Film School alumni find success at the Oscars

Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts graduates worked on the productions of at least two movies that earned 2013 Academy Awards. “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” won Oscars Sunday evening, Feb. 24. The success of these motion pictures was based in part on the Florida State alumni who were part of the production staffs.

Florida State College of Motion Picture Arts graduates involved in the production of 2013 Academy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated movies include:

•Jonathan King, who received his Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree from Florida State in 1992, is executive vice president of production at Participant Media. He is the executive producer for “Lincoln,” one of the films that earned Oscar nominations for 2013. King also co-produced “No,” a Chilean motion picture nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

•Matt Ryan (M.F.A. 2011) was a set production assistant for “Lincoln.” In addition, Jim Ed Wills (M.F.A. 2011), Gef Gove (M.F.A. 2011), Jonathan Bennett (M.F.A. 2010), and Tricia Mears (M.F.A. 2011) worked on the production of the film.

•Eunice Cheng (M.F.A. 2009) was a rigging production assistant and translator for “Life of Pi,” another Oscar-nominated film for 2013.

•Michelle Eisenreich (B.F.A. 1999) was a visual-effects producer on “Prometheus,” which was nominated in the Visual Effects category.

•Dustin Cawood (M.F.A. 2003) was the sound effects editor for “Lincoln.” He also was the sound designer for the documentary “Chasing Ice,” which was nominated for Best Song.

•Madeline Eberhard, who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree from Florida State University in 2010, was a camera production assistant who worked on the 2013 Oscar-nominated film “Silver Linings Playbook.” She is among a number of Florida State College of Motion Picture Arts alumni whose films have been nominated for Oscar awards this year.

“Every production I was on at FSU prepared me for working on a film like this,” said Eberhard. “It felt like being on an FSU thesis film, but with bigger trucks, more people, and actors who were delivered via Denalis (luxury SUVs) to the neighborhood in Philly (where the movie was filmed).”

Florida State’s College of Motion Picture Arts offers career-centered graduate and undergraduate programs that challenge students to master the art, craft and business of storytelling. The college is home to one of the largest studio facilities in the country dedicated exclusively to motion picture education.

Florida State has the only motion picture college that funds the production costs for its students’ films, creating a level playing field so students can focus on art, craft and imagination. The college’s graduates have been associated with numerous Oscar-nominated movies in the past.