Productions - VCUarts Department of Cinema

Mikkel and Andreas, from GAVAGAI

This summer, through the combined efforts of Cinema department professors and alumni and industry experts, Department Head Dr. Rob Tregenza and Professor Kirk Kjeldsen have shot a feature film in Norway.

Dr. Tregenza has previously visited Norway, when he was honored at a retrospective of his films at the Norwegian Film Institute Cinematheque. However, the location and the star-studded cast were new for alumni working on the film, like Sheree Chen and Caleb Plutzer.

The 35mm motion picture GAVAGAI follows German businessman Carsten Neuer as he travels to Norway to finish the impossible translation of some Norwegian poems by Tarjei Vesaas into Chinese, a project of his late wife. He hires Niko, a down-on-his-luck Sami tour guide, to drive him to the poet’s home and places of inspiration to stimulate his own translation. On the road, the ghost of Carsten’s wife appears to him, while Niko struggles with the sudden consequences of his girlfriend’s pregnancy. On this journey, two very different men come to realize the transforming power of love, the limits of language, and the human need for friendship.

Tarjei Vesaas is considered to be one of Norway’s greatest writers and perhaps its most important since WWII. Lichtbogen obtained the rights to use Vesaas’ work in the film from his estate and his publishers, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AG.

Andreas Lust from the Golden Bear-nominated film Der Räuber (The Robber) and the Oscar-nominated film Revanche, Mikkel Gaup from Tregenza’s Inside/Out and the Oscar-nominated films Pathfinder and Breaking The Waves, and Anni-Kristiina Juuso from the FIPRESCI and Nika award-winning The Cuckoo star in the film, which was shot in Norway during the summer of 2015.


To learn more about GAVAGAI, read below:…i…/5-50-102212




The 2015 Summer Intensive is about to begin!This year, students will produce four short films ranging in concept from an ill-fated 1950s romance to a modern-day collision of cultures.During the first two weeks, students will meet with professors and faculty advisors and prepare for the productions.  Over the course of the following four weeks, students will collaborate in different capacities to shoot four short films.  In the final two weeks of the Intensive, students will cut the films together and finalize them for release.We’re very excited to see what the students will produce, especially the seniors embarking on their last Intensive! It’s going to be a productive, creative, and fulfilling summer.And stay tuned for our First Cut Screening this fall, when the films will be premiered to the public!

VCUarts Cinema - Persistence of Everything Documentary from VCUarts Cinema on Vimeo.

Ever wonder what VCUarts Cinema is like? Check out this behind the scenes video of our film “Persistence of Everything” and see what it’s like to be a Cinema student!


We have been hard at work all summer long and we have finally completed filming the five summer intensive films! The films are now in the editing process and getting ready to be screened at the Grace Street Theatre this Fall! Visit to get more updates on the summer films and to see more stills from the productions!


Written by Ryan Coleman
Directed by Shane Torres
Produced by Marah Archer

When his son deserts him on their plans for a birthday steak dinner, Paul Hudson, a young-spirited and independent older man, decides to take matters into his hands. Sick of being forgotten and treated like a decrepit old man, Paul and his dementia stricken companion, Chefsy, bust out of their retirement home for a night on the town.


Written by PJ Norton
Directed by Eliot John Hagen
Produced by Michael Duni

A year after the death of their son, Tim and Julia struggle to connect in the midst of their mourning.  Tim works to leave the past behind, while Julia clings to her grief and refuses to look towards the future.  In an attempt to help Julia cope with the loss, Tim propels the couple into a series of social encounters that force them to address the distance that has grown between them and acknowledge validity of each other’s grief.


Written by Will Mattimoe
Directed by Amy Fox
Produced by Olivia Blackwell and Autumn Dea

Shannon and Lucretia’s typically boring day working at a gas station is
interrupted by the arrival of Sarah and Julia, two wealthy girls with car trouble.
Tension ensues as personalities clash,  and the girls must find strength
in one another to survive something  more dangerous than racial differences.
A young man from Lucretia’s past who is desperate to get out of town, decides
to hold up the gas station.  Will the girls make it out unharmed?  Will Lucretia’s
Blow-Pop habit bring her harm?  Find out in the new comedy from VCUarts
Cinema, Four Bitches and a Gun (Four BAG).


