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  • About

    Smells Like Screen Spirit was founded in the summer of 2008 by filmophile Dave Campbell, after being influenced and encouraged by his wife Vickie Howell to put his education and love of film to creative use.

    The friends and fellow writers of SLSS enjoy discussing and debating the subject of movies. When they’re all together this usually takes place over pitchers of beer at The HighBall or hilarious email threads.

    The SLSS goal is to provide readers with the latest movie reviews, news, advance screening contests, interviews and more by covering press screenings, film festivals, and other related events.

    Our opinions on the films that we review are only that; opinions. In no way do we feel that our opinions hold a greater weight than anyone else’s, so we welcome you to please leave comments on any individual post or e-mail Dave directly at with tips, questions, or suggestions as your voice and opinions are valued.

    Smells Like Screen Spirit along with, are housed under Vickie & Dave’s company Craft.Rock.Love Media, LLC.

    Thank you for checking out

    The Smells Like Screen Spirit team is:

    Dave Campbell

    Location: Austin, TX
    Twitter: @ScreenSpirit

    Founder and Editor-In-Chief Dave Campbell, a child of the 80's who strived to one day befriend Dr. Emmett Brown and drive a DeLorean 88 MPH into 1955, was born and raised in "The Town that Dreaded Sundown". Growing up in a small town left him no choice but to spend his days, surrounded by the films of some of his favorite directors, Robert Zemeckis, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Tim Burton, P.T. Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, & Sam Raimi.

    Dave founded Smells Like Screen Spirit in 2008 after being encouraged by his wife Vickie Howell to do something that would both utilize his film school experience and feed his passion for movies and the layers of artistry that goes into making them. SLSS is housed under the umbrella company they own together, Craft.Rock.Love Media.

    JP Chapman

    Contributing Writer
    Location: Cedar Park (The CP), TX
    Facebook: JP Chapman

    Hailing from the Bay Area of CA, JP Chapman grew up a child of the Star Wars era--spending a great deal of his youth engrossed in the fantasy and sci-fi films of the 80's. As a teen, JP was gradually sucked into the independent music scene of Northern California and began gaining interest in the popular indie directors that ran synonymous with it. Relocating to Austin in late 2004, JP and SLSS founder, Dave Campbell, bonded over a shared interest in music and film, and began what would become a gratuitous and fruitful friendship.

    JP's favorite directors are Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, P.T. Anderson, and David Fincher; with their films also being amongst his all time favorites.

    Dirk Sonniksen

    Contributing Writer/Editor
    Location: Austin, TX
    Twitter: @theaucourants
    Facebook: Dirk Sonniksen

    Dirk Sonniksen was born in Steinbeck country, which stinks of garlic, gangs, and if one has a particularly keen sense of smell...the ocean.

    He loves reading, writing, and playing guitar.

    His greatest hope in life is that his kids will turn out better than he did.

    Don Simpson

    Managing Editor
    Location: Austin, TX
    Facebook: Don Simpson

    The first films that Don remembers seeing were Star Wars IV: A New Hope, The Black Hole, and Moonraker. He also recalls watching The Elephant Man at way too early an age, having a demented effect on his psyche for several years.

    During his high school and college years, Don randomly selected directors and rented every VHS tape he could find. His discovery of the amazing TLA Video stores (Philadelphia, PA) thrust this obsession into overdrive – this is how he discovered the cinematic worlds of Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Jean-Luc Godard, Charlie Chaplin, Luis Bunuel, Wim Wenders, Terry Gilliam, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Akira Kurosawa; and rediscovered, albeit hesitantly (thanks to his premature experience with The Elephant Man), David Lynch.

    Like Dylan in the movies, Don never looked back…Upon graduating college as an accountant, he dove with eyes wide open into a Master’s program in Cinema Studies at Temple University. Don studied a semester in London, England where for the first time in his life he found himself seated in a cinema at least once per day (a daily cinematic vitamin supplement of sorts). Soon after returning stateside, he found himself covering film festivals for Aint It Cool News – which didn’t last long…but it got him started on the path he finds himself on today. Besides writing for Smells Like Screen Spirit, Don is also a regular contributor for Hammer to Nail and JEsther Entertainment. Other highlights of Don's writing career include: Film Threat, Film School Rejects, Adobe Airstream, Devil in the Woods magazine, Pop Culture Press and the Los Angeles Journal. And let's not forget, Don is a proud, card-carrying member of the Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA), Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA), Criticwire, and the James Agee Critics Circle.

