Grad School Week… Uhh… Yes.


Let me just say that time flies extremely quickly.

The first week of the semester still feels like it was last week, but alas, it wasn’t. I know I said I was going to try to stay up to date with these, but it’s been 6 weeks since the last update. I promise you that wasn’t because of design. But, this is grad school, and if I wasn’t slammed with work, I think I would be angry with the program.

It’s hard to think that I’m half way through the semester already. And it’s even harder to think that at the end of the semester I’ll be half way through the program. There’s been a lot of work, and there’s a lot more ahead of me. But, I honestly can’t wait for it.


Without further ado, here’s my summary of life in Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Producing MFA program, Semester 2: Weeks 2-7, or Weeks 20-25 Overall.


developmentWe’ve been working this semester a lot of developing projects. We’ve been paired up with students from the directing program, and are in the process of generating ideas to be turned into scripts that might be our thesis projects. I’d like to say that I’m happy about this, but the pairings that the school has given us (at least in my case) are NOT working. My partner and I want to tell completely different stories and have a hard time communicating; not for a lack of trying though. It just makes the process harder, and not very enjoyable. But, it is what it is, and I’ll manage. I’ll revisit the subject as the semester comes to an end.


As one of the students from the MFA programs that has more production experience, I get asked to be on a lot of sets. And as we all start shooting our major projects for the semester, I get booked up fast. Outside my own project, this semester (just on student projects) I’ve been, or will be, on set as script supervisor, AC, line producer, and boom op. That’s 4 productions. In the span of about two months. Not including other projects… It keeps me busy.

bryan_aaron_onsetBryan and Aaron on the set of One Night Standing

Then there’s my project! I’ve been working with CJ Richter, on of the directing students, on pulling together all the elements we need for our short, For Pete’s Sake. We’re both really excited about it, because it’s going to be a pretty large project (lots of characters, and a LOT of production design). We still have a lot of work to do to prep, but we don’t shoot until after spring break, so we’ve got a little bit of time.


collageThis is grad school. I couldn’t expect to get by without doing some critical writing. And this semester is no different. Beyond the creative writing I’ve been doing for development, I’ve got two analysis classes this semester: Critical Analysis of Contemporary Film and Media, and Cinema Studies II. They’re basically the same class, and they both require that we watch assigned films, peruse the readings, and write a paper every week. Plus a final paper at the end of the semester. Honestly, most of my time is spent writing papers for these classes and doing budgets for my Line Producing class. While I’m not necessarily learning anything new from the classes, I’m still getting a lot out of them from the conversations we’re having about the aesthetics and cultural impact of the films.


School keeps me really busy, but there’s a lot going on outside of Columbia. I’m still working on finding the right balance between everything. I’ve worked on some projects outside of class, and I’m still working at Magnanimous Media. But Loretta and I just got a new puppy, Zero. And he’s a handful. Just check out his blog (; yes, he has a blog, deal with it! Also, there’s a video of him below. My life just doesn’t stop. I’m not complaining, I love it. It’s just exhausting trying to keep up with it all. Stay tuned for more info later on.

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