Alumni Highlights: L.A. Film School Graduates Shine Across the Industry this June


In June, graduates of The Los Angeles Film School continued to pursue diverse career paths across the entertainment industry, contributing to iconic movie franchises, a prestigious television series, and one of this year’s most anticipated video game releases. Discover the latest achievements of our alumni this June!

Palm Royale

Jesse Sternbaum (Film 2004) is a Producer on the Apple TV+ comedy/drama Palm Royale with Kristen Wiig. Since graduating, Jesse has tallied over 60 credits in film and TV as an Assistant Director, Producer, and Production Manager. Other credits include Dirty John (Unit Production Manager/First Assistant Director) and Iron Man 3 (as Assistant Director). 


Left by her husband and friends in late 1960’s Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Royale follows Maxine Simmons (Wiig) as she attempts to rebuild her identity. She tries to work her way into the rarified space of the city’s top country club, the Palm Royale. However, Maxine soon discovers just what it takes to make it in the glitzy world of the city’s wealthy elite.

The Good Doctor

2004 Film alum Tristan Thai and Daniel McNamara (Recording Arts 2016, Audio Production 2020) just wrapped the series finale of The Good Doctor. Thai worked as a writer and MacNamara as a sound effects editor. Daniel’s previous credits include work in the sound department on major projects including Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, I Know What You Did Last Summer (TV series), and UnREAL

Assassin’s Creed: Shadows

Aleks Cuk (Film 2017) is an associate producer leading the Belgrade-based UX/UI team on one of 2024’s most anticipated video games, Assassin’s Creed: Shadows. Aleks says, “I am very hyped about the release later this year. It’s Ubisoft’s most important IP and a setting that’s been called for since the first Assassin’s Creed came out- Japan.” He recently shared some insight looking back on his time at The L.A. Film School: “Even though I went from filmmaking to advertising to video games, I still apply the knowledge learned at L.A. Film School to lead my teams and achieve the desired vision.”

Bad Boys: Ride or Die Soundtrack 

Renato “Nato” Lopez (Recording Arts, 2012) is engineer, mixer, and co-producer on Will Smith’s newest single Light Em Up featuring Sean Paul. The single is on the soundtrack for Smith’s newest film, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, which had its theatrical premiere on June 7th. 

Alumni Adam Shattuck (Film 2017) has steadily built a name for himself as a cinematographer since graduating in 2017. He leant his talents as cinematographer in the LA unit for Black Eyed Peas ft. Becky G, El Alfa – Tonight off of the soundtrack for Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

Shattuck worked for Riveting Entertainment on their post-production team, followed by work for several different rental houses where he’s had a hand in many music videos, documentaries, and commercials. He has found success with several of the films featured at Tribeca, Sundance, AFI, and more. Some of his credits include:

  • Cinematographer – “Merman” – LA Times Short Documentary played at Tribeca ’23, AFI ’23, OutFest ’23, Sundance ’24, 12+ more festivals
  • Cinematographer – “Kylie” – LA Times Short Documentary which screened at at Tribeca ’22, AFI ’22, Sundance ’23, 15+ more festivals
  • Cinematographer – “Will.I.AMG“, a partnership between Mercedes Benz AMG & Will.I.Am 

Mandi Macias

Recent grad and triple threat Mandi Macias (Music Production, 2023) was profiled in LAWeekly for her new track, “F* UR F150,”. Released June 20, this single comes on the heels of her 2023 EP, Teenage Eulogy, which garnered over one million streams. Macias is already a veteran of many legendary L.A. venues including the Troubadour and The Whisky A-Go-Go. You can catch her performing at The Viper Room July 5th, where she’s ushering in what she’s dubbed “Empowered Girl Summer”.

Industry Round-Up: June 2024 in Review

IATSE, Studios Strike Tentative Deal on Hollywood Basic Agreement

The deal includes a 15% compound wage increase, AI protections and triple pay for shoot days longer than 15 hours

Inside Out 2 Sets Global Animated Record in $295 Million Opening

“Inside Out 2” also scores the second-highest domestic animated opening weekend ever with $155 million here in the States.

Tony Winners List 2024 (Complete List)

The 77th Tony Awards air Sunday on CBS and Paramount+. Among the nominees for this year’s honors are Rachel McAdams and Angelina Jolie.

Netflix Unveils Expanded Albuquerque Studios, Says Hub’s Generated $900M For New Mexico Production

The company launched the hub in 2018, marking its first purchase of a production studio complex. This one included eight sound stages on 28 acres with productions that included The Avengers, Breaking Bad, and Sicario.

How Legal Issues Can Tank a Music Catalog’s Valuation — Even If It Brings In Millions Each Year

Artists like Diddy and R. Kelly with millions of streams and hundreds of thousands of equivalent album units each year can struggle to sell music catalogs amid legal issues.

We love learning about what our alums are working on in the entertainment industry. If you’re an L.A. Film School alum with an upcoming project, tell us about it! Connect with us and send your project details!