Tim Leaton is a recent Virginia Tech graduate with Dual Honors Degrees in both Business Management and Communication, where he achieved the highest academic honor of Summa Cum Laude for top grades in each of his two separate degrees. Leaton was also named the Undergraduate Representative to the Alumni Advisory Board for his undergraduate class of 5,000 students.
Outside of academics, he was a passionate student filmmaker during college. After winning some local film awards, he traveled to Uganda to live at an orphanage, Canaan Children's Home, for two weeks. While there, he made a documentary to raise awareness of the orphanage and to increase funding. Months later, in 2006, Tim read about a national student “issue film” contest in USA Today, judged by Barack Obama, Brian Williams, Walter Cronkite, George Clooney, the Dalai Lama, and dozens of other VIP's. The grand Prize was a Walt Disney Pictures paid internship. He entered the contest, and won first place among 350 other college-age students. Leaton presented his winning film clip "Orphans in Africa" and gave acceptance speeches, covered by the press, at three awards ceremonies: at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City where Leaton was introduced by the president of USA Today, then in Hollywood where he was introduced by the Mayor of LA, and finally during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City with Kevin Bacon and Mandy Moore. He also returned to "Film Your Issue" as a member of the jury the following year. The grand prize Walt Disney Pictures paid internship in the summer of 2006 gave him the connections and experience necessary to line up future Hollywood jobs after college.
In 2007, he finished his two degrees at Virginia Tech and moved to Los Angeles. He spent the next year working for Director Ben Stiller at DreamWorks Pictures on the Academy Award-nominated film “Tropic Thunder” in the editing department. Ben Stiller wrote Tim a letter of recommendation, and "Tropic Thunder" opened well, clinching the number one spot in the US box office for three consecutive weeks. (Click here for more details from Tim). In 2009, he moved up to become an Assistant Editor, and has since Assistant Edited over a dozen TV shows for various studios such as Warner Brothers, ABC, and NBC.
Leaton has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines, some of which can be viewed on the media page. In 2011 he was pictured in LIFE Magazine.
Click HERE to read Leaton's Open Letter, posted to the website for the 2010 "Film Your Issue" contest.