Probably the most unexpected aspect of a fulltime professorship in screenwriting has been the expansion of my involvement in the entirety of media production workflow.
As a professional screenwriter working largely in traditional film and TV waters, I wrote screenplays on spec or for hire — and once in awhile, stayed onboard a project for late pre-production rewrites and even some production rewrites. That was really the extent of my involvement in production. Read more…
More on what a screenwriting professor does when he’s not teaching classes, reviewing student scripts or reading script analysis assignments:
The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design is now in its second year of Shoot the Stars! — a unique initiative that brings name talent to topline student-written, -directed, -shot and -edited short film productions. Read more…
Professors do more than show up to classes and direct traffic for those 2-hour or 3-hour time blocks. That’s only a portion of the day-to-day work.
One of the most rewarding aspects of a professorship is creating opportunities for undergraduate students. During 2013, my colleague Professor Brad Wolfley and I developed the first annual Pushkin Gallery Prize in collaboration with Gallery curator Rosa Robinson and owner Kenneth Pushkin (and it should be noted that it was a real privilege to work with both).
The co-winners of the Prize, Film School student artists Chelsey Danielsen and Keith Ryan Riggs, were publicly announced at the end of October 2013 (you’ll find yours truly quoted inside the linked press release).
While an undergraduate in UC Berkeley’s English Department, I had the privilege of studying poetry writing with Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, who just passed away this week. (The talent in Berkeley’s English Department in the 1970s was staggering, and I was lucky enough to be there mid-decade.)
Yep, I’m in there somewhere… (Not too far from the center, actually, donning a Written By baseball cap.)
Nearly everyone has the illusion that professors have the summer “off.” Endless fruity drinks with little umbrellas and accompanying cevíche on a Mexican beach…
More accurately, the summer is a slight downshift, but with plenty going on. So what did I do on my summer “vacation”?