Motion Picture Institute Faculty & Staff is comprised of working industry professionals who know the practices and tools of the trades.

They bring their experiences and skills into the class to teach our students how to succeed. Motion Picture Institute is a school designed by Filmmakers, for Filmmakers.

The Motion Picture Production Program – Instructors

Douglas Schulze

Instructor Film Directing 1, 2, 3, 5 and Feature Producing- (MPI Co-Founder / CEO / Film Director)

Award winning filmmaker and Motion Picture Institute co-founder Douglas Schulze brings twenty-eight years of real world experience to the classroom. His first feature film credits include Hellmaster (HBO and Cinemax) 1993, Dark Heaven (ThinkFilm) 2004, Dark Fields (Lionsgate) 2011, Mimesis Night of the Living Dead (Anchor Bay) 2012, The Dogs’ Fighter (Amazon Prime) 2013, The Dark Below (featuring Veronica Cartwright) 2015 and is currently directing the comedy tv pilot The Monster Show. Doug’s tenure in the film industry has included collaborations with a wide variety of Hollywood professionals including Michael Goi (former ASC president/DP of American Horror Story), Academy award winning special effects artist Chris Walas (the Fly) and the late David Carradine (Kill Bill). He is currently developing Mimesis 2. Doug holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Cinematic Arts from Eastern Michigan University.

Kurt Eli Mayry

Instructor Production Lab 4, Film Directing 4 - (MPI Co-Founder / CFO / Producer / Writer)

Kurt is co-founder of Motion Picture Institute and a graduate of the University of Michigan with BBA in Business Administration. He produced the 1993 feature film Hellmaster, the 2004 film Dark Heaven, the 2011 film Dark Fields, the 2012 Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead, the 4th season of the Chiller Drive-In television show in 2010, the 2013 The Dogs’ Fighter documentary, the 2015 The Dark Below, and he is currently working on the sequel Mimesis II featuring Kristi Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and reality television pilot based on the Chiller Drive-In show entitled The Monster Show. Kurt has worked in the film industry for over twenty-nine years starting out in the commercial production industry working for companies like Victor Duncan in the mid-80s and working on independent films. Kurt is president of the Michigan Association of Career Colleges and Schools and a board member of the DAFT (Digital Arts Film and Television).

Kathryn J. McDermott

Director of Education / Career Services /  Instructor Production Management 1&2, Feature Producing - (Producer / UPM / formerly VP Production - Columbia Pictures)

Kathryn has worked in feature film production for over 27 years in Los Angeles. From 1995 to 2005 she worked as Vice President of Production Administration at Columbia Pictures overseeing the productions of Charlie’s Angels 1 & 2, Memoirs of a Geisha, Fun with Dick & Jane, Closer, Hitch, & Spiderman 1 & 2 just to name a few.  Prior to that she has worked as Production Manager on Striking Distance (starring Bruce Willis), assistant to the producer on Last of the Mohicans, A League of Their Own, Only the Lonely, Career Opportunities and was associate producer on First Knight (starring Richard Gere and Sean Connery) and My Life (starring Nicole Kidman and Michael Keaton.)

Richard Rothrock

Instructor Screenwriting 1,2,3,4,5- (Screenwriter / Script Doctor / Scriptapalooza Judge)

Richard is an award-winning writer and editor with over 20 years experience teaching and mentoring beginning writers and filmmakers. His screenplays have been read, optioned, and developed by Orion, Roger Corman, Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros, DreamWorks, ABC Family and other companies. Other works have been finalists in national contests and his short films have won industry and film festival awards. He most recently served as a script reader for such popular contests as Project Greenlight and the Bluecat Screenplay Competition. Richard has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Film from Oakland University, a Master of Arts from Bowling Green State University, and is a graduate of the Graham School of Editing at the University of Chicago.

Robert Skates

Instructor Cinematography 1, 2, 3, Production Lab 1 - (Cinematographer freelance )

Rob brings over 25 years of production experience as both a camera operator and cinematographer. His cinematography credits include Rachael’s Attic, Cain’s Children, Dark Heaven, Dark Fields and numerous music videos and commercials. Rob has also been a camera assistant on a number of independent features including the films Narc (starring Jason Patrick) and Time Quest (starring Bruce Campbell) and camera operator on Mimesis.  Rob also works as a camera technician at Stratton Camera and is a freelance cinematographer for Two Penny Productions. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wayne State University.

