Smashcut is an online film school dedicated to increasing access to an affordable film education, and supporting a broad population of emerging film students.


Daniel Blackman
Founder and CEO
Bio ∨
Daniel has been working on digital businesses since 1993. He is the co-founder of, an instructional video start-up launched with his former Google and YouTube colleagues. At Howcast, Daniel created the Howcast Emerging Filmmakers Program - a production-based content platform that provided video assignments to young filmmakers. Daniel has held executive management roles at The Daily Beast, YouTube, Google, Barnes & and HarperCollins Publishers. Daniel graduated from NYU with a BFA in film production.
Favorite filmmakers: Martin Scorsese, The Coen Brothers, Alejandro González Iñárritu
Evan Eustace
Chief Technology Officer
Bio ∨
Evan, a transplant to New York from Dublin, started his career as an audio-engineer doing studio and radio work, and restoring vintage soul and blues recordings for a US record label. But a computer-geek at heart since his teenage years, he was soon drawn into that as a profession. Since then he has spent over 20 years developing software in diverse fields including television and publishing, on different platforms including server, mobile, and desktop. The last 15 years Evan’s been working on education technology. When not indoors in front of a computer, he can probably be found sailing a boat somewhere.
Favorite director: Terry Gilliam
Sockyung Hong
Chief Product Officer
Bio ∨
Formerly the head of product at Vimeo, Sockyung 'Sox' Hong brings his perspectives to focus on building a great product at the intersection of video, creativity and community. Sox started working on Smashcut to help build a new kind of a film school that brings unique value and experience to aspiring filmmakers.
Favorite director: Sergio Leone & Terrence Malick
Andrea Allen
Program Director
Bio ∨
Andrea is a filmmaker and online community builder. Her background includes founding and leading the video production team at where she was responsible for all Vimeo branded content. Before that she spent four years growing and supporting Vimeo's talented community of creators. She's passionate about educating and inspiring the next generation of filmmakers to share their work with the world. When she's not working on Smashcut, Andrea is a part-time co-host of the IMVDb podcast and directs music videos.
Favorite film: Silence of the Lambs
Michael Atkinson
Editorial Director
Bio ∨
Michael has been a film critic for 25 years, and film studies professor at NYU, Long Island University and Hofstra University. He currently writes for The Village Voice, Sight & Sound, In These Times,, The Progressive, LA Weekly, The Criterion Collection, Film Comment, and elsewhere. He is the author of seven books, including Ghost in the Machine: Speculating on the Dark Heart of Pop Cinema (Limelight Eds.) and Exile Cinema: Filmmakers at Work Beyond Hollywood (SUNY Press).
Favorite film: Michael doesn't have a favorite, but believes the best-ever-made is still Citizen Kane.
Raoul Rosenberg
Senior Video Editor
Bio ∨
Raoul is a twice Emmy award winning editor who has cut and co-produced numerous Frontline, NOVA and PBS programs and specials. He graduated from Princeton University in Philosophy and Drama and received an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinema and Television. Raoul was born in France, grew up in Hawaii (one block from the beach), New Orleans (one block from the Mississippi) and Brooklyn (a few blocks from a slice. He currently lives in Montclair, NJ.
Favorite director: Ingmar Bergman
Ralf Bokelberg
Software Developer
Bio ∨
Ralf Bokelberg is a Fullstack developer from Germany. He previously worked for Adobe Consulting and in Fintech.
He's got an eclectic taste when it comes to movies. He likes Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off as much as von Trier's Dogville and Disney's Frozen as much as Kitano's Hana-bi.
Attila Miklosi
Software Developer
Bio ∨
Attila has been involved with computers for longer than he can remember. When he sat in front of the first Commodore 64, it was love at first sight. Before Smashcut, Attila worked on a broad spectrum of software products ranging from online games to healthcare automation. Attila has many hobbies like gardening, skiing, table tennis, and swimming but he’s most obsessed with programming. Nowadays he spends most of his free time with his little sons.
Favorite film: Amélie
Kate Gondwe
Social Media Intern
Bio ∨
Kate Gondwe is a documentary and narrative filmmaker based in the Boston-NY area studying film production at Emerson College.
