Meet the Motion Picture Production Chair
Bob Coonrod is a native Texan who has left his make in the entertainment industry through acting, directing, and improv. His focus today is sharing his over 40 years’ experience with the up and coming in our industry.
Thousands of hours and hundreds of production sets, both in front of and behind the camera and in live productions have allowed Bob to act, direct, and produce many types of projects. With his own production company, Bob provided content, as well as producing and directing a variety of live and filmmaking projects for Fortune 500 companies, as well as many other businesses and not-for profit organizations.
Always ready for something new, Bob participated in the award-winning International collab feature “Train Station”, involving 40 filmmakers from 25 countries, with each scene filmed with a different director and a different cast – all edited together into a single collaborative film.
KD Conservatory has been Bob’s home for the past 28 years, mentoring students to understand and appreciate the relationship between the actors, director and the camera – and that it’s not as easy as it looks. Working with the local entertainment community, Bob has assembled mock auditions and created student production projects that include both the Acting and Motion Picture Production classes to provide real life opportunities for the students within their chosen concentrations.
Believing that creativity is the basis of the creative process for all actors, writers, and directors, Bob uses every opportunity to bring Improv into the mix to help his students trust themselves and have fun. Bob was a founding member of several premier Improv groups in the southwest and continues to perform Improv on the live stage every chance he gets.
Bob has been represented by the Mary Collins Agency in the DFW Market for over 30 years and continues to actively work as talent in TB and film projects. Bob and his family reside in North Texas, near his alma mater University of North Texas, where he obtained his BA in Directing and Business, and studied film and lighting production with Victor Duncan (ASC).
In a film and video career that spans four decades, Robert Castaldo has worked on hundreds of films, television shows, commercials, music videos, and corporate/industrial training videos. Along the way, he has explored every aspect of bringing script-to-screen, from writing, producing, and directing, to cinematography, location sound recording, and set dressing, to picture, sound, and music editing. His quest to understand the production process from the perspective of each crew position has allowed him to contribute a unique continuity to every production he has been involved with. And nowhere has this insight been put to better use than in his two signature specialties: fictional narrative filmmaking,and education
In 1983, Robert enrolled in the University of Texas at Arlington’s film production program to be trained by the esteemed filmmaker and educator Andy Anderson. Within the next two years, Robert worked on fifteen short films, three feature films and gained a wealth of experience.
In 1985, Robert work alongside mentor Anderson on the low-budget independent film, POSITIVE I.D., working as the UPM, co-editor and associate producer as the film traveled through the festival circuit—including the Sundance Film Festival in 1987—and ultimately a Universal Pictures theatrical release.
In June of 1988, he produced Anderson’s next project, LOOK IT UP and attended the Sundance Institutes Filmmakers Workshop, later returning to participate in Sundance’s Producers Showcase.
In the 90s, Robert became a post-production specialist, working as a picture editor, sound editor, foley artist, and motion graphics designer—often doubling up positions to see a project through. FALL DOWN DEAD, GARRISON, LIVING AND DYING, HALLOW’S END, SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS (aka SLAP HER SHE’S FRENCH), AMERICAN NIGHTMARE, NIGHT VISION,TAKEDOWN,and WINNING COLORS are just a few of the thirty-plus narrative features he has worked on. Additionally, he worked on the documentaries NED ROREM-WORD AND MUSIC, THE STAGES OF EDWARD ALBEE and OUR NEW FAMILY.
In 1995, he Directed and Edited his first feature, TAKEDOWN. In 1998, he produced and edited Anderson’s film DETENTION (later to be retitled LEARNING CURVE). In 2008, he wrote and directed the short film, “THE LAST TURN,” which was selected to the Texas Filmmakers Showcase.
In 1996, Robert began teaching part-time at his alma mater, The University of Texas at Arlington. There he developed a successful “Introduction to film and Video” course that established the foundational groundwork for hundreds of successful young filmmakers. In 2002 he joined the faculty full-time and over the next four years, taught a variety of classes from narrative film production, to commercial video, to video art.
