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Los Angeles Film School

The Los Angeles Film School
Motto Pursue Your Passion
Established 1999
Type For-profit college
President Diana Derycz-Kessler
Students 2,464 (2014)[1]
Location Los Angeles, California, USA
Campus Urban

The Los Angeles Film School (informally LA Film School) is a for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees in majors relating to the entertainment industry. The school is located in Los Angeles, California and encompasses the Los Angeles Recording School. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.[2][3]


  • History 1
  • Facilities 2
  • Academics 3
    • Degree programs 3.1
    • Noteworthy faculty and staff 3.2
    • Noteworthy productions and events 3.3
  • Noteworthy alumni 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Los Angeles Film School was founded in 1999.[4][5] The school was conceived and founded by married investors Paul Kessler, a financier, and Diana Derycz-Kessler, a Harvard-trained lawyer and entrepreneur,[6][7] together with Thom Mount, and venture capitalist Bud MaLette.[8][9][10][2] In 1998, the founders developed the idea for the school and made an initial investment of $2 million.[6][11]

The first classes began in September 1999, and the school's first students graduated in July 2000.[12][9] The founding faculty included Tom Schatz, professor of film,[13] William Fraker and Janusz Kamiński teaching cinematography, Jon Amiel and Donald Petrie teaching directing, Dede Allen teaching editing, Ron Judkins teaching sound production, and Joe Byron, Director of Technology.[9]

The school was originally funded by Kessler and Derycz-Kessler through their company Bristol Investments.[14] After 18 months, the couple bought out their partners in the school and Dercyz-Kessler became the CEO,[14][11][5] seeking to address overspending in a more active role.[5] The total investment in the school had grown to $15 million by 2001, including the installation of the professional equipment required for film production.[11] As of 2001, students at the school had created 700 short films. The total number of students was 150 full-time and approximately 30 part-time.[11]

In 2003, the school formed a partnership with Full Sail University.[15] The following year, 2004, Full Sail also entered into a strategic partnership with The Los Angeles Recording School, and the Los Angeles Film and Recording schools became affiliates.[16] In April 2011, a decision was made by ACCET to withdraw its accreditation of The Los Angeles Recording School. The decision was stayed on appeal, and the school was permitted to resign its accreditation amicably, following the transfer of remaining students to The Los Angeles Film School,[17][18] which is accredited by the ACCSC.[2][3]

In February 2010, employees of The Los Angeles Film School submitted authorization cards to the

