Professional Directions Series
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The Professional Directions series brings industry experts to campus to speak about their career journeys as screenwriters, playwrights, editors, producers, directors, theatre critics, dramaturgs, and more. These Q&A sessions are free and open to the public.
Past Speakers: Spring 2018
Editor/Director Yaara Sumeruk
February 12, 2018
Yaara Sumeruk's short film Ringo premiered at The Locarno International Film Festival and is a Vimeo Staff Pick. She has directed videos for Google, Penguin Books, Park Hyatt, USPS, and has edited trailers for director Spike Lee, The Sundance Institute, The Malala Fund, and elsewhere. She's currently in production on a documentary set in South Africa and teaches film at Princeton University.
Cinematographer Ivan Rodrigues
March 1, 2018
Ivan made his way from a small town in Brazil to acquire a master's degree from UCLA and work in the competitive market of Hollywood filmmaking. For over 10 years, Ivan has worked as a cinematographer alongside some great talent like Anthony Hopkins, Tyler Shields, and Skylar Grey, among others.
Ivan has shot two feature films, over a dozen commercials, and a variety of TV shows. Articles about Ivan’s work have been published on IndieWire, inHollywood Magazine, and Movie Maker Magazine.
TV, Film & Theatre Internship/Career Panel
March 5, 2018
Discussion topics included "What makes a good internship?" "Where do you find them?" "How do you get them?" and "What should you do when you graduate?"
- Rachel Ellicot '15 (Paradigm Agency)
- Jason Goldberg '14 (MTV, VH1)
- Hannah Shuman '18 (Cornell University)
Writer/Director James Greenberg '89
March 8, 2018
James Greenberg wrote and directed the 2017 feature film Future '38, as well as the movie Stags and a variety of award-winning short films. He co-created PBS' Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego? for which he was nominated for two Emmy Awards, and wrote for all five seasons of its predecessor show, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?
He also was a senior Performing Arts writer on a variety of MTV special programs, including Wanna Be A VJ, Total Britney Live, MTV Spring Break, and many more.
Playwright/Novelist Kia Corthron
March 23, 2018
Kia Corthron’s plays have premiered in New York, regionally, and internationally. For her body of work for the stage, she has been awarded the Windham Campbell Prize for Drama, USArtists Jane Addams Fellowship, McKnight National Residency, Simon Great Plains Playwright Award, Otto Award for Political Theatre, Lee Reynolds Award, and others. Her debut novel, The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter, was the winner of the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.
Film/TV Managers Josh Goldenberg & Michael Wilson
April 9, 2018
Josh Goldenberg grew up in South Florida, where he wanted to be an actor from the age of 7. He went to Northwestern to pursue that path but after two back-to-back summer internships, he realized he'd rather be on the business side of things. He started his career at Marc Platt Productions (LA LA LAND, WICKED, etc.) and Karz Entertainment (VALENTINE'S DAY), which led to a Vice President position at Red Wagon Entertainment (THE GREAT GATSBY, DIVERGENT). After selling a movie with one of Kaplan/Perrone's clients, they pitched the idea of management and brought him over—he's been there for seven years now after spending seven years in development.
He reps writers/directors who have been hired/sold scripts everywhere in the feature space (including the produced EXTINCTION, KODACHROME, REMEMBER, UNFRIENDED, HONEYTRAP, ARMY OF ONE, LIKED, BROTHER NATURE, COPENHAGEN [which won Slamdance 2014], LIGHT OF THE MOON [which won SXSW 2017], and DRAFT DAY [which was the #1 blacklist script in 2012]…as well as the just-announced SPLASH reboot with Channing Tatum and the upcoming Netflix film 6 BALLOONS with Dave Franco and BAD BOYS 3 with Will Smith/Sony). On the TV side, his clients have developed at all of the major networks (including the upcoming L WORD reboot) and been staffed on shows like HOUSE OF CARDS, THE OA, THE FLASH, 24, DECEPTION, SLEEPY HOLLOW, AMERICAN ODYSSEY, EXTANT, SCHOOL OF ROCK, WHISPERS, BIZAARDVARKS, and the upcoming WATCHMEN, WARRIOR, and LODGE 49, to name a few.
MICHAEL EC WILSON
Michael Wilson moved from East Coast to West Coast immediately after college, falling in love with Los Angeles and the entertainment business almost immediately. Starting his career in the UTA mailroom, he quickly worked his way into television department and developed a love for all things TV and representation. After UTA, Michael transitioned to management and development, working at Management 360 in the TV production department. From there, he moved to Kaplan/Perrone, tasked with building a bigger footprint in television, where he has been ever since.
In addition to representing his own list of clients in television and film, Michael is tasked with sourcing opportunities in television for all clients of the company. To that end, he clients have staffed on numerous shows, including AMERICAN VANDAL, FUTURE MAN, IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADEPHIA, TRANSPARENT, ALTERED CARBON, LIFE SENTENCE, BERLIN STATION, VIDA, MADAM SECRETARY, QUANTICO, BULL, CHICAGO PD, IMPACT, TROLLS, THE TICK, and CHANNEL ZERO. Additionally, he has worked with various television and streaming networks to sell projects including USA, FX, SyFy, TBS, ABC, FOX, and Amazon.