In 2009, the Motion Picture Production Chair of KD Conservatory, Dennis Bishop, asked Robert to join the faculty at KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts. Bishop was developing this new degree-program for KD Conservatory and Robert was excited to contribute to its evolution.
Throughout his career, Robert has remained active in the filmmaking community, participating in numerous panel discussions, seminars, workshops, conferences and appearing in print, digital media and television. He is a past member of the University Film And Video Association and the Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700. He was one of the original members of the Dallas After Effects Users Group and is one of the founding members of the Dallas DaVinci Resolve User Group.
Robert continues to probe the nuances of storytelling through sight and sound while exploring more innovative methods to educate and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.
As a child growing up in Dallas, Texas, Michael Goldermann was frequently seen taking photographs with his family’s 35mm camera. It was at this early age that Michael learned his passion for capturing images, but he always felt limited shooting single frames. In 2014, Michael graduated from KD Conservatory with an Associate of Applied Arts in Motion Picture Production. Under the mentorship of the Motion Picture Production Chair, Dennis Bishop, Michael’s dream for filmmaking came to fruition.
Michael was soon hired as a director and editor for M3 Films, where he led the productions for Montessori Children’s House and School and Rainbow Days. He was also a vital component for the productions on Earth Day Texas, Texas Capital Bank and a variety of others. As a freelancer, Michael has directed shoots for the Kim Dawson Model Search, Rescue Air Heating and Cooling, Temple Emanu-El, ACES, and Giveable.
In 2018, Michael co-founded Capstone Films, a production company based in Dallas, Texas. He is currently writing his first feature film.
Looking to the future, Michael strives to continue broadening the reach of his work and reputation, while enjoying the longterm fulfillment of impactful, artistic collaboration.
Tom Aberg began his professional career in New York City as assistant editor at a post house called Editing Concepts, in mid-town Manhattan. “We edited TV spots for Madison Ave. agencies. Commercial editing is all about speed and accuracy. Everybody there was A++.”
After 5 years in New York he moved back to his native Dallas, and opened his own postproduction studio called Tom’s Easyway. For 23 years, the company worked primarily for advertising agencies Tom has always fely that variety fuels creativity and found time to work on a variety projects including documentaries, music videos, and entertainment projects. In 1999 he edited the original 15 min. short film Bottle Rocket for Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson. “We entered it in the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and the rest is history. I’m proud to be part of their amazing success.”.
Over the years Aberg has received numerous industry awards from the likes of Cannes, The One Show, The Clio’s and Communication Arts, distinguishing himself as a colorful reconteur. “Stories are powerful ways to connect with people. I believe the editor takes the leadership role of storytelling. I love sifting for the best way to make an emotional connection with audiences, it’s a really exhilarating experience”.
Tom Aberg continues to be prolific editor in the Dallas market. He is also teaches post production at KD Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts.
Jim Caldwell has been involved in audio since he first began recording school band concerts in the 60’s. In college he served as the campus sound engineer and worked with a number of well-known acts of the day. But the fascination with film and tv convinced him to change course from music recording to audio for film and video, and he never looked back. In 1978 he became the head of the Sound Dept. at Southwest Film Labs, Inc., and for the next eight years he recorded and mixed sound for thousands of industrials, documentaries, commercials, TV programs, student films and even a few feature films. In 1986 he left SWFL to become a freelance engineer for numerous production companies, corporations, government departments, churches, and other non-profit institutions.
In the early 90’s Jim was asked to teach a series of seminars on audio for Dallas Community Television and UT Arlington. This led to developing and teaching a 3-hour course on audio acquisition in the Film and Media Arts Department of the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. Today he has transferred those skills to KD Conservatory where his course covers both sound recording and audio postproduction.
Audio is not only his profession, it is his passion and he enjoys teaching professionals and neophytes alike the simple steps to achieving great sound for pictures.
