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Department of Visual & Dramatic Arts
Film Alumni Spotlight

Danny StuyckDanny Stuyck
Independent Film Colorist and Designer
Austin, Texas

BA, Rice University, 2005
MFA, Film Production/Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas, Austin, 2010

Daniel Stuyck is a colorist and title designer based in Austin, TX.  Recent feature credits include both narrative films, including Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2012), Prince Avalanche (David Gordon Green, 2012) and Joe (David Gordon Green, 2013), and documentaries, including Downeast (David Redmon & Ashley Sabin, 2012), Tim's Vermeer (Penn & Teller, 2013), and Yakona (Anlo Sepulveda, 2014).

His work has screened at festivals worldwide including Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Telluride, Toronto, Venice, Tribeca and South by Southwest (SXSW), while his commercial spots have aired nationally and internationally.  He has also written on film for a variety of publications, including Film Comment and Cinema Scope, with a specific interest in new wave cinemas. 

Christel MillerChristel S. Miller
Manager, Current Programming

BA, Visual Arts, Women's Studies, and Psychology, 2005
MFA, Producer's Program, UCLA Film and Television, 2007


Christel S. Miller, Brown '05, was born in San Pedro, CA and went to school at Rice University where she majored in Art, Women's Studies, and Psychology. During her time at Rice she was on the board of the President's Council for GLBT Issues, was active in campus PRIDE, was a founding member of the Rice GLBT Resource Center, and was honored as one of Glamor’s Top Ten College Woman in 2004 as well as Outsmart’s Top 12 GLBT Houstonians in 2005. After college, Christel earned a Masters in Film and Television Producing at UCLA where she was honored with a Producers Guild Diversity Award. Subsequently, Christel worked at Showtime Networks as the Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Original Programming working on Dexter, Nurse Jackie, Gigolos, & Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union. During that time Christel was a mentor & speaker at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Lifeworks program and completed the 10th annual Aids Life Cycle. In 2011 she was accepted into the prestigious NBC Entertainment Associates Program and worked within the NBC Current department on Outsourced, Grimm, BFFs, Bent, Smash, The Playboy Club, & Parenthood. Currently, Christel is a Manager of Current Programming at NBC working on Grimm, Parenthood, Guys With Kids, & Go On. Christel is a member of Women@NBCU, Out@NBCU, OUTFEST, Black Professionals Association@NBCU, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She was married to her wife (Lovett '05) on 11.11.11 and they are expecting a baby boy in February.

http://film.rice.edu/uploadedImages/Film/Alumni_Spotlight/MGM_0327.jpgTodd Jones
Writer and Producer
Los Angeles, CA

BA, Rice University - English/Art and Art History, 1989

I create with my brother and writing partner Earl “Richey” Jones. The latest project I worked on is Blue Sky Studios' animated adventure Rio, a film from 20th Century Fox Animation featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, will.i.am and Jamie Foxx. It was the number one movie at the box office, taking in over 168 million dollars worldwide during the first ten days of release.
I’ve been writing television and film professionally for over 17 years. During that time I’ve written on several well known TV shows (In Living Color and The Hughley’s) as well as several not so well known TV shows. I have also cocreated a children’s animated show (C-Bear and Jamal) for Fox TV.
I have worked with many talented directors, producers, studio executives, and actors/actresses. I continue to develop projects for TV and film both live action and animated.


Amy HobbyAmy Hobby
Director and Producer
Partner, Double A Films
New York, NY
BA, Rice University Art and Art History, 1986

BFA Rice University, Art and Art History, 1987

Amy Hobby’s filmmaking career spans over 15 years as a producer, director, and cinematographer.
As a director, Amy most recently won the Best Director award at the Newport Film Festival for Coney Island Baby. Hobby previously co-directed the documentary At
Sundance that premiered at the American Cinemateque, the ICA in London, and on the Sundance Channel.
As a producer, Amy Hobby was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for producing Secretary, starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Released by Lion’s Gate, Secretary won the Special Jury Prize at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
Among her other producing credits are Love, Ludlow which made its world premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival; Thirteen Conversations About One Thing starring Matthew McConaughey and John Turturro, released by Sony Pictures Classics; Hamlet, starring Ethan Hawke, Sam Shepard, and Bill Murray, featured on numerous critics’ Top 10 Lists for 2000, distributed by Miramax Films; Sunday, winner of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, Deauville Film Festival Winner, and selected for Un Certain Regard at Cannes and New Directors/New Films in New York; and Nadja, executive produced by David Lynch and released by October Films. Hobby was awarded the 2003 Golden Orange by the Florida Film Critics Circle for “consistent excellence and adventurousness in film production.”
Hobby was founder and president of Double A Films, an independent feature film production company, from 1995 to 2002. Prior to producing, Hobby was an award winning photographer, cinematographer and camera assistant on feature films, and was featured in People Magazine and the documentary Through Amy’s Eyes.