Filmmaker/Producer Laura Archer
April 10, 2018
Laura is a Brooklyn-based Director and Producer. She is the founder of March Forth Productions, a Theatre and Film production company committed to developing and producing works by artists that expand the aesthetic horizon of theatrical and motion picture storytelling.
Laura is a member of several industry groups including The Lambs, Directors Discuss, and the Women in Arts and Media Coalition. She is also finishing her MFA at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College.
Screenwriter David N. Weiss
September 12, 2017
David N. Weiss is an Emmy Award nominee and has written a variety of Hollywood family films including Academy Award–nominated features Shrek 2 and Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, as well as the Rugrats movies, The Smurfs, and Smurfs 2. With writing partner J. David Stem, Weiss served as head writer on the Rugrats TV series. Other TV credits include the hit CBS series Cybill, the CW’s Mission Hill, and Nickelodeon’s Roundhouse. Weiss also co-wrote the family hit Are We There Yet?, starring Ice Cube, and Paramount Pictures’ adventure film Clockstoppers.
Screenwriter Chase Palmer
September 21, 2017
Chase Palmer is a Brooklyn-based writer/director and the screenwriter of IT. His current projects include writing/directing the psychological horror film Black Lung, executive produced by the filmmaker Cary Fukunaga; adapting the New York Times series The Outlaw Ocean for Netflix films and Appian Way; the bio-hacker drama series Biopunk starring Zachary Quinto, which he created; and the Hitchcockian fantasia Number Thirteen, about young Alfred Hitchcock’s lost first film.
Film/TV Director Stacie Passon
October 12, 2017
Stacie Passon is a film director, screenwriter, and producer whose debut film Concussion premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Teddy Jury Prize for LGBT themes at the Berlin Film Festival. She has directed episodes of Transparent, The Affair, The Path, The Last Tycoon and Billions. Her upcoming film is an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
Writer Cheri Magid
October 18, 2017
Cheri Magid is an assistant arts professor in dramatic writing at New York University. Her plays have been seen at Primary Stages, New Georges, The New Group, The Women’s Project, Rattlestick, and The Lark, among others. She is currently a member of the Dorothy Strelsin Playwright Group at Primary Stages, was the Tennessee Williams Playwright in Residence at Sewanee University of the South in 2015–2016, a 2014 Audrey Resident at New Georges, and a 2014 Walter E Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Magid wrote the screenplay Story of D, about the real story behind the writing of the famous sadomasochistic novel Story of O, for Nicole Kidman and adapted the book Heart of the Game for film producer Richard Wiener (Any Given Sunday). Additionally, Magid writes for the Emmy-award-winning children’s television show Arthur.
Publisher Beth Anderson '80
October 19, 2017
Beth Anderson '80 is the executive vice president and publisher at Audible, the world’s leading site for spoken audio. In 1996, she left traditional book publishing to start at Audible, the eleventh person hired by the company.
She also serves on Cornell University's Library Advisory Council.
Theater Critic/Dramaturg Helen Shaw
November 10, 2017
Helen Shaw teaches drama at NYU. She has written about theater and performance for Time Out New York since 2005. She has also written for The New York Sun, Performing Arts Journal, The Village Voice, American Theater, and TheatreForum. She wrote the introduction to The Difficulty of Crossing a Field: Collected Plays by Mac Wellman (pub. University of Minnesota Press) and is at work on her own book on Wellman’s life and plays.
Television Writer/Producer Daphne Pollon
November 13, 2017
Daphne Pollon is a prolific writer/producer of television comedy. During her twenty-year career, she’s worked on such shows as It’s Gary Shandling’s Show, Murphy Brown, The Job, and Sullivan and Son, as well as created original pilots. Currently she teaches graduate television comedy at the University of Southern California (USC).
Director/Producer/Cinematographer Justin Perkinson
February 3, 2017
Justin Perkinson is an award-winning director, producer, and cinematographer. Justin's production credits include narrative and documentary feature films and shorts, television, branded content, and virtual reality.
His work has been featured in American Cinematographer Magazine, screened at various festivals around the world, and broadcasted on national television. He has created content for VICE Media (VICE Sports and Live Nation TV), United Nations Foundation, Team USA Basketball, Maserati, Samsung, GE, History Channel (Dead or Alive), PBS, LinkedIn, and Airbnb, among others.
He holds a dual MFA degree in both Directing and Cinematography from UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson College. Justin was also a finalist for the “Best Graduate Student Cinematography” prize from the American Society of Cinematographers (the Gordon Willis Student Heritage Award) for his innovation in first-person POV filmmaking.
He was a Fulbright Arts Grantee to China, where he lived and created several documentary projects during a 15-month residency (2013–2014).
TV, Film & Theatre Internship/Career Panel
March 10, 2017
Discussion topics with Cornell PMA alumni included What Makes a Good Internship, Where to Find Them, How to Get Them, What to Do When You Graduate, and How to Move to LA.
