Motion picture students get opportunity to learn from film and television professionals

Photo by Nia-Nicole Pugh

Wright State University motion picture students learned from a number of high-level film and television professionals who gave remote lectures during Fall Semester.

Because the pandemic forced film and television production to largely shut down, the Motion Pictures Program was able to organize lectures by a record number of seven working professionals who shared their expertise with Wright State’s emerging filmmakers and film scholars.

The lectures were one way the program sustained student engagement while fulfilling its mission of high-quality professional development, said Nichol Simmons, adjunct motion pictures faculty member.

“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Motion Picture Production Area (MoPix) has been a hive of activity this semester. MoPix faculty have found innovative and creative ways to engage our B.A. and B.F.A. students within majors that typically demand a significant amount of hands-on training and in-class screenings,” said Simmons, who graduated from Wright State in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in motion pictures production.

Guest speakers included:

  • Hanelle Culpepper, a director on “Star Trek: Picard” and director and executive producer of “Kung Fu”
  • Emileigh Potter, quality control technician and assistant editor for the CMT channel
  • Pilar Alessandra, director of the writing program “On The Page” and author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter”
  • Wright State alumnus Sherman Payne, who wrote two episodes of the 10th season of Showtime’s “Shameless” and whose feature screenwriting debut, “Charm City Kings,” premiered on HBO Max in October
  • Lily Mariye, a television and film director best known for her work on “Criminal Minds,” “The Fosters” and “Nashville”
  • Brig Muñoz-Liebowitz, a TV writer and executive producer who has worked on “One Day at a Time,” “Brooklyn 99” and “People of Earth”
  • Aadip Desai, who is writing an episode of “Mira” and Royal “Detective,” was a staff writer on “The Goldbergs,” and was a co-host and producer on the “On The Page” screenwriting podcast

Guest speakers participated on Zoom in Simmons’ Writing and Directing the Short Film course and in the Post-Production course taught by Jeremy Bolden, an instructor in the Motion Pictures Program.

“From the beginning of the shutdown, motion pictures faculty committed to innovating in our virtual classrooms in ways that continue our tradition of excellence in professional training,” Simmons said. “We are incredibly proud of the work our students, staff and faculty were able to accomplish this semester under extraordinary circumstances.”

Simmons said motion pictures faculty also want to be innovators in what film education looks like during the pandemic. She cited the program’s virtual Doc Night as another example of how the program achieved that goal. Doc Night, which showcases the best short student documentaries by junior film students, will take place on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Twitch at

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