    Chris Boehk

    Bio for this author is coming soon!

    Dave Wilson

    Contributing Writer
    Location: Austin, TX
    Twitter: @davedwelling

    Dave grew up in San Francisco, CA where his love of film developed over the course of many rainy Saturday afternoons at rep theaters like The Red Vic, The Roxie, and The Castro. When he was eleven, he remembers seeing Hitchcock's Vertigo for the first time with his dad at the old The Parkside on Taravel St. In high school, he lived two blocks from The Castro Theater, where he wandered into a double feature of Rashomon and Throne of Blood, and was so captivated by his first glimpse of Japanese cinema that he returned night after night during the complete retrospective of Kurosawa's films to soak up as much as he could. Around this time, Dave picked up his first Super 8 camera and started making his own films.

    In college, Dave studied film production with Jean-Pierre Gorin and Babette Mangolte at University of California, San Diego and later moved to Austin, Texas to complete his M.F.A. in Radio-Television-Film at U.T. Austin, where he produced several short films, including Bali (2000) and Last Rites (2002).

    Dave is doing his part to indoctrinate the next generation by supplementing his daughters' diet of Disney fare with films like The Thief of Bagdad, The Gold Rush, Bringing Up Baby, and Stagecoach. He is pleased to report that the girls are just as likely to ask for Miyazaki or Meet Me in St. Louis as they are for Shrek.

    Vickie Howell Campbell

    Contributing Writer
    Location: Austin, TX
    Twitter: @VickieHowell

    Vickie Howell Campbell is a mother, designer, writer, crafty spokesperson, and partner in Craft.Rock.Love Media crime with her husband and SLSS founder, Dave Campbell.

    The closest she ever got to being in the film industry was working in the Made for TV Movie division at ICM in her early 20's, and then more recently as the host of DIY Network's Knitty Gritty (which was shot in hi-def, so that sort of counts, right?).  Her obsession with movies started early on though, as the result of being a latch-key kid in the John Hughes era.

    For more info on Vickie and her projects, follow her on her website

    Caitlyn Collins

    Contributing Writer
    Location: Austin, TX
    Facebook: Caitlyn Collins

    Caitlyn recently saw a tarot card reader in New Orleans who told her there was interference with her creative flow. She figured why not review some films and write about them in order to remedy this situation.

    Caitlyn did not study film. Well, she did take one film class on Italian Realism when she lived in Florence, and can therefore talk about Fellini and Antonioni. But that’s it. In fact, anytime Don Simpson asks her if she’s seen a film, the answer is almost always no. Then she gets dragged to the Paramount for cultural enlightenment which is just fine by her. 

    Linc Leifeste

    Associate Editor
    Location: Austin, TX
    Facebook: Linc Leifeste

    All of Linc’s childhood heroes were either film reviewers or rodeo clowns as he idolized their unrivaled lives of glamour and adventure and feels absolutely confident that the sum total of his life experiences up until this point was nothing but preparation for a chance to contribute to Smells Like Screen Spirit.

    Before having children Linc spent many hours watching films and has vowed to do so again in the not too distant future. After recently attending his 100th free press screening on the arm of Don Simpson, Linc vowed to dedicate his life to fighting crime and doing his part to contribute instead of going through life as a mere spectator.

    Prior life experiences include growing up in small town Texas and all the associated scars and souvenirs, a lifetime of attending the University of Texas at Austin to study English, another lifetime of gainful employment with the aforementioned University in the Office of Accounting, becoming a husband to his amazing wife and a father to his two prodigious boys and trying to learn and memorize the complete recorded pre-1970 catalog of American country and western music.

