Our Team

At the Nashville Film Institute, we are surrounded by wonderful, supportive team of faculty and staff. Together, we seek to fulfill our mission:

"To train students for careers in the film industry."


Key Faculty

Micah Ellars, Lead Instructor

Micah Ellars has many years of experience in nearly every department and position there is in the film and commercial industry. He has produced commercials and corporate documentaries as well as the occasional music video. He also serves as an acting coach and has clients starring in Hollywood features. He is in pre-production on various feature projects.

In the classroom he has a unique approach. While Micah believes that a practical, hands-on education is the best way to pursue the technical skills of filmmaking, he thinks personal development is the most important ingredient for a successful life. He challenges the students to articulate their goals in writing and this approach has helped to launch several careers, even before some students have graduated.

Micah Ellars is a graduate of West Virginia State University with a degree in mass communications with an emphasis on film.
 

Kelley Baker

Kelley Baker has extensive experience in the film industry, having credits on films such as Finding Forrester, Good Will Hunting, Psycho, and Far From Heaven. At NFI, Kelley teaches all about submitting films to film festivals and selling and distributing independent films. His books include The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part 1 and Part 2

Kelley attended the University of Southern California. He received a B.A. and an M.F.A. in Film Production, and did post graduate work at the American Film Institute.

 

Matt Coale

Matt Coale is an Emmy Award winning director of photography based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Having been shooting films since he was twelve, Matt has over 1,400 commercials, 650 corporate films, 750 television projects, and 160 music videos to his credit. He has international experience in 35mm, 16mm, and HD production.

 

Chris Foley

Chris has been working in video production for two decades.  He started in Television News in his hometown of Rochester, New York while earning his Masters in Film/Video.  Then, he spent a decade in Los Angeles, first wearing a number of hats on the set, before zeroing-in on editing and screenwriting.  After three years as an Editor at Country Music Television, Chris started his own production company, Bolder Pictures, where he continues to produce video content for local and national clients.

 

Steve Grider

Steve Grider is a location sound mixer based out of Nashville, Tennessee. He has been rolling sound since 1991; his client list includes ABC, BBC, CBS, FOX, HGTV, MTV, NBC, TLC and the NFL. Steve has taught classes on location sound at Vanderbilt University, and his alma mater Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).

He is a graduate of MTSU’s Mass Communications program.

 

Brandon Lee

Brandon started his film career early, working with Frank Capra Jr. at Screen Gems. He later worked in broadcast at  Malibu Mobile Productions, which became Paradestormer Productions, focusing on feature films, music videos, corporate training videos, reality shows, and commercials.

Brandon can run a film set from preproduction to post production he has worked in all departments in film, along with held almost every job title in the film industry. Brandon is now one of the main camera operators and editors for Paradestormer Productions. Working on feature films, festivals, and events, including the CMA Fan Festival and The Country Music Cruise. He's also worked with a number of recording artists, including Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line, and Lee Greenwood.

 

Bryant Lee

Bryant has been part of the film production work force for many years. His diverse range of experience includes working with audio, running cameras for the WEC fighting championships (now part of the UFC), being director of photography, and ultimately partner at Paradestormer Productions. He holds many roles from preproduction to post production. Including producing feature films including, “Tinker” with cast Clayne Crawford and Christian Kane and “Baby Blues” with Melanie Scarfono and Jenny Cooper. Bryant was second unit editor and producer for the feature film “Texas Road.”

He works with major festivals including the CMA Fan Festival. Bryant also works for AT&T U-verse's On Demand segments, Starvista/Timelife, and various events. Additionally, he's worked with major music stars like Jana Kramer, Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean, The Kentucky Head Hunters, and Meaux from A Thousand Horses.

 

Kevin McCreary

B.A. Media Production, NGU 2009

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Kevin McCreary has been working in the industry for over 10 years, kicking off his career after graduating with a media production degree from North Greenville University, by working for the acclaimed radio drama Adventures in Odyssey. Kevin spent much of his early career honing his craft in sound design and audio production. He has been the sound designer for TV shows, short films, radio drama, podcasts, and youtube shows. Kevin has gone on to work extensively in other aspects of production developing his production and post production work in cinematography and video editing. Kevin's clients include Focus on the Family, the youtube channel Blimey Cow, and for the past 4 years he has continued to run his own successful channel youtube.com/SayGoodnightKevin, where he analyses, critics, and reviews film, and he’s pretty darn funny too. 

 

Bobby Rindhage

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Bobby Rindhage has worked as a graphic designer, director, and writer. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA). Bobby, along with a partner, wrote, directed, edited, and starred in The Guys Comedy webseries; a project based in Chicago featuring students and alumni from the Second City comedy school. Bobby served as the Digital Media Director for Stuker Training and a Graphic Designer and Creative Consultant for Dow Corning.  

Bobby holds a Masters Degree in Communication and Digital Media and a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design/Communication, both from Saginaw Valley State University

 

Andrew Rozario

Since borrowing his grandmother's video camera when he was ten, Andrew Rozario has been making films to entertain audiences. The summer after graduating from high school he worked on his first feature film, O Brother, Where Are Thou? In 2010 he was Gwyneth Paltrow's cast assistant on Country Strong, and in 2012 he was Ashley Judd's cast assistant on The Identical. He has worked on music videos, commercials, documentaries, short films and feature films. Creating magic and wonder is his sole focus in practicing the craft of filmmaking.

 

David Sharp

B.F.A. Film and Television, SCAD 2006

David Sharp has over 10 years experience collaborating with film industry professionals as an Editor, Colorist, and RED workflow expert. He currently serves as an Instructor and Program Coordinator for the Nashville Film Institute. His film instruction helps career changers and first-time film students alike become professional filmmakers ready to serve confidently in the film industry. Email him at program.coordinator@nfi.edu.