Category Archives: Hollywood Salon

Hollywood Salon: Always the Second Monday of the month at the historic Culver Hotel, Culver City, Los Angeles. The Hollywood Salon is an educational program of events featuring guest lecturers working in film, television, entertainment and the arts, sponsored by the Nebraska Coast Connection.

Monday, May 9th 2022
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guest: PRESTON HILLIER, Actor

To succeed in Hollywood, relationships are key. The odds are even more in your favor if those relationships include Nebraskans! May’s guest started his LA career with the help of some friendly Nebraskans who landed him on-set opportunities.

Join us Monday via Zoom to hear how taking one step at a time got our guest from his hometown of Lincoln to credits in over 70 TV shows & films! It’s sure to be a masterclass in navigating the ebb and flow of Hollywood. See you there!

PRESTON JAMES HILLIER was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. Acting was never something Preston would have seen in his future, having been an extremely shy person. It was always something he enjoyed doing, creating with friends and a friends video camera as a teen. It wasn’t until he started taking classes at UNL and acting in plays at the Lincoln Community Playhouse that he found himself truly bit by the acting bug.

In and after college he did lots of local commercials in Nebraska, with familiar companies like Runza, Valentino’s, & Nebraska Furniture Mart. Most of the time there was no pay or pay through Valentino’s gift cards given by the production company.

In 2000, Preston moved to Los Angeles and stayed with a close friend who happened to be a fellow Nebraskan. His connections to several Nebraska Natives in Hollywood helped him get jobs as a PA to learn film from behind the scenes. Doing regular background work on a show got him his SAG card and eventually his first line on television.

Preston currently holds credits in over 70 TV shows & films, and dozens of national commercials including GENERAL HOSPITALMAGNUM P.I., 911, THE WALKING DEAD, NASHVILLE and MAGYVER. Notably, he appeared in 12 DAYS OF GIVING, a film written and directed by a Nebraskan and filmed in Nebraska. Preston will also appear in the upcoming Hulu series CANDY with Jessica Biel, which premieres on the Salon date – May 9th!

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars for Monday, May 9th!

  • Learn about the role he had for four years – but that never had a name!
  • Hear how he saved up for the big move while being paid in Valentino’s gift cards.
  • After being in LA for 22 years, stop by for his best advice on navigating Hollywood.

The Hollywood Salon with Preston Hillier
7:30-9:30 PM PST | Monday, May 9th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family.
Let’s Zoom Party together!

Monday, April 11th 2022
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guest: DON HALL, Animator

To win an Oscar, one starts with big dreams. Having supportive, nurturing people surrounding you doesn’t hurt, either! Our incredibly talented guest is coming to share his successes with the NCC on Monday, which have taken him from small town Iowa to onstage accepting an Academy Award.

What questions do you have about working for places like Disney? What was it like being at the 2022 Oscars? And importantly…Hawks or Huskers!? Join us to hear his answers on Monday!

DON HALL is an animator who grew up in Glenwood, Iowa, a hop and a skip over the Missouri River from Nebraska. He always had an affinity for drawing, and his mom supported this endeavor as much as possible. She worked at the local bank, and always had a steady supply of recycled paper to bring home for him to color with.

“I was always encouraged by both my mom and my dad to pursue this, there was never a conversation trying to dissuade me from following this dream.” With the wind in his sails, he started on his biggest dream: to work for Disney.

Don received his BFA from The University of Iowa, and set his sights on CalArts. On his third attempt at applying, he was accepted. Soon after, he began working as a writer, animator, & director for Disney on projects like THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVETARZAN, & CHICKEN LITTLE. More recently, he directed the Oscar-nominated RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, and won his Oscar for directing BIG HERO 6.

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars for this Monday, April 11th!

  • Ask questions of one of the top animators in Hollywood!
  • Find out how a small town like Glenwood has shaped his work.
  • Want to do something similar to Don? Drop by and ask your best question!