Favorite film: Call Me by Your Name
Katie Allen
Student Advisor
Bio ∨
Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Katie graduated cum laude from Rockhurst University with a degree in English, has over ten years of experience in customer support, and a keen interest in online community development. She loves Indian food and Raymond Carver’s short stories.
Favorite film: Best in Show
Tessa Blackman
Student Advisor
Bio ∨
Tessa Blackman is a Chicago born artist, with a passion for movement and visual arts. She has studied ballet, jazz, contemporary dance, and recently received her BA from the National Centre for Circus Arts in London, England. Tessa has performed internationally as a circus artist and physical performer and now resides in San Francisco. Tessa values the education and opportunities available for artist allowing a pathway for each wonderful story to be told.
Favorite films: Moulin Rouge and Catch Me if You Can


Sandi Sissel
Bio ∨
Sandi was director of photography on the Oscar nominated Salaam Bombay. Other DP credits include Soul Of The Game, The Reef, Camp Nowhere, Full Eclipse, Drag Strip Girl, The People Under The Stairs, New York Minute, Sao Karaoke and Meet The Browns. Her 2nd unit photography includes Dangerous Minds, Black Knight, Exit Wounds, Rock Star, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Roommates, Uncle, The Believers, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Allan Quartermain and The City of Lost Gold, The Ballad Of Jack and Rose, Blow, Cellular and the Oscar winning Master and Commander; The Far Side Of The World. She co-directed the documentary Chicken Ranch with Nick Broomfield winning both Sundance and BAFTA awards. Sandi served as head of cinematography for New York University’s graduate film program for 15 years. She is a member of the International Photographers Guild, the American Society Of Cinematographers and the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Ruairí O'Brien
Bio ∨
Ruairí is the son of an artist and an actor and so cinematography seemed like a natural place to wind up. He attended IADT film school in Ireland and after graduating spent many years shooting documentaries, shorts and music promos. Since 2006 he has been shooting mostly TV drama and his credits include The Fall, Humans, Line Of Duty and Five Minutes Of Heaven.
Tim Fleming
Bio ∨
Tim is an experienced Cinematographer creating distinctive work on Feature Film andTV Drama worldwide. His feature films include: All Is By My Side with writer/director John Ridley. Citadel with writer/director Ciaran Foy. As If I am Not There with writer/director Juanita Wilson. Once with writer/director John Carney. His work in television includes: Jamestown with writer/director Bill Gallagher, Bounty Hunters with director, Will Sinclair, Decline and Fal with director Guillem Morales, AD Kingdom and Empire with directors, Ciaran Donnelly, Brian Kelley, and Paul Wilmshurst. The Crimson Field with directors Richard Clarke and Thaddeus O Sullivan. "The Musketeers" with Directors Saul Metzstein and Richard Clarke "Inside Men" with Director James Kent, "The Jury" and “Moses Moses Jones with director Michael Offer, Lightfields with director Damon Thomas.
Bebe Dierken
Bio ∨
Known for work on Troy, Fall of a City, Humans 2.0, Berlin Falling, Dickensian, Inglorious Basterds, V for Vendetta, The Bourne Ultimatum, A most wanted Man, World War Z, Madame Butterfly, Hugo Cabret, Eat,Pray,Love, Anomynou sBlood Diamond and United 93.
Cathal Watters
Bio ∨
Cathal's interest in photography began when he was young. He started taking and developing photographs when he was just 12 years old. Going on to study Drama in Trinity College Dublin his interest in drama and photography grew together. Anxious to get get a camera in his hands he got a job shooting news for television stations in Ireland. After a few years, he started shooting documentaries and has shot numerous documentaries for the past 20 years all over the world. Cathal began to shoot short films and music videos and eventually broke into the feature film world. Cathal now mainly shoots films and TV Drama. Recent films have included Handsome devil, A Dark Song, Viva which was shot in Cuba for which he won an IFTA for his Cinematography. He was nominated again for an IFTA for his work on the Netflix Dominion Creek. He has just completed the fourth season of the internationally popular show Peaky Blinders. He is a member of the Irish Society of Cinematographers.
