Kelley Baker has written and directed three full length features (Birddog, The Gas Café, & Kicking Bird), eight short films and a few documentaries. Kelley films have aired on PBS, The Learning Channel, and Canadian and Australian television and have been shown at Film Festivals including London, Sydney, Annecy, Sao Paulo, Chicago, Aspen, Mill Valley and Edinburgh. Kelley Baker has found funding for his no-budget films and successfully self distributed them all over the US and Canada.


Dallan spent 11 years at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, starting out as an Audio Engineering Instructor. He progressed in the company to become the Director of the Recording Institute before he decided to relocate to Nashville. Shortly after arriving, he was hired by the SAE Institute as an instructor and progressed in the company to become the Co-Chair of the Audio Technology Program. Dallan has also published 3 instructional books and a video for Hal Leaonard on the Recording Arts. As an independent engineer/producer, he has worked with some of the top LA and Nashville session musicians on albums for Tone Center Records, Legato Records, Paranormal Records and MGM Pictures. He currently runs his own company, More Than Music Productions, which incorporates Production, Engineering, Instruction and Songwriting.


Michael spent 14 years at the internationally renowned Vancouver Film School where he taught and developed curriculum for the Acting, Writing, Make up and Entertainment Business Management programs and led a production team that made over 600 films during his tenure. As Head of Production for VFS Entertainment Michael oversaw large-scale studio shoots that partnered students with professional mentors from the local industry, the results of which have garnered several awards.


Matt Coale has been shooting films since he was twelve; professionally since 1984. Matt has over 1400 commercials, 650 corporate films, 750 television projects, and 160 music videos to his credit.

And don't forget the Emmy. Matt has done it all DP, lighting, editing, and brings all his experience to NFI to teach Cinematography, lighting and how to work with 35mm Film. For a complete list of Matt's experience, visit


Scott Crain is a freelance filmmaker and director at Bar Sinister Films, a Nashville-based film production company. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Memphis, Scott's been acting, writing, producing, and directing for stage and screen for 20 years, and his films have been exhibited in numerous film festivals in the United States and internationally. Scott was nominated for "Indie Film Director of the Year" by the Elite Business Network in 2013, and writer and director of Little Red, winner of Best Film, Best in Genre, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in the Nashville 48 Hour Film Project (2013).


Jamie Ford has enjoyed a 20 year career in the film and television industry as a make-up artist, wardrobe stylist, art director, production designer, writer, and producer. With over 150 commercials and music videos, 12 full length feature films, and dozens of TV shows to her credit, Jamie has logged more than 10, 000 hours on set and has worked with some of the best names in the business, including Oscar nominated Production designer Richard Hoover, Oscar nominated director Billy Zabka, Oscar nominated actor Harrison Ford, and Oscar winning actors Eric Roberts and the later Phillip Seymour Hoffman.


Steve is a location sound mixer based out of Nashville, TN. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University's Mass Communications program, Steve has been rolling sound since 1991. The first ten years of his career was spent recording dialog on set and assisting in audio post-production. For the past decade Steve has concentrated on the part of filmmaking he is most passionate about, location sound. Steve specializes in sync sound dialog across many genres. He is experienced in news gathering, reality tv, documentaries, commercials, and feature films. His twenty year career has taken him all over the world, from the steppes of Mongolia to Hollywood and Vine. Excerpts from his client list look like a bowl of alphabet soup: ABC, BBC, CBS, FOX, HGTV, MTV, NBC, TLC and The NFL.


Steve MacLaren is a film maker originating from the Metro Detroit area of Michigan. Steve has had the opportunity to fulfill almost every position on films including grip and electrical department, sound department, and camera department. He has won multiple awards for his short films in festivals.

Steve has also worked in post as an editor, compositor, and was a lead compositor on “Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World”. He has had the chance to work onset of Transformers 4 returning to production. Steve has found a place in the film industry as visual story teller because we all live for a good story.