Written by Erika Kieffer
Directed by Andy Kennedy-Derkay
Produced by Marlee Kamis

After failing to resolve a conflict with her neighbor about his dog, Attlee, a timid resident of Cumberland Trailer Park, is approached by a rugged newcomer who offers to take care of her problem with his own personal touch. This leads to a series of events that prompt her to push back against the confines of her isolation.


Written by Eileen Halpin
Directed by PJ Norton
Produced by Kate Marlette

After running into a mysterious thief, a young boy living in a dystopian future begs his mother to take him home, where he comes to realize the power of imagination.

We are excited to announce the crew lists for our Summer 2012 films! Congratulations to the crews of Golden Acres, Rip, Station, The Trailer, and Genie!

Golden Acres

Executive Producer—Dr. Robert Tregenza
Executive Producer—Kirk Kjeldsen
Associate Producer- Spencer Neale
Associate Producer and Writer- Ryan Coleman
Line Producer- Marah Archer
Director—Shane Torres

Production Department:
Unit Production Manager—Sheree Chen
1st Assistant Director—Kate Marlette
2nd Assistant Director—Eileen Halpin
2nd 2nd Assistant Director—Stephanie Horton
Script Supervisor/Continuity Expert- Zach Bowman
Transportation Captain- PJ Norton
Locations Manager- Marah Archer

Camera Department:
Camera Operator—Jamie Hardesty
1st Assistant Camera—Shawn Ullrich
2nd Assistant Camera—Andy Kennedy-Derkay
2nd 2nd Assistant Camera—Amy Calhoun
Loader—Paddy Moynahan
Video Assist: Maggie Crawford

Art Department:
Production Designer—Olivia Blackwell
Art Director—Autumn Dea
Set Design- Marlee Kamis
Set Dresser—Chris Binder
Props Master—Emily Knapp
Wardrobe—Paddy Moynahan
Wardrobe Assistant—Katherine Richardson
Hair/Makeup—Erika Kieffer
Assistant Hair/Makeup-Christine Stoddard
Art Production Assistant—Cathryn Stephenson

Sound Department:
Sound Designer/Senior Sound Mixer—Alee Sproles
Sound Mixer—Tara Kelley
Boom Operator—Kai Irving

Electric Department:
Lighting Design—Jack Payne
Gaffer—Nathan Neeley
Best Boy—Daniel Ardura
Electrician—Taylor Robinson
Electrician—Zack White

Grip Department:
Key Grip—Evan McLeod
Grip—Scott Behler
Grip—James Spence
Grip—Toast Kindler
Dolly Grip—Miles Coulton-Thompson
Assistant Dolly Grip—Ryan Coleman

Craft Services:
Crafts Head—Michael Duni
Crafts Assistant—Amy Fox

Casting Director—Anne Chapman
Casting Assistant—Chris Binder
Casting Assistant—Erika Kieffer
Casting Assistant—Andy Kay
Casting Assistant—Lanee’ Sanders

Post Production:
Editor—Chandler Honeycutt
Assistant Editor—Zach Bowman
PR-Lanee’ Sanders

Production Facilitation Department:
Art Continuity Still Photographer/Set Production Assistant—Chandler Honeycutt
Still Photographer/Set Production Assistant—Phillip Abbott
Assistant to Mr. Campen-Christine Stoddard
Office Production Assistant-Eliot Hagen


Executive Producer- Dr. Robert Tregenza
Executive Producer- Kirk Kjeldsen
Associate Producer- Spencer Neale
Associate Producer and Writer- PJ Norton
Line Producer- Michael Duni
Director- Eliot Hagen

Production Department
Unit Production Manager: Stephanie Horton
1st AD: Marlee Kamis
2nd AD: Amy Fox
2nd 2nd AD: Marah Archer
Location  Manager: Olivia Blackwell
Script Supervisor/Continuity Expert: Amy Calhoun
Still Photographer: Sheree Chen
Production Assistant: Erika Kieffer

