Vol. 6 No. 2 - Summer 2012
Starting Out in TV Roundtable,
Andrew Sarris In Memoriam,
News, Events and Alumni Updates
Happy summer, fellow CUE members! In this quarter’s newsletter, we’ve got a great roundtable interview series on breaking into television, a recap of recent events, news from the university and a preview of plans for more exciting CUE programming.
This is just the second installment of our newly relaunched newsletter, and we hope to continue expanding and improving its content in coming editions. Please consider this newsletter your quarterly invitation to participate in - or join - the expanding CUE community, as well as to catch up on news and opportunities from fellow alums. Communication with and feedback from our members is vital to our efforts to make this newsletter a useful source of information.
Email us with ideas and suggestions or to drop us a note on your latest successes and adventures in this industry. Let us know what you’re up to now, so we can cater our newsletter and programming to your needs and interests.
And in the meantime, enjoy your summer and this edition of your CUE newsletter...
Austen Rachlis, SoA Film '08 and Kate Buhrmaster, SoA Film '08
CUE Newsletter Editors
You can also stay connected via the CUE Facebook page , the website and for those who are graduates of the School of the Arts, there is now an official School of the Arts Alumni Facebook group.
SCREENWRITING SHOWCASE UPDATE
We received a great number of submissions from many talented alumni to the Screenwriting Showcase. The committee has just finished the first round of reading and plans to announce the winner and showcase date by the end of the summer. We thank you for your patience.
END OF SUMMER PARTY
Stay tuned for announcements on our upcoming events, including our annual End of Summer bash in early September.
On Sunday, July 15th a few dozen CUE alums met up at Dodger Stadium to catch the Dodgers versus Padres game. It was a great afternoon of sunshine, baseball and Dodger dogs. Alums in attendance had lots of fun catching up with old friends and making new connections. Tickets for the event sold out several days in advance, so to any of you who couldn’t make this outing - watch for announcements on other CUE socializing and networking opportunities in the coming months. We hope to repeat the Dodger outing again next year!
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FILM FESTIVAL
There was a fantastic turnout of alumni and fellow industry friends for the LA incarnation of the Columbia University Film Festival last month.
The screening of Faculty Selects short films was held at the spacious and state-of-the-art Directors Guild of America theater on Tuesday, June 12, and followed by an on-site reception featuring signature blue Columbia cocktails. Festivities continued at the CUE-sponsored after-party across the street, at the fabulous Bar Marmount. CUE packed the infamous Hollywood hangout, as new graduates, alumni, filmmakers and industry friends met, mingled, and reconnected into the wee small hours.
The next night featured a very frank and informative panel discussion with top agents and managers, hosted by CAA and open only to CUE members and guests.
If you missed any of the fun, rest assured that we’ve got more planned in the coming months. Be sure to read your CUE emails and Facebook postings for news on what’s happening when.
For the past five years CUE has worked with the School of the Arts to help the graduating MFA acting students transition from being in school to be working actors. For the past two years SOA alumni Gail Lerner and Colin Campbell have hosted it at their home in Silverlake with food, drink, and great conversation. This year a total of 25 alumni gathered together and talked about their journeys in order inspire 16 MFA candidates on towards their own unique paths. We hope that you can join us next year circa May 2013 as what is known as the annual Meet-and-Greet.
CUE joined with Harvardwood and Ivy Entertainment to throw a party at Cannes this year. Offering cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Chokko Lounge Bar behind the Grand Hotel, the event was a great success. Look out for the invite next year!
Our most recent happy hour mixer took place at the end of March at the St. Felix bar in Hollywood. About 25 CUE members gathered for an informal catch-up over great happy hour deals, and lots of easy conversation and fun reconnecting followed.
On June 20th, legendary film critic Andrew Sarris passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was 83 years old. Credited with coining the term “Auteur Theory” and bringing the concept to America, Sarris was film critic for The Village Voice and The New York Observer. His book The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968 remains one of the most influential works of film criticism to this day.
He was also a Columbia University fixture. He graduated with a B.A. from Columbia College in 1951 and received a Masters in 1998. He taught in the School of the Arts for decades, inspiring hundreds of students and teaching assistants to think and write about film as deeply as possible. His presence on Dodge Hall will be missed.
We have reprinted Film Division chair Ira Deutchman’s remembrance of Prof. Sarris, as well as those of a handful of alumni.
Read the full article here...
If you would like to read more recollections from School of the Arts faculty, please visit:
STARTING OUT IN TV ROUNDTABLE
With CUE members making their mark on a broader spectrum of the entertainmenst industry than ever, more and more are finding success and inspiration in scripted television. We sat down with a few recent alums who are in the early stages of exciting television careers to talk about how they chose television and how they went about breaking in.