The Hollywood Salon with Don Hall
7:30-9:30 PM PST | Monday, April 11th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family.
Let’s Zoom Party together!

Monday, March 14th 2022
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guests: RANDY J. GOODWIN, Actor 

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a triple threat in Hollywood? Then you’ll want to tune in MONDAY to hear from this month’s special guest. BONUS: he is a quadruple threat, excelling no matter which hat he wears as an actor, producer, writer, and director.

Plus, our guest is bringing his success back to Nebraska. See how he is sharing his expertise with his hometown – Omaha. See you Monday!

RANDY J. GOODWIN was born and raised in Omaha & has had a multi-disciplinary career in Hollywood as an actor, producer, writer, and director. He has starred in more than sixty network television shows and feature films, most recently including STAR TREK: PICARD, THE ROOKIE, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, GREY’S ANATOMY, 911, & NCIS. He also starred in the critically acclaimed drama KEVIN HILL with Taye Diggs, and the hit sitcoms GIRLFRIENDS and ABBY. He also starred as Marvin Yancy, Natalie Cole’s husband and producer, in LIVIN’ FOR LOVE: THE NATALIE COLE STORY, and co-starred in the action series FAST TRACK and the political comedy, LINC’S.

As a writer, Randy has penned over 20 television and feature scripts and has developed a number of television pilots, including the drug and alcohol rehab pilot, ONE-EIGHTY, currently in pre-production in Omaha.

In 2019, he completed his feature film directorial debut, co-writing, producing, and starring in THE JOB, a faith-based drama produced under his Fallen Giant Films banner in LA. Acquired by Sony Pictures faith and family streamer, PureFlix, the film was released on June 1st, 2021. He also produced the horror film, THE CALL, written by fellow Creighton Prep alum Patrick Stibbs, which was released in theaters in October of 2020. Randy also has a cameo in the film.

Yet for Randy, 28 years in Hollywood haven’t just been about fame and fortune. His lifetime goal has been to become successful in Hollywood, learn it, master it, and bring it back to his home state of Nebraska to share it. “I love home, and I want to help young people realize their dreams. I want to give them something I never had…a professional actor who made it “out there”, but [sic] came back. Well, I’m back to help that same 8 year old, like me, who has a big dream to be on the biggest stage in the world. The possibilities are endless…and achievable. I’m living proof.”

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars for Monday, March 14th!

  • Learn how he successfully navigates between his roles as actor, director, producer and writer.
  • Find out what it’s like being on different sets – from big studio networks to smaller independent projects!
  • Have an itch to write, direct, produce, and/or create your film? Randy is excited to share his mastery with YOU!

The Hollywood Salon with Randy J. Goodwin
7:30-9:30 PM PST | Monday, March 14th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family.
Let’s Zoom Party together!

Since our regular Salon day would be Valentine’s Day, and the Sunday before is the Super Bowl, we are moving this month’s Salon to TUESDAY, FEB 15th. Just for this one month only, join us on Zoom a day later than normal for a very special guest. There’s been tons of buzz about Dan’s movie — I can’t wait to see some excerpts and hear all about how he made it smack in the middle of a pandemic. It’s going to be another great one…on Tues the 15th this month…see you there! -Todd

THIS MONTH ONLY — TUESDAY, February 15th, 2022
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guests: DAN MIRVISH, Director | CHRISTOPHER DUKES, Stunt Coordinator

Pandemic? No problem. This month’s guest is an accomplished filmmaker, who discovered a way to safely complete his feature in 2021. He is spreading the love and bringing along a special treat – a Nebraska actor he’s worked with in each of his films!