The panel included:
- Jillian Holch '16 (Sony Pictures)
- Jesse Turk '14 (FX Networks)
- Casey Minella '14 (Circle of Confusion Management Company)
- Chandler Waggoner '15 (Off-Broadway Actor, NY)
Producer Rick Schwartz
April 28, 2017
Rick Schwartz's credits include Black Swan, The Departed, Gangs of New York, and The Others. He is also the Executive Producer of TV's Lip Sync Battle.
Screenwriter/Director Sooni Taraporevala
September 22, 2016
Sooni Taraporevala wrote the screenplays to Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, Girl Rising, and directed her script Little Zizou. She has written for Fox Searchlight, Hollywood Pictures, and Universal, among others.
Director/Producer Tia Lessin '86
October 18, 2016
Tia Lessin '86 is the Academy Award–nominated director and producer, with Carl Deal, of Trouble The Water (Grand Jury Prize, Sundance), and Citizen Koch. She produced Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next and co-produced Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine.
Screenwriter/Playwright Alison Tatlock
October 24, 2016
Alison Tatlock is a screenwriter and playwright whose credits include the critically acclaimed AMC drama Halt and Catch Fire, the Netflix series Stranger Things and the award-winning HBO drama In Treatment (starring Gabriel Byrne and Debra Winger). Alison’s play The Shore received workshops at the Pasadena Playhouse and the Vineyard Playhouse (featuring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen) and was produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre—The LA Project. Other plays include The Catch, developed at New York Stage and Film (directed by Tony Award–winner Pam MacKinnon) and Untitled IV by Ruth Markofsky, developed at the UCSB Launch Pad program. Alison holds an MFA in Acting from UCSD and a BA in Literature from Yale. In addition to her extensive experience as a theater performer, she worked for many years with the Los Angeles non-profit Street Poets, Inc., bringing writing workshops into juvenile detention camps and underserved schools, and currently serves on their board of directors.
Solo Performer/Writer/Actor Darian Dauchan
December 2, 2016
Darian Dauchan is an award-winning actor, writer, and musician who has appeared on both Broadway (Twentieth Century starring Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche) and off-Broadway theatre. TV credits include Law and Order, Nickelodeon's Bet the House (as Darian the "SoundFX" Guy), and the Lionsgate feature film Things Never Said.
His solo shows include Fallen Patriots (NYC Fringe), Texaco's Last Stand (Ohio Theatre/IGNITE Festival), and Media Madness (Kitchen Theatre Company, Ithaca, NY), among others. In December 2016 he performed his solo show Death Boogie at the Kitchen Theatre.
He is the founder of The Spoken Word Almanac Project, a poetry collective committed to writing poems on current world events. He was a member of the 2006 National Poetry Slam Team for the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe, was a 2008 Nuyorican Grand Slam Finalist, and was the 2009 New Word Artist for Urban Word NYC in conjunction with the Dance Theatre Workshop, now known as New York Live Arts.
The American Pavilion’s Student Program offers participants a completely unique experience with unparalleled access to both the Cannes Festival and Market. Candidates seeking a career in the entertainment business (marketing, sales, legal, distribution, or public relations) can experience the inner workings of the global film industry through internships with companies participating in the Market. Students can also choose to serve on a team in the American Pavilion, where they can have closer access to daily programming, work on the conference and panel production units, make industrywide connections, and participate in the Pavilion’s in-house ticketing system for Festival and Market Screenings.
The American Pavilion also offers a summer program, The L.A. Intensive, designed for students and recent graduates planning a film or television career in Hollywood.
Film/TV/Theatre Internship Panel
March 4, 2016
Recent graduates returned to discuss finding internships, turning them into jobs, and their perspective on growing opportunities in film, TV, and theatre. Panelists discussed what makes a good internship, where you can find them, and what to do when you graduate.
- Jessica Evans ’15
(Reality TV development, Eastern TV and Ish)
- Dana Lerner ’14
(NYC theatre producer, Broadway Across America)
- Evan Needell ’15
(Freelance filmmaker, Parts & Labor)
- Dave Karp ’16
(PA on HBO’s VINYL, intern at William Morris Endeavor)
Ithaca's Hanger Theatre Artistic Director, Michael Barakiva
March 15, 2016
Michael Barakiva has served as the Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre since September 2017, after one year as the Interim Artistic Director. He is an Armenian/Israeli-American theater director who has worked in New York and across the country developing new plays and staging classics. His first novel, One Man Guy, published by Macmillan (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), was ranked the #1 Gay Young Adult novel on Goodreads in 2014, named to the Rainbow List and Family Equality Council’s Book Nook and released in Brazil by LeYa. The standalone sequel, Hold My Hand, is due out in Winter 2019. Hangar credits include Dégagé by Mimi Quillin (word premiere), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Third & I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti.
Current Internship Links
The Department of Performing and Media Arts' (PMA) Internships page provides information for PMA majors and minors who are looking for internship experiences in a related career field. The Current Internships page has an updated list of internship and apprenticeship opportunities, along with actual student evaluations.