Wayne DerrickWayne Derrick
Producer, Director, and Camera
United States and England

MFA (equivalent), National Film & Televsion School, Beaconsfield, Bucks, England
B.A., Fine Arts, Rice University

I am just completing an Arts/History programme called “The Stones of Rosslyn” for the BBC as a self-shooting PD.  The film is shot on high-definition at looks at the artistic history of the Chapel’s construction and its extraordinary carvings.   It’s presented by Lady Helen Rosslyn and she does an excellent job at presenting for the first time.   

I always like programmes that are mentally or physically challenging, especially when they aspire towards important or emotionally moving content. I enjoy "observational" shooting and working with presenters.  In fact working with new presenters has become something of a specialty.   I have also made several historical programmes that mix dramatic reconstructions with graphics and stylistic interviews.
Initially I worked as a documentary cameraman on TV series such as Under The Sun, Bookmark, Everyman, and Witness for the BBC; Viewpoint for ITV; Cutting Edge, Fragile Earth and Short Stories for Channel Four. During this time I shot films in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, Brazil, Spain, India, Russia, Pakistan, the USA and, of course, in Britain.

Awards: BAFTA Award Photography Factual; BAFTA Cymru Award Photography Not Drama;Basil Wright Award; Special Jury Prize, Cinquieme Bilan du Film Ethnographique (Paris); Silver Medal Winner at New York TV Festivals; American Film Institute Award; BBC Documentary Award; Emmy Award Nomination for Best Musical Special


Christine ChenChristine Chen
Filmmaker and Artist
Houston, TX
B.A., Economics, Managerial Studies, and Visual Arts, Rice University, 2007

Christine Chen, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, discovered her passion for movies at a very young age. Her first movie in elementary school convinced her to find excuses to make movies for any school project thereafter. Though she loved making movies with her parent's VHS camera, the discovery of her commitment to filmmaking began the day she entered Brian Huberman's Introductory to Documentary Filmmaking. She soon discovered that this was the only class that she could devote outrageous amounts of time and effort to without a second thought.

Christine made her first one-hour long documentary for a joint Rice University Center for Studies of Languages and Media Center collaboration, during her junior and senior year. Christine had the opportunity to travel to Lijiang, China and capture the cultural changes that occurred during Lijiang’s recovery from the massive 1996 earthquake. Her work earned her the 2006 Russell Grant and 2007 Raymond Swift awards from Rice University.

Though determined to pursue films in the future, Christine decided to take her parents' advice and try out corporate life. During this time, she continued collaborating with local Houston filmmakers and working on her own projects. Christine's “My So Called Life,” short film placed as one of the top 100 films for the HP You on You Youtube Competition. She is currently working as the producer/director/writer for a short titled “Revelation.” <http://www.ricestandard.org/revelation-to-come/>http://www.ricestandard.org/revelation-to-come/

Christine has been accepted to both the Fall 2010 University of Texas MBA and New York University’s dual MBA/MFA programs. Her hope is to continue towards her dream of becoming a producer and director.

Samples of her work >>  


Mark Brice

Film Producer, Director, and Cinematographer
Dallas, TX

BA, Psychology and Art & Art History, Rice University, 1980
Mark Brice, who graduated from Rice in 1980, was awarded an Emmy for cinematography for the Carrier series produced by Mel Gibson. Mark was one of Professor Brian Huberman's first students at Rice and has worked on many documentary productions including National Geographic's Doctors Without Borders and Paramedics.
Brice said, "The Emmy is for Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Series, for the Carrier series, which was shown on PBS. Carrier is a 10-hour series following a six-month deployment of the U.S.S. Nimitz aircraft carrier group in the Persian Gulf. The Award was given at the Creative Arts Emmys at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 13. [Mark Brice] gave the acceptance speech! The show will be broadcast on the E! Entertainment Network on Saturday, September 20."
When James Blue, the then-director of Rice Media Center, walked into a Texas classroom some 30 years ago, a self-described regular kid took his first step toward an extraordinary career that has taken him around the world, quite literally. Mark Brice ‘80 has spent time sleeping under the stars in Africa, crossing through war zones in Burundi, trailing an anti-kidnapping unit in Brazil, and living aboard an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
It’s that last experience that led Brice, a documentary filmmaker, to the strangest place of all: Hollywood. Brice was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Series for his work on the PBS film “Carrier.” Produced by Mel Gibson, “Carrier” is a 10-hour series that follows a six-month deployment of the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during the Iraq War.
“The Media Center at Rice was my launching pad,” Brice said. “When James Blue came into my high school and showed us a 16-millimeter film he shot in Africa and talked about what he did, I thought, ‘I want to do that.’”
Though Brice discovered his passion that day, he couldn’t convince himself to pursue it fully. A wannabe marine biologist, he came to Rice as a biology major, th inking he would only dable in film in his spare time.
“I took film classes as electives,” Brice said. “It seemed like a nice break from the academic pressures of Rice. But then I realized it was because my heart wasn’t in the hard sciences.”
Spending hours and hours synching audio and video wasn’t without pressure, but Brice loved it. He still laughs fondly when he talks about the late nights he spent at the Media Center fine-tuning picture and sound while hearing Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil” play in the screening room.
“I remember Mark as a student very well,” said Brian Huberman, chair of Visual and Dramatic Arts. “I would see him late at night in the editing room focused on his work. It was clear early on that he was committed to filmmaking.”
The commitment sometimes took extreme forms. In making a film about racial violence spurred by an incident on the Texas coast, Brice ended up with Huberman and a cameraman driving around back roads at night, unarmed, to film a Ku Klux Klan induction rally. Upon arriving, they were immediately surrounded by men with rifles.
It’s one of the most memorable experiences Huberman has had as a teacher. “I had a really good chance to see him in action,” Huberman said with a laugh.
As for the physical strains throughout his career. Brice explains that the documentary medium rarely allows for posh conditions. “The challenge of making a documentary is always finding a way to do your best work and be open to discovery when you are uncomfortable, when you’re not eating right, when it’s 110 degrees and you have no shade in sight, when the weather is fogging up your goggles on an aircraft carrier and you have no way of knowing exactly what kind of picture you’re shooting.”
But Brice doesn’t complain. Instead he talks about the awe he’s felt and the privileges he has had.
“If you really like what you’re doing, those trying conditions are all worth it. Anything for the chance for the best pictures ever,” Brice said. “You try to capture things that no one has ever seen before. I’ve had the chance to see the Pacific Ocean where it’s seven miles deep – it’s a color blue you can’t describe.”



