Producer, Director, Editor
Director of Graduate Programs
Cinema and Television Arts, Columbia College Chicago
An award-winning producer, director and editor, David has created programs for Sony Pictures, The Muppets, Syfy Channel, Walt Disney Pictures, 3Net, Fox, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Tokyopop, Mattel, Universal, Warner Brothers, Baby Einstein, Showtime, Learn360, Random Media and more.
David is producer and director of the new award-winning feature film “Hunter,” a neo-noir thriller set in Chicago. David produced and directed the groundbreaking 3D television series “Dark Secrets,” for cable channel 3Net, which played domestically, internationally, and on Netflix. He is executive producer, director and editor of the award-winning new media comedy series “Dorkumentary,” starring Adria Dawn, and was editor of the Webby Award-winning Muppets series “Statler and Waldorf From The Balcony,” for Disney. His breakthrough film as producer/director/editor, the gothic fairy-tale “Dinner,” premiered at Slamdance, played on the SyFy Channel, and was released on DVD.
David produced and edited the award-winning feature documentary “What Babies Want,” narrated by Noah Wyle, and its follow-up “Reducing Infant Mortality.” He produced and edited "The Making of Warriors of Heaven and Earth," and "The Making of Double Vision," for Sony Pictures. He was also a producer, DP and editor on the pilot for "Dark Secrets," and senior editor for "The Pat Kilbane Show" for Comedy Central. He was VFX Supervisor for the award-winning feature documentary “Head Games,” directed by Steve James. David was the senior editor at Wirebreak, a pioneering Internet video content provider.
David co-founded the production company Tarleton/Dawn Productions in 2004 with his wife, Adria Dawn. The company has produced films, plays, new media series, and has an education division. David is also a partner in Revealing Media Group, which produces socially activist media, including the short films “Blackout,” “Help,” “Pressure,” “Viral,” “Excluded,” and “Bystander,” distributed by Films Media Group, which he produced, co-directed, shot and edited.
Currently, he is producer of the upcoming feature documentary “SafeZone,” about Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which recently spun off the short films “SafeZone: Fatima’s Journey,” and “SafeZone: Potato Girls,” currently playing the festival circuit. He is also in post-production on the all-greenscreen film “The Photographist,” an adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen story.
David also produces and directs theatre. With his wife, Adria Dawn, he produced and co-directed “Dorkumentary Live!” at Stage 773 in Chicago. He produced and directed the play "The Miss Firecracker Contest," and executive produced "Rock N Roll Sex Machine,” both in Los Angeles. He directed the plays "Sweeney Todd," "No Exit," and "The Indian Wants the Bronx," in Virginia.
David has served as a juror for numerous film festivals and awards, and was a programmer for the Slamdance Film Festival for nearly a half decade. For 12 years he worked as an actor/historian at Colonial Williamsburg, in Virginia. His writing has been published in CineMontage and Screen Magazine. He organized the CILECT Global Postproduction Symposium, an international conference connecting academics and professional filmmakers from around the world.
He is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the Cinema and Television Arts department at Columbia College Chicago. He is the Director of Graduate Programs, and was formerly the Editing and Post-Production Coordinator and the Sound for Cinema Coordinator. He primarily teaches Film Directing and Editing. David formerly taught Documentary production at UCLA Extension. He holds an M.F.A. in Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California, studied filmmaking at New York University, acting at Northwestern University, and has a Bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild and the University Film and Video Association. He can be found on the web at davidtarleton.com.
Cinema, Television and New Media Directing, Editing, Visual Effects, Filmmaking, Narrative, Documentary
Creative Practice and Research Interests
Directing, Editing, Visual Effects, Producing, Film, Television, New Media, Internet, Visual Perception, Cinema, Movies, Hollywood, Independent filmmaking, Feature films, Shorts, Web Series, Film Production, Virtual Filmmaking, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Comedy, Improvisation, Pedagogy, Immersive Filmmaking and 360 Video
B.A., Interdisciplinary University of Virginia 1993
M.F.A., Cinema and Television University of Southern California 2000