Faculty

We’re honored to have the following individuals serve as faculty for the April 12-13, 2013 Big Sur Screenwriting Workshop (with more to be added):

Adam Sztykiel   |   Lawrence Inglee    |   Pamela Katz

John Doe  |  Eric J. Adams   |  Tom Abrams

Michael Polish   |   Deborah Baron   |  Amy Fox

Devorah Ann Cutler-Rubenstein   |   Michael Taylor

David Howard  |   Kate Barker-Froyland

Susanna Styron  |  Eric Elfman

Plus featured speaker, Academy Award-winning cinematographer (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) and four-time nominee Vilmos Zsigmond.

Note: Some faculty are pending availability due to unknown production schedules.
The ratio of writer to faculty will however always remain the same.

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Adam Sztykiel

Adam Sztykiel attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. His screenwriting credits include MADE OF HONOR (Sony, 2008), starring Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan, and DUE DATE (Warner Bros., 2010), starring Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis, which Adam co-wrote with director Todd Phillips.

He also wrote on the Todd Phillip’s produced party epic, PROJECT X, which was named an Instant Classic at this year’s MTV Movie Awards. Most recently, Adam created, wrote, and executive produced the ABC pilot, AWESOMETOWN.

Adam is currently writing REPLAY for Sony Pictures with Seth Gordon (HORRIBLE BOSSES) directing, SPY GUYS for New Line Cinema with Jorma Taccone (MACGRUBER, SNL DIGITAL SHORTS) directing, and UNDATEABLE, a half-hour comedy for NBC, which Adam is also executive producing with Bill Lawrence (SPIN CITY, SCRUBS, COUGAR TOWN).

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Lawrence Inglee

Lawrence is the President of Film Production and Development at Mosaic. Lawrence produced “Rampart” starring Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, and Sigourney Weaver, and “The Messenger,” which was nominated for two Academy Awards. He was formerly President of the Mark Gordon Company. There, he was instrumental in producing  “The Day After Tomorrow,” which starred Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emmy Rossum and “Source Code”, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan. Lawrence is also a published poet and Los Angeles editor of Origin Magazine.

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Pamela Katz

pamkatzPamela is an Adjunct Professor at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a screenwriter and novelist with a special interest in historical and biographical subjects.  She co-wrote Margarethe von Trotta’s film ROSENSTRASSE (received Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival) based on a true story of resistance to the Third Reich; THE OTHER WOMAN (2005) -about Stasi Romeos in former East Germany; and REMEMBRANCE - based on a true story about a pair of lovers who escape Auschwitz only to lose each other in postwar Poland. They reunite thirty years later. REMEMBRANCE premiered in 2011 in Germany and will be distributed by Corinth Films in the U.S. in 2013.

Pamela wrote the screenplay together with Margarethe von Trotta for the film Hannah Arendt opening in Europe in January 2013, and later in Spring in the US. It has recently won top prizes at the Pessac French Film Festival, at the Valladolid Festival in Spain, and others.

She’s currently writing a non-fiction book about the spectacular partnership of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill (writer and composer of The Threepenny Opera) forthcoming on Doubleday/Nan A. Talese Books.

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John Doe


johndoewas born in 1977 when he arrived in Los Angeles. His previous life in Tennessee, Wisconsin & Baltimore was a great & fertile time but new music and social changes led him to events that created a life in art. He graduated from Antioch College in Baltimore in 1975.

John met Exene Cervenka at the Venice poetry workshop Nov 1976 and he started working with Billy Zoom around the same time. When DJ Bonebrake joined X in mid-1977 the line up was complete.

In 1988 John started a family and lived in the Tehachapi Mountains, near the “Grapevine” of Highway 5, which separates southern and central California. He has recorded 8 solo records w/ numerous renowned singers and players, more recently including Patty Griffin, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Don Was, Kathleen Edwards and Greg Liesz. He has appeared in over 50 films and television productions, with some of his most notable roles in Road House, Georgia, Roadside Prophets, Great Balls of Fire, Pure Country and Roswell. He continues to act these days but more sporadically as his touring schedule has become more demanding.

He continues to write poetry and has taught workshops from time to time. He currently lives north of San Francisco, California.

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Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor is the Chair of Film and Television Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and is also a producer of numerous theatrical and television films. He produces within the studio system as well as in the independent film arena.  Taylor’s credits include Last Embrace (1979), Bottle Rocket (1996), Phenomenon (1996), The Hi-Line (1999), Instinct (1999), The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981), Mrs. Munck (1995), Princess of Thieves (2001) Phenomenon II (2003), The Commuters (2005), and Copying Beethoven (2006.)  He most recently produced and directed the documentary film entitled NO LABELS.

Among other honors, Taylor is the recipient of The National Board of Review Award, The Fourteenth Annual Genesis Award for Outstanding Feature Film, The Santa Clarita International Film Award for best Teli-Feature, The Variety/EDI $100 Million Award, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Susanna Styron

Susanna Styron is adjunct professor at Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at Tisch. NYC. She is the director and co-writer of the Columbia Pictures feature film SHADRACH, starring Harvey Keitel and Andie MacDowell. She wrote and directed for A&E’s TV series 100 CENTRE STREET, created by Sidney Lumet. She co-authored (with Bridget Terry) the television movies IN FROM THE NIGHT starring Marcia Gay Harden, and BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWN-UPS starring Blythe Danner and Peter Fonda, both for Hallmark Hall of Fame; as well as TAKING BACK OUR TOWN for Lifetime Television (Christopher Award; Environmental Media Award); and CROSSING THE LINE, also for Lifetime.