Deborah Stone started her career in the entertainment industry as an actor in Dallas, Texas. After several years of being cast in commercials and television projects she and her family moved to New Jersey, where she was represented by the William Morris Agency, NY. During this time, she discovered her love for production and especially writing, and began working with TV One Productions where within two years became a director. After moving back to Dallas in the early 2000’s, she opened her own production company. Over the years she has produced numerous commercials, several music videos, directed two national series, and produced feature films. Some of her industrial clients include; The Smithsonian Institute, The National Science Center, NASA, and The Bible Museum. She has worked for several networks producing over 500 episodes for a talk show and hundreds of episodes for network television. In 2016 she directed the animated feature film, The Adventures of Azzu and Gazzu, and currently is working on a project with Dr. Daniel Wallace, following his search for ancient Greek New Testament manuscripts throughout Europe and the Middle East, to preserve and digitize. In May, 2017, she was awarded an International Film Award for directing and producing the documentary, Brushstrokes of a Man, the story of Thomas Kinkade.
Harper Robinson is an award winning producer and writer. Robinson got his start in the industry working on “American Idol”, “The Biggest Loser”, and others. He then began working with Andrew Stevens, an accomplished Actor, Director and Producer of over 150 films. Robinson soon moved on to producing a number of short films, that were made official selections at notable festivals including SXSW and others. He recently produced an investigative documentary narrated by Dean Cain covering the BP Gulf oil spill, entitled “Beyond Pollution”. It premiered at “The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital”, the largest and most influential environmental film festival in the world. Since it has obtained worldwide distribution, official selection of 14 festivals, numerous awards, a Cinema for Peace “International Green Film Award” nomination, and 1 of 4 films chosen by “The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences” to be showcased in an environmental series. Robinson has a BA from University of Texas in Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M, extensive experience in all areas of production, an in-depth understanding of film/TV marketing, distribution, and business and is passionate about using the art of visual storytelling to spark conversation, create awareness, and inspire change.
Reis McCormick is known professionally in the worlds of broadcast, gaming, network television, indie film, commercial print, and regional theater from Texas to Virginia. She is an award-winning performer in thousands of national commercials, corporate projects and television and radio voice-overs for an international clientele. Behind the camera she has written for screen and produced a documentary on the late, great artist/educator/Texan, Paul Baker. Reis has served the Texas talent pool as a national delegate and first VP of SAG-AFTRA, past president of Women in Film, Dallas, and on the board of Echo Theater. In the realm of education, Reis has been a guest artist and taught workshops and performed commissioned works for students of all ages all over the U.S. At KD she serves on faculty as well as being the conservatory’s Director of Development. She is a Founding Member of Lone Star Comedy and is represented by the Callidus Agency. Reis has appeared in the hit series Breaking Bad and is a recurring co-star of the series American Crime.
Bret McKinney attended the University of California at San Diego and ultimately received his B.A. in Rhetorical Theory in the Communications Department at Baylor University. He is a screenwriter/producer who began his career as the Senior Vice-President of Operations in Los Angeles on the Sunset Gower Studios lot (the old Warner Bros. Studio) for a multi-national digital media production company. He is a published author, panelist, and lecturer on emerging digital technology paradigms for both the entertainment and non-broadcast industries throughout the country and overseas; and, for numerous years, an associate member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
Bret retired from the entertainment industry in 2010 as a member of the Writer Guild of America (WGA), but has continued consulting, teaching, and coaching aspiring and professional screenwriters and motion picture producers on their movie and television projects in the areas of story, financing, production, and distribution. Recently, he joined the instructing faculty at KD Conservatory and offers his 30+ years of entertainment industry experience to the next generation of creative artists and storytellers.
Dr. Dolan received his B.F.A. with High Honors in Theatre Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Texas-Dallas. He has participated as a director, dramaturge, and performer in over 35 productions, collaborating and/or studying with such noted theatre practitioners as Robert W. Corrigan, Richard Schechner, Aaron Frankel, Israel Horowitz, Alexa Visarion, and Ljubisa Georgievski.
A scholar with many interests, he has written articles on a broad range of topics in the area of theatre, dance, and somatic practices. He once chaired a panel discussion on Maria Fornes’ dramas at the Association for Theatre in Higher Conferences in which Ms. Fornes acted as respondent to the presentations. Dolan is also a member of USA Track & Field and has competed in Masters and Senior Olympics events around the country since 2005.