LAC Alumna “Carol Housel” Heads to Hollywood
July 10th, 2010

Carol Housel, Living Arts College Alumna
Living Arts College (LAC) alumna Carol Housel is leaving for Hollywood for the very first time. She has been cast to work as a Second Assistant Director on a full length independent film called “Plans”. Since graduating from LAC in 2004, Carol has worked as a Production Assistant and shot and edited films on a freelance basis for companies such as Trailblazers and Carolina Broadcasting Systems. Carol is currently working with as a Director/Producer and her most recent title is Marketing Communications Specialist.

Carol started her education in photography having exhibited in galleries throughout New York. Born and raised in Nyack, NY, her parents retired and moved to Raleigh, NC. Inspired by the late actress and family friend Helen Hayes, she grew up watching old movies already knowing what she wanted to pursue as a career – making movies!

“We have an impressive cast given the budget and this is my very first time working in Hollywood.” – Carol Housel

Included in the cast are actors Steve Banno from “Freeks and Geeks” and “40 Year Old Virgin” and Mark Fite from “2 Headed Dog” and “The Rudy Casoni Show”. If that’s not a cast, I don’t know what is!

This a great opportunity for one of our alumni who have studied within the Digital Filmmaking Program at the Living Arts College @ School of Communication Arts and we are proud of Carol Housel’s accomplishment and future endeavors.

For more information about the “Plans” independent film please visit:

PromaxBDA: The Conference 2010
July 10th, 2010

Living Arts College’s annual trip to the PromaxBDA conference concluded on June 25, 2010. This year’s trip was one of the best! PromaxBDA, the association for promotional and design professionals, just wrapped on its 55th annual conference in Los Angeles June 24 with an incredible turnout, drastically higher than previous years. In attendance from LAC were School President Roger Klietz, Vice-President and Campus Director Debra Hooper, Assistant Campus Director Matthew Kelly, Interactive Media Arts Program Coordinator Vincent Gardner, and several LAC students and alumni along with four LAC students who were chosen to serve as PromaxBDA Interns for this year’s conference.

“The interns are rockin’ it!” said Jonathan Block-Verk, President and CEO, PromaxBDA.

The conference was kicked off by a speech by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with an introduction by ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Top design and marketing awards went to Fox Broadcasting Co., bpg Advertising, CTV Creative Agency, Syfy, Showtime, and FX. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Hugh Hefner, who was present for an exciting interview by Larry King.

The conference also introduced the Creative Educator’s Forum, a professional development event for creative educators. The forum’s board is made up of a small, select group of nationwide creative education leaders. Living Arts College’s own Vice-President and Campus Director, Debra Hooper was among this elite group.

This year’s conference had some real treats in store for creative professionals and students. Sessions were held by industry leaders such as David Carson, Jakob Trollback, Brett Ashy, Gordon Ho, Stefan Sagmeister, Seth Berkowitz, Patrick Burgoyne, Michael Walsh, Lee Hunt, Graeme Newell, Timmy Fisher, Garson Yu, Mark Kudsi and Will Travis – to name just a few!

When asked what their favorite part of the conference was, staff and students had a difficult time deciding. One thing common with everyone’s excitement about the event was all the national and international industry professionals and celebrities that attendees had the privilege to meet.

“Ryan Stout and Norm MacDonald were hilarious at the awards events – and a perfect way to wrap up en exciting day of meeting professionals and networking” said TJ Piper, LAC student.

“I met Larry King!” said LAC student, Shannon Chapman.

“I’ve met many big names in the creative arts in my career, but meeting David Carson and Stefan Sagmesiter all within a 30 minute window had to be the highlight for me!” said LAC Assistant Campus Director, Matthew Kelly. “This year PromaxBDA has done a perfect job of giving all the folks at the conference on both the business and creative side of things exactly what they wanted!”

Michael Castro Wins Bronze Telly Award
July 10th, 2010

Michael Castro with Telly Award
Living Arts College @ School of Communication Arts (LAC) is proud to announce Michael Castro’s MMI Public Relations Telly Bronze Award. He competed on a national level and produced the video, “TCG Machines”. Why is this video different? Michael says he wanted to tell the story from a machine’s point-of-view. He adds, “It’s not impossible, it’s just difficult.”

The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video, film productions and work created for the Web. Since 1978, their mission has been to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting and supporting creativity. The 30th Annual Telly Awards received more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Bronze Winners are awarded a Bronze Telly statuette designed by the same firm that makes the Oscar® and Emmy®. In addition, each Winner is awarded a commemorative certificate. Judges evaluate entries to recognize distinction in creative work — entries do not compete against each other. Instead, entries are judged against a high standard of merit.

Michael is currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Digital Filmmaking anticipating graduation in September 2010.