    Anna Bielak

    European Contributor
    Location: Warsaw, Poland
    Facebook: Anna Bielak

    Anna was born in Zamość, a small Renaissance town in southeast Poland. As a teenager she was dedicated to street theater, even having her own pair of stilts. In her early twenties, she gave up theater for writing and cinema. Anna can’t stay in one place for very long, so she travels whenever she has opportunity to do it. She loves winter in Berlin and autumn in Venice because of their respective film festivals. Still, Anna is looking forward to visiting new places and making up her own private map with films’ connected places. Anna doesn’t have any favorite film directors and never has -- claiming that if she finds one, it will mean that she stopped looking forward and broadening her horizons, and that will be the end of her love for the cinema. With that attitude (and apart from having a great respect for Luis Bunuel, Béla Tarr, Wim Wenders, Tsai-ming Liang, David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch and Woody Allen) she is very interested in debuts, new waves of all kinds, talented new directors, and cinematic experiments.

    In 2011, Anna graduated with a Master of the Arts in Film Studies from Jagiellonian University in Kraków; with a great feeling of change, she relocated to Warsaw. She is currently working as a freelance film journalist and a festival programmer (52nd Kraków Film Festival).

    Jessica Delfanti

    West Coast Contributor
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Facebook: Jessica Delfanti

    Jessica Delfanti is a San Francisco-based film, video game, and book obsessionado. A graduate from UCSB's College of Creative Studies, she spends her time designing games, drawing, watching movies and looking at pictures of Rome in the sixties.

    Please visit her blog at: Jessica Has A Movie Blog

    Corey Corcoran

    Contributor of Badness
    Location: Austin, Texas
    Facebook: Corey Corcoran

    Corey was born up North and raised down South. He possesses the bullshit Irish charm of his father, the sailor's mouth of his mother, and the sensitive heart of his step-father. He uses two of the three equally and should practice on using the third one more..

    Corey spent his early years scanning the back of the cable guide for any movie with the GL, AC, V, GV, and N content descriptors and was raised on a steady diet of Hal Needham, John Carpenter, and Andy Sidaris films. He fancies himself a professional "purveyor of badness" and could give a care what you learned in film school.

    One more thing: he always cries at the end of John Guillermin's KING he can't be all bad.

    Please visit his blog at: Spectacular Optical Corp.

    Adam D'Ambrosi

    Contributing Correspondent
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Facebook: Adam D'Ambrosi

    Adam is a student at SF State, finishing a degree in Anthropology. When he's not doing homework or pushing paper at the office, Adam can be found next to his Xbox 360. He also enjoys martial arts films, 20 sided dice, travel, and darting between buses on his moped.

    Matthew McKibben

    Contributing Writer
    Location: Austin, TX
    Facebook: Matthew McKibben

    Matthew was born in Houston, Texas and considers himself fortunate that he was able to soak in all of the great pop-culture event movies of the 70s and 80s more or less as they happened. Through many trips to the movie theaters and even more countless hours wearing out video tapes, Matt’s love of popcorn cinema borders on an obsession. While his tastes tend to be more skewed towards stuff where people wear capes and where the fate of the world is at stake, as Matt’s grown up his love of cinema has come down to earth a bit and he’s now a fan of a wide array of filmmakers. He has a fondness for regional cinema, whether it be from Japan, Hong Kong, Texas, New York City, or elsewhere. His favorite filmmakers list is long, but his personal favorites have always been Kurosawa, Spielberg, Scorsese, and James Cameron. Matt is happily married to Anne Gaskill and has begun to show his kids all the movies he enjoyed as child, while also happily watching their favorite movies, too.

    Chase Whale

    Contributing Writer
    Location: Dallas, TX

    Chase Whale co-founded the popular independent film website, where he remained Editor-in-Chief until August, 2011. On behalf of GATW, he covered Cannes, Sundance, SXSW, the Toronto International Film Festival and Comic-Con, along with junkets in London, Toronto and other parts of the world.

    In 2009, NBC named him one of the 25 most interesting people in Dallas, along with Erykah Badu and Nolan Ryan. Later that year, The Wrap listed him as one of 30 Movie Insiders to Follow Right Now On Twitter, with Peter Travers and the late, great Roger Ebert.

    Since GATW’s departure, he’s programmed for the Alamo Drafthouse, Fantastic Fest, Rooftop Film and the Sundance Film Festival, worked in film distribution for Cinedigm in New York, and his reviews, interviews, and editorials have been featured on websites including Twitch,, MTV’s Next Movie, Film Threat, Indiewire’s The Playlist, We Got This Covered, Latino Review, Dallas Observer, Culture Map and Central Track. Whale is a member of Rotten Tomatoes, Criticwire and the Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association.