Presenters & Hosts
Our experienced Presenters and Hosts happily and enthusiastically share useful tips, wisdom and insights during Production Q&A events.
Sam Levy, DP
Sam Levy has photographed commercials and music videos for such directors as Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, Fredrik Bond, Stacy Wall, Randy Krallman, Lisa Rubisch and Brigitte Lacombe and others.
His recent films include Lady Bird – nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture – as well as two projects for director Spike Jonze: Changers and Untitled Frank Ocean Project.
Sheldon Candis, Director
Sheldon Candis, a Baltimore native, is a writer-director and graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Candis has been directing since 2002. He has written, produced, and directed short films, television series, and documentaries across entertainment mediums. His directorial debut feature film LUV (2012) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He has also directed Sonny Listening (2002) and The Walk (2010).
2013, BEST INDEPENDENT FILM, Black Reel Awards – LUV
2012, NOMINEE GRAND JURY PRIZE, Sundance Film Festival – LUV
Under Armour, ABC, J Cole, Walt Disney Studios, ESPN, Microsoft, EverFi, US Marines, Beats by Dr. Dre, Honda, Vitamix, and more…
Christian Epps, DP/Gaffer
Christian Epps is Co-Founder of Production Q&A. He is also the Founder/CEO Of Lights, Camera, Diaspora!, a Los Angeles, based social enterprise nonprofit that bridges the gap between the African and African-Diaspora entertainment industries.
His career as a lighting designer has spanned more than three decades covering the range from major motion pictures, broadcast television, commercials, live theater, dance, music videos and special events. Directors include Ava DuVernay, Spike Lee, Hype Williams, Andrew Dosunmu.
LA Drama Critics’ Circle Career Achievement Award, Backstage West Award, NAACP Theatre Award, Soloman Award (Architectural Renovation Design).
Christian’s passion for dramatic lighting has been put to use with notable directors such as Spike Lee, Hype Williams, Ava DuVernay, David Lowery, and Ice Cube.
President Clinton: Live at the White House, 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Black Movie Awards (TNT), John Leguizamo’s Broadway show Freak (HBO), Dinner & A Movie (TBS), Man-Made Movie (TBS), The Jacksons’ Reality Show (A&E), Source Awards, Stellar Awards, Comic View, 106 & Park, Jamie Foxx’s Laffapalooza, ‘The Tom Joyner Show’ (Syndicated), ‘The Brian McKnight Show, The Weather Channel, Bill Cosby’s OBKB (Web).
Nike, IBM, Sprite, McDonald’s, Buena Vista Television, GE Capitol, Paramount Studios, Home Depot, ESPN, Buick, Kaiser Permanente, Amtrak, Panasonic. Disney Imagineering.
Fernando Altschul, AD
Fernando Altschul is an Assistant Director, Producer and Director. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he has worked in film, television, and commercials since 1985.
Between 2010 and 2013 he worked as a showrunner for Fox International Channels. Based in Bogota, Colombia he oversaw writing and production of more than 80 one hour dramas.
Fernando’s upcoming First Assistant Director credits include the feature films “Colin in Black & White” (Netflix); “Happy Death Day 2U” (Universal); “Freaky” (Universal); and “Bad Hair” . He was the 2nd Unit director of “Narcos” (Season 1).
When not making movies he enjoys composting at Ocean View Farms and tending to his home winemaking business.
He has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1995.
John Simmons, ASC
Born and raised in Chicago, John Simmons came of age at the height of the politically charged, artistically fluent 1960s. His talent as a photographer was identified and nurtured by Robert “Bobby” Sengstacke who ushered him into his early years of publishing his photographs and to his formal education in art and photography as an undergraduate.
His next educational milestone was studying cinematography at USC and moving to Los Angeles where he currently resides. John is a working cinematographer, carries his still camera with him everywhere he goes and continues to mentor and be inspired by the life around him.
John Simmons, ASC and has had a prolific career as both a still photographer and cinematographer. He has filmed numerous music videos and commercials for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg and many more. He has collaborated with filmmakers including Spike Lee and Debbie Allen, and has served as the Director of Photography for more than 25 television series. Simmons earned an Emmy for his work on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, another two nominations for his work on Pair of Kings, and a third for Family Reunion. His feature film credits include Once Upon a Time … When We Were Colored, The Killing Yard, Collected Stories, The Gin Game, Asunder, The Old Settler and the documentaries Cool Women and Dark Girls.
At age 15 Simmons began shooting photos for The Chicago Defender newspaper — the oldest Black-owned publication established in 1906. After leaving Chicago he studied fine art at Fisk University and completed a Master’s degree in cinematography at the University of Southern California. In 2004 he was inducted into the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) where he currently serves as the co-chair of the ASC Vision Committee. He is also on the Board of Governors of the Television Academy and champions increased diversity on-set.
His photographs are held in the collections of the (Getty Museum) Harvard Art Museums; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Center for Creative Photography; American Society of Cinematographers; and the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland.