This month only, please join us on TUESDAY, February 15th via Zoom. V-Day inspired us to push the Salon to Tuesday, so be sure to save some love for the NCC!
DAN MIRVISH is a director, screenwriter, producer, and author. He’s currently on the festival circuit with his new award-winning feature, 18½, a film about a White House transcriber who tries to leak the 18½-minute gap in Nixon’s Watergate tapes but runs afoul of hippies, swingers and nefarious forces. Garnering a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s already played in ten festivals in the fall of 2021 (from São Paulo to Anchorage, from Belize to Spain) and has several more lined up for the spring of 2022. The film stars Willa Fitzgerald & John Magaro, with Vondie Curtis Hall & Catherine Curtin, and the voices of Ted Raimi as Gen. Al Haig, Jon Cryer as H.R. Haldeman and Bruce Campbell as President Richard Nixon.

Prior to 18½, he directed the film Bernard and Huey, scripted by Oscar/Pulitzer-winner Jules Feiffer, and starring Oscar-winner Jim Rash and David Koechner which screened in over 30 film festivals on 5 continents before its theatrical and digital release.

Dan is the author of the bestselling non-fiction book The Cheerful Subversive’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking from Focal Press/Routledge. The 2nd edition came out last summer and will be coming soon in audio book form. Dan’s film Between Us, starring David Harbour, Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs and Melissa George, played in 23 festivals in 7 countries, and got a 50+ city theatrical release in the US, and sold to 145 countries, plus screening on Netflix, Showtime and Starz.

Dan was mentored by Robert Altman on his first film, Omaha (the movie), which led him to co-found the upstart Slamdance Film Festival along with producing partner, Nebraska-based Dana Altman. Their film Open House prompted the Academy Awards to controversially rewrite their rules on the Best Original Musical category. Mirvish also co-wrote his bestselling, critically-acclaimed novel I Am Martin Eisenstadt based on the fake McCain advisor who took credit for Sarah Palin not knowing Africa was a continent. A former speechwriter for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa), Dan has a master’s degree from USC Film School, is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has guest lectured at more than 45 film schools and universities. A native of Omaha, Dan went to Central High School.

CHRISTOPHER DUKES, shown above being directed by Dan (“aka, dropping a boot on his head”) at Carhenge, is a Nebraska-native. He has appeared one way or another in every one of Dan’s movies, as well as his books. An acclaimed actor and talented stunt coordinator, Chris played a Colombian jewel thief in OMAHA (THE MOVIE), three different roles in OPEN HOUSE: a snitch, a homebuyer and a groom (as well as stunt coordinator), a wedding photographer in BETWEEN US, a pickup artist in a bar in BERNARD AND HUEY, and he was the stunt coordinator on 18½

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars for TUESDAY, Feb 15th!

  • Learn how the 18½ filming process paused, shifted, & was completed amid the pandemic. 
  • Connect with a Nebraska filmmaker who has blazed his own trail in the movie business alongside a great team.
  • Are you curious about Slamdance? Stunting? Acting in indie features? Hop on Zoom with us and learn from Dan & Chris!

The Hollywood Salon with Dan Mirvish & Christopher Dukes
7:30-9:30 PM PST | TUESDAY, February 15th

This month ONLY on Tuesday!
Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family.
Let’s Zoom Party together!

Monday, January 10th 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guest: You and Your Fellow NCCers
2022 is here! And with it, our annual 3-Minute Salonfest via Zoom. We look forward to seeing your work and ringing in the New Year with you!

You’ll have three minutes to share whatever you’d like. RSVP info and details on how to showcase your work are below. See you Monday, January 10th!

SALONFEST: THE THREE MINUTE FILM FESTIVAL, our ever-popular NCC mini-film festival, is being held on Zoom once again. We will show three minutes of anything you want to showcase for your Hollywood Family.

There’s a ton of talented folks in the NCC, and many of you have found ways to create some amazing work the past year – once again in the most trying of times. You’ve triumphed, and this is our chance to connect and to see what you’ve been up to!

Cue up your latest short, reel, or anything you helped to create, and we’ll show three minutes at the January Salon. You’ll get a minute to tell us about it, before or after. (Got something longer? Barter with others to share your time…)  

Please send your files and/or links (links preferred!) to by 12pm PT on Jan. 10th. We’ll be able to properly queue the lineup in advance for your viewing pleasure.

What will you see? It’ll be an eclectic and fast-paced evening… Animations. Webisodes. New acting reels. Docs. Kickstarter promos. All kinds of YOUR latest masterpieces. Whatever you want to share with the group — this is your chance to show us what you’ve got.

Remember – we’re not bragging, we’re way too Nebraska Nice for that. We’re sharing our wins in artistic format with our extremely supportive Hollywood fam. So share what you’re featuring via your socials (or that you might share, or that you’ll be there to support) and we’ll tag, re-post, and give folks a heads-up on what to get excited to see!

First time? Wonderful! Introduce yourself to us via your art. Seasoned regular? Share what you’ve been up to and show the new folks what they could be doing one day. Who knows, you might decide to collaborate! SalonFest is always one of the most fun Salons of the year.

The NCC 3-Minute SalonFest

8-10PM PST Monday, January 10th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!

Sunday, December 12th 2021
Hollywood Salon…In Person!
Special Guest: YOU and New Friends & Old Friends

After 20 months apart, we are reuniting with one another once again to celebrate the holidays! We’ve missed you so much, especially the hugs and one-on-one chats that usually come with our monthly get-togethers.

After 20 months apart, we are reuniting with one another once again to celebrate the holidays! We’ve missed you so much, especially the hugs and one-on-one chats that usually come with our monthly get-togethers.

We pride ourselves on being your Home Sweet Home in Hollywood. So for the first Salon ever, Todd & Marion are opening their home to all of us. Come enjoy the spectacular sunset and park-like wilderness from their newly remodeled mid-century retreat on the mountain above Pasadena. We’re moving the December Salon from the regular Second Monday to Sunday — SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12th — just to make the party more of an afternoon-into-evening cocktail affair.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with famous Nebraska brands to fly in Tastes From Home: Valentino’s pizza bites, Dorothy Lynch salads, and Vic’s Popcorn. Tickets will be on sale soon, for just a $30 donation, and discounts available for volunteers. To keep things pandemic-safe, we’ll require proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test. See you on our NEW DATESunday, December 12th!

You never know who might turn up…movie stars, bigwigs, & top talents. More of our Salon Special Guests come to this event than any other, year after year. And partying with your Nebraska Hollywood buddies is an exclusive “A” Ticket. Definitely NOT to be missed, especially now! All your glamorous NCC friends in holiday spirits. Super raffle prizes, special guests, Santa, and much much more — all in person!

We all know there’s no place like Nebraska, and there is no party like the NCC Holiday Party.

Tickets on sale now! Follow the RSVP link below. Need a bigger price break? Ask about volunteering at the party in exchange for a discount on admission.

It’s the holidays with your Home Sweet Home in Hollywood…see you there!

Hollywood Salon Holiday Party

3-7PM PST Sunday, December 12th

Celebrate with your NCC Family – in person!

Remember, the Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

Monday, November 8th 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guest: CRAIG ALBRECHT, Executive Producer

This month’s guest has made his childhood dreams come true. Moving halfway across the country from Deweese, NE to Hollywood, he pursued what he called the hardest position: executive producing. Now, he has not only fulfilled his goal, he continues to work with some of the biggest names in Tinseltown while doing it!

Join us on Zoom this Monday, Nov. 8th to hear about his journey to Los Angeles. He has plentiful expertise as an EP on feature length films to share with YOU!

CRAIG ALBRECHT is from Nebraska and moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream – making films. As a kid growing up in Clay County, he was always fascinated by the medium, and his ultimate goal was to become an executive producer.

