Rebecca Ver Straten-McSparran, Director

M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary
B.A. Philosophy, Highest Honors, Bethel University                                 

Rebecca is the director of the L.A. Film Studies Center (LAFSC), and also teaches there.  She speaks at conferences and universities, recently giving a Princeton Lecture, American Scientific Affiliation keynote, and at American Academy of Religion. She also leads spiritual retreats and writes various book chapters and journal articles.  Currently Rebecca is working on a PhD in film and theology (interdisciplinary) at King’s College London, UK.  She is on the Reel Spirituality Committee at Fuller Seminary. Rebecca created the Miracle Mile Art Walk sponsored by L.A. County Museum of Art, was elected to the Mid City WEST Community Council and chair of arts, and received a “Sheroes” award from California Senate District 26, was a pastor for 14 years, developed arts ministries and planted a church for artists and filmmakers.  She received her Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and BA in Philosophy with Highest Honors from Bethel University.

John K. Bucher Jr., Instructor, Faculty

M.A. Communications (Film), University of Colorado
B.A. Communications (Film), University of Colorado

John has produced film, television and video programming in more than 30 countries around the world including Iraq, Mongolia, China, Argentina and Morocco. His documentary work on AIDS in Africa received both Telly and Omni Awards. He has served as the Executive Director for the Damah Film Festival and Director for Story Development for the Global Short Film Network. He has lectured on story, film and pop culture on five continents and is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In addition to his teaching, John owns Sideshow Media Group, a culture communications company that produces original music, comics, books and films. John has taught at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center since 2005, where he passionately encourages students toward recognizing the structure and power of story.

Jeremy Casper, Instructor, Faculty

M.A. Communication with an emphasis in Directing and Cinematography
B.A. Communication with an emphasis in Film and Public Relations

Jeremy Casper attended the Los Angeles Film Studies Center in the fall of 1996, and currently teaches cinematography and narrative storytelling.  Jeremy is also a writer/director/producer and recently completed his first feature film, Vacant House, which premiered at the United Film Festival, Los Angeles 2013.  Jeremy has worked professionally in the film industry at Warner Brothers and did his internship at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment during the production of Titanic.  As a film professor, he has helped develop over 600 short films and is currently co-writing a book with filmmaker John K. Bucher, Jr. on story structure for short films.  He also leads filmmaking seminars all over the world, most recently in Egypt, Ukraine, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Australia, and Italy.  He has several projects currently in development, including his next feature film, which he also plans to direct.

Christine Krebsbach, Industry Relations Director, Faculty

M.A. Producing, Regent University
B.A. Communication/Broadcasting, Theatre Minor, Northwestern College - MN

Chris has been a part of the LA Film Studies Center team since 2003.  She began working with LAFSC as the Residence Director and has been part of the teaching faculty since 2004. She co-teaches the Hollywood Production Workshop class. Chris also runs LAFSC's internship program, helping students to find opportunities that suit their areas of interest and skill level.  Prior to working at LAFSC, Chris worked in freelance production in various producing and acting capacities in both the United States and abroad.  Chris continues to work in production as opportunities arise.  In recent years, she has starred in a stage production of Proof, directed two short films, cast several others and is developing two non-fiction books. 

Kris Young, Screenwriting Instructor, Adjunct Faculty

MFA Screenwriting, UCLA
BA Film, USC

Kris is a native Los Angeleno.  He has taught screenwriting at LAFSC since 1998 and at UCLA since 2001.  He’s been a WGA member for over 30 years and was a founding member of and co-chaired the WGA Asian-American Writers’ Committee for many years.  He wrote six movies for the Disney Channel and was a staff lyricist for a major R&B record company where he put words to music for Grammy Award winning artists.  He lives in La Crescenta, California with his wife, son and family dog.

Nathan White, Program Administrator/Instructor, Adjunct Faculty

B.A. Communication Arts (Film), Gordon College

Nathan has worked at LAFSC since 2004 and is an alumnus of the program. At LAFSC he handles the online application system, financial accounting, administration, co-teaches the Internship class, and teaches the Professional Acting for the Camera class. Nathan has been teaching acting since 2005 and has directed actors in films and professional theater for over ten years. While he has had a good deal of acting experience, his unique approach to teaching actors from a director's perspective has helped his students over the years land roles in movies and on television. He is a writer/director, has won awards for his short films, and is currently working on his second feature film. Prior to LAFSC Nathan worked in the entertainment industry at various production companies at studios including Warner Bros. and Universal. He lives in Studio City with his wife Raquel and two children.

Sarah Duff, Residence Director

B.A., Asbury University, Wilmore, Kentucky

Sarah has served on LAFSC's staff since 2005. She considers it a great privilege to serve the students of the program each semester as they navigate new academic and cultural waters in Los Angeles. Her background in both media communication and youth ministry in a church context equip her for residence life ministry. She lives onsite at the apartment complex where students are housed with her husband Patrick and their four young children. Her office and apartment doors are always open!