Regent University seeks to serve as a creative and spiritually uplifting place where people connect with others who are working in media and the performing arts in a learning environment. On the pages below, you will discover a few of the many artists and professionals who have shared their lives and experiences with us. In 1744, Italian philosopher and historian, Giambattista Vico, offered an apt account of the mission of a story-teller: “Now this is the three-fold labor of poetry (story-telling): (1.) To invent sublime fables suited to the popular understanding; (2.) to perturb to excess (entertain) with a view to the end proposed; (3.) and to teach the vulgar to act virtuously.” As Christians, we join with others to develop our gifts, our talents and our lives in ways that will help make a redemptive difference in the lives of others through the creative and prophetic power of story.
Industry Speakers & Guests
Chris Auer of Savannah, Ga., is a seasoned screenwriter. He adapted The Legend of the Candy Cane for video. He has numerous scriptwriting credits, including More True Stories from Touched by an Angel with CBS. He was the creator and executive producer for the half-hour series Big Brother Jake from 1990 to 1994 and also worked for NBC's The Cosby Show. Chris currently serves as chair of the Department of Film & Television at Savannah College of Art & Design. He graduated from Regent University in 1981 with a Master of Arts in Communication.
Terry Botwick has had an outstanding career in television and motion pictures. As senior vice president at CBS Entertainment, he helped the network rise from third to first place and oversaw all primetime series programming (developing three successful series) and special events (Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, etc.). His eclectic resume of broad-ranging successes includes president of worldwide television distribution and production for Hearst Corporation, founder and CEO of e-learning company Spongelab and president, and COO of Big Idea Productions (VeggieTales). He is currently the president of Vanguard Animation & Film in addition to being the founder and CEO of 1019 Entertainment, a new feature film and finance production company.
Danny Carrales directed such films as Pilgrims Progress, Escape From Hell, The Gathering and Final Exit. He earned a M.A. in Communication from Regent University.
Tim Conway is best known for his role on The Carol Burnett Show, an 11-year stint that garnered him five Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, major accolades from critics and three generations of fans. In 1989, Conway received his much deserved star on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame." In 2002, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame. He won his sixth career Emmy in 2008 for his guest star role on NBC's critically acclaimed TV show 30 Rock. He has appeared on sitcoms such as Married with Children, Cosby, Mad About You, Touched by an Angel and Coach, for which he won an Emmy in 1997. He has guest starred on Yes Dear, and kids may recognize him as the voice of Barnacle Boy on SpongeBob SquarePants. Conway's film career includes They Went That Way and That Way and The Long Shot, both of which he wrote, along with The Shaggy D.A., Speed II, and Dear God. But it was his work in a long line of family films—The World's Greatest Athlete, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, Gus, The Billion Dollar Hobo, The Prize Fighter and Private Eyes—that garnered him the most acclaim.
Michael Gaunt is the former principal (head administrator) for the Guildford School of Acting, the Royal Welsh School of Drama and the Birmingham School of Acting. Gaunt is an actor, theatre director and teacher, and his career spans 40 years on both sides of the Atlantic. Productions include United Kingdom tours of The Amorous Prawn, Private Lives and A Matter of Choice starring Sarah Churchill (Sir Winston Churchill's daughter.) His production of Man of La Mancha was invited by the Russian Academy for Theatre Arts as part of the International Podium in Moscow (1993), along with productions from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) and the Moscow Art Theatre School, where it won the Best Musical award. He has made more than 50 appearances on television including Softly, Softly-Task Force, The Brothers, Van Der Valk, Oscar Wilde—De Prefundis (starring Sir Michael Gambon). He was a storyteller in Jackanory for BBC Television and has appeared in a number of feature films including All Men Are Mortal. More recently, he toured in Thelma Holt's UK production of The Tempest starring Richard Briers and directed by Patrick Mason, a former artistic director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He directed Regent University's production of The Rivals in 2009.
