Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Max Adams has worked on multiple produced feature film projects including Excess Baggage, The Ladykillers, and One for the Money. She is the recipient of a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and of Austin Film Festival's feature film screenwriting award. She is the author of The New Screenwriter's Survival Guide (Academy of Film Writing). She has lectured at The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, Austin Film Festival, Film Arts Foundation, USC, and the New York Film Academy. She holds a BFA in Film from the University of Utah.

Laura Cahill wrote the stage play Hysterical Blindness and adapted it into the screenplay for the film of the same name (HBO), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, for a Writers Guild Award, and for a Primetime Emmy Award in Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special. She wrote the pilot and six episodes of the TV series Pornopolis for IFC, and has also written pilots for HBO, Touchstone, Paramount, and WB. She adapted the screenplays for What Matters Most, The Down Low, and B Mother (all for Lifetime), and wrote the original screenplays Witness Protection (CBS) and Boston Strangler (USA). Her produced stage plays include Sondra (Apothecary Theater Company), Mercy (Vineyard Theatre), Jersey Girls Go to the Park (Urban Empire), and The Way and Stalker (both Naked Angels).

Jason Greiff wrote the feature screenplay The Godparents, which was developed with Universal Studios and Marc Platt Productions (Legally Blonde). He has produced credits in children’s animation in China and Portugal, and has helped develop shows for Disney Asia and China’s largest media company CCTV. His screenplays have won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, the Lew Wasserman Award for Best Comedy, and a national competition sponsored by the Writers Guild of America. He authored the chapter on Tone/Theme in Gotham’s book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). He has taught at NYU. He holds a BA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU/Tisch.

Pamela Harris created Married by the Hour, a half-hour comedy (Howard Stern Productions) and served as a staff writer for Life on the Line, a one-hour drama (Oxygen Network). She wrote the feature screenplay Grandview, which was selected for the Writers Laba program funded by Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey to encourage script development for women screenwriters. She has also written and optioned feature screenplays. She co-wrote and directed the short film En Route, a selection of the New York Short Film Festival, the Big Apple Film Festival, and the Blackbird Film Festival. She is an award-winning visual artist and has shown her art all over the U.S. She holds a BFA from the Hartford Art School.

Tommy Jenkins wrote the short film "Come Back to the Five and Dime Buster Keaton, Buster Keaton," which won Best Comedy at the Polo Ralph Lauren/New Line Columbia Film Festival, and his short film "Obit" has been screened at several film festivals. He authored a chapter on Plot in Gotham's book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA), and he is the author of Movie Trivia Quiz Book and The TV Trivia Book (Barnes & Noble). He is also the author of the graphic novel Drawing the Vote (Abrams ComicArts). He has taught at Columbia University and Louisburg College. He holds a BA from UNC at Chapel Hill and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Doug Katz wrote and directed the feature film, Life in the Food Chain, which won the Focus Award from Eastman-Kodak for Best Screenplay and a Gold Medal at the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival. He is also a writer and director for the critically acclaimed children's series Alphabet Factory and has worked on projects for HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, and Trident Releasing. He has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University, the American Film Institute, and the Kennedy Center. He holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Screenwriting and Directing from Columbia University.

Lisa Kaufman wrote the animated feature film Baldy Heights (Bleiberg Entertainment/Pitchipoy Productions), and the TV drama In the Prime of Her Life, which aired on Israel’s public broadcasting station. She has written short films that have been shown at festivals around the world, from the Cannes International Film Festival to the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival. She has served as story editor on TV shows in development with Sony, ABC, and Happy Madison. She has taught at Columbia University and the New York Independent Film Workshop. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Tal McThenia wrote the screenplay for the dramatic film Shift, which premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and aired on PBS nationwide, and he has developed feature films with Automatic Pictures and Archer Entertainment. He has written for Butterbean’s Café (Nickelodeon), and animated science mysteries for Mosa Mack Science, an award-winning middle-school science curriculum. He reported and wrote The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar, a one-hour documentary for the NPR radio show This American Life, and is the co-author of the book based on that documentary, A Case for Solomon (Free Press). His essays and articles have appearaed in Vanity Fair, Atlas Obscura, and Popula, among others. He authored the chapter on Scene in Gotham’s book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). He holds a BA from Oberlin College.

Nelsie Spencer is the author of the novel The Playgroup, (St. Martin’s Press), and the feature screenplay A Girl's Best Friend. She co-wrote the feature film Valley Inn, which debuted at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. She wrote, produced, and co-hosted the radio show The Radio Ritas, (Greenstone Media) and hosts the podcast Losing It. She co-wrote and starred in the play My Heart Belongs To Daddy, produced at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Dorothy Lyman’s A Director’s Theater in Los Angeles, and at Duke University’s Pre-Broadway series, and her one-woman show Goodbye Cream played at the When I’m 34 Festival in Los Angeles. She studied dance and theater at Orange Coast College, and fiction at The New School.

C.C. Webster wrote the feature film Blue Ball, PA, and her feature script Missing won the American Scandinavian Society’s Cultural Grant. She wrote and directed the short films Tracks, Easter, and Civil War, which played at more than fifty film festivals worldwide. She directed the short film Babies(the F*it Club) and produced the short film Junebug and HurricaneShe is the founder and artistic director of the Drive-In Film Festival, and has worked for several companies in commercial production. She has taught at Brandeis University, Columbia University, and the American Youth Foundation. She holds a BA from Brandeis University, an MA from University College London, and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Jeremy Wechter is the writer and director of the feature film e-Demon, and the short films “Shake Things Up,” “Popcorn,” “Skewed,” “Hand Off,” “Big Decisions,” and “Bad Connection.” He has directed numerous commercials, and written and directed numerous plays, including the Off-Broadway musical Little House on the Ferry, and he served as artistic director for Directors ‘n’ Actors Collaborative. He has taught at the New York Film Academy, 3rd Ward Art Center, and The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. He holds a BFA from NYU.