Vincent Peone
Bio ∨
Vincent Peone began his career as a founding member of the CollegeHumor Originals team. In the seven years he presided as staff director, he directed, wrote, shot, produced, or acted in nearly 2,000 videos. With ten million subscribers, Vincent helped build CollegeHumor to become one of YouTube's top comedy channels. His work has been viewed by billions. Vincent continues to direct commercials solo and within his award winning directing duo, Josh+Vince for a slew of top tier brands and advertisers. In 2016, he won a Webby for his stop motion film, The Sea is Blue, as well as four other awards for a campaign he directed for Google and Vogue's Zoolander Pranks the Runway video. Vincent is currently in development with TBS and IFC on shows he's created.
Bing Liu
Bio ∨
Bing Liu moved from China to Alabama to California to Rockford, Illinois with his mother all before he was 8 years old. At age 14, he began honing his craft making DIY skateboarding films. When he was 19 he moved to Chicago and began freelancing as a grip while attaining his B.A. in literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. At age 23 he joined the International Cinematographer's Guild, gaining experience on projects such as Sense8, Divergent, Empire, Chicago PD, and Shameless. In 2014 he began collaborating with Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) on his first feature, Minding the Gap, a co-production of ITVS and POV. Bing is also a story director and DP for an upcoming Steve James mini-series, America To Me, produced by Participant Media and Kartemquin Films. Bing is a 2017 Film Independent Fellow and Garrett Scott Development Grant recipient.
Kevin Shaw
Bio ∨
As a director, producer, cinematographer, Kevin Shaw has produced award-winning documentaries for ESPN, PBS, the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network. His first feature documentary film, the critically acclaimed The Street Stops Here, about Hall of Fame high school basketball coach Bob Hurley and his career-long fight to mentor inner-city youth, debuted on PBS nationally in 2010 and aired on ESPN. Also in that year, Shaw’s Big Ten Network short documentary on a quadriplegic trying to regain the ability to walk won the Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting excellence. In 2012, Shaw directed Goose, the story of pioneer Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum for ESPN. Two years later, Shaw won a National Sports Emmy for cinematography of ESPN’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil show opens and teases.
Luke Eder
Bio ∨
Luke Eder has lensed seven feature films, and has co-directed one feature. With 30 years in the film industry, Luke brings extensive knowledge of cinematography for narrative and documentary film production . In addition to his feature work, Luke has shot programs for The Learning Channel, The Travel Channel, Lifetime Television, A&E as well as commercials, music videos and educational films.
Isidore Bethel
Bio ∨
Isidore Bethel is a French-American filmmaker. A graduate of Harvard College, l’École Normale Supérieure, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he has produced and edited films that have screened at Cannes (Official Selection), IDFA (Amsterdam), the Museum of Modern Art, the Beirut Art Center, and the Pompidou Center, earning a New York Times Critics' Pick and a Mexican Academy Award nomination. He has been a Lagardère Foundation Fellow (2013), a Jack Kent Cooke Fellow for the Arts (2014-2017), and a Tribeca Film Institute Network, IFP, and Film Independent Fellow (2017), as well as an artist-in-residence with the Institut Français (2016) and at the Villa Medici in Rome (2017). His short films have screened at the Los Angeles and Atlanta Film Festivals as well as in galleries in the US, the UK, and Mexico. He has taught film at Sarah Lawrence College and Parsons in Paris and is currently directing his first feature films.


A.O Scott
Chief Film Critic, New York Times
Bio ∨
A.O. Scott has been a film critic at the New York Times since 2000, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism in 2010. In 2016, he published Better Living Through Criticism: How Not To Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, And Truth. He is a Distinguished Professor in the College of Film and The Moving Image at Wesleyan University.
P.J. Dillon
Bio ∨
PJ Dillon has been in the film business for over 25 years, starting as a trainee and working his way through the camera grades to Director of Photography. His television work includes Game of Thrones, Vikings, Penny Dreadful and The Alienist. Films include Strangerland, The Runway, My Brothers and Timbuktu.. His work has been nominated for awards by The American Society of Cinematographers, The British Society of Cinematographers and The Society of Australian Film Critics. He has also won the Irish Film and Television Academy Award for Best Cinematography on three occasions. His favourite film is Lawrence of Arabia.
