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.
BE DIRECT. BE KIND.
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 collective. Founded in 2009 in Los Angeles, WMM provides free workshops, discounted resources and services, educational industry events, and fosters an inclusive community of over 5,000 independent filmmakers, writers, and actors. We Make Movies empowers creative professionals who are developing and producing original works, and is also available for hire as an independent production company.
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 workshop pipeline. 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. They are currently touring a curriculum based on mobile filmmaking called “Smartphone Studio” at conventions, various communities, and for professional filmmakers and non-filmmakers alike.
We Make Movies expanded the community to Toronto (WMM Canada) in 2012, and most recently opened a branch in the Bay Area in Northern California (WMM San Francisco) in the Fall of 2018.
our open door policy
WMM is an inclusive community open to artists of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and sexes. It’s our value that we want everyone to “make the movie they want to see” and so it is our policy that we do not censor or cherry-pick which scripts are read during our workshops. Our goal is that by having an open door policy we will allow writers of all backgrounds and experience levels a platform to improve and grow. However, we realize that this policy can also allow for content that is objectionable or offensive to be read. So, we ALSO believe that the same no-censorship policy applies to our audience and they should feel free to dissent and be empowered to speak their mind freely back to the writers in a constructive and respectful way. Our hope is that by not being another “gate-keeper” that merely rejects people without explanation, this community will actually enlighten artists to how or why their content isn’t being received.
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 email@example.com.
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 / Events
Sapna Gandhi is an actor, singer-songwriter, and content creator. In addition to TV credits such as SHAMELESS and SCANDAL, she has appeared in numerous shorts and features, including festival darlings IN ABSENTIA (Raindance) and THUMPER (Tribeca). Gandhi created the comedic series BROAD STROKES, produced and starred in the short BREAK and feature ABOUT STRANGERS (both under the umbrella of her production company Elegant Grotesque), and has produced several series and films (most recently SCRAP, starring Anthony Rapp and directed by Leena Pendharkar, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ STRANDED ON THE EARTH). She is also 1/2 of the 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 / Operations
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 / Operations
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 began his filmmaking career producing, writing, and starring in SO, WHAT’S IN JERICHO? in 1998. JERICHO? was an early example of digital filmmaking and raising money by a primitive form of crowdfunding (he asked family and friends for money and promised perks without use of the internet). Moving to LA in 2000, he wrote, produced and directed the short films HOLLYWOOD, THE HARD WAY, THE SHABBOS BIGFOOT, and A MOCK TIME: A ‘STAR TREK’ WEDDING, as well as several industrial films for UCLA Medical. He joined WMM in 2012, wrote and acted in the WMM Challenge winning sketch MISERY DATE, and then wrote, directed, produced and edited the award winning short JES AND LORA. As an editor, he worked on the award winning features, CARBON NATION and ASSISTING VENUS. His latest acting and filmmaking project to be released soon is the short comedy LIFE’S A PITCH, and as an actor he’s appeared on GUIDING LIGHT, 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.
A Baltimore, MD native, Allyson moved to New York where she studied at The William Esper Studio and had her first feature film debut in Poultrygeist:_Night_of_the_Chicken_Dead. The slaughtered chicken decided the next best move would be to Los Angeles during the writer’s strike. Refusing to be derailed by her unfortunate timing, she appeared in and assisted on the Speechless Without Writer's campaign, directed by her mentor George Hickenlopper. After years in Hollywood, multiple acting groups, she was finally introduced to a community that, well, it's in the name, We Make Movies. Life altering. Family of creators, 8 Aprons production company formed, and a Hollywood Vampires web series evolved. Constantly continuing stuff in the works. Making movies you want to see. Stay tuned.
A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, it was over a decade ago that Michael moved to Los Angeles to work as an actor. He had early success with a small role on the NBC show FREAKS AND GEEKS, and in the years that followed, Michael has worked on well over one-hundred projects playing everything from a serial killer, to a mentally challenged man-child, from God, to the devil, from a peeping pervert, to a romantic leading man. While acting will always be his first love, since coming to We Make Movies in 2010, Michael has written numerous short films, three pilots and even a feature film script. He’s also become known as an editor and producer.
Social Media Director
Serene Zloof (aka Datgirl) is a writer, producer, actress, and electronic music producer/MC, with a flair for magical-surrealism, crazy-for-real characters, and techie-satire. She loves bringing episodic comedy and electronic rap videos together -- writing, producing, editing, scoring and acting as many characters in the new pop-culture music-festival comedy series POP&SPIN. Datgirl also tours internationally as a DJ/live producer/MC, and writes and performs one-girl multi-character metaphysical comedy plays (now turned into the podcast “datgirl presents”), hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “hallucinatory, funny, and provocatively perceptive.” Find all thingsss datgirl on www.datgirl.tv, instagram, or on Youtube.
Improv / Sketch Outreach
Jack Zullo is a Los Angeles based actor, writer and filmmaker, born in Manhattan and raised on Long Island, New York. He burst onto the LA scene in 2007 with a 6 month run in the hit sketch shows, "Friendly Neighbors" and "Bathroom Talk," and hasn't looked back. Most recently, he earned accolades in 2016's mixed-media bio show, "Live From the Grave....It's John Belushi!" playing the title role. His film and TV credits include, JIMMY KIMMEL, EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY, and BRICK STONE NEWS. He is stage trained by Sondra Lee (contemporary stage method) and The Actor's Gang (The Style), improv trained by Keith Johnstone, Groundings (I, II), and is a Westside Comedy graduate, plus a litany of on-camera workshops. He's also produced four short projects.
Insurance Policy Advocate
Whit Spurgeon was born in Wichita, KS, raised in Muncie, IN, schooled in Syracuse, NY and London, England, forged as a performer in Chicago, and presently resides and works as an actor and director in North Hollywood, CA. His Chicago years include over three dozen TV commercials, as well as parts in numerous Jeff Citation and Award-winning plays, including "Hizzoner" at Prop Theatre, the world premiere of Rebecca Gilman's "Glory of Living" at Circle Theatre, and Clifford Odets' "Awake and Sing!" at Timeline Theatre. While in Chicago he helped form the National New Play Network with Prop Theatre, where he worked extensively in script development. Since moving to LA, Whit has appeared in dozens of short films, directed half a dozen of his own shorts, and played featured roles on TV in COUGAR TOWN, FRESH OFF THE BOAT, and the YouTube Red Series, LIZA ON DEMAND, as well as being featured in two modern cult horror films, CHASTITY BITES and VICTOR CROWLEY.
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.