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ "Los Angeles Film School". Unigo Group. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Suzzane Takowsky (16 June 2013). "The Pursuit of Happiness". The Beverly Hills Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Directory of Accredited Institutions". Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Patrick J. McDonnell (24 March 2010). "Union rally backs organizing drive at private L.A. Film School".  
  5. ^ a b c Lewis Rice (2001). "The Big Picture". Harvard Law Bulletin. 
  6. ^ a b c d Jason Dean (Spring 2012). "In the heart of Hollywood". CSuite Quarterly. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Paul L. Kessler".  
  8. ^ Variety Staff (2 August 1999). "Stone unspools school".  
  9. ^ a b c Paul Cullum (10 May 2000). "Thom Mount and the Los Angeles Film School".  
  10. ^ "L.A. Film School to offer tech courses".  
  11. ^ a b c d Beatriz Barceló-Boyker (18 September 2001). "The ABC’s of Cinematography". La Opinión. 
  12. ^ a b c Bijan Tehrani (27 January 2008). "Los Angeles Film School". Cinema Without Borders. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  13. ^ Jill Pesselnick (18 August 1999). "L.A. Film School taps Schatz".  
  14. ^ a b Audrey Davidow (1 January 2003). "Blonde Ambition". Angeleno Magazine. 
  15. ^ a b "Full Sail principals' partnership buys property for L.A. media schools".  
  16. ^ Maureen Droney (1 October 2004). "L.A. Grapevine". Mix. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "ACCET letter re: Appeals decision" (PDF). Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "ACCET letter re: resignation of accreditation" (PDF). Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Dave McNary (24 March 2010). "Unions rally for L.A. Film School faculty".  
  20. ^ Bacon, David (October 2011). "FT Presses for Overdue Changes to Federal Rules Governing Elections". California Teacher (California Federation of Teachers). Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "National ruling supports worker organizing". California Teacher (California Federation of Teachers). 1 March 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  22. ^ Kate Linthicum and David Karp (14 July 2011). "Feud over Hollywood Farmers Market ends — for now".  
  23. ^ a b c d e Cassandra M. Bellantoni (14 March 2011). "The Los Angeles Film School". Beverly Hills Times Magazine. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  24. ^ Amber Smith (24 October 2011). "Los Angeles Film School: Where Hollywood Grows".  
  25. ^ "Los Angeles Film School Expands". StudentFilmmakers Magazine. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  26. ^ Nga Nguyen (23 February 2006). "Schools Buy Klasky CSUPO Studios Bldg. for $410 PSF". CoStar. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  27. ^ a b c "10 Years Post-9/11, LA Film School Highlights a Positive Path for Army Reserve Soldiers & Families after War". Defense & Aerospace Week. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  28. ^ Kyle Rupprecht (29 October 2009). "Los Angeles Film School’s Gateway to Hollywood".  
  29. ^ a b c "Established industry professionals provide hands-on training to those aspiring to enter the entertainment field".  
  30. ^ "Film Schools & Training Programs".  
  31. ^ "Los Angeles Film School". Avid Training Partners. Avid. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Los Angeles Film School (Hollywood, CA)". Victory Media Inc. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  33. ^ "Best for Vets, Career & Technical Colleges 2014". Gannett. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  34. ^ George Altman (13 October 2014). "Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2015".  
  35. ^ a b c d e "School Detail".  
  36. ^ a b Jill Duffy (14 May 2008). "L.A. Film School Adds Two Game Degrees". Game Career Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  37. ^ Stephen Slaybaugh (27 July 2012). "Los Angeles Film School adding entertainment business degree to curriculum". Production2.0. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  38. ^ Mike Fleming (10 December 2012). "Former Universal Pic Prexy Hal Lieberman To Head LA Film School Biz B.S. Program".  
  39. ^ Paul Cullum (10 May 2000). "Cinema Tech: Thom Mount and the Los Angeles Film School". LA Weekly. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  40. ^ "Joe Byron Joins Seven and Meeting Wed (Dec 14th)". The Los Angeles Film School. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  41. ^ Dana Harris (14 January 2002). "Students to package pix".  
  42. ^ "Demon Slayer - First 8 Minutes".  
  43. ^ NIX (2 July 2003). "Demon Slayer (2003) Movie Review". Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  44. ^ William Conner (April 2003). "HD at American Film Market 2003" (PDF). High Def 5 (2). Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  45. ^ Andy Nguyen (14 September 2011). "The Yellow Ribbon experience". Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  46. ^ Kyle Jaeger (11 February 2014). Dallas Buyers Club,' 'Wolf of Wall Street' Writers Reveal Their Writing Processes, Biggest Challenges"'".  
  47. ^ "7th Annual Screenwriters Panel". Calendar of Events. The Los Angeles Film School. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  48. ^ Urban Islandz Staff (27 August 2012). "Bob Marley Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award". Ubran Islandz. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  49. ^ a b Molly Gray (9 November 2012). "Veterans film festival features US soldiers' experiences on the battlefield and behind the lens".  
  50. ^ "Evolution Film Festival". Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  51. ^ Bob Strauss (29 October 2013). "GI Film Festival brings military movie mind-set to Burbank".  
  52. ^ Robin Menken (7 September 2013). "6th Annual Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival". Cinema Without Borders. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  53. ^ Ibrahim, Antoine (30 September 2010). "The Los Angeles Film School Presents and Hosts 3-D Film Festival" (Press release). Hollywood, CA: Marketwire. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  54. ^ "The Dream Factory Teams with the Los Angeles Film School, Sony and RealD to Present New 3D Film Festival" (Press release). Hollywood, CA: Creative Planet. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  55. ^ "Student Short Film Festival 2011". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  56. ^ Mark Rozeman (21 January 2014). "Workaholics: High, Wry and Totally Fly".  
  57. ^ Paul Tingen (June 2011). "Ari Levine & The Smeezingtons: Producing Bruno Mars".  
  58. ^ "Martin Pensa, Editor". Dallas Buyers Club Cast and Crew.  
  59. ^ "Film Editing / Dallas Buyers Club".  
  60. ^ Rebecca Reynolds (July 2013). "All Indie Family". The Independent. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  61. ^ "Cast & Crew".  
  62. ^ Paul Tingen (1 August 2010). "Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Jaycen Joshua".  