Former workshop director of the industry's most prestigious and successful television writing program, the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop, Jack Gilbert has also been a freelance reader for the William Morris Agency, NBC and MTM Productions, and consulted on projects ranging from The Addams Family to Batman Forever. Gilbert is currently coordinator of Act One's TV Track and Alumni Programs and an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and Columbia College of Chicago.
Tony Hale is perhaps best known for playing the neurotic mama's boy, Buster, on the Emmy Award-winning FOX series, Arrested Development. He recently costarred with Andy Richter in the NBC series Andy Barker, P.I. Hale has appeared in several movies including Unaccompanied Minors, Because I Said So with Diane Keaton, RV with Robin Williams, and alongside Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction. Hale will next be seen in the Sundance premiered Rockett with Jimmy Fallon, Sharon Stone and Lucy Liu; and in The Goods with Jeremy Piven and Ving Rhames. He will also be heard as the voice of Furlough in The Tale Of Despereaux with Dustin Hoffman and Matthew Broderick. Tony graduated from Regent University in 1995 with an Master of Arts in Communication.
As senior vice president of programming and scheduling for AMC, Tom Halleen oversees the network's film acquisitions, scheduling, media planning and operations divisions for the AMC, AMC HD and AMC On Demand networks. Prior to joining AMC, Halleen spent 12 years at the Family Channel/Fox Family Channel/ABC Family as senior vice president, prime time programming and development. An advocate of family programming, he supervised hundreds of hours of original programming including series, movies and specials. In addition, he was responsible for bringing series such as 7th Heaven to the network. Halleen joined the Family Channel in 1990 while a student at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., and grew from his internship to head of programming. In 1992 he earned his Master of Arts in Communication from Regent. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Dennis Hassell has written more than 12 works for both stage and video, produced more than 50 shows, and directed shows including A Dixie Gospel (five Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations), Godspell, The Miracle Worker, and The Gift Of The Magi. As an actor, Hassell tours North America in productions of St. Hilaria's, The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Treasure Chest and The Prospector. With a special interest in stories with a spiritual dimension, he has taught at a dozen colleges and universities and is a regular performer and speaker at national conferences. Hassell is the author of The Glory Man.
Victoria Jackson performed in stand-up comedy for two years until The Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, put her act on national TV. Jackson has had a successful career starring in both film and television, including Baby Boom, Family Business, The X-Files, UHF with Weird Al Yankovic, I Love You to Death, Nickelodeon's Romeo and, most notably, six seasons on Saturday Night Live. She finds time to appear on stage doing stand-up comedy in cities across the country and on camera,a including a featured spot in the DVD Thou Shalt Laugh 2: The Deuce, with Tim Conway. Victoria just finished roles in the film Soccer Mama Mia and Midnight Clear. She has produced a popular children's CD titled Ukulele Ditties for Itty Bitty Kiddies and has just finished writing her first book.
David Kinnaman is the author of the best-selling book, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and the Barna report, Teens and the Supernatural. Since joining Barna in 1995, he has designed and analyzed nearly 500 projects for a variety of clients, including Columbia House, Compassion International, Easter Seals, Focus on the Family, Habitat for Humanity, Integrity Media, InterVarsity, NBC-Universal, Salvation Army, Sony, Thomas Nelson, Time-Life, Prison Fellowship, World Vision, Zondervan and many others. As a spokesperson for the firm's research, he is frequently quoted in major media outlets (such as USA Today, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News and The Wall Street Journal.
Wes Llewellyn is founder of a small production company called Adeia, which does everything from production to post. Llewellyn has directed many TV shows such as It's Supernatural, The Infamous Buddy Blade, The Moment After and The Moment After 2. Llewellyn received his Master of Arts in Communication from Regent University in 1988.
Karen Long and her husband, Paul, own Kappa Studios in Burbank, Calif., a film and television post production facility. Long worked for the ABC affiliate television station in Palm Springs and anchored the local news for Good Morning America. She became an Emmy-nominated reporter for Channel 9 News in Los Angeles She's author of the humorous book on Christian marriage, If You Don't Die to Self, I May Have to Kill You! published by Multnomah/Random House. Long is working on the sequel titled, A Brand New Life with the Same Old Spouse. The books blend humor and biblical truth and include their adventures as Christians in Hollywood.