Technology has the ability to push the boundaries of any field and help simplify the workflow to create amazing results. But at the core of it, the foundation, not technology, is the most important part; and that requires talent, focus, skills and a very passionate ambition to align your vision with your end product. That is where I like to concentrate my instructing efforts. You can be taught to “push all of the buttons”, as you will often get with many academic programs, but those skills are easily achievable from many other resources. What a serious education gives, verse a purely cut-and-dry technical approach to a very complex career field, is access to professional assistance to develop your raw talents and vision as an artist, communicator and storyteller.

My focus is to give you everything you will need to not only survive in the film business, but rather thrive. It’s a mindset; not a specified list of guaranteed steps that lead to a guaranteed result – We are talking about a unique and rapidly growing field that functions on ambition as its main catalyst.

There is no denying the importance of technology as a whole (which is covered a great deal as well), but it still remains about work ethic, storytelling, desire for success and a solid growth of real world networking opportunities. That’s where we as the team at NFI like to focus our efforts – on real world success, not just a piece of paper.


Since borrowing his grandmother's video camera when he was ten, Andrew 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?" He studied English literature at a small liberal arts college to learn how to tell a strong story. 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


Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and television programming had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production and Graphic Design (though not at the same time) he was in one of the early graduating classes at the Watkins Film School in Nashville, Tennessee. During that time at Watkins he discovered editing. While most of his classmates in film school wanted to be directors, Scott saw real career opportunities in post production and took a job as an assistant editor after completing film school. In 1999, Scott took the leap into freelancing. The years of freelancing in a market like Nashville gave him the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects from music videos and live concerts to commercials and television programs, industrial and corporate pieces to documentaries and the occasional narrative film. If you can name it, Scott has probably cut it.


Michael Stryker, owner of Casting Life Films, is a two-time Emmy nominated, four-time Golden Addy Award winner for his directing, cinematography, composing and sound work.

Film credits include Paramount Pictures / MTV's "The Wild Wonderful Whites of West Virginia", and music videos such as CMT country artist Danielle Peck's "Impossible Dreams" (placing top ten on CMT); Julie Roberts "Whiskey and You" (top ten on CMT) and Beau Davidson's "Blessed", (which became the campaign video for Mitt Romney during for his 2012 campaign).

Michael has received numerous awards for his short films and commercial work, and has composed musical scores for over fifty productions, including commercials, documentaries, cinema, infomercials, and TV.



Zac Adams is an Emmy-nominated and award winning filmmaker based in Nashville, TN. His company, Skydive Films, produces TV shows, films, documentaries, music videos, and PSA's. Adams mini-series, SOUTHERN HAUNTS has been awarded 7 International awards and has been seen by millions on PBS.

Some of his most recent projects include "Nashville Rises," an Emmy nominated documentary narrated by Academy Award winner, Billy Bob Thornrton. His last 3 music videos have been featured on CMT.


Jason Glassman, a dedicated film geek and accomplished screenwriter, has created projects for MTV, the USA Network, UPN, and Howard Stern. He taught screenwriting at Writers Boot Camp in Los Angeles and now acts as the NFI’s Director of Development. In addition to his own screenwriting projects, Jason Glassman is a creative writing and English teacher at Middle College High School in Franklin. Jason earned his Masters in English at Claremont Graduate University. Jason serves as the NFI's Director of Development, greenlighting the scripts for the student projects, and shepherding them through the various stages of development while helping to make their stories come alive.


J. Todd Harris is the president of the Los Angeles-based Branded Pictures Entertainment. Originally from New York City, he spent many years in Palo Alto, where he earned both his BA and MBA from Stanford and served as Managing Director of the award-winning repertory company TheatreWorks.

Of the nearly 40 movies Mr. Harris has produced, highlights include Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated The Kids Are All Right, Bottle Shock, Crooked Arrows, Jeepers Creepers, and Piranha 3D.


Mrinalini D.S was born and raised in Chennai, India. Trained in Indian Classical music from the age of five, Mrinalini's foray into films began with playback singing, a technique popular in Indian cinema, where singers record songs for soundtracks and actors lip-sync them for the camera. Mrinalini has worked with academy award winning music composer A.R.Rahman amongst other eminent musicians. This led to an interest in music production and she studied audio engineering at the SAE Institute. She followed this up with composing for a Tamil music album.