See also

Several alumni of The Los Angeles Film School have gone on to have notable careers in the entertainment industry, including David Eischen, of techno band Transoverload, Kyle Newacheck, director and co-creator of the television series Workaholics;[56] Ari Levine, who is a member of the writing and producing team for musician Bruno Mars;[57] Martin Pensa, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work editing the film Dallas Buyers Club;[58][59] Brandon Trost, who has served as cinematographer on several films including That Awkward Moment and This is the End;[60][61] Jaycen Joshua, who is a Grammy Award-winning sound mixer;[62] and Brian Taylor, co-writer and co-director of Crank, Crank: High Voltage and Gamer.[23]

Noteworthy alumni

The school was host to the 2013 Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival and also hosts the Los Angeles-based 3D Film Festival.[52][53][54] The school has also hosted the BAFTA Student Film Awards in 2011.[55]

Since 2012, The Los Angeles Film School has hosted the Evolution International Film Festival.[50] The school also served as host to the 2012 GI Film Festival as part of its Annual Salute, and featured two films produced by Los Angeles Film School students.[51][49]

Since 2007, the school has held an annual panel discussion which features the writers of Oscar-nominated films.[46][47] In 2010, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for Bob Marley was presented to the artist's family at the school.[48] Since 2009, the school has held an annual Veterans Day event called the "Annual Salute" to honor students with military service records.[49][27]

The feature-length film Demon Slayer was produced by the school in 2003 and was financed by Roger Corman. The cast and crew for the film, including director James Cotton, was composed of students and alumni of The Los Angeles Film School.[41][42][43] The film was produced through the school's 1st Chance Films program, which partners well-known producers with its students to make films using the facilities at the school.[44] The school's Military Services Department produced the 2011 documentary The Yellow Ribbon Experience, which chronicles the reintegration of soldiers from the 63rd Regional Support Command into civilian life.[27][45]

Noteworthy productions and events

Joe Byron, who holds eight patents related to motion picture production, has served several roles at the school since 1999, including Director of Education, Director of Technology, and Director of Student and Alumni Engagement.[39][12][40]

Since 2012, former Universal Studios executive and film producer Hal Lieberman has headed a bachelor of science program in entertainment business.[37][38]

Noteworthy faculty and staff

The Los Angeles Film School offers several associate and bachelor's degree programs related to the entertainment industry. Film related degrees include an associate degree in film, and bachelor's degrees in digital filmmaking and film production.[35][3] Degrees related to the video game industry include an associate degree in game production and a bachelor's in game production and design.[35][36][29] The school also offers an associate degree in computer animation and a bachelor's in animation and visual effects.[35][36] Two associate degrees related to the music industry are offered, one in music production and one in recording arts.[35][29] In addition, the school offers a bachelor's degree in entertainment business.[35][3]

Degree programs

The school is approved to teach veterans by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education. It is also a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity College Consortium, and is considered a military friendly school by[2][32] Military Times Magazine ranked The Los Angeles Film School 7th on their "Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges" list for 2014, and in the top five on 2015's list.[33][34]

The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to offer associate and bachelor's degrees.[2][3] In order to maintain its accreditation with the ACCSC, the school must achieve 70% industry job placement for its students within a year of graduation.[12][29] The school is also accredited with the Directors Guild of America and is an Avid Pro Tools curriculum partner.[30][31]


The Los Angeles Film School is located on Sunset Boulevard, where its quarter-million square foot campus (23,000 m2) includes the historic RCA Building,[6][24][23] which is known for being a recording place of artists including Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and Henry Mancini.[6] In 2001, the school opened a 345-seat, THX-certified theater featuring a Sony 4K projector.[2][25] In 2006, the nearby six-story Klasky Csupo studio building was purchased, which brought the total area of the campus to 230,000 square feet (21,000 m2).[15][26] The campus also includes a 4,000 square feet (370 m2) sound stage and the 8,000 square feet (740 m2) Ivar Theater.[2][27][28] The school's main stage houses a 3,000 square feet (280 m2) set of a Victorian house, where students can produce television shows with industry professionals.[23] Overall, as of March 2011, $61 million had been invested in the buildings alone.[23]


By 2011, the school's enrollment had grown to 1,800 students.[23]

[22] In July 2011, the school settled a dispute with a local farmers market, which regularly blocked access to a Los Angeles Film School parking garage.[21][20]

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