Seattle Film Institute Faculty

Our faculty are not only instructors, but working professionals. We have a wide range of experience in film production at all levels, from feature films to web commercials.

Geof Alm

Geof Alm is a certified fight director and teacher for the Society of American Fight Directors. He has worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Opera, Seattle Shakespeare Company, The Group Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, The Huntington Theatre Company, and Missoula Children's Theatre. Alm teaches all over the Northwest, in Boston, Montana, and Louisiana, and in the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program.

Steven Bradford

Steven Bradford, SFI Production InstructorSteven Bradford received his B.A. in Motion Picture & Television Production from the University of Southern California and an MFA in Filmmaking and Producing from SFI. He has produced touch screen video sequences, videodiscs for NASA, and filmed neurosurgery, the rock band KISS, and the Space Shuttle in 3D. He also shot a low budget 35mm feature. From 2004 to 2007 Steven was the director of the School of Film and Visual Effects at Collins College in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently Steven is the director of Studio and Facilities at SFI.

Susanna Burney

 is a professional voice over artist, actress, director and teacher, who makes her home in Seattle. For over 20 years, her voice has been heard on radio, TV, promotional and training films, and the web. Her talent has also been featured on video games, including Hoyle Casino and Kids Games, and she is the character Jin in F.E.A.R. (Monolith, Sierra, and Warner Bros.) She has narrated dozens of audiobooks in a range of genres for BBC America, Harper Collins, Listen and Live, High Bridge, Writers Coffee Shop, Brilliance, and more. Her stage work has taken her to New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New England, Florida, Nevada, and Scotland. Film credits include The Beans of Egypt, Maine and John Carpenter's The Ward.


Scott Colburn

(Sound Design & Recording Arts), BA in Sound Engineering (Columbia College), Scott Colburn has an extensive thirty-year professional career in audio in areas including producer/engineer, sound designer, and live sound engineer.  His awards and accomplishments include the 2002 Grammy Award for Charlie Patton “Screamin and Hollerin the Blues” box set (Revenant).

Jason Devore

(Sound Design & Recording Arts), BA in Music (California State University, Chico), has been working in the field of music and audio post-production since 1985. He has worked on sound design projects for long-format documentaries and feature films as well as for companies including Microsoft, AT&T and Nike.

Tony Doupe

(Acting)is a SAG/AFTRA actor with an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. An actor for over 20 years, recent credits include supporting roles in the feature films, Eden, starring Beau Bridges, and the role of Walt, in Ira Finkelstein's Christmas, with Eliot Gould and David De Louise. Tony co-starred in the feature film The River Sorrow, with Ray Liota and Christian Slater and had a leading role in the feature film The Off Hours and the lead in Frayed. Other supporting feature roles include The Ring, and Life or Something like It.

Tony's television career includes roles in Northern Exposure, Leverage, Unsolved Mysteries, Grimm and The Fugitive; and as a featured commercial actor, including spots for Pizza Hut, Microsoft, Tractor Supply, Lowes Hardware, The Seattle Mariners and Rodda Paint.
Tony has been teaching and coaching actors for fourteen years both privately and at the college level.

James Forsher

(Filmmaking), Ph.D.  (University of  Southern California) has been a producer, director and writer on over 100 nationally shown programs, including feature length films, hour specials and multiple part series that were carried by such networks as Discovery, A & E, PBS, Movie Channel and Cinemax.  In addition to his media background, he has been a full-time professor in communication studies at Florida State University and California State University East Bay.  

Bryar (Estelle) Golden 

has been an actor, teacher and director for over 27 years in New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. She has performed in a number of off Broadway plays as well as numerous theatres in LA. Bryar has also appeared in many national commercials, television shows, corporate videos, and a variety of films. Most recently, she appeared in several episodes of NBC’s Grimm, as Gloria Calvert, and on TNT’s Leverage. Bryar directing credits include SCC’S production of You Can’t Take It With you by Kaufman and Hart, Rumors by Neil Simon as well as the Children’s Theatre productions of Who Killed The Giant and The Ballad of Maid Marion. She has had the opportunity to work under such notable teachers as Stella Adler and Uta Hagan.

Bill Johns

(Filmmaking), BA (University of Georgia) has been featured in 30+ television spots, ads and industrial projects as an actor.  He has worked on numerous plays, full-length features and independent film projects as either an actor or director with such actors as Jeff Bridges, Faye Dunaway, Oliver Platt, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Lara Flynn Boyle.  He has won awards for directing, set design, and lighting design.  

Hummie Mann

Hummie Man,SFI Film Scoring InstructorHummie Mann graduated magna cum laude from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and is a two-time Emmy-award winning composer/arranger who has collaborated with some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors in both theatrical and television films. His motion pictures projects have ranged from Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" to Peter Yates' "Year of the Comet". Hummie is also the principal instructor of the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program at the Seattle Film Institute. 


Debra Pralle

has been a professional actor (stage, screen, television, & radio) for over 20 years. Debra’s recent film work includes roles in Wild with Reese Witherspoon, and The Architect with Parker Posey. She has appeared in over a dozen other films including the lead role in Dianna Turner’s The Writer’s Model. Debra’s TV roles include  the TNT drama Leverage, the Lifetime movie Hit & Run, Citizen Baines, and The Fugitive on CBS. Debra's commercial credits and promos include Microsoft, Delta Dental, Russell Investments, Yes on 522, Media Partners, and Providence Medical.
Ms. Pralle’s stage experience is extensive and includes work at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Village Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, and includes the honor of receiving a Seattle Times Footlight Award for Outstanding Acting. She wrote and produced No Demerits for Dancing, which played in theatre festivals in Seattle and Colorado. Audio credits include Supreme Commander 2, Washington State Lottery, and numerous regional radio commercials.

David Shulman

David Shulman, SFI Executive DirectorDavid Shulman received his MFA in Cinema/Television from USC and taught film/video at the university level prior to founding the Seattle Film Institute in 1994, where he is the Executive Director. He has produced, directed, written and edited numerous PBS documentaries. David worked as a story analyst for Columbia Pictures and has worked on a wide range of feature films. He recently completed World Enough and Time, an independent 35mm feature film which he wrote, directed, and edited.

Terry Simpson

Terry Simpson has a BA in Communications/Theater Directing from The Evergreen State College. He spent 15+ years developing some of the first uses of video/film screens onstage in Dance, Theater, Performance Art, and Opera (Frankenstein; The Prometheus Man, Minnesota Opera) in the 1980‘s and 90‘s. For more than 25 years, he has worked in broadcast television as a Lighting Director (Louie Anderson: Comedy on Canvas, HBO) and Director (Nancy Guppy’s ArtZone), and in corporate video as a D.P. and producer/director. Terry was an award-winning producer/director at UWTV, working on TV series’ (Talk Medicine & Science Forum).  He has taught camera, lighting, and editing workshops since 1990.

Matt Smith 

An actor, auctioneer, writer, improv teacher, and communication coach, Matt Smith's screen credits include My Last Year with the Nuns, Outsourced, Sleepless in Seattle, Spiderman, White Face, The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, and KING TV's Almost Live. Original solo plays include My Last Year with the Nuns, My Boat to Bainbridge, Helium, Beyond Kindness: A Childcare Guide, and All My Children. Matt was a founding member of both Stark/Raving Theatre, and Seattle Improv. He was artistic director of Seattle Theatre Sports in 1985.
Matt is a partner with Cookus Interruptus, a web based cooking show, plus he' s taught improvisation at hundreds of companies and schools, to actors and non-actors. 

Rhonda J. Soikowski

has been acting, directing, and generating new work in collaborative process since 1995. She holds an MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University and a BFA in Acting with an Original Works emphasis from Cornish College of the Arts, where she is currently on Faculty in the Theater Department. As a teaching artist, she specializes in integrating mind, voice, body and intention. Local credits include work with Strawshop, Book-It Repertory Theater, Cherry Manhattan Presents, LaCoeur, Freehold’s Engaged Theater Project, and many others. Rhonda is currently involved in research and development for performance pedagogy with a new investigation into Institutionalized Oppression in Art Making. 


David Trees

David Trees, SFI Screenwriting Instructor

(Screenwriting) BS Film Production (Montana State University) David also studied both screenwriting and fiction writing at the University of Washington. His many adventures with the pen include scripting film documentaries, writing for television, and a newspaper writing career as reporter, editor, and columnist. David was awarded the national Writer's Digest grand prize for his screenplay Under High Woods.


Bill Weir

Bill Weir, SFI Producing InstructorBill Weir received his B.A. degree in Motion Pictures & Television from UCLA, and has worked as a producer, screenwriter, and director in both Hollywood and Seattle. He has worked on feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, and marketing videos. In 1994 Bill helped David Shulman in founding the Seattle Film Institute and taught one of the school's first two classes. He is currently Director of the Masters in Producing program and is developing two feature film projects.

Jacob Winkler

(Composing for Film), MM in Instrumental Conducting (University of Washington), is the Artistic Director for the Seattle Girls' Choir and the conductor of the Prime Voci.  He has also written and produced soundtracks to several video games on the Nintendo DS and Apple iOS platforms including The Simpsons Game and Iron Man 2.

Doug Zangar

(Composing for Film), MM in Film Composition (Seattle Film Institute), is a musician, composer, arranger and producer.  His composer credits include work for films such as Anatomy of a Fly and The Clearing and for clients such as Alaska Airlines.  He has also done sound design and audio post work for Discovery and National Geographic channels.