» Meet the Team

The Summer Film Academy is a unique experience lead by seasoned film professionals from Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

photo of Tom Ptasinski

Tom Ptasinski

Lead Faculty Instructor and Lecturer
Tom Ptasinski is a festival award- winning film director, screenwriter, producer, and educator. Tom graduated from Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production with an emphasis in Directing. After school, he moved to Los Angeles and worked in a development, production, or post-production capacity for various feature films, TV shows, commercials, and production companies including "David Foster Productions," "Whitelist Content LLC," "The Dr. Phil Show," and "The Doctors." When not pursuing his film career, Tom has taught over five hundred students filmmaking, film theory, and directing at Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP), Dodge College Summer Film Academy, and as an adjunct lecturer at Chapman University.
photo of Rachel Bass

Rachel Bass

Lead Instructor and Lecturer
Rachel Bass is a film director and alumna of Dodge College’s MFA in Film Production, Directing emphasis program. She has won two Director’s Guild of America Awards including best African-American film nationally for her graduate thesis. She currently teaches Visual Storytelling for Dodge’s undergraduate programs. Rachel has been an educator for over ten years and has taught every grade on the books, from pre-school to college, and has been a Summer Film Academy instructor for four years. Rachel lives in Los Angeles and works as a part-time assistant to a television director.
photo of Kaitlin Hecker

Kaitlin Hecker

Post Production Instructor
Kaitlin Hecker received her bachelor’s degree in Television Broadcast and Film from the University of La Verne then continued her education at Chapman's Dodge College, earning her MFA in Film Production with an emphasis in editing. She has been editing for 8 years and has worked on everything from documentaries and commercials, to scripted television and feature films. Some of her credits include “The Gymkhana Files,” “Shock and Awe,” and most recently, Tim Burton’s new “Dumbo.” This will be Kaitlin’s sixth year as post production supervisor and instructor at Summer Film Academy. In her free time, Kaitlin is an avid horror movie and Disney fan.
photo of Priscilla Campos

Priscilla Campos

Summer Programs Manager and Associate Director of Admissions
Priscilla Campos graduated from the University of La Verne with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is currently enrolled in the MA Leadership Development Program at Chapman University. She has a passion for higher education and leadership development. She oversees both graduate and undergraduate admissions for Dodge College and manages the operations for Summer Film Academy. Her favorite part of SFA is the bond that it creates for the students that often times leads to lifelong friendships.
photo of Jessica Houston

Jessica Houston

Summer Programs Coordinator and Admissions Coordinator
Jessica Houston is a poet and artist. Jessica graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theatre. After graduating, she moved to California, where she had the opportunity to work with New Filmmakers of Los Angeles and focus on independent projects. Jessica assists in overseeing undergraduate and graduate admissions for Dodge College and assists with the operations for SFA.

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