Make it fun while you make it.
Always deliver on your dream.
Quality = making the most of your resources.
Helping the community is helping yourself.
Make the movie that you want to see.
About We Make Movies
We Make Movies boasts the first functional format for a member-funded, owned, and run film and television production studio in the country. Founded in 2009, We Make Movies (WMM) is a free Los Angeles-based community of over 4,000 independent filmmakers, writers, and actors dedicated to empowering creative professionals and providing the resources and connections to help them get their movies made.
The WMM community has directly funded 24 independent films, as well as its first independently produced half hour comedy pilot, OFF THE GRID, centered around three online junkies sentenced to an internet rehab center where there’s no internet and even less rehab. More than 100 shorts, 6 full-length features, and an official WMM Sketch Show have been produced after being developed through their workshops. A considerable amount of these films have accrued accolades in several film festivals around the world and have also found distribution on various VOD platforms.
WMM has also produced and distributed educational industry podcasts “How We Make Movies”, “FCPX tutorials”, “Film Geeks”, and “Film Central”, alongside hosting weekly workshops, a monthly screening series, showcases, and film challenges.
Founder / CEO
In addition to starting WMM, Sam has directed dozens of shorts, sketches, and web series. He directed the 2007 documentary The Gloves, and was the Producer and editor of the 2009 Independent feature How I Got Lost. As a professional editor and colorist, he has worked for Apple, ESPN, Glee, and Break Media (to name a few). He is one of the world’s leading experts on FCPX workflow and is the architect behind some of the largest FCPX integrations in the world, including Focus, the first studio feature to be edited with Final Cut Pro X. He is also the CEO of WMM's sister company, Lumaforge (www.lumaforge.com), maker of the SHARESTATION, a shared storage platform optimized for media and entertainment. Drop him an email and say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Hawaiian writer, director, performer and producer, Chad has spent over half his life performing in more than fifty plays, including two years traveling the world with STOMP. As an actor, Chad’s film and television appearances include CHARMED, KILLIAN'S CHRONICLE and MID-CENTURY with John Glover and fellow Boston University alum, Faye Dunaway. Since moving behind the camera, he launched a production company with his brother Denny and now wife, Kendall Kanoa Kukahiko, with whom he’s completed a number of projects, including a motion comic, a transmedia property that was featured on Wired.com, a one-man show and dozens of commercials and other film pieces. Chad’s love affair with computers helped him build several incarnations of WeMakeMovies.org, and as Chief Operating Officer of the L.A. film collective he’s actively developing the workflows, organization and culture of We Make Movies to make it efficient and keep it fun.
Élan brings a multi-disciplinary background to the table: with a B.A. in theatre and a minor from the Marshall School of Business at USC, she’s acted in, directed and produced a variety of projects over the last decade in both film and theater. She developed the Casting and burgeoning Production departments at We Make Movies, whose short, Agnes, was selected as a finalist in the Shot on RED Film Festival.
Casting / Operations
Described as a “tornado in a linen closet,” Aubrey is a NYU and William Esper Studio trained actor who made the leap to Los Angeles. She got her start playing Daddy Warbucks in her grade school play (it was an all-girls’ school) and fell in love with performing (but not with wearing bald caps). She recently produced and acted in, WMM's first 1/2 hour comedy series, OFF THE GRID. Thanks to an early interest in technology, and parents who didn’t think extracurricular computer classes would be socially impairing, Aubrey began working with various small companies building their online communities. Able to apply her geeky tendencies to her true passion – film (apologies to slow cooked bbq ribs), she is thrilled to be working with her fellow eccentrics at WMM.
Editor-In-Chief / Operations
Sapna Gandhi is an actor, singer-songwriter, and content creator. In addition to TV credits such as SCANDAL and AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, she has appeared in numerous shorts and features, including indie cult feature DUST UP (2012) and festival darlings IN ABSENTIA (2017) and THUMPER (2017). Gandhi created the comedic series BROAD STROKES, has produced several series, short films and mixed-media theatrical productions, and most recently produced and starred in the short film BREAK and feature film ABOUT STRANGERS (both under the umbrella of the production company Elegant Grotesque). She is also 1/2 of the nascent musical duo, VATAVARAN, was born in England, raised all over the states, studied English and Women’s Studies, and trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in SF.
Head of Production
Eric Michael Kochmer is a director/actor/writer/producer, but mostly a storyteller. After studying under experimental theater director Elizabeth Swados at LaMama Theatre, graduating from Marymount Manhattan College, and creating some bizarre theater in New York City, he came to La La Land and produced and starred in an avant garde film. A few years later he found WMM and has been a little happier ever since. Eric has appeared in over 30 feature and short films, the most recent being the award winning features VIRGINITY and WHITE RABBIT. His feature film directorial debut, WAY DOWN IN CHINATOWN can be found on Amazon and he is currently in post-production on his second feature film, ABOUT STRANGERS.
Chief Technology Officer
Multitasking is a way of life for Eric, a self-described “Hollywood Hyphenate” who grew up in South Florida. When something needs doing and you aren’t sure exactly how to do it or who to call? The answer is probably him. A go-to guy for DIT, web, and pretty much anything involving being on or near a computer. As avid an actor and musician as he is a techie, he’s performed in the feature film LOVE LUST AND A ROOM KEY, Shakespeare, and in various internet shorts and sketches, some that he has penned.