 Tariq Tapa
Tariq Tapa

Independent Filmmaker
Los Angeles, CA

BA, Rice University, 2003
MFA, California Institute of the Arts
Tariq Tapa was born in New York City. He made his debut feature Zero Bridge in Kashmir over nine months with a cast of only non-professionals and no crew. It premiered at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.
The L.A.-based Tapa, who graduated from Rice University with a BA in 2003, then went to CalArts to earn his MFA, and whose short films have screened at the Centre Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art, received a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Kashmir to make Zero Bridge.
The film tells the story of a teenage pickpocket, Dilawar, who plans to escape from both Kashmir and his strict uncle but whose plans are complicated when he forms a bond with a woman whose passport he has stolen.
Tapa says that his first job when arriving in Srinagar was to convince the community there that he “was on their side.” He says, “Tempers could flare very quickly because of cultural and political issues [having to do with] traditional and conservative Muslim. We were often mistaken for doing something illicit. Or, they didn‘t understand the kind of movie we were making. They‘d say, ‘Where are all the tiger and the dancing women?‘ I‘d say, ‘Well, it‘s a story about people‘s lives,‘ but the concept of this kind of movie doesn‘t exist over there.”
In order to teach the community, including the non-actors who star in the film, about his kind of filmmaking, Tapa showed them DVDs of such movies as The Tree of Wooden Clogs, The Bicycle Thief, and Il Posto.
Tapa's film, Zero Bridge, has premiered at the Venice Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, The 8th Festival International du Film de Marrakech, and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
More about Tariq Tapa and Zero Bridge >>

CesarCesare Wright
Documentary Filmmaker
Ph.D. (ABD), University of Rochester
MFA, University of Southern California
MA, University of Rochester
BFA, Rice University
BA (Cultural Anthropology), Rice University
BA (Art and Art History), Rice University

Cesare Wright completed his MFA in Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. In 2002, Wright received the Louis Sudler Award in Humanities at Rice University for his ethnographic documentary film "Back to the Primitive", which explores issues of including human suspension, body modification, S&M performance, and Satanic and Luciferian stage rituals. Wright also worked as a News Editor for Fox 26 News in Houston, TX. While filming "Border Wars", a documentary about paramilitary civilian activity along the U.S./Mexico border, Wright recorded one of the first documented incursions of Mexican soldiers across the U.S. border. In 2007, Wright directed "Goals", a film exploring issues of immigration and assimilation vicariously through sports, which premiered on The Documentary Channel and NYC TV. Material from his films has aired on numerous national and international broadcasts, including Fox, Telemundo, German Spiegel TV, and French TV 2. The industry premiere of "Border Wars" was held at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Working with the Gracie family, founders of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Wright directed the "Gracie Women Empowered" series, which released in June 2011.

In 2004, Wright co-founded the Kino-Eye Center for Visual Innovation, which conducts visual cultural research and supports applied media production. As a Provost's Fellow, his PhD research at the Univ. of Rochester includes Film & media production and theory, representational “truth”, documentary film theory and production, visual anthropology, theorizing the Sublime, transnational and diasporic representation, violence and social trauma, “Ecstatic truth” and the cinema of Werner Herzog, rhetoric of the frame, ethnographic film, horror genre and theory in cinema