Sam Mestman

Founder / CEO

Sam Mestman is an Editor and Colorist in Los Angeles. While he specializes in Indie film workflow and finishing, he has worked within the industry for places like Apple, ESPN, Glee, the BBC, and, to name a few. He is also the CEO and founder of We Make Movies (, a film collective in Los Angeles and Toronto that is dedicated to making the movie industry not suck. They offer free weekly workshops, and are actively producing new community funded independent content. If you’re looking to get involved with a talented community of artists and professionals, or you need to get your film finished, he’s the guy to talk to. Drop him an email and say hi at [email protected].

Élan O’Connor


Élan brings a multi-disciplinary background to the table: with a B.A. in theatre and a minor from the Marshall School of Business at USC, she’s acted in, directed and produced a variety of projects over the last decade in both film and theater.  She developed the Casting and burgeoning Production departments at We Make Movies, whose latest short,Agnes, was selected as a finalist in the Shot on RED Film Festival.

Sapna Gandhi


Sapna Gandhi is an actress and content creator who loves words and is thrilled to be able to integrate her passions and contribute to the filmmaking community. Although her roots are on stage, she enjoys working in television and especially film (check out her IMDb page). In an effort to negate being typecast, she co-wrote/co-produced/co-starred in Broad Strokes (5 Days. 5 Themes. 5 Directors. 40 Comedic Micro-shorts) and is looking forward to telling more stories through her fledgling production company, Elegant Grotesque (formed with Eric Michael Kochmer). Sapna was born in England, raised all over The States, holds degrees in English and Women’s Studies, and trained at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

Michael Coady

Executive Director,
“We Make Movies Canada”

Hailing from Newfoundland, Michael joined the L.A. We Make Movies community in 2009 and established the first WMM satellite group in Toronto in 2012! As an actor, Michael’s TV appearances include the hit Canadian series, “Republic of Doyle”, BBC America’s “Copper”, and shows on CMT, History Channel, National Geographic Channel and Spike TV. Michael appeared in several films that made the festival circuit, one being accepted at the Cannes Court Métrage and others winning awards in LA and Hawaii. Michael also starred in the WMM film, “Silent Night in Muncie” with veteran film actor, RD Call (Into the Wild, Babel, I Am Sam) which was an official selection of the 2012 Action on Film Festival. Michael also writes and produces his own projects, including “Obsession” (which he also co-wrote, co-produced and starred in).

Valentina Vee

Outreach Coordinator

Valentina Vee tries to make videos that don’t suck – no matter the size of the screen or audience. She aims to have her own studio, directing thought-provoking and beautifully-executed media (2D, 3D, or holographic) for the next generation of content consumers. After graduating from Design Media Arts and Film at UCLA, Valentina has worked on every type of project – from post production of major studio blockbusters to 1st AD-ing indie films, production designing documentaries, producing corporate commercials, and shooting music videos. She currently works as the full-time video editor of a YouTube channel with over 1 billion views.

Eric Michael Kochmer

Screening Series

Eric Michael Kochmer is a director/actor/writer/producer, but mostly a storyteller. After studying under experimental theater director Elizabeth Swados at LaMama Theatre, graduating from Marymount Manhattan College and creating some bizarre theater in New York City, he came to La La Land and produced and starred in an avant garde film. A few years later he found WMM and has been a little happier ever since. Eric has appeared in over 30 feature and short films, the most recent being the award winning features VIRGINITY and WHITE RABBIT. His feature film directorial debut, WAY DOWN IN CHINATOWN can be found on Amazon and he is currently in pre-production on his second feature film, ABOUT STRANGERS.

Tara Samuel


Tara Samuel is an award-winning Canadian actor; classically-trained at the renowned George Brown Theatre School in Toronto. Stage performances across Canada & the US. Beloved internationally as “Tara Williams” on the TV series Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye which continues to air in the US and around the world. Samuel has also been professionally producing theatre and film for fifteen years. She wrote, directed and starred in FIND which screened at festivals around the world; nominated for ‘Best Narrative Short’ at the Oscar-qualifying Austin Film Festival. Produced the feature film Ruby Booby, and starred as Ruby. As producer-lead, Tara has several feature films in development. As story-consultant, Samuel is the owner and CEO of Samuel is a very proud co-founder of the notorious L.A. indie film collective We Make Movies, and of Busterhouse Films with co-producer Matt Flugger.