Scott Myers speaks to LAC students
April 14th, 2010

Students at Living Arts College were treated to an evening with Hollywood screenwriter Scott Myers. Mr. Myers is credited with having three of his scripts produced into major motion pictures. These include K-9 starring Jim Belushi, Alaska starring Thora Birch, and Trojan Wars starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Mr. Myers has written over twenty other screenplays for major Hollywood studios and has developed numerous network television shows in his twenty-five year career in the industry.
Scott Myers speaks to LAC students

Scott Myers speaks to LAC students

Mr. Myers spoke with LAC digital filmmaking students about the purpose of every character in a script and how important this was to the overall process of writing. He used the film The Wizard of Oz to analyze each character’s role in the overall structure of the story. After his two-hour presentation, Mr. Myers fielded questions from students on a wide range of topics, from writing to selling scripts. All the students were extremely delighted with the experience and thanked David Acuff for organizing the event.

Mr. Myers currently resides in Chapel Hill where he is Executive Producer with Distillery Pictures. In his spare time, he teaches a scriptwriting course at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as a UCLA Extension course where he received the Writer’s Program’s Outstanding Instructor of the Year award in 2005. David Acuff, Digital Filmmaking Instructor at Living Arts College met Scott Myers while working with him on a project at Trail Blazer Studios in Raleigh, NC.

No Drawing Required
April 14th, 2010

Frameforge Previz Studio

No longer will Digital Filmmaking students who think that they “can’t draw”, need to worry when it comes time to produce storyboards for their film projects. Digital Filmmaking students at Living Arts College now have the same previsualization capabilities as any Hollywood production studio, thanks to FrameForge Previz Studio 3 software recently installed in the department’s computer lab. Students are very excited to find that FrameForge Previz Studio 3 enables them to create a virtual set in the computer with the freedom to place any number of virtual camera positions, angle or height desired. Each camera features full Pan/Tilt, Dolly, Zoom, Roll, and Crane control.

FrameForge Previz Studio comes with well over one thousand World-Ready™ objects from a simple drag’n’drop library including everything you need to build exteriors, homes, offices, whatever. Students can explore each shot before they start shooting. Previsualize your project with FrameForge Previz Studio 3 and your printed or exported storyboards will not only be optically-accurate, but they’ll give your cast and crew a true representation of your directoral intentions, including the technical information required to create that shot on location.

Frameforge Previz Studio

Frameforge Previz Studio

Students can quickly and easily create sets that give real world information with stretchable snap-together walls. Add movable, hinged single and double doors that open to any angle, and movable, completely sizable windows.

The Shot Manager allows students to view, rearrange, delete and edit any of your stored shots. Decide you want to tighten up a close-up, or give someone more headroom? Just double-click that shot and you’ll be taken back to that set, exactly as it was when you first snapped it-including all actors, props and camera positioning. Make any changes you want and snap it again to replace the old version. Students can add movement arrows and camera framing boxes-which designate zoom or pans within a shot-to your shot, then stretch, scale, flip, and tilt these arrows/boxes to create just the look you want.

The digital film students at Living Arts College jumped right into working with the new FrameForge Previz 3 software this week. They all agree that this software will be a tremendous asset to their future productions.

Alumni News – 3/27/10
March 17th, 2010

Barry Safley is a veteran of twelve years with Industrial Light and Magic. Barry worked most recently on the movies Star Wars and AVATAR. Barry is a compositor and loves NUKE for compositing.

Carl Schmidt was just promoted to Assistant Art Director at Electronic Arts. Carl has been working at EA for over six years on the SIMS project and is now busy on SIMS 3 AMBITIONS. Carl is also planning a spring wedding to his fiancé, Kristen.

Craig Slagle is coming up on his one year anniversary with Rhythm and Hues. Prior to Rhythm and Hues, Craig worked at EA for seven years. Craig is also a former Living Arts College @ the School of Communication Arts professor and is an avid runner.

Pierre Chastain is busy working on Zoo Keeper at Sony. Pierre recently worked on the just released movie, Alice in Wonderland.

Dean Sauls is now at AFK Interactive working on mobile apps. Dean was the owner of PRAXIS Studio before selling to a larger company. Dean and his wife, Tricia, just had their third baby.

Documentary Screening – Three Unique Artists Collaborate
March 17th, 2010


Living Arts College @ School of Communications Arts is proud to host “3 The Hard Way”, a film documentary by Octave Blue Entertainment Production an entrepreneur venture of LAC alumnus Robert King presented by “THE LoDi PROJECT.”

What happens when you bring together a graffiti artist from the streets of Philly, a cartoonist born and bred in the South, and a French Puerto Rican, mixed media/collage painter to collaborate on an artistic project?