Susanna was assistant to the director on ALTERED STATES directed by Ken Russell, and production assistant on THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE directed by Luis Bunuel. She is the author of several screenplays, and has published articles in Spin Magazine, The Yale Revue and The New York Times.

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David Howard

http://www.binger.nl/uploads/relation/photo/5388/staff_110207-086_david_howard.jpg?1315725470

David is a tenured full professor of screenwriting at USC and the Founding Director of the Graduate Screenwriting Program there.  He is also the author of two books on screenwriting:  “The Tools of Screenwriting” and “How to Build a Great Screenplay” both from St. Martin’s Press. He is an internationally known screenwriter, script doctor/consultant and educator.

David’s most recent film was Hidden Moon.  Directed and co-written by Pepe Bojorquez, the American-Mexican co-production stars Wes Bentley, Linda Gray, Johnathon Schaech, Ana Serradilla and Osvaldo de Léon.

Prior to that, he co-wrote Albert Schweitzer: A Life for Africa. It was directed by Gavin Millar with whom he co-wrote the screenplay and was shot in English entirely on location in South Africa starring Jeroen Krabbe, Barbara Hershey and Judith Godreche.

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Amy Fox

foxIs a teacher at Tisch School of the Arts in NYC. She offers Fundamentals of Screenwriting; Writing the Short Screenplay; Story, Shape, and Development; Writing The Thesis and Writing the Feature Screenplay.

Amy wrote the screenplay for the Merchant Ivory film Heights, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2005. The screenplay was based on her one-act play, Heights, and was commissioned by Merchant Ivory Productions. The film stars Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, and Jesse Bradford, and was released by Sony Pictures Classics in June 2005. Amy’s latest project in development is a screenplay called Stuyvesant Town. Her stage plays have been produced in New York, London, Orlando, and Austin.

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Eric J. Adams

ERIC J. ADAMS is an award-winning screenwriter, producer, and author. He wrote the script for the feature film SUPREMACY (2013), starring Danny Glover, Anson Mount and Joe Anderson, and he co-wrote and produced ARCHIE’S FINAL PROJECT (aka My Suicide) (2009), winner of 21 major international film festival awards, including the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, “Best Picture” at Giffoni, Sundance, Edmonton, Gen Art, and Raindance International Film Festivals, and the “Outstanding Achievement in Film Award” at the Newport Beach International Film Festival. The film was also an official selection at SXSW and the San Francisco International Film Festival.

With his new company, Sleeperwave Films, Eric is relying on his unique background to develop a number of film projects exploring contemporary social issues, including teen suicide, racism, prison inmates rights, and isolation on Native American reservations. In recognition of his efforts, Eric was recently named a Djerassi Screenwriting Fellowship finalist by the San Francisco Film Society.

Eric is the author of six books, including the suspense/thrillers Birdland (Hodder & Stoughton) and Plot Twist (St. Martin’s Press). He wrote and directed To Save A Child, a documentary on teen suicide, narrated by Mariel Hemingway, as well as a number of other short films. As a journalist, Eric has written for numerous national and regional periodicals, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Wired, and Salon.

Eric is also the Northern California director of Regenerate, a by-youth-for-youth digital arts non-profit organization.

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Tom Abrams

An associate professor of at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Tom Abrams is an award-winning writer and director in both film and television. As a writer, Abrams shared a 1992 Emmy Award for the children’s television series, Rugrats. His short film Shoeshine (1987) was nominated for an Academy Award and received the Montreal World Film Festival first prize.

Performance Pieces (1989) won a special award at that year’s Cannes International Film Festival. His other projects include The Desperate Trail (1995) for TNT, Conversations With The Beast (1995, co-written with Armin Mueller-Stahl), The American Princess (2000) for New Line Cinema, The Captain’s Wife for Fox 2000, Have Gun Will Travel for Warner Bros and The Battle of Ono for Executive Producer John Woo at Universal.  For the last 15 years, Abrams has taught filmmaking internationally and consulted on projects in more than 20 countries.

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http://images1.variety.com/graphics/photos/_mugp/polish_michael_02.jpgMichael Polish

Along with is brother Mark, Michael Polish is a preeminent independent American filmmaker and screenwriter.  Their 2002 self-financed film Northfork, staring James Woods and Nick Nolte, was called a “masterpiece” by Roger Ebert after it’s 2003 Sundance screening.

In 2006, Michael and Mark teamed with Warner Independent for “The Astronaut Farmer,” starring Billy Bob Thornton before launching their production company, Prohibition Pictures.  Their most recent film is Big Sur, selected for Sundance 2013 and based on the Jack Kerouac book. Michael is also author of the book: The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking: An Insider’s Guide to Making Movies Outside of Hollywood.

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Deborah Baron

Deborah Baron is a seasoned cinema and television writer. As an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, she works with students to help them hone their feature scripts.

Baron has penned feature scripts on assignment for 20th Century Fox, Columbia, Interscope, MGM and United Artists, as well as various production