Scott Burkhardt (Film ‘08) served as Staff Writer on the first season of Smash (NBC) where he wrote the episode “Hell on Earth.”
Grace Edwards (Film ‘10) worked as writer’s assistant for Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans as well as the pilot for Come Inside with Amy Schumer.
Jon Haller (Film ‘09) works as Script Coordinator on the ABC show Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen. His episode “Ding Dong Ditch” aired as part of the show’s first season.
Berkley Johnson (Film ‘05) is a writer for New Girl (FOX). He wrote three episodes in the first season: “Thanksgiving”, “Landlord” (with Josh Malmuth), and “Fancyman II” (with Kim Rosenstock).
Edward McGinty (Film ‘06) is a researcher on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and plays one of the ward bosses on the show. He also co-founded CUE.
Read the full article here...
Ricardo Lira Acuña, SoA Film '96, tells us he’s self-published two books for poetry and photography, under the influence and Greetings from Heaven & Hell, available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/author/writeracuna. He’s also created a YouTube channel featuring videos of his poems, which you can subscribe to here.
Lauren DeLisa Coleman, '86 invites CUE readers to check out her first eBook, Rise of the SmartPower Class: navigating the new digital, leaderful era, now available on Amazon. The book looks at how behavior and mindset are converging with technology to create a new dynamic and new class worldwide. Lauren has offered to email complimentary copies to the first 5 fellow alums who reply via firstname.lastname@example.org, though those purchasing the book will be interested to know that all proceeds are being donated to RaiseHopeforCongo.org, which is tirelessly bringing awareness to the use of conflict minerals used in each and every one of our mobile phones. You can buy the book now at Amazon: http://amzn.to/KmsuJ8
Maria Collis, SOA ‘87, via her production and sales company Leomark Studios, has has acquired Blue Collar Boys, the award-winning micro-budget feature by writer/director Mark Nistico, which will have a limited release starting in September 2012. Los Angeles audiences can catch Blue Collar Boys September 14 thru 21 at the Laemmle NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. You can catch the trailer at http://www.bluecollarboysthemovie.com/the-trailer/ Blue Collar Boys is available for worldwide distribution. For information contact Erik Lundmark, 818-645-8922, email@example.com.
Jon Goracy, CC '06, just filmed several scenes in Guillaume Canet's film BLOOD TIES. Jon tells us he also recently directed the world premiere of the play, IMPROV'D, at the Gene Frankel Theatre in NYC, and served as the Casting Associate on Arnaud Desplechin's film JIMMY PICARD.
Steven Meyers, SOA '03 and Thorgeir Gudmundsson, SOA '02, have just launched the Reykjavik Film Academy to provide aspiring filmmakers from around the world with the opportunity to study in Iceland. The program’s workshops are designed to guide students from “the birth of a unique cinematic idea to a polished individual short film.” Its founders hope to partner, in the future, with academic institutions abroad to provide tailored instruction for groups or individuals who wish to develop projects in Iceland. If you or your organization or institution are interested in studying or collaborating with the Reykjavik Film Academy, you can contact Steven or Thorgeir through the website,
or via Facebook or Twitter.
Sean Mullin and Michael Connors, both SOA ‘06, just returned from the successful world premiere of their feature film, “Recalled” at the Seattle International Film Festival. The project is a military thriller, based on their award-winning short film of the same name. Sean produced the film, which was written and directed by Michael. You can learn more about it at www.Recalled-Movie.com, or catch the trailer.
Mark Raso, SOA ‘12, won the Student Academy Award for his thesis film UNDER, and is now preparing to direct a feature, “Far From the Tree," currently in pre-production in Copenhagen. Mauro Mueller, SOA ‘12, is producing the film, after recently winning Best Director honors at this year’s Columbia Film Festival for his short film “A World for Raúl". The feature “Far From the Tree” is the first endeavor from the production company Fidelio Films, formed by four Columbia University film graduate students: Mark Raso and Mauro Mueller, as well as David Figueroa and Mauricio Leiva-Cock.
Aaron Rudelson, SOA ‘98, recently premiered his short film, "Foodie," at the New York International Short Film Festival. The film is a dark comedy about about a man who claims to be experiencing a weird digestive condition with possibly global implications, and has racked up awards from the Iron Mule Comedy Film Festival, the Accolade competition, and the Best Shorts Competition. “Foodie” was written and directed by Aaron and shot by fellow Columbia film division graduate Ben Wolf.
William J Saunders, SOA ‘10, the director and producer of the documentary “Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound” reports that the project, about the legendary country music figure, has been selected as one of 8 Documentaries to join Film Independent's 2012 Documentary Fellowship program. San Francisco Film Society also selected this film for its fiscal sponsorship program. More information on the project is available via the film’s kickstarter page.
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