Camera Department: 
Camera Operator: Shawn Ullrich
1st AC: Taylor Robinson
2nd AC: Nathan Neeley
2nd 2nd AC: Patrick Moynahan
Loader: Andy Kennedy Derkay
Video Assist: Autumn Dea

Sound Department: 
Sound Mixer: Tara Kelley
Boom Operator: James Spence
Sound PA: Katherine Richardson

Electric Department: 
Gaffer: Evan McLeod
Best Boy: Ryan Coleman
Genny Operator: Shane Torres
Electrician: Jamie Hardesty
Electrician: Cathryn Stephenson

Grip Department: 
Key Grip: Jack Payne
Dolly Grip: Miles Thomson
Grip: Lizzie “Toast” Kindler
Grip: Kai Irving

Art Department: 
Art Director/Production Designer: Phillip Abbott
Props Master: Emily Knapp
Wardrobe: Chandler Honeycutt
Hair/Make-Up: Kate Marlette
Hair/Make-Up: Maggie Crawford

Transportation Department:
Transportation Captain: Amy Fox

Craft Services:

Crafts Head: Andy Karstetter
Crafts Head: Daniel Ardura

Casting Department: 
Casting Director: Anne Chapman
Casting Assistant: Lanee’ Sanders
Casting Assistant: Zach Bowman
Casting Assistant: Chris Binder
Casting Assistant: Erika Kieffer

Editorial Department:
Editor: Zach Bowman
Sound Design: Tara Kelley
Sound Editor/Music Composer: Eileen Halpin


Executive Producer- Dr. Robert Tregenza
Executive Producer- Kirk Kjeldsen
Associate Producer- Spencer Neale
Associate Producer and Writer- Will Mattimoe
Line Producer- Olivia Blackwell
Line Producer- Autumn Dea
Director- Amy Fox

Production Department 

Unit Production Manager: Marah Archer
Location Manager: Eliot John Hagen
1st AD: PJ Norton
2nd AD: Kate Marlette
Script Supervisor/Continuity Expert: Alee Sproles
Still Photographer: Sheree Chen
Production Assistant: Maggie Crawford

Camera Department

Camera Operator: Jack Payne
1st AC: Michael Duni
2nd AC: Miles Coulton-Thompson
2nd 2nd AC: Amy Calhoun
Loader: Patrick Moynahan
Video Village/Camera PA: Stephanie Horton

Sound Department

Sound Mixer: Nathan Neeley
Boom Operator: Shawn Ulrich
2nd Unit Sound: Evan McLeod
Foley Sound: Katherine Richardson

Electric Department

Gaffer: Scott Behler
Best Boy: Toast Kindler
Electrician: Chris Binder
Electrician: Kai Irving
Electrician: Daniel Ardura
Electrician: Andy Kay

Grip Department:

Key Grip: Ryan Coleman
Dolly Grip: Taylor Robinson
Grip: Kai Irving
Grip: Jamie Hardesty

Art Department:

Art Director: Phillip Abbott
Props Master: Emily Knapp
Wardrobe: Shane Torres
Make-Up: Katherine Richardson
Make-Up Asst.: Erika Kieffer
Set Dresser: Christine Stoddard

Transportation Department:
Cathryn Stephenson

Crafts Services: 

Crafts Head: Cathryn Stephenson
Crafts Asst.: James Spence


Casting Director: Anne Chapman
Casting Assistant: Lanee’ Sanders
Casting Assistant: Kate Marlette
Casting Reader/Assistant: Erika Kieffer
Casting Assistant: Chris Binder
Casting Assistant: Andy Karstetter

Editorial Department:

Editor: Eileen Halpin
Editor: Alee Sproles

The Trailer

Executive Producer—Dr. Robert Tregenza
Executive Producer—Kirk Kjeldsen
Associate Producer- Spencer Neale
Associate Producer and Writer- Erika Kieffer
Line Producer:- Marlee Kamis
Director—Andy Kennedy-Derkay