As founder and president of Kappa Studios Inc., a full-service post production facility established in 1985, Paul has more than 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Under Long's direction, Kappa provides film, television, DVD and VAM services for the major networks and studios, including Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, Sony, Columbia, Paramount, Fox and Universal. Paul is also president of Video Gear Source, specializing in television equipment rental and sales, and Lighthouse Media Group Inc., producers of infomercials, ministry programming, corporate promos, new product roll-outs, advertising, direct response spots and live stadium events. Long is active in Lighthouse as a producer, director and writer. In 2006 he founded Stand Up for America! Foundation Inc., to produce a live stadium event in 2009. The program was designed to entertain, educate and inspire a new generation of patriots by honoring America's history, heroes and godly heritage.
Rob Loos is co-founder and partner of TLC Entertainment, the Studio City-based independent production and distribution company. Loos and partner, George Taweel, have won 113 awards for creative excellence, notched more than 70 Gold and Platinum selling DVDs/videos, and produced more than 200 hours worth of programs. Loos and Taweel have written and/or produced series like McGee and Me! (ABC/Tyndale), The All New Captain Kangaroo (Fox Family Channel,) and Secret Adventures (B&H/Sony), and animated specials like The Legend of The Three Trees (Nelson/Pax) and The Christmas Lamb (Nelson/Pax). Loos has also written and/or produced for other studios, including Sony/Disney (Buster and Chauncey's Silent Night), Moonwater/CBS (Touched by an Angel), Marvel/Cartoon Network (Fantastic Four), Weller-Grossman/MagRack (John Lithgow's Paloozaville) and Mattel (Little People). In 2006, TLC started its move into the feature film arena with iFilms (Destiny) and Mirus Entertainment (The Catch). In 2008, TLC launched TLC Digital (TLCD), a web-based strategy for TLC's mini-movies® and new content.
Television Executive and Writer
Dick Mann was the Founder of RME, a programming-production-facilities company. He worked for CBS (New York) and Paramount Television (Hollywood) and is co-creator/writer with his wife, Nancy, of screenplays and musical presentations.
Professionally writing since 1997, Cheryl McKay wrote the screenplay for The Ultimate Gift, based on Jim Stovall's novel. The Ultimate Gift won a Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival, received three Movieguide Nominations, winning one of the Ten Best Family Films of 2007, and won a CAMIE Award as one of the Top Ten Films of the Year. The award-winning film stars James Garner, Brian Dennehy and Abigail Breslin, and was released in theaters by Fox in 2007. McKay also wrote the DVD for Gigi: God's Little Princess, another book adaptation based on the book by Sheila Walsh, as well as the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories audio series and books with Frank Peretti. She also teamed up with author, Rene Gutteridge, to novelize her screenplay, Never the Bride. The novel version was released in 2009 by Random House Publishers, and a feature film following. McKay graduated from Regent University in 1995 with a Master of Arts in Communication, focusing on film aesthetics and producing.
Tim Scott and Will Decker comprise the Travel the Road team, a television series on TBN. Scott asked Decker to undertake a bold adventure to the farthest reaches of the world. Decker, not knowing the Lord, agreed to go and photograph the missionary journey. Three months into the journey Decker dedicated his life to the Lord and began to preach and speak in villages. Scott grew up in a Christian home, and at the age of 19, God called him out of the business world into the mission field to distant lands. Scott has journeyed to 34 countries fearlessly preaching the word of God in villages, huts and forbidden lands. For the past year, he has edited and produced the Travel the Road television series and desires that millions be touched by it.
Director Angel Manuel Soto, Producer Matt Dicky and actors Natalie and Aaron Wenninger had a question and answer time with students to discuss the film. Synopsis: A young woman is locked in the bathroom of an abortion clinic after her aborted baby was born alive. This is a film about decisions, their effects and the echos they leave behind. Based on the shocking World Net Daily article by Ron Strom, on victims testimonies and real 911 calls about one of the most controversial subjects of our time, 22weeks achieves to confront both sides of the spectrum and their perspective to the ongoing question: "What would you do?"
