Los Angeles Film School

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Los Angeles Film School
Logo lafs.png
Established 1999
Type for-profit college
President Diana Derycz-Kessler
Academic staff 125
Students 1800
Location Los Angeles, California, USA
Campus Urban
Website www.lafilm.edu

The Los Angeles Film School or LA Film School is a for-profit college geared toward the entertainment industry. It offers associate degrees in Recording Engineering, Computer Animation, Game Production and Film. In 2012, The Los Angeles Film School launched its first Bachelor of Science Degree in Entertainment Business.[1]

In 2010 the school made national headlines due to a class action lawsuit filed against the institution for alleged deceptive practices in over-promising jobs in the entertainment industry, and bribing students to falsify jobs reports to remain accredited.[2][3] As a result, the school lost its accrediting through the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).[4]


The Los Angeles Film School began operating September 8, 1999.[5] The school's founding President was noted indie film Producer Caroline Pfeiffer and the founding Dean was Amedeo D'Adamo.[6]

Caroline and Thom left the school two years later just before it went through its first ownership change. In 2001, when the enrollment was 170 students, the School's new sole owners, Paul Kessler and Diana Derycz-Kessler, asked Amedeo D'Adamo to become President of the school.[7] At this point one of the school's investors, Diana Derycz-Kessler — a Harvard Law graduate and corporate legal counsel for Occidental Petroleum's international division — took over as CEO.[8][9] In 2002, Amedeo D'Adamo amicably resigned his position to begin a production company; he would later be invited back by the Kesslers to be a Visiting Artist at the school. In 2003, the owners of Full Sail Real World Education formed a business partnership with Derycz-Kessler and her husband Paul Kessler, the majority owners of the LAFS and the Los Angeles Recording School.[10] In 2006, Full Sail purchased property for the schools, expanding their total square footage to 230,000 square feet.[11]

The school was accredited to award vocational degrees in 2008.[12] Later that year, the school added computer animation and game production programs.[13] In 2010, the school doubled the size of their student body to more than 1,500 students.[14][15]


In 2010 the Los Angeles Film School and Los Angeles Recording School were served with a class action lawsuit through Los Angeles Superior Court alleging deceptive practices in attracting students by over-promising jobs in the entertainment industry, and for bribing students into lying about their jobs for the institution to remain accredited.[2][3] The school alleges that for $23,000/year in tuition, students receive 900 hours of instruction, however students alleged they did not - and the school manipulates their jobs report to maintain accredited through ACCET, later losing their accreditation.[4]

Also in 2010, LA Film School and LA Recording School was sued for multiple employee retaliation.[16]


Degree programs[edit]

As of January 2009, The Los Angeles Film School offers associates degrees in Film, Computer Animation, Game Production, Recording Arts.[17] In September 2012, The Los Angeles Film School launched its first Bachelor of Science degree program in Entertainment Business.


Los Angeles Film School building on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California

The Los Angeles Film School is located in Hollywood, California. Before becoming the home of The Los Angeles Film School, the building was home of RCA Records.[18]

In 2000, LAFS opened its digital high-definition, Dolby Surround, THX-Certified theater.

In 2006, Full Sail purchased an additional six-story building at 6353 Sunset Boulevard.[11] In 2007, the school purchased the Ivar Theater located at Ivar and Selma Avenue.[18]

The college now has over 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of facilities, including over 20 labs, and a 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) Hollywood Set Sound Stage.[19]


Past and current faculty include Lawrence G. Paull, Production Designer of Blade Runner and Back to the Future;[20] John Hora, Directory of Photography for Gremlins and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid;[21] and Ariel Levy, Assistant Director for The Spy Who Loved Me and My Blue Heaven,.[22]

Past and current interactive media (game production) faculty include Michael Blackledge, credited on games from Sony, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, Sucker Punch, Insomniac Games, Zipper and others;[23] Michael Dawson, author of multiple programming books, and designer and main character in Dark Seed;[24] Alen Im, game artist for The Saboteur,[25] and Karen McMullan, content designer for Halo Wars and Age of Empires.[26]

Notable alumni & LA Film School productions[edit]

In 2001, Roger Corman agreed to produce one to two projects annually in association with the school, using graduates on the crew, student projects for scripts, and school facilities for post production.[27] In 2003, Corman financed one feature film with LAFS alumni: Demon Slayer.[28] Alumni hired for key positions: Directed by James Cotten. Written by Tristan Thai. Cinematography by Brandon Trost. Production Design by Kambiz Hemati. Edited by John Valerio. Line Produced by Travis Ramsey. Executive Producers, Diana Derycz-Kessler and Paul Kessler.[29]


  1. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2012/12/former-universal-pic-prexy-hal-lieberman-to-head-la-film-school-biz-b-s-program/
  2. ^ a b http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/thr-esq/class-action-lawsuit-claims-film-57903
  3. ^ a b http://www.slashfilm.com/los-angeles-film-school-sued-misrepresenting-jobs-apple-store/
  4. ^ a b http://www.accet.org/directory
  5. ^ "Los Angeles Film School". Cinema Without Borders. January 28, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Los Angeles Film School Announces Thomas Schatz as Its First Professor". 
  7. ^ "The Los Angeles Film School Welcomes Faye Dunaway, Kimberly Peirce and Paul Verhoeven as New Members of the Advisory Board". 
  8. ^ "The Los Angeles Film School's New Owner Expand Its Mission", Business Wire, November 28, 2001, accessed December 27, 2010.
  9. ^ "The Big Picture". Harvard Law Bulletin. Fall 2001. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Los Angeles Film School and The Los Angeles Recording School Acquire New Property on Sunset Boulevard", PRWEB, February 9, 2006, accessed December 27, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Full Sail principals' partnership buys property for L.A. media schools". Orlando Business Journal. February 9, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Los Angeles Film School to Launch First Degree Program". Yahoo Finance. March 11, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "LA Film School To Launch First Degree Program". Animation World Network. March 11, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Parking flap pits farmers market against film school". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  15. ^ "The L.A. Film School Tries To Push Hollywood Farmers Market -- A Sunday Tradition -- Off Precious School Parking Lot". LA Weekly. December 6, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  16. ^ http://www.nlrb.gov/case/31-CA-029627
  17. ^ http://www.lafilm.edu/programs/overview.html
  18. ^ a b "Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design Announces New Partnership with the Principals of Full Sail Real World Education". dBusinessNews. December 12, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  19. ^ http://www.lafilm.edu/campus/all-rooms/index.html
  20. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-los-angeles-film-school-names-academy-award-nominated-production-designer-lawrence-g-paull-as-professor-74151277.html
  21. ^ http://www.lafilm.edu/content/film-instructor-15
  22. ^ "IMDB Movie Database". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  23. ^ "Moby Games". GameFly Media. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "Moby Games". GameFly Media. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "Moby Games". GameFly Media. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "Moby Games". GameFly Media. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  27. ^ "Roger Corman and the Los Angeles Film School Partner to Produce Feature Films". Business Wire. December 4, 2001. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  28. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0315465/
  29. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0315465/fullcredits#cast

External links[edit]