Over the last ten months Sean Kernick and Paul Friedrick collaborated with Georges Le Chevallier, professor at Living Arts College, to create 14 canvasses and 15 drawings. Three artists from completely different backgrounds will present their work in a unique film documentary. Living Arts College is pleased to welcome alumnus Robert King who worked in conjunction with his wife Lisa King of Octave Blue Entertainment to film the year-long process.

“It will be interesting to see how three artists, with completely different backgrounds, processes and styles come together to create a finished painting. “
–Georges LeChevallier

“THE LoDi PROJECT” exists as a curatorial organization that strives to bring attention to current issues and ideas by creating an atmosphere of open dialogue through site- specific and traveling exhibitions, performances and productions.

Campus Director Enjoys a Fun Day at “The Walt Disney Family Museum”
March 17th, 2010

The Walt Disney Family Museum is brand new. It just recently opened its doors in October and is located in the Presidio of South Florida. How convenient—just down the street from ILM!

The museum is arranged in chronological order of Walt Disney’s life, recounting the history of his life and career. The galleries are:

ADULT BEGINNINGS: Includes scenes from childhood, youth, and early adulthood.

HOLLYWOOD: Walt arriving in the movie capital. Includes original artwork that documents the silent-film series success of Mickey Mouse.

NEW HORIZONS IN THE 30’S: Success of Walt’s cartoons led to a revolution in the art and technology of animation.

THE MOVE TO FEATURES: Walt dares to produce a feature length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

WE WERE IN A NEW BUSINESS: A new studio was built in Burbank. Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi were produced here. This exhibit shows off rare production pieces along with multiple camera cranes used during production.

THE TOUGHEST PERIOD IN MY WHOLE LIFE: 1941. Disney experienced an animators strike. Training films for World War II also took place during this time.

POST WAR PRODUCTION: Walt ventures into live-action production. An under water camera used for filming 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea can be seen.

WALT & THE NATURAL WORLD: Walt’s documentary film production is illustrated with his specialized equipment used to produce wildlife films.

THE 1950’S & 1960’S—THE BIG SCREEN AND BEYOND: Walt branches out from motion pictures to television and creates an innovative theme park called Disney Land. These attractions were introduced at the 1964 World’s Fair.

DECEMBER 15, 1966: Walt’s death shocks and saddens the world, but his legacy will continue to inspire future generations.

Terrance Mann at Living Arts College
February 11th, 2010

Friday, January 1st we hosted a workshop for the theater students from Wakefield High School. Due to the snow, Wake County closed all after school activities. Professor Craig Brandwynne, with Paul Orsett, Wakefield’s theater director, had arranged for the students to use our facility for the workshop and we were more than happy to do so.

The workshop was directed by Broadway actor, singer and dancer Terrance Mann. Terrance Mann has originated roles in major Broadway productions such as Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and Javert in Les Mis, among others. Craig Brandwynne took Mr. Mann on a tour of the school. Terrance was very impressed and was amazed that a college like this can not only offer the programs and the technology for students, but the students can also earn a Bachelors degree, said Craig. Terrance is on Broadway now in the new musical “The Adams Family” with Nathan Lane. When he is back in North Carolina, we will invite him to speak at one of our functions.

Opportunities like this happen very often here at Living Arts College. Our professors are very well connected with their respective industries. Not only do they teach at the college, they also work in the industry

We would like to thank Mr. Brandwynne and Mr. Orsett for arranging this amazing event. Roughly 25 students were glued to Mr. Mann as he listened to each one sing, offering suggestions and constructive criticism. He is a remarkable mentor and we loved hosting this event.

Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus

LAC Graduates and Students Join Forces with Local Studio and Magazine
December 9th, 2009
Living Arts College (LAC) is proud to announce that five graduates and students joined Creative Force Studios as they produce a brand new television show designed to spotlight local area nightlife.
Creative Force Studios in collaboration with Social the Magazine will premiere a new television program “Social in the City.” The first episode is set to air December 5 at 7:30 p.m. on CW22. The show highlights the trendiest “hot spots” offered in the Raleigh-Durham area. Interviews will be conducted with local and national celebrities, fine dining restaurants, upscale clubs and bars, along with the local “fashionistas” to demonstrate Raleigh-Durham’s marketability among the nations’ “hottest cities.”
The graduates and students of LAC, Eric Njoroge, Jessica Barfield, Billy Orlando, Blake Godfrey and Josh Baker joined the production crew as camera operators, production assistants, lighters, gaffers, etc. They will embark on a journey with the show’s host Donna Maria as they travel from one location to another aboard the “Social in the City” tour bus.
The graduates and students were on location with Creative Force Studios to start the production November 20.
For more information regarding future productions of “Social in the City” visit or contact media partner, Social the Magazine at

Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus