Studio C Artists History
Studio C Artists, Inc. is a production, casting, and arts education company based in Los Angeles, CA. The company was founded by Director John Coppola and Producer Michael Sonntag in 2006. However, the road to establishing this multi-division entity had much more simple beginnings.
The idea for Studio C began in 1995, in the dining room of John Coppola – a New York-trained actor, who was searching for an acting class more focused on the current realities of the industry. Rather than study elsewhere, John decided to start up his own class right out of his house – gathering a group of actor friends for a weekly acting workout. But having also been at the helm of many stage productions, the director in John soon took over, and he found himself in the role of “teacher”, unusual especially because he was close in age to his peers at the time. The class grew by word of mouth, and within a little more than a year, he had moved out of his dining room (now, much to small for the size of the group he had), and into a rented studio (studio # C) in the old Todd-AO stages. Thus, Studio C – the acting school – got it’s name, and was officially born. Since that time, the classes have expanded, and more than five hundred students and private coaching clients have passed through the doors.
In 2000, John partnered with Michael Sonntag, an actor and burgeoning film & TV producer, who was also a former student. Together, they started to slowly turn a weekly class into an actual business. Studio C expanded into multiple classes, and added guest teachers, various workshops, and filmmaking seminars for actors looking to branch out into other parts of the industry. Using his experience in the industry, Michael began teaching classes as well. As the company grew, so did their outside careers – John’s directing career started to take off, and Michael began to develop and produce various film, television, and commercial projects. In many of those cases, Michael and John worked on the same projects together, and continually found that they had a very easy, comfortable working relationship – one well-suited to developing joint projects that could serve both of their interests. Around that same time, Michael started casting a couple of projects – a service that fit well given the resources available at the studio.
So after six years (and the organic growth of each of these elements), John and Michael decided it was time to pull these seemingly disparate components together under the banner of Studio C Artists. By combining forces, each of the three divisions compliment one another well: the production company has access to talent and a creative source to pull from thanks to the casting and institute divisions; the casting office has a pool of talent and agent/manager relationships to draw upon; and the institute benefits in two ways – its teachers are active in the industry, and the students have the opportunity to learn how the business works, often in real world settings via the production and casting units. Today, Studio C Artists is continuing to expand and is proud to be an emerging company in Hollywood – where producing, casting, and teaching are united in one effort to create the art and shape the artists responsible for tomorrow’s entertainment.