Production Department: 

Unit Production Manager: Stephanie Horton
First Assistant Director: Eliot John Hagen
Second Assistant Director: Marah Archer
Locations Manager: Stephanie Horton
Script Supervisor: Zach Bowman
Production Coordinator: Evan McLeod
Dog Wrangler: Emily Knapp
Still Photographer: Sheree Chen

Camera Department:

Camera Operator: Taylor Robinson
First Assistant Camera: Kai Irving
Second Assistant Camera: Miles Coulton-Thompson
Second Second Assistant Camera: Zack White
Loader: Michael Duni
Video Assist: Zach Bowman

Art Department: 

Production Designer: Chandler Honeycutt
Art Director: Phillip Abbott
Props Master: Jamie Hardesty
Hair/Makeup: Maggie Crawford
Wardrobe: Maggie Crawford

Sound Department: 

Sound Designer/Mixer: Nathan Neeley
Boom Operator: Andy Kay

Electric Department: 

Gaffer: Jack Payne
Best Boy: Lizzie “Toast” Kindler
Electrician: Chris Binder
Genny Operator/Electrician: Shane Torres

Grip Department

Key Grip: Ryan Coleman
Dolly Grip: Shawn Ullrich
Assistant Dolly Grip: Scott Behler
Grip: Cathryn Stephenson

Editorial Department:

Editor: Scott Behler
Assistant Editor: Chris Binder

Casting  Department:

Casting  Director: Anne Chapman
Casting Assistant: Lanee’ Sanders
Casting Assistant: Taylor Robinson
Casting Assistant: Kate Marlette

Crafts Department: 

Crafts Head: James Spence
Crafts Head: Lanee’ Sanders


Executive Producer- Dr. Robert Tregenza
Executive Producer- Kirk Kjeldsen
Associate Producer- Spencer Neale
Associate Producer and Writer- Eileen Halpin
Line Producer- Kate Marlette
Director- P.J. Norton

Production Department:
Line Producer- Kate Marlette
Unit Production Manager- Marah Archer
1st Assistant Director- Alee Sproles
2nd Assistant Director- Sheree Chen
Script Supervisor- Amy Calhoun
Continuity Expert- Amy Calhoun
Locations Manager- Eliot Hagen

Camera Department:
Camera Operators- Andy Kennedy-Derkay and Shawn Ullrich
1st Assistant Camera- Shawn Ulrich, Andy Kennedy Derkay, Michael Duni, Zack White, Patrick Moynahan
2nd Assistant Camera- Ryan Coleman, Zack White, Cathryn Stephenson
2nd 2nd Assistant Camera- Patrick Moynahan, Zack White, Cathryn Stephenson
Loader- Patrick Moynahan
Video Assist- Cathryn Stephenson, Zach Bowman

Art Department:
Production Designer- Phillip Abbott
Art Director- Amy Fox
Set Designer- Michael Duni
Assistant Set Designer- Nathan Neeley
Set Dresser: Erika Kieffer
Props Master- Jamie Hardesty
Props Assistant- Emily Knapp
Props Assistant- Scott Behler
Wardrobe Designer: Stephanie Horton
Wardrobe Assistant: Katherine Richardson
Wardrobe Assistant: Christine Stoddard
Hair/Makeup- Maggie Crawford
Hair/Makeup Asst.- Tara Kelley
Sound Department:
Sound Mixer- Kai Irving
Boom Operator- Miles Coulton-Thompson
Additional Boom/Sound PA- Chris Binder
Electric Department:
Gaffer- Shane Torres
Best Boy- Lizzie “Toast” Kindler
Electrician- Daniel Ardura
Electrician- Andy Karstetter
Electrician- Jack Payne

Grip Department:
Key Grip- Nathan Neeley
Dolly Grip- Chandler Honeycutt
Grip- Jamie Hardesty
Grip- Ryan Coleman
Grip- Zack White
Grip- Evan McLeod

Casting Department:
Casting Director- Anne Chapman
Casting Asst.- Lanee’ Sanders
Casting Asst.- Amy Calhoun
Casting Asst.- Chris Binder
Casting Asst.-Zach Bowman

