Get to Know Us

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
Want to get in touch with us? Visit the Directories.

Diane Baker

Executive Director of Acting/Motion Pictures & Television

Diane Baker’s long and illustrious career across TV and film includes working as an actress and producer with such notables as Anthony Hopkins, Jim Carrey and Martin Landau. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, including multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, Diane has appeared in films such as Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Joy Luck Club, The Net, and The Cable Guy and been a voting member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences for over forty years.

James Egan

Online Director of Motion Pictures & Television, MFA and BFA

James Egan is an award-winning writer and producer whose credits range from In & Out (1985) to Angels in the Dust (2007), which won the Amnesty International VARA Award for Social Justice. In 2000, Egan founded Wild at Heart Films, which aims to create “media that makes a difference”. He also serves on the national board of the Wounded Marine Careers Foundation, and is a vested member of the Writers Guild of America.

Shaaron Murphy

Director of Editing

Shaaron Murphy has been teaching at the Academy since 1995, teaching Final Cut Pro, Avid, The Work of Great Directors, and the Advanced Editing Theory course, which she created for the department. She also oversees more than 100 labs and a large group of instructors, technicians and staff. With her fifteen years of work in feature films, documentaries, national ads and narrative shorts, she brings valuable industry expertise to the editing portion of the program. She is a graduate of the USC School of Cinema Production, where she was a winner of the Student Emmy Award for Production.

Curran Engel

Producing Coordinator

Curran is a producer, production manager, first assistant director, and second assistant director, and has over 12 years of extensive industry experience. He was the producer on several feature films, such as Skeleton Woman, This Space Between Us, Downfall, and Cherish and First Assistant Director on Heartwood, Tweeker, and Chalk. Curran is an accomplished professional who has worked in a variety of roles. He guides graduate students through the various elements of production, from breaking down a script to scheduling and budgeting, and his first-hand experience of sales and marketing prepares students for the challenges of producing their own projects. Curran's extensive list of projects includes music videos, commercials, television and movies.

Eduardo Rufeisen

Faculty, Motion Pictures & Television

Eduardo Rufeisen has more than 17 years of international experience producing, directing, and managing creative teams and crews. He worked as the Senior Advisor of Advertising for Bosch-Blaupunkt group in Brazil, directing ad campaigns for print, TV and radio and has been producing and directing multi-camera TV shows for local San Francisco Bay Area cable channels and multinational companies including Hewlett Packard. Since completing his Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA) in Motion Pictures and Television Studies at Academy of Art University, Eduardo has also been working as a film and television instructor at various colleges in Northern California.

Tim Boxell

Faculty, Motion Pictures & Television

Tim Boxell directed feature films Aberration for Artisan and romantic comedy Chasing Destiny for Artists View as well as working on dozens of features in the roles of visual consultant and storyboard artist. As creative director for Colossal Pictures Tim was actively involved in MTV’s notorious mixed media hit show Liquid Television for which he directed Winter Steele and Las Apassionadas. His work has been seen on Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, The Disney Channel, ABC, The WB and Nickelodeon. He’s directed and designed numerous award-winning commercials (Hershey’s, Nintendo, Doritos, Budweiser) and broadcast graphics (VH-1, MTV, TNT) featuring and inventive blend of animation, live action and effects.

"Jess" William Kreusler

Online Coordinator

Jess joined the Wild at Heart Films team as Creative Executive of Motion Pictures in 2009, where he has applied his creative skills to a wide range projects for Wild at Heart, developing feature screenplays and series for television. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Jess moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for filmmaking. Before that, he graduated from Kent State University with degrees in Theatre Studies & Sociology, where he directed student films, participated in numerous stage productions, and worked on short films with rising filmmaker Larry Longstreth.

Jack Perez

Directing Coordinator

Jack Perez is a 20-year veteran of the motion picture and television industry. He has directed feature films, television movies and pilots, action sequences, network specials, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and hit reality tv shows. He has written screenplays for television and film, is the recipient of awards for both writing and directing, and has received critical praise from Roger Ebert, Harry Knowles, drive-in critic Jo Bob Briggs, Fangoria and Film Threat magazines, the LA WEEKLY, the Austin Chronicle, and the New York Times.