Grad School Week 7,8,9

13Oct12

So, another three weeks have just passed. I am deeply embedded into Columbia’s MFA Producing program. We’ve been so busy that the last few weeks have been a blur. It seems like all I do anymore is go to class, come home, eat, do homework, and sleep (or at least try to, insomnia usually says otherwise). That’s why I’m so glad I have my internship, it’s been a great way to break up the monotony. Plus, I still get to play with all the gear I want!

Conor O’Farrell, our graduate ambassador, has written up some awesome bios of all the new producers.
Get Me The Producer, Part I: Marginalia Blog
Get Me The Producer, Part II: Marginalia Blog

What have I even done the last three weeks? Here’s a basic rundown (note that this is all from memory):

Business and Legal:
Umm, we do business and legal… For being a class that is possibly about the most boring subject possible, it’s pretty good. Don has really structured the class so that it’s relevant to what we, as producers, need. We follow trends in the industry, we talk about what is needed to make a film (contracts and such), and there’s a lot of great discussion that happens between the students and Don. Still my favorite class thus far.

Writing for Producers:
Oh yay. You’d think that having a blog would’ve made me more prepared for this class. WRONG! We do coverage, we do script notes, we dissect stories and create all new ones. I’m not failing at it, but I’m not doing the best either. I’ve found that my writing for this class comes off very robotic. Instead of adding in tone and mood, I write more structurally; which isn’t bad, but it doesn’t work for what we’re doing in class.

Columbia has a great Learning Center, and I’ve started going in for some help with my writing. Only a few sessions in, and I’m already noticing a huge difference.

Acquisitions, Development, and Presentations:
Another class that sounds like it would be hard to get through. It’s not though. It’s been structured as sort of a mix of B&L and WfP, which is nice. There’s a lot of creative writing, and a ton of great discussions. Like all my classes, I’m getting a lot out of it.
Week 8 we made a list of all the projects we’re working on right now (this doesn’t include projects I’m on outside of classes):

Original Feature
Original Short
Short Adaptation (which we are acquiring rights for)
Short project for this semester (mainly as a line producer)
Short project for next semester (we’re actually going through development with our directing partners for this one.
-I’ve also been signed on to be scripty for one of the Practicum (a major production that Columbia throws a lot of emphasis into) shoots and Directing 3 (an upper level undergrad class) project.

Cinema Studies I:
This week (week 9) was the first of five sessions we’re having for our Cinema Studies I class. It is exactly what you think it is. We watch films, we talk about them, then we write about them. This week we covered Saturday Night Fever (1977) (imdb.com) and we also read the article that the film was adapted from “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night” by Nik Cohn. The class had some good discussions, but overall, it’s just another film theory class. While I don’t dislike it, I’m glad it’s only going to be five weeks long.



So, there’s been a lot of stuff to be done the past few weeks. But, I’ve settled on a new blog schedule that I hope will keep my posting more often. Some posts on the near horizon: Headcase Pro review, Looper and Pitch Perfect Review, DIY Light Kit, more monthly inspirations, and more from grad school. I hope you’ll all stay tuned.


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