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Dave Collins

Visiting Chair, Department of Filmmaking





With over 30 years experience in the film and television industry, Dave Collins started Sunset Canyon Productions in 2005, and landed his first feature development deal at Universal on D. F. Jones’ Sci-fi classic trilogy, Colossus, with Ron Howard attached to direct.


Dave started in the entertainment business as an assistant story editor for producer Ray Stark, and later attended and received an M.F.A. in the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at USC.  Out of graduate school, Dave accepted an a management position at CBS and ran Program Analysis, an in-house research group, which tested pilots and new series by running focus groups with the public.


Eager to return to the creative side of the business, Dave joined Procter and Gamble Productions as Director of Drama Development.   He successfully supervised series and  films for television that included the hit CBS series Northern Exposure and syndicated comedy, “You Can’t Take it with You” that starred Harry Morgan as well as numerous films for television such as “The Perfect Tribute” that starred Jason Robards as President Lincoln.


After several years with P&G Productions, Dave joined the ABC Television Network as Executive Director of Movies and Miniseries. He was responsible for scores of projects, including the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, “A Place for Annie” (Sissy Spacek), and the hit miniseries “Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers” and Jon Krakauer’s epic story of climbers on Mt. Everest, “Into Thin Air.”


Eager to work more hands-on as a producer, Dave left ABC and ran Ron Ziskin Productions.  There he developed and produced numerous basic cable series that included 165 episodes of Random Acts of Comedy (hosted by David Alan Grier), and four films for television that included “The Courage to Love”, (Vanessa Williams), and “Stealing Sinatra” (William H. Macy), and “Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl (Jeff Daniels, Patricia Heaton).


Executive Producer Credits


The Courage to Love, starring Vanessa Williams (uncredited); Stealing Sinatra, starring Bill Macy and David Arquette; Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl, starring Jeff Daniels, Patricia Heaton; and Comfort and Joy, starring Nancy McKeon.