Matthew J. Lloyd, DP
Born in Alberta, Canada, Matthew J. Lloyd, ASC, CSC was first introduced to working with moving images as a skateboard videographer in the late 1990s, when he traveled and filmed with many of Canada’s top skateboarders. “Sensing a deepening passion for filmmaking and photography,” he says, “I relocated to Toronto, Ontario, to pursue an education in motion pictures.”
Lloyd attended York University and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film production with a special concentration in cinematography. Upon graduation, the cinematographer was able to shoot many short-form projects, including commercials and music videos.
He relocated to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute, where he continued his education in cinematography. He continued to shoot short-form projects during this time, and his work received recognition — winning Best Music Video Cinematography at Camerimage for “Until the Quiet Comes” by Flying Lotus and Best Commercial Cinematography at the CSC Awards for the Rodarte short The Curve of Forgotten Things.
Lloyd’s work caught the attention of director Oliver Stone, who personally asked the cinematographer to serve as second-unit director of photographer on the stylish crime drama Savages, photographed by Dan Mindel, ASC, BSC, SASC. Of working with Mindel, Lloyd insists he owes the cinematographer “a great debt for exposing me to the intricacies of Hollywood filmmaking.”
Since then, Lloyd has photographed a number of television shows and features. For his work on Alpha House, the cinematographer earned an ASC Award nomination; for the pilot of Fargo, he earned Emmy and Camerimage nominations; and for his work on Daredevil, he earned another Camerimage nomination.
He also shot pilots for Doubt and Insecure, as well as the miniseries The Defenders (AC Podcast episode here) and Season 1 of Most Dangerous Game. His feature work includes The Better Angels, Cop Car, The Seagull, Power Rangers, The Kid, The Water Man and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
“I am solely focused on creating imagery that is immersed in the story, captures the director’s vision and engrosses the audience,” says Lloyd. “I am a proud of this work we do and am honored to have learned from and worked alongside some of the finest members of our industry.”
Lloyd’s upcoming credits include the pilot for HBO’s DMZ, directed by Ava DuVernay. He has been a Member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC) since 2011, and the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 2020.
Justyn T. Davis, LD/Gaffer
Justyn is a Lighting Designer and Union Gaffer. His Gaffer credits include The Last O.G., The Central Park Five, Ode to Joy, and many more films and episodic series. His credits as Bestboy Electric and Electrician include Blackkklansman, The Informer, Quantico, and many other productions.
Justyn is also an experienced lighting designer who has worked on a variety of projects in that role including Nick Offerman: American Ham, Super Bowl LII, and The Food Network’s BBQ Blitz and Brunch @ Bobby’s.
Since 2017 Justyn has guest lectured and taught at NYU Tisch Graduate School. He is calm, patient, and enthusiastic about filmmaking.
Dominique Dawson, Costume Designer/Director/Producer
San Francisco native, Dominique Dawson is a multidisciplinary creative. She started her career in the theatre, where she honed her storytelling abilities. As an undergraduate, Dominique attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Directing Program.While at NYU Dominique Directed plays including Madheart by Amiri Baraka, The Conduct of Life by Maria Irene Fornes, and J.E. Franklin’s Black Girl. Upon graduation in 2006 she directed the play Blurring Shine by New Dramatist fellow Zakiyyah Alexander in the NYC Fringe Festival. She was the Assistant Director/Costume Designer to Director Andre Royo on the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival’s production of In The Last Car. Her mastery of avant-garde visual storytelling earned her work in the NYC fashion editorial world as a Wardrobe Stylist. This fashion experience expanded her understanding of design and elevated her creative aesthetic. After completing her first film job as a Costume Designer on Security written by Israel Horovitz and starring Chris Messina, she moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in Film & TV.
Now based in Los Angeles Dominique is known for her work as a Costume Designer on ABC Digital’s American Koko, produced by Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions. She has worked as a Costume Designer on more than 164 television episodes, including the shows Love That Girl, Family Time, In The Cut, Grown Folks, & My Crazy Roommate from Director Bentley Kyle Evans for TV One & Bounce TV. In 2016 she Costume Designed Director Rosie Haber’s short film INK starring Isabelle Fuhrman and Forrest Goodluck, in collaboartion with the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women. She worked with Diarra Kilpatrick again on The Climb, an Amazon pilot created by and starring actress Diarra Kilpatrick, and Directed By Chris Robinson. In 2018 she was Costume Designer on X, a short film written and directed by Yara Shahidi for TNT & Refinary29. Dominique is fresh off being Costume Designer on Season 2 of Jerry Bruckheimer’s LA’s FINEST, a FOX TV series starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.
Dominique has directed a number of highly stylized music videos that are supercharged with themes of female empowerment. She recently directed a music video for actress Bresha Webb’s first single, Think With Your Heart, produced by Jamie Foxx. She also just wrapped directing a BET HER collaboration with BeautyCon, where she directed a slate of Black Beauty related video content. Dominique is eager to apply the knowledge she has gained from her work on set and as a Costume Designer to create dynamic narratives with evocative visuals in the role of a Film & TV Director.
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