Meet the Speakers
Eric Hannah - Co-Founder / Director / Producer
Eric Hannah grew up in Orange County, California, where he discovered that he had a passion for making movies as a young boy. In the early 90's, he co-founded a unique retail clothing and film company called Truth Soul Armor and a post-production house called Redline Studios. Through these companies, Eric has written, directed, and produced the movies Extreme Attitude, The Moment of Truth, The Moment of Truth 2, Extreme Days, and Meet Me in Miami. Currently, Eric is a director and producer for the production company he co-owns called New Release Entertainment with his wife Jodi Hannah. In addition, he serves as a visionary president of Lift Up America and Ambassadors of Compassion as his philanthropic passion. These programs serve to support the future of today's youth. Read more about Eric...
Jodi Hannah - Co-Founder / President / Producer
Jodi grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon, but moved to Los Angeles at age 17 to pursue a producing career. In 1997, Jodi married Eric Hannah, co-owner of Redline Studios. Shortly thereafter, she became president of Truth Soul Armor and produced The Moment of Truth 2. She later went on to associate produce the films Extreme Days and Meet Me in Miami. As a president of Servant Entertainment, Jodi took the role as spokesperson on their first project, the "Giving Hope Tour" in partnership with Lift Up America. Currently, Jodi is president of New Release Entertainment and an active producer in many of the company’s projects. Read more about Jodi...
Wayne Jacobsen - Author
Wayne Jacobsen travels the world helping people sort out what Jesus really taught, helping them find a freedom from performance-based religion to embrace a relationship with God deeply rooted in the Father's affection. A former pastor, Wayne now hosts Lifestream.org, which provides resources for spiritual growth and a podcast at TheGodJourney.com to encourage people thinking outside the box of organized religion. As a writer his most popular titles include He Loves Me: Learning to Live in the Father's Affection, So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore, In Season and A Man Like No Other. He was also co-writer and publisher of The Shack, which sold over twenty million copies worldwide. Two of his books are now being adapted into movies for theatrical release. His books, podcasts and international travel have inspired countless people to a more vibrant faith and a greater understanding of living in the church Jesus is building in the world. Read more about Wayne...
Bobby Downes – ChristianCinema.com
When veteran filmmaker and entrepreneur Bobby Downes states, “I’m just the kind of guy God ends up using,” it’s a fact—backed up by his life. Born in Visalia, California, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley’s farm country, Bobby earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural science from California Polytechnic State University. But a different kind of growth than farming fueled his passion—spiritual growth in others. In the 1990s, Bobby and his wife, Layne, traveled around the world ministering in over 20 countries, communicating God’s heart through music and personal testimonies, sometimes to crowds of more than 10,000 people and heads of state but more often in orphanages, schools, prisons and hospitals. Back in the United States, Bobby seized on the power of film to share that same message on an even wider scale and across cultural barriers. He saw that desire bear fruit in 1999, producing The Moment After and forming Downes Brothers Entertainment with his brother Kevin. The Moment After became the first Christian film shown in Afghanistan since the days of Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments. More than a dozen films followed, among them were Mercy Streets, The Visitation and Like Dandelion Dust, based on the novel by New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury and starring Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino. Released by Twentieth Century Fox, the film won more than 30 international film festival awards. It was also in 1999 that Downes kickstarted the market for faith-based films. At that time, stores seldom carried faith films, so Downes founded ChristianCinema.com, now the largest selection of faith-affirming and family-approved films on the Internet. ChristianCinema.com offers movie reviews and Netflix-style DVD rental and streaming. The firm earned a spot on the 2010 Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. In 2011, Bobby changed the Christian film industry again as a founder and president of a Dallas-based motion picture studio, the first vertically integrated Christian movie studio to offer production financing, marketing and distribution across all releasing platforms worldwide to service families of faith. Bobby has been dedicated to solving the difficult challenges of getting a film to audiences by creating a distribution platform committed to excellence, transparency and deep collaboration with its artists. In the last two years Bobby produced The Redemption of Henry Myers, which recently released on the Hallmark Movie Channel and the upcoming Hoovey, directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer).
Presenters and Workshop Leaders
Adam Beck – Owner, Production Company
Born in Southern California, but raised in the Central Valley, Adam has always had a heart for cinema. One of his fondest memories as a child was going to see a double feature with his father: Rambo 2 and Goonies. Adam took a few film courses in college, but it was after leaving college that he pursued a career in film and commercial production. Besides producing content for several churches, he has just wrapped two local film projects as the cinematographer and is currently attached to shoot a feature this fall. In addition, he has also shot national television spots. Adam is a founding partner in a local production company, 3B Digital Studios.
Carol Anne McGuire – K-12 Educator
Carol Anne McGuire began teaching blind and visually impaired students in 1989. Inspiring the world with how they overcame their disabilities, these amazing students became award-winning national and international filmmakers (writing scripts in Braille, filming and editing their original films) and have advised the Departments of Education in Japan, Israel and Russia on special education. Carol Anne organizes one of the world’s most dynamic international projects, Rock Our World. Through ROW, students collaborate with others around the world to compose music, make movies, learn about core curriculum and meet each other in face-to-face videoconferences. Carol Anne has worked as Technology Integration Specialist at New Village Leadership Academy, K-6 Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as a regular education teacher. She keynotes all over the world on topics such as Global Collaboration, Digital Storytelling, Bringing Back Music in the Classroom, Podcasting: The Sound of Learning, Going Hollywood: Movie Making in the Classroom, Technology for the Non-Techy Teacher, and Accessibility: Technology for the Best Learning Environment for ALL Students.
Mike Rinaldi - Scriptwriter
Mike Rinaldi is a professional screenwriter who was mentored by some of Hollywood's top professionals prior to his first sale to EchoLight Studios. Mike has two feature screenplays in active development and his web series, Milton Shefski Destroys the World, is in pre-production. He's making his directorial debut with the short film, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, which he wrote. A graduate of the prestigious Act One Writing Program, Mike is a consultant, blogger, contest judge and co-moderates Save the Cat! the largest online screenwriting forum. Mike previously worked in production on films, commercials and music videos, and writes for PR and talent marketing company SDI Entertainment, representing clients from Marvel's The Avengers.
Scott Smith - K-12 Educator
Scott Smith founded the Slick Rock Student Film Festival in 2001, which quickly became the largest student film festival in the Central Valley attracting over 200 student films each year. Scott has been involved in film production since his Wonder Years as a junior high kid. He cobbled together some car-washing money to produce Code Word Fritz, a backyard army movie using plastic tanks, toothpick sets and shot with his dad’s Super 8 camera. For the past 30 years, Scott has been a promoter of student-produced media speaking at conferences across the state. His professional experience includes teaching at the high school and university level. Currently Scott is the purveyor of StudioB, the Golden West High School media production studio.
Jeremy Casper - LAFSC Faculty Member, Short Film Producer
Jeremy Casper attended the Los Angeles Film Studies Center in the fall of 1996, and currently teaches cinematography and narrative storytelling. Jeremy is also a writer/director/producer and recently completed his first feature film, Vacant House, which premiered at the United Film Festival, Los Angeles 2013. Jeremy has worked professionally in the film industry at Warner Brothers and did his internship at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment during the production of Titanic.
As a film professor, he has helped develop over 600 short films and is currently co-writing a book with filmmaker John K. Bucher, Jr. on story structure for short films. He also leads filmmaking seminars all over the world, most recently in Egypt, Ukraine, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Australia, and Italy. He has several projects currently in development, including his next feature film, which he also plans to direct.