For nearly three decades Craig has called Los Angeles home, and has worked in production for over 20years. He is the Producer of TIMECRAFTERS THE TREASURE OF PIRATE’S COVE, starring Denise Richards, Malcolm McDowell, Eric Balfour, Lew Temple, and Patrick Muldoon. Craig is also Executive Producer of MONSTROUS starring Christina Ricci, Lew Temple, Santino Barnard, Colleen Camp, and Don Baldaramos. Other producing credits include SENIOR  SKIP DAY starring Lea Thompson, Larry Miller and Tara Reid, WICKED BLOOD starring Sean Bean, Abigail Breslin, and James Purefoy, & DON’T KILL IT with Dolph Lundgren Kristina Klebe and Tony Bentley. Follow the hyperlinks above to see press releases on his films.

When interviewed recently by the Lincoln Journal Star, he shared this advice: “To all the kids in rural Nebraska, if you have a dream, pursue it, because dreams do come true.”

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars…!

  • Learn how Craig came from Clay Center to call Hollywood home!
  • Connect with a Nebraska creative who has made his dream come true in film.
  • Are you curious about the role of an Executive Producer & how they can help get your projects made? Hop on Zoom with us and learn from Craig!

Hollywood Salon with Craig Albrecht

8-10PM PST Monday, November 8th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!

Monday, October 11th 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guest: SCOTT TOMASSO, Story Producer – Magnolia Network

“Life imitates art” said Oscar Wilde, and this month’s guest creates artful stories from life. A story producer largely working in the non-fiction space, his responsibility is to create a masterpiece from everyday events. His expertise weaves a tale for millions of viewers.

Join us on Zoom Monday, Oct. 11th to hear about his journey from Omaha to LA, and how he jumped into producing early in his career which has made him highly sought-after talent on the brand-new Magnolia Network.

SCOTT TOMASSO attended high school and college in Nebraska, studying at the Univ. of Omaha and Bellevue University. He began his professional career in the Big O, leading teams for six years. Eventually, he flexed his leadership skills in a move to Los Angeles where he began producing content for E! Network.

Scott is currently a Story Producer on Magnolia Network’s FIXER UPPER: WELCOME HOME with Chip and Joanna Gaines, along with the original series FERNEY’S RETRO PLANT SHOP with Joanna Gaines and her sister Mikey, and FIRST TIME FIXER.


Over the years he’s worked in a variety of genres and formats for a number of high-profile companies such as: E! Entertainment, Style, TV Guide Channel, NBC, Lionsgate, Syfy and Hasbro. He is a proud member of the Producers Guild of America, and has signed multiple TV shopping agreements for original unscripted TV shows in 2021 alone!

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars…!

  • Learn how Scott transitioned from acting to producing one of the most successful home renovation TV shows on air!
  • Connect with a creative who is leading story development for a the highly anticipated, fully branded Magnolia Network.
  • Are you a Writer or Producer curious about the unscripted television creative process? Learn from Scott and his years of expertise!

Hollywood Salon with Scott Tomasso

8-10PM PST Monday, September 13th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!

Monday, September 13th 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guest: RON HULL, Legendary PBS Programmer & Senior Advisor – NETV

Culture is a feeling and an experience. Monday’s Salon guest is a whisperer of that culture, impacting Nebraska and the nation through his  over 60-year career in television. Undoubtedly, each of us has been influenced by the choices he’s made working with PBS and NETV.

Join us on Zoom this Monday to hear about the inspiring personal and professional tale of this legendary Nebraskan. An adoptee born in South Dakota, his evolution of self-discovery has been mirrored in the U.S. histories he’s been pivotal in cultivating for PBS & beyond.

RON HULL currently serves as the Senior Advisor to Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, and Professor Emeritus of Broadcasting at UNL. He has dedicated his life to a career in Public Television in Lincoln and Washington, DC. He developed the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting which continues to influence viewers, thereby shaping the culture of the United States.

The Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame inductee helped build the statewide NET network, considered one of the best in the PBS family. At the national PBS headquarters, Ron used his expertise to recommend 850 TV shows for revival. His cultured perspective comes from first-hand experiences as a Fulbright Scholar, through which he taught International Television at Cheng Chi University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Additional programs he helped create include ANYONE FOR TENNYSONREADING RAINBOW, & THE MARK TWAIN SERIES. Notably, Ron was awarded a Presidential Commission to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts by Pres. Jimmy Carter, and the Henry Fonda Award in Nebraska. He is the author of the award-winning BACKSTAGE – STORIES FROM MY LIFE IN PUBLIC TELEVISION.

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars…!

  • Have you ever watched Reading Rainbow as a kid? Ron made that show happen!
  • Have you heard the tales from the American Experience series, or seen Bill Moyer back on PBS? That was all thanks to Ron!
  • Are you a Writer, Director, or Producer wanting to know more about how to get your work produced by PBS?

Come meet our guest who will share his lifelong wisdom working with PBS & NETV!

Hollywood Salon with Ron Hull

7:30-9:30PM PST Monday, September 13th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!

Monday, August 9th 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
DEIRDRE HAJ – Film Streams, DAN LADELY, The Ross, & TAYLOR MOORE – The World
Co-Sponsored by LAURIE RICHARDS – Nebraska Film Office

Do you remember your favorite moviegoing experience? The popcorn, treats, and lives lived large on the screen transported us through time and space. For the first time ever, the Salon will provide a forum for the people running the major art houses in Nebraska to discuss how they provide quality film programming to Nebraskans.
Join us on Zoom next Monday for a one-of-a-kind Salon, meet folks from Nebraska’s major cinema art houses, and learn about how you could host your next premiere in the heartland!

has served as the Director of the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center (MRRMAC) for over 48 years. Amidst a variety of responsibilities, importantly, curating MRRMAC’s programming. He oversaw the design and construction of MRRMAC’s new building, opened in January 2003, including two state-of-the-art theaters, a film/video storage facility,  & research library, thanks to a major donation he solicited from Mary Riepma Ross. After her death, The Nebraska Foundation announced she made a $9.5M gift to The Ross, creating their endowment.

is the newly appointed Executive Director of Film Streams in Omaha. Previously, she served as ED of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival for over a decade, which became an Oscar-qualifying festival under her tenure. There she established year-round programming & community engagement as well as prioritized equity, diversity, and inclusion across the organization and its programming. She has served on various festival panels, including for the Milwaukee, DC Shorts, and Minneapolis St. Paul Int’l Film Festivals, and was a founder and the first VP of the Film Festival Alliance. She holds a BA from the State University of New York at Purchase College.

 grew up in Kearney is the House Manager for The World Theatre. He attended UNK, studying natural sciences, philosophy, and art. Working as a handyman since college, he decided to volunteer at The World Theatre’s Pop-up Drive-in in 2020, supporting a great initiative to safely provide entertainment and a sense of community during the Covid pandemic. As a result of his dedication Taylor was recently offered the House Manager position and has been managing events and movies since April of 2021. He’s excited about what’s in store for both himself and the theatre going forward, as he’s grown to love The World and its volunteers.

 serves as the Nebraska Film Officer. The Nebraska Film Office, part of the Department of Economic Development, provides resources to the filmmaking & media industry. The Film Office works with producers, directors, & location managers to identify potential locations for feature films, documentaries, shorts, & commercials. Notably, the Oscar-winning NOMADLAND & THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS were recently filmed in the state, assisted by Laurie. In the last legislative session, the capitalization of the Film Office Cash Fund passed, making $1mm available as a grant for filmmaking in Nebraska. Grant applications will be made available later in the fall of 2021.

Are you a Filmmaker and want to hold your premiere in Nebraska?
Have you ever thought of restoring and preserving cinema?
Come meet the professionals who can provide insight, and hear how they went about making their dream come true!

Hollywood Salon Composer Panel

7:00-9:00PM PST Monday, August 9th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!