Post-Production Department:
Editor- Scott Behler
Asst. Editor- Emly Knapp

Production Facilitation Department:
Production Assistant- Daniel Ardura
Still Photographer: Spencer Neale, Marlee Kamis, Stephanie Horton, Sheree Chen, Kate Marlette

Craft Services Department: 

Crafts Head: Olivia Blackwell
Crafts Head: Autumn Dea


The scripts for the summer shoots have officially been selected! Tomorrow, the interview process will begin to fill crew positions. We are excited to begin production on the summer intensive films!

The selected scripts are as follows:

Golden Acres written by Ryan Coleman. Directed by Shane Torres and Line Produced by Marah Archer.

Rip written by P.J. Norton. Directed by Eliot Hagen and Line Produced by Michael Duni and Christine Stoddard.

Genie written by Eileen Halpin. Directed by P.J. Norton and Line Produced by Kate Marlette.

The Trailer written by Erika Kieffer. Directed by Andy Kennedy-Derkay and Line Produced by Marlee Kamis.

Station written by Will Mattimoe. Directed by Amy Fox and Line Produced by Olivia Blackwell and Autumn Dea.

Congratulations to everyone involved! Crew lists will be announced shortly!

THAT’S A WRAP: “The River” has officially finished production! Thanks to the cast & crew for a weekend of hard work and dedication. It was a great time and we’re extremely pleased with the work that was accomplished. Fantastic job, everyone!

VCUarts Cinema is excited to begin the spring production of “The River.” Students will have the opportunity to work on a set and collaborate with professional casting agent Anne Chapman and Cinema adjunct Art Eng.

Students have already begun pre-production and production will start March 22nd.

Congratulations to the crew!


Executive Producer—Rob Tregenza
Executive Producer—Kirk Kjeldsen
Associate Producer—Spencer Neale
Director—Autumn Dea
Writer—Erika Kieffer

Production Department:

Line Producer—Marlee Kamis
Unit Production Manager—P.J. Norton
1st AD—Shane Torres
2nd AD—Kai Irving
2nd 2nd AD—Kate Marlette
Script Supervisor—Eileen Halpin
Continuity Expert—Shannon Laribo
Prod. Coordinator—Stephanie Horton
Locations Manager—Marah Archer

Camera Department:
Camera Op.—Andy Kennedy-Derkay
1st AC—Taylor Robinson
2nd AC—Miles Coulton-Thompson
2nd 2nd AC—Shawn Ullrich
Loader—Paddy Moynahan
Video Assist—Kyra Kilfeather
Camera Dept Supervisor—Michael Duni

Art Department:
Production Designer—Olivia Blackwell
Art Director—Chandler Honeycutt
Set Designer—Phillip Abbott
Set Dresser—Sheree Chen
Set Dresser—Kawthar Ahmed
Set Dresser—Drew Sherlin
Props Master—Emily Knapp
Props Assistant—Morgan Carey
Wardrobe—Sydney Ballesteros
Wardrobe Asst—Laura Ruschak
Wardrobe Asst—Anna Boutchard
Hair/Make-Up—Katherine Richardson
Hair/Make-Up Asst—Juliette Tostain

Sound Department:
Sound Designer—Jamie Hardesty
Sound Mixer—Adam Bellotto
Boom Operator—James Spence
Add’l Boom/Sound PA—Nathan Neeley

Electric Department:
Gaffer—Jack Payne
Best Boy—Amy Fox
Electrician—Daniel Ardura
Electrician—Reggie Hay
Electrician—Zack White
Electrician—Eric Prince

Grip Department:
Key Grip—Evan Mcleod
Dolly Grip—Ryan Coleman
Grip—Toast Kindler
Grip—Cathryn Stephenson
Grip—Will Engebretson
Grip—Daniel Russell
Grip—Remy Tucker