Natalie Wenninger has served at the International House of Prayer for the last five years as a missionary, intercessor and student. She currently lives in Virginia Beach, Va., after completing IHOP's four-year preaching program at the Forerunner School of Ministry. Born in Hong Kong as a missionary child, Wenninger was raised to love foreign culture and has traveled extensively. As a young girl she felt the unique burden to pray for Hollywood. While her passion for acting grew, so did her vision of one day being a missionary to one of the greatest unreached people groups, the Hollywood tribe.
At 5 years old, she began her career with acting organizations spanning from Hawaii to Virginia. She starred as the leading actress throughout her theatrical high school years and has been seen on the Regent University stage and worked with New Dominion Pictures and Steele Productions. For the past five years she has laid down her dream of acting on the altar and planted her roots in the Word of God through worship and prayer. The film, 22Weeks is her breakout role and is sure to be the beginning of a promising career in film. At the moment she is working with several Regent University filmmakers and showcasing her vocal talent with her husband on various music projects.
Jeff Blumenkrantz's acting credits include roles in such productions as Into the Woods, The Threepenny Opera, Damn Yankees, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and A Class Act, as well as appearances in such television shows as Will & Grace, Just Shoot Me! and Law & Order. In 2000, noted Broadway actress and recording artist, Audra McDonald, included Blumenkrantz's song I Won't Mind on her CD, How Glory Goes. This lullaby (with lyrics by Annie Kessler and Libby Saines) has become a staple of McDonald's repertoire. Blumenkrantz also contributed a piece to The Seven Deadly Sins, a song cycle commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the singer. His comic song, My Book, addressed the sin of sloth. In 2003, Blumenkrantz was nominated for a Best Original Score Tony Award for his work on Urban Cowboy, a nomination he shared with Jason Robert Brown and 28 others.
Richard Clabaugh is an established cinematographer and director whose credits include The Prophecy, Phantoms and The Prophecy II. Most of his recent work has been as a director of feature films; however, he has done many movies as a cinematographer. He is also the founding partner of Crimson Wolf Productions, Ltd., an independent production company based in North Carolina. For nine years he was an instructor at the North Carolina School of the Arts where he taught cinematography and special effects at the School of Filmmaking. He recently left the position to dedicate himself to filmmaking full time with Crimson Wolf Productions.
John Dedakis is currently a senior copy editor at CNN in Washington, D.C., where he is an editor and writer for The Situation Room, anchored by Wolf Blitzer. Prior to joining CNN in 1988, DeDakis was White House correspondent for CBN News during the last three years of the Reagan Administration. His journalism career began in 1969 when he was tear-gassed while covering an anti-Vietnam War riot for a campus radio station. He has also produced award-winning radio and television documentaries. DeDakis authored a mystery/suspense book entitled Fast Track.
With more than 30 years in the entertainment business as a musician, producer and entrepreneur, Rick Eldridge knows how to make projects happen. Whether it is audio and sound design, sports programming, film, animated, broadcast video or feature length movies, Eldridge has been involved in every facet of the business. His creative vision has led to numerous projects including: The Monkey Trial, Running the Sahara, The Perfect Game, Bobby Jones-Stroke of Genius and Hermie & Friends. Eldridge is currently president and CEO of the Film Foundry and Independent Producers Alliance (IPA Studios), a multifaceted film and video production company making itself at home in Charlotte, N.C. Most recently the studio housed editing and daily production for George Clooney's Leatherhead feature.
Bill Ewing is president of Every Tribe Entertainment and the producer and co-writer for the feature film End of the Spear. He served as senior vice president of production and administration at Columbia Pictures for 15 years and worked on numerous films including Awakenings, A League of Their Own, Air Force One, Men in Black I & II, Stuart Little I & II, The Patriot and Spiderman. Ewing's production career began in the mid-1970s with the Dino DeLaurentis production of King Kong and Sandy Howard's production of Meteor. Prior to his time at Columbia, he was an actor in several films and television series, including Johnny Got His Gun, The End, Little House on the Prairie and Korg, 70,000 B.C. He recently made his directorial debut with the Lifetime film Christmas Child.
