even include the 9 years spent on cruise ships, running the television & theater systems and productions, working with talent from around the world, discovering new and interesting cultures and consuming their animals.  Back in Orlando since 2013, he has recently discovered a passion for instructing the next generation of video and film makers, imparting his wisdom and experience to prepare them to rule the world. 

matthew smith

Film & Video

Ian is a passionate visual storyteller with over 10 years of experience writing, shooting, editing, and teaching graphic design and the video production process. He is a proficient camera operator that uses light, lenses, movement and framing to tell a compelling story with imagery and empathy. Ian was buried in books and movies for his entire childhood. Given to writing fiction and poetry he was encouraged by teachers and family to pursue his passion for storytelling. In 1998, at the age of 13, Ian bought his first camera from ebay. He would often be found filming around his neighborhood as it stood in for fantastic locations. Ian pursued a degree in film history and theory from the University of Georgia, during this time he began working as a freelance filmmaker and graphic designer. He has been lucky enough to have his work seen in galleries across the U.S. and film festivals around the world.  He has even seen some of the locations he used to imagine; he has flown drones off the Spanish Coast and shot video throughout the Italian countryside, he even got the chance to film a movie in Morocco. While the cameras have gotten better and the locations more fantastic. Ian is still doing the thing he’s loved since he was a child, finding an interesting way to tell a story.

IAN CARROLL

Film & Video

 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 & Video

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.

JOSHUA GRAHAM

Film & Video
Davia Taylor has been working in video production for over 8 years. While pursuing her degree in video production from UCF, Davia worked multiple production internships and was often on set. After graduating she worked seasonally as a camera operator and editor for Camp IHC and eventually worked as the Head of Daily Video Operations. Davia then moved on to working full time for Chewy.com as a production assistant and general set hand. After working as a production assistant for 7 months, she became a full time stop motion editor within the company. After working for over a year and a half at Chewy.com, she decided she wanted to pursue producing and project management. Davia found a position at an Orlando creative agency as a Creative Producer and worked diligently for over a year planning video and photos shoots from top to bottom and editing the final results.

davia taylor

Film & Video
Patrick has always had a love of film and video. He loves bringing order to chaos in the editing suite. He has several years of experience working with Final Cut Pro, AVID, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Before joining the F.I.R.S.T. team, He worked in production and television news for 11 years, starting as a video editor. He later began directing a newscast and producing news stories for the station. He is also a freelance editor and sports videographer. He recently taught video production and post-production to high school students in Marion County.

patrick briar

Film & Video

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 & Video

Michelle Hill has worked in the professional film, video, and digital media industries as a Project and Production Manager for over 20 years. During her tenure, she has managed film and television projects for clients such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Nickelodeon, as well as a plethora of commercial clients. While working within the industry, Hill developed a passion for education and the passing on of knowledge to the next generation. She has spent well over 10 years educating students in the areas of new business development and presentation as it pertains to the entertainment industry. Hill graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film production with an emphasis in business.

michelle hill

Film & Video

From early on in Ibrahim’s career he picked up the interest in creating short films and vlogs about traveling to various parts of the world. From being behind the camera to behind the computer editing projects he has also participated on camera for a number of roles over the years working as a freelance editor for short adverts and project media manager for education programs abroad. He believes in learning more than what is necessary is the right mindset to have going into learning film. He has had to learn a number of softwares and skills in order to remain relevant in the industry from 3d compositing, color grading and even coding for drone operations along with audio cleanups and lighting hues for short films. He has dipped his toes in a number of pools and believes others who do so as well will see the limitless possibilities when creating movies of wonder. Going forward he wants to help as many people as he can in seeing the magic of film and how there is something for everyone in this field. If there is one thing that pushes him every day it is to create something, it is the idea that what we make stays and is in many ways timeless which he thinks is beautiful.

ibrahim bennett

Film & Video

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