Editorial Department:
Editor—Alee Sproles
Assistant Editor—Zach Bowman
Assistant Editor—Scott Behler
Music Coordinator—Andy Karstetter
Post-Prod. Coordinator—Marah Archer
PR—Amy Calhoun
PR—Seth Birkenmeyer

Casting Department:
Casting Director—Anne Chapman
Casting Assistant—Chris Binder
Casting Assistant—Jennifer Heins
Casting Assistant—Tara Kelley

Production Facilitation Department:
Asst to the Producer—Mishaal Abassi
Asst to the Producer—Jimmy Cloutier
Set PA—Emily Herring
Set PA—Allison Simmons
Set PA—Peter Lewis
Set PA—Dillon Meyer
Still Photographer—Michael Duni
Still Photographer—Shawn Ankerson

Crafts Department:
Crafts Head—Tara Kelley
Crafts Asst—Bennington Grant

Now with a whole first semester of in-class camera and sound workshops under their belts, the VCU cinema freshmen are quickly leaving behind basic training and entering the complex shooting environment of a larger scale production. The first year students shot four films this weekend using high end equipment from the department over the course of two days.

Students had the opportunity to work in a pre-production phase, cast amateur actors, and experiment with lighting and electric set ups on set for the first time. Upperclassman and faculty were present during all four shoots to offer guidance.

“The Other Woman”

Written by Shannon Laribo

Directed by Zack White
Produced by Laura Ruschak
Camera: Jennifer Heins and Kyra Kilfeather
Sound: Will Engebretson and Reggie Hay
Starring Becky Granger and Kaley Pleban

Special thanks to Taylor Robinson, Sheree Chen, Shane Torres, Phillip Abbot, Jamie Hardesty, Hannah Lilley, and Prof. Spencer Neale.


Written by Shawn Ankerson

Directed by Juliette Tostain
Produced by Sheree Chen
Camera: Alex Kolotos and Taylor Robinson
Grip: Bennington Grant
Sound: Daniel Russel
Starring Taylor Renn and Aaron Mauck

Special thanks to Amy Fox, PJ Norton, Stephanie Horton, Michael Duni, Prof. Spencer Neale, and all our extras.

“What We Call A Date”

Written by Jimmy Cloutier

Directed by Grace Rose
Produced by Morgan Carey
Camera: Casey Brown and Emily Herring
Sound and Lighting: Seth Birkenmeyer and Cathryn Stephenson
Starring Alex Feldstein & Sydney Ballesteros

Special thanks to Marlee Kamis, Andy Kennedy-Derkay, Kai Irving, Jack Payne and Prof. Spencer Neale.

“F— it, Man”

Written by Kawthar Ahmed

Directed by Drew Sherlin
Produced by Allison Simmons
Camera: Noah Bethel
Sound: Kawthar Ahmed and Chad Brown
Starring: Ryan Hoss, Shane Clements, and Haley Garvis
Special Thanks to: Marlee Kamis, Andy KD, Kai Irving, Prof. Spencer Neale, and ALL of the extras who saved us at the last minute.

VCUarts Cinema has recently wrapped and is currently in post-production on a half hour dramatic short film, The First Stone.  The film explores the turbulent life of a man recently released from prison as he attempts to adjust to the vicissitudes of fate and his fears.

Every year, during the Spring semester, the Cinema Program produces a film that unites all three of its undergraduate classes in a single major film production.  An Adjunct Professor, who is a cinema professional, works directly on the project.  This season, Mr. Andrew Giannetta again joined us, a Los Angeles based Director of Photography and Writer.

Directed by senior Daniel Caporaletti and written by junior Eliot Hagen, THE FIRST STONE employed actors from across the East Coast. From New York City’s LAByrinth Theatre Company came Marshall Sharer. Also, from New York came Nia Fairweather. Actors Durrell Nelson, Phillip Stamper, Charley Raintree, Danielle Davy provided magnificent performances in various supporting roles.

The film was shot on 35mm motion picture film around the city of Richmond, Virginia.  Special thanks to the Virginia Film Office, Anne Chapman and Charles Harris Productions for their support of this project. VCUarts Cinema anticipates a screening of the film to be scheduled for later this summer.