FACULTY

Get to know the Lights Film School team!

Here at Lights Film School, we’re building a fully distributed global team with a broad range of professional industry experiences, to guide you every step of the way throughout your filmmaking journey!

Some of us met in film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Others joined the team later.

Regardless, we’re united by our desire to offer our students true training and mentorship that cuts through the noise, reflects cinema’s beauty and complexity, and meets you where you are.

We may not be superheroes, but we do our best to come close! 

Michael Koehler

Michael Koehler

CEO, Lead Instructor, Editorial Director, Nomad

Michael grew up making home movies in East Africa. Film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts prepared him for relief and documentary work abroad, followed by several years in New York City as an editor. His screenwriting has been recognized in a variety of capacities, including The Black List’s Staffing Book, Vimeo Staff Picks, and film festivals worldwide. In keeping with his passion for social justice, one project Michael wrote was screened for local communities in Central Africa before winning the Prix D’Or at The Lower East Side Film Festival.

When he’s not writing his next feature film or developing Lights Film School, you can find Michael rock climbing, accidentally ordering too many dishes in the local language, or catching a sunset with friends after a day of travel and adventuring.

Noah Wagner

Noah Wagner

Directing Instructor

Noah is an award-winning director, writer, editor and producer, and a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has worked in varying capacities for The Daily Show, NBC Sports, BBC London, Pepsi, Expedia, Blue Man Group, and HBO, where he spent close to a decade creating promotional video, VR, and digital content across many platforms for documentaries, sports, and series such as Westworld, Silicon Valley, Ballers, and Game of Thrones.

His work has appeared on HBO, NBC, BBC, Vimeo Staff Picks and The New Yorker, where it was named one of their best of 2016. His films have screened at film festivals worldwide, and he is currently in post-production on his latest directorial effort.

JENN DURRETT

JENN DURRETT

Adjunct Instructor, Administrative & Enrollments Ninja

Jenn is a filmmaker and academic exploring ways to use film and filmmaking in positive, socially proactive ways. After attending film school at New York University, she received a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin and is currently working toward a PhD in Media Studies at SOAS, University of London. Professionally, Jenn has worked as a Script Supervisor, production coordinator, and co-producer. Indie features she’s crewed on have played at Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival, among others.

Outside of Lights Film School and her production gigs, Jenn can be found goofing around in circus class, enjoying London’s indie music scene, or in the library working on her research. (Actually, that’s where you’re most likely to find her… for the next year or so…)

LAUREN MCGRAIL

LAUREN MCGRAIL

Lead Content Contributor, Adjunct Instructor

Lauren is a graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase College, where she earned her BFA in Screenwriting. Professionally, Lauren has worked in various facets of the entertainment industry, including reality television, network television, public broadcasting, and ultimately talent management, where she acted as executive assistant to the president of Authentic Talent & Literary Management for several years.

Currently, Lauren lives in Vermont and is focusing on her own writing. Outside of Lights Film School and her creative projects, Lauren loves to spend time with her family exploring New England’s beaches, hiking trails, farmer’s markets, and other culture.

JEFFREY BAYS

JEFFREY BAYS

Adjunct Instructor

Jeffrey is a director and film scholar, known by many as “the Hitchcock Whisperer”. He earned a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies at La Trobe University and is a frequent contributor to MovieMaker Magazine, No Film School, and other publications. Upon the release of his books Suspense With a Camera and Between the Scenes, Jeffrey began teaching at film festivals and screenwriting conferences around the country. Before getting into film, Jeffrey wrote and produced the feature-length radio play “Not From Space”, recently listed by Time Out Magazine as among the “top five most essential radio plays of all time.” He is now producing a film adaptation.

Otherwise, Jeffrey loves feeding his passion for science. You can find him binging episodes of Cosmos or plotting ways to undermine Einstein’s theories.

COURTNEY HOPE THÉROND

COURTNEY HOPE THÉROND

Content Contributor

Courtney is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where her short film Sex & German Grammar won awards for screenwriting and cinematography. After graduating, she completed a Cinereach Film Fellowship focusing on social justice filmmaking. She has screened short films at ​several film festivals including ​Palm Springs International Shortfest, Indie Memphis, Sidewalk, ​Tallgrass and Citizen Jane. The screenplay for her digital series Between Us Girls was a finalist in the 2016 Screencraft pilot launch competition, the 2016 Austin Film Festival, and winner of Cinestory 2017.​ Courtney currently works as a director and assistant director in LA. 

In her free time, she can be found working to master food photography, studying short films, or scheming future travel plans and new projects.

WE’D LOVE TO MENTOR YOU.

Let’s break down the barriers to quality education together – and connect you to your power and potential as an independent filmmaker:

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