Before becoming a filmmaker, Monica Jimenez-Grillo dreamed of a career in music, training to be an opera singer for nearly eight years. Her successful transition into film and television production has afforded Monica several once-in-a-lifetime experiences in some of the world's most unique locations, from autopsy rooms to aircraft carriers. On dry land, she has worked primarily as a field producer and assistant director for episodic television (The New Detectives, FBI Files), feature films and music videos. Jimenez-Grillo left her beloved Dominican Republic to study music in Belgium and later earned her B.A. in Communications from Trinity International University where she developed her passion for film. Continuing her training, she earned a master's in directing and editing from Regent University. She is a graduate of the Act One Executive Program in Hollywood, the producer of the renowned City of the Angels Film Festival and the president of Cricket Films.
Mary Lou Quinlan, called "the Oprah" of marketing by the Wall Street Journal, is one of the most accomplished women in the marketing and communications industry. She is a renowned consumer strategist and the founder and CEO of Just Ask a Woman, a branding agency she founded in 1999 and now the premier women's marketing company in the United States. In the last several years Quinlan has advised many big players in the consumer and retail industries, such as Clairol, Kellogg's Special K, Tums, Estee Lauder, Wal-Mart, Bloomingdale, KFC, Johnson and Johnson, and Yahoo. Quinlan is also a successful author. Her best-selling marketing book, Just Ask a Woman: Cracking the Code of What Women Want and How They Buy, is considered innovative within the industry, and the newly released, Time Off for Good Behavior: How Hard Working Women Can Take a Break and Change their Lives, has recently been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, People and on the CBS Early Show. She is also known for her appearance in the ABC television show American Inventor.
Mike Sinclair is an accomplished writer and producer whose credits include the award winning movie, First Landing and numerous documentaries broadcast on the Discovery Channel. He is also known for producing television episodes for series such as Wicked Attraction and Great Planes. He was one of the writers for 2008 documentary KKK: Inside American Terror and 2007 Inside: American Skinheads.
After beginning his early career serving as speechwriter for U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Stein has been a regular columnist for Los Angeles Magazine, New York Magazine, E! Online and, most of all, has written a lengthy diary for 20 years for The American Spectator. He currently writes a column for The New York Times, Yahoo! and is a commentator for CBS Sunday Morning and for Fox News. He has written, co-written and published 30 books. He is also an extremely well-known actor in movies, TV and commercials. His part of the boring teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off was recently ranked as one of the 50 most famous scenes in American film. From 1997 to 2002, he was the host of the Comedy Central quiz show, Win Ben Stein's Money. The show has won seven Emmys. He was a judge on CBS's Star Search and on VH-1's America's Most Smartest Model.
From 2004 to 2008 Michael Ward was chaplain of Peterhouse in the University of Cambridge. He wrote film and theatre reviews for Daily Information and Bible-reading notes for Scripture Union. Occasionally an extra in TV and film, his first film was Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands and his last was the James Bond movie, The World Is Not Enough. Between 1996 and 1999 he lived and worked at The Kilns, C.S. Lewis' Oxford home. For much of 2008 he lectured internationally on the subject of his book Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis.
Lynn Wilford Scarborough is well known in the television news industry as a pioneer of media training and communications coaching. Clients depend on her insights, cutting-edge critiques, research-based approach, creative energy and strategic business acumen that consistently provide immediate and long-term results. Her sessions impart insider secrets and techniques used by professional broadcasters that set them apart in a highly competitive industry. With more than 6,000 sessions, for more than 200 news operations, her clients include CBS, ABC, CNN and FOX. Clients include Catherine Crier, Paula Zahn, Debbie Norville, Isaiah Thomas, Blanquita Cullum, Lars Larson, Terry Murphy, Carol Linn and Tony Dorsett.