"What's Next" Coordinator
Patrick is an actor and filmmaker, who began his filmmaking career in NYC writing, producing and acting in the short film "SO, WHAT'S IN JERICHO?" Upon moving to California he wrote, directed and appeared in several short films including "HOLLYWOOD THE HARD WAY", "THE SHABBOS BIGFOOT", "A MOCK TIME: A 'STAR TREK' WEDDING" and "JES AND LORA" which has had 23 festival selections and won 7 awards. As an editor he assisted on the feature documentary "CARBON NATION" and edited the narrative feature "ASSISTING VENUS" starring Michael Steger and Julian Sands. Since joining W MM he has contributed to over a dozen projects, both in front of and behind the camera including "REALITY ENDS HERE," "BREAK" and "GOOD NEWS GONE BAD." He acted in his own script for the sketch comedy "MISERY DATE" as well as many other sketches for WMM Sketch Show and he currently co-hosts " What's Next." His TV credits as an actor include "GUIDING LIGHT," "LAW AND ORDER," "ROSWELL," "DAYS OF OUR LIVES," and "PARKS AND RECREATION."
Writers Queue Management / "What's Next" Coordinator
A multifaceted enigma - Tehana Fatima Weeks is an artist, entertainer, and business woman who serves, uplifts, inspires, and empowers people to make our communities, societies, and world better.
Executive Director, We Make Movies Canada
Hailing from Newfoundland, Michael joined the L.A. We Make Movies community in 2009 and established the first WMM satellite group in Toronto in 2012! As an actor, Michael’s TV appearances include the hit Canadian series, “Republic of Doyle”, BBC America’s “Copper”, and shows on CMT, History Channel, National Geographic Channel and Spike TV. Michael appeared in several films that made the festival circuit, one being accepted at the Cannes Court Métrage and others winning awards in LA and Hawaii. Michael also starred in the WMM film, “Silent Night in Muncie” with veteran film actor, RD Call (Into the Wild, Babel, I Am Sam) which was an official selection of the 2012 Action on Film Festival. Michael also writes and produces his own projects, including “Obsession” (which he also co-wrote, co-produced and starred in).
Veteran Team Members
Joe Leonard works as an editor, producer and director. As an editor, he has cut on GLEE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, EMPIRE, STAR and THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE. His feature credits include the Blumhouse film THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon) and 3 DAYS OF NORMAL (directed by Ishai Setton). He wrote and directed the indie feature HOW I GOT LOST (produced by Jared Parsons, Massoumeh Emami and Sam Mestman), which premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2009. He is proud to have helped develop the Writers Workshop, as well as the first two slates of WMM Originals. Joe directed SNUGGLE BUNNY (co-written with Stephanie Sanditz) as part of that first slate.
Tara Samuel hails from Toronto, Canada, where she was classically-trained at the George Brown Theatre School, and began her career on the professional stage. She has appeared on several TV shows but is most widely known for her role "Tara Williams" in SUE THOMAS: F.B.EYE. She received a Best Actress Award from the Manhattan International Film Festival, for her role "Ruby" in the film RUBY BOOBY. Other film credits include WILD PRAIRIE ROSE (Winner, Audience Choice Award, Sedona International Film Fest), STAND THE GAFF, TIGER ORANGE, WAY DOWN IN CHINATOWN, HUNT THE MAGUFFIN, THE INTERVIEW, THE RWANDA BLEND, TANYA & GARY, PRAIRIE SONATA, THE DRAIN, and THE THURD EYE. As a filmmaker, Tara wrote, directed, produced and starred in the Oscar- qualifying FIND (The Journal of Short Film), which screened at festivals around the world , she co-founded Busterhouse Productions, and is CEO of www.scriptkicker.com .
Director of Community
Christopher Frederick joined WMM when he was cast as the SNUGGLE BUNNY (directed by founder Joe Leonard). He directed the web series How We Make Movies, created "Improv Night" that gave birth to sketch challenges that were eventually shot for the WMM SKETCH SHOW, assisted with the "Up On Our Feet" Night, assistant produced the "Equal Writes" program, and sat on the operations board. He also designed the current logo, and contributed his talents on design work for the group across print and web. As an actor, he trained with Dan Harmon (for improv), Upright Citizens Brigade, and the William Esper Studio (NYC). Current projects include a TV pilot based on the short film BAKED ZITI, and the short film HER & HIM (created with WMM member Susan Louise O'Connor).
Writers Queue Management / Director of Sponsorship
Lynette is a Marymount Manhattan College trained Latin actor,
roducer, and story teller, known for her work in LUX IN EFFECT, OVERNIGHT, and PROJECT HOLLYWOOD. She has worked as an actress in film, theater and TV in New York, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles. Lynette is passionate about improving the representation of women of color in front of and behind the camera. She is currently developing and producing two forms of original content that reflect her artistic voice and vision; short doc series BARE IT ALL, and a seven episode anthology for TV. Lynette recently worked as the associate producer of the award winning short MEDIATION with Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under, The Night Shift) and Marley Shelton (Sin City) and also produced the feature LET'S GET TO IT.
Valentina Vee is a filmmaker working in the digital space on branded and charity content. She’s worked with Sony, National Geographic, Mashable, YouTube, AT&T, Adobe, and Apple. She hopes to educate the WeMakeMovies community on digital strategies and filmmaking for the web.