School of Cinematic Arts Alumni

Since graduating our first class in 2005, we've seen our School of Cinematic Arts alumni become experienced professionals in the film and television industry. Their time spent at DePaul prepared them well for successful and rewarding careers. These are just a few of our notable alumni.

Looking for something to watch? Check out a list of streaming TV shows and films our alumni have helped direct, produce and write.

Featured Alumni

Alex attending movie world premiere

Alexis Auditore (BA '05)
Director of Physical Productions, Marvel Studios Streaming
Alexis Auditore, who was part of SCA’s first graduating class, is currently the Director of Physical Production at Marvel Studios Streaming. Prior to that, Auditore was the Manager of Physical Production for Marvel Studios for nine years, working on projects like the Avengers films, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther, and collaborating with various museums and partners around the world to curate Marvel exhibitions featuring costumes, props, and set pieces.

Daniel sitting on his director chair

Daniel Willis (MS '12)
Director/Writer (Grey’s Anatomy, The Blacklist, Twenties)
Daniel Willis is a director, writer and photographer who draws on his experience growing up on Chicago’s south side. Willis began his production career as a writer’s assistant on the ABC drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Willis was a 2017-2018 Sony Diverse Directors Fellow and 2018 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow. His short films and television projects have screened at festivals around the world including The Chicago International Television Festival, SeriesFest (Best Writing - Public Housing Unit), The New York Television Festival, ITVFest (Best of Fest - Public Housing Unit), and the Cannes Short Film Corner. Willis is currently directing network television (Grey's Anatomy, The Blacklist) and writing for the shows Boomerang and Twenties. He is also developing on his first feature film.

Portrait photo of Chaz with some of his animations

Chaz Bottoms (BFA '17)
Owner, CBA Studios; Character Designer, Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Chaz Bottoms is a director, animator, writer and owner of CBA Studios, a boutique animation studio based in Los Angeles that strives to represent diversity on screen and behind the scenes. He is currently working with Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry (Hair Love) on developing Battu, an animated musical series for Cartoon Network. The series is based on Bottoms' short film of the same name, which is currently in production. Bottoms has collaborated and produced content for Springhill, Adult Swim, Steve Harvey Global, Bleacher Report, John Legend, Samantha Bee, Sony Music, Columbia Records, Atlantic Records, and Snapchat, and is currently a character designer for Nickelodeon Animation Studio.

Alex on set

Alex Thompson (MFA '17)
Director/Writer/Producer (Saint Frances)
Alex Thompson is a director, writer, and producer working in Chicago. Saint Frances, directed by Thompson, received both the Audience and Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice awards at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. The film was selected by Variety as one of the best movies at the festival and by as a standout, powerful film. Thompson's newest project is the dramatic thriller Rounding, which reunites him with several members of the Saint Frances crew.

Notable Alumni

Film & Television

  • Vera Drew (BA ’11), Editor and 2019 Emmy Award nominee for Who Is America?
  • Daniel Willis (MS ’12), Director - The Blacklist, Grey’s Anatomy
  • Alex Thompson (MFA ’17), Director - Saint Frances (2019 SXSW Audience Award & Breakthrough Talent Award)
  • Zoe Lubeck (MFA ’17), Director and BAFTA award winner for Lucy
  • Brian Lannin (BA ’08), Cinematographer - HBO's High Maintenance
  • Kevin McGrail (MS ’11), Sports Emmy-Winning Producer - The Shop
  • Alexis Auditore (BA ’05), Director of Physical Production – Marvel Studios Streaming
  • Karim Lakhani (BA ’13), Coordinator International Original Film – Netflix
  • Ali Rizvi (MS ’10), Pulitzer Prize-winning and Emmy-nominated video journalist
  • Judy Bafaro (BA ’12), Production Coordinator – Netflix
  • Josh Golden (BA ’12), Screenwriter - Road to Oz (Nicholl Fellowship Finalist, sold to New Line)
  • Tom Dean (BA ’11), Screenwriter - Time Traveler's LaRonde (2016 Black List)
  • Lehr Beidelschies (MS ’13), Co-Founder/Producer/Director – Everything is Terrible! Presents: The Great Satan
  • Sam Campos (BA ’12), Drama Development - ABC Entertainment
  • Brittani Smith (BA ’10), Casting Director – Ride, Back Fork; Casting Associate - The First, Mindhunter, Daredevil
  • Keith O’Hara (BA ’11), VFX Production Supervisor - Warner Bros. Entertainment
  • Abby Plante (BA '13), member of the Emmy-nominated writing team for Netflix's Bill Nye Saves the World; Associate Producer - Netflix, NBCUniversal, Logo Network, E! International, SyFy Network
  • Michel Kreisel Vaisberg (BA ’08), VFX Artist - Life of Pi, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter 7
  • Keely Lewis Wise (MFA ’17), Screenwriter and winner of the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship
  • Art O’Leary (BA ’07), Editor and Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Picture Editing - Deadliest Catch
  • Melisa Resch (MS ’12), Creative Executive - Freedom Road Productions and AT&T/Lena Waithe Hello Lab filmmaker
  • Hayley Anderson (BA ’12), Chief Creative Officer and cofounder of soona


  • Jennifer Stachovic (BA ’16), Character Artist - BoJack Horseman
  • Nora Earlie (BA ’13), Storyboard Artist - Warner Animation Group, The Lego Movie 2
  • Pil Chang (BS ’11), 3D Modeler - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
  • Chaz Bottoms (BFA '17), Owner - CBA Studios
  • Dawn Adepoju (BA ’16), Post Production Coordinator - DreamWorks Animation, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
  • Iain Collins (BS ’13), Storyboard Artist - Bix Pix Entertainment, Tumble Leaf
  • Ashley Ruhl (BA ’10), Cinematic Designer - Gunfire Games, Telltale Games, Bioware
  • Chris Stallman (BS ’11), Lead Artist - Young Horses, Octodad: Dadliest Catch
  • Carter Boyce (BA ’15), Student Academy Award winner for Die Flucht
  • Molly McCandless (BA ’12), Assistant Animator, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • Lily Streiff (BS ’16), Animation Director - You're Not a Monster
  • Kevin Eskew (BS ’14), Animator - Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
  • Ari Flesch (BS ’10), Animator - Naughty Dog
  • Laura Wargo (BS ’13), Animator - Iron Galaxy Studios
  • Dominika Smetek (BFA ’16), Production Manager - Nickelodeon Animation
  • Killian Gray (MS ’10), Associate Production Manager - DreamWorks Animation
  • Holly Kawiecki (BA ’16), Production Supervisor - Boss Baby 2
  • Abigail Bokun (BFA ’16), Production Coordinator - Nickelodeon Animation
  • Alice Panek (BA ’09), VFX Artist - The Mill, Los Angeles

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