Bob Levy
Executive Producer
Bio ∨
Bob Levy is best known as the Executive Producer of the TV series Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, and the Producer of the movie Sex Drive. He is a co-founder of Citizen Media, a production company with several new TV series in development. Bob also teaches in the Producers Program at UCLA’s film school. Before becoming a producer, Bob was Vice President of Primetime Series at NBC during its “Must See TV” era in the 1990’s. He graduated from Brown University where he double-majored in English and History.
Naoise Barry
Executive Producer
Bio ∨
Naoise Barry has 25 years' experience in the entertainment industry. He currently runs Envision Entertainment, providing production services to his roster of international clients, shooting in Ireland. Formally, Naoise was with Pinewood Studios Group, heading up their Irish operation, where he oversaw the production of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Ireland. Prior to joining the Pinewood Group, Naoise spent 14 years with the Irish Film Board, and in his role as Irish Film Commissioner, co-financed international productions, including Vikings, Penny Dreadful, Ripper Street and The Tudors. He was central to attracting a wide range of projects to film on location in Ireland, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Love & Friendship, and Oscar Nominated Albert Nobbs. Naoise sits on the Board of Screen Producers Ireland, and is a member of SPIs Film & TV Drama Committee. He also sits on the IFBs S481 Policy Steering Group.
Patrick Stettner
Director, Screenwriter, Educator
Bio ∨
Patrick Stettner is a feature film director and screenwriter. His first feature, The Business Of Strangers, with Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival & Toronto International Film Festival and was released through IFC Films. His second feature, The Night Listener, starred Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh and Joe Morton, and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival & Berlin International Film Festival and was released nationwide by Miramax.
Irrespective of his professional obligations Patrick Stettner has always been a dedicated film educator. First, at one of the most prestigious graduate film programs, Columbia University, School of the Arts, Graduate Film School, where he was an Adjunct Professor for many years and taught various levels of film directing, including its highest level course, Directing IV. Most recently, he helped create a Bachelor of Fine Arts filmmaking program at the Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, Mason Gross School of Art, where he is currently the Asst. Director at the Rutgers Filmmaking Center.
Zane Vella
VP Product, Comcast
Bio ∨
Zane is a producer and software executive with a background in media technology and education. Zane joined Comcast as Vice President of Product in December, 2016 with the acquisition of Watchwith, an interactive video company he founded in 2006. Prior to Watchwith, Zane worked at the intersection of film, Internet and consumer electronics and was an early pioneer of virtual reality and web video applications. Zane is a member of the Television Academy, holds a Master’s from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
William Brangham
Producer/Correspondent, PBS News Hour
Bio ∨
William Brangham is an Emmy award-winning correspondent and producer for the PBS NewsHour in Washington D.C. He joined the flagship PBS program in 2015, after spending two years with the PBS NewsHour Weekend in New York City. In his first two years, Brangham has reported across the U.S. and internationally, covering everything from the severity of America’s opioid crisis, the integration of the U.S. Marine Corps, and even a profile of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Brangham’s reporting on the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 was among the work cited when the NewsHour won a George Foster Peabody Award that year. He reported a six-part series on the HIV/AIDS epidemic -- which traveled from rural Rwanda to Atlanta, Georgia -- and which won a series of major awards, including an Emmy and the National Academies of Sciences Communication Award. When he’s not out reporting in the field, Brangham is a regular interviewer on the NewsHour, and he’s occasionally anchored the weekday and weekend broadcasts. During his career, Brangham has also worked on video projects for The New York Times, ABC News, National Geographic and Frontline. Prior to joining the NewsHour, he was a producer and correspondent for Need to Know on PBS, and before that, for Bill Moyers Journal. Brangham worked on several Moyers documentary series in the 1990s, and was a producer on the critically acclaimed Now with Bill Moyers in the early 2000s. In 2014, he was an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Brangham lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and three children.


About ∨
LearnCapital is a venture capital firm focused exclusively on funding entrepreneurs with a vision for better and smarter learning. They believe that the future is shaped by the way we teach and learn in the present, and that we’re in the middle of one of the great revolutions in the history of education. New technology platforms, applications, and services are not only amplifying and augmenting classroom learning, but creating a world in which any Internet-enabled device can become a classroom on demand.