Jeremy Schroeder

Instructor Production Lab 1, 2, 4a & 5 - (Film Electrician & Best Boy IATSE)

Jeremy has worked for 15 years as a film technician in New York city putting in 10 seasons on the television show Law & Order as Best Boy and Key Grip, and as a key grip on the feature Enchanted (Disney), The Girlfriend Experience (dir. Steven Soderbergh), Possible Side Effects (dir. Tim Robbins), Then She Found Me (dir. Helen Hunt) and many other television shows. Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography and Cinematography from the prestigious Ithaca College Film School in New York.

Patrick Elliott

Instructor Production Lab 3 - (Camera Operator freelance)

Patrick for the last eight years has worked all over the Midwest as a professional cinematographer and camera operator. His clients include Ford Motor Company , Chrysler, Big Screen Entertainment, the band Srkillex and Eminem. He has traversed between many different types of productions from corporate commercials, music videos, television pilots, reality shows and independent feature films. Patrick is the owners of Diakonia Productions a graduate of the University of Michigan - Dearborn and a 2007 graduate of Motion Picture Institute.

Joel Porter

Instructor Production Lab 1, Audio Post - (Post Audio Engineer)

Joel brings 34 years of audio experience to MPI having worked both in the Detroit and Los Angeles production markets. Over his professional career Joel has worked for industry giants Clear Channel Communications and Infinity Broadcasting. His professional audio experiences have also spanned working from Detroit to LA for such companies as Harmony Park Creative Group, RMS Productions, WJR, Hollywood Recording, and Zacuto Audio in Los Angeles. Joel is a 1980 graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications.

Joshua Bowren

Instructor Edit Lab 1, 2, 3a, 4, 5 - (Editor)

Josh brings over 25 years of editing experience to the school. He works both at WXYZ Channel 7 as an editor and at Media Network of Waterford as executive director. Josh has literally cut over a thousand projects from PSA’s to independent feature films. His advanced training and experience with Adobe Premiere CC, AVID, Final Cut, Davinci and Adobe After Effects have been an integral part of developing our editing curriculum.

Amber Fritz

Instructor Production Lab 1 (IATSE / Script Supervisor)

Amber has worked on over twenty feature films and television shows as a union script supervisor. Her credits include second unit on Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Whiplash, Lost River, The End Of The Tour, Transformers 4, Mary & Martha, Love and Honor, AMC’s Low Winter Sun and many more. Sitting next to names like Zack Snyder, Phillip Noyce, Michael Bay, Ryan Gosling and Robert Legato, she has spent the last few years getting to help tell other people’s stories along with some of the best and most well-known directors in the business. Her reputation has made her one of the youngest and fastest climbing script supervisors working today.

Deborah Keller

Deborah Keller has been teaching Acting (all levels including Shakespeare), Movement, Voice, Directing & Stage Combat for the past 9 years at colleges in Michigan as well as in workshops around the country. Deb has worked on stage and in film in New York City where she did independent films as well as stunt work on TV shows. She has her BFA from the U of M and her MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program in Tisch School of the Arts under Zelda Fischalndler and Ron VanLieu. She received her S.A.F.D. Stage Combat Certification from Erik Fredricksen and Jim Wooley and has apprenticed under Rick Sordelet and Steve White in NYC. Deb is also a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov school of acting, which builds on the Stanislavsky ‘method’ in unique and valuable ways. She believes that training for an actor is a crucial step in furthering ones natural instinct for material. The passion one brings to the craft of acting is an important step in being able to realize and effectively use skills - or tools in the actors toolbag- that will ensure a long and rewarding career in the arts.

John C. Forman

In more than three decades as a working artist, John has acted in, directed, or production managed hundreds of stage productions, films, commercials and videos in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta before returning to Detroit in 2002. He began acting by attending Eastern Michigan University on an acting scholarship including a theater exchange program in England. Mr. Forman has worked with luminaries such as Tennessee Williams, David Rabe, Robin Williams, among others. John has been teaching the Craft of Acting for over 20 years. The foundation of his work derives from studying with the legendary Hollywood Acting Teacher Eric Morris. He has also studied and is influenced by the techniques of Uta Hagen, Sandy Meisner, and Stella Adler. Over the years he has received notable recognition and appointments in the arts and has been a part of several award winning films. Mr. Forman continues acting locally in films, commercials and music videos. John loves working with actors and giving them the tools to bring out their own unique personalities, behaviors and emotions which, in the end, is all that any actor has to work with. 

Bios forthcoming (New instructors)

  • Jennifer Martin – Instructor Production Lab 1
  • Patrick Neff – Instructor Edit Lab 3 Jeff Staebler – Instructor Advanced Production Lab
  • Lindy Lenk – Instructor Crew Call