Video Cinema Arts is one of seven departments parented by Denver School of the Arts – a comprehensive secondary arts magnet school (grades 6-12) in Denver Public Schools. In addition to a rigorous academic program, VCA students engage in learning about production organization and storytelling, film theory and application, production value and set etiquette, as well as the ins and outs of professional video editing software among many other film related techniques. VCA is committed to fostering a lifelong love of the arts through professional film education for the youth.
Amy McGrath has taught at Denver School of the Arts since 1998, and was thrilled to join the Video Cinema Arts department in 2010. A graduate of Colorado College, she found a similar community based on a mutual passion for learning and a love of the arts upon arriving at DSA. Obsessed with the art of filmmaking since the age of 15, teaching all things cinema is a dream come true for Amy, who specializes in screenwriting, film studies, critical analysis and film preproduction. When she’s not teaching, watching, or talking about film, Amy travels, cooks, spends time with family, sees lots of live music, and writes concert reviews for the Denver Post.
Torrance Maurer initially joined the VCA Department as a production teacher and equipment and technology manager. He graduated from UCLA with a MFA in Film Production. He was a lecturer and the Technical Director of Media at Western State Colorado while also working on freelance narrative and documentary projects. His work includes the award-winning feature documentary SMART, which is distributed by Cinema Libre Studios.
John Aden has taught video production and digital storytelling to adults and youth at a local nonprofit organization. Highlights there included the Superhero Shorts summer camp program, where the students made their own short superhero movies that premiered at the Denver Comic Con. Outside of work, John has continued his lifelong passion of filmmaking, partnering with his wife to make sensational but socially relevant narrative films. John also enjoys hiking, fishing, board games and playing the bagpipes.
Justin Zimmerman, MFA in Film, is a nationally recognized writer, director and teacher. His narrative and documentary work has appeared in more than 150 film festivals across the globe and has been broadcast on national public television, where he won two international television awards. He’s also been the recipient of multiple grants and fellowships, he contributed a story to the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Love Is Love, and his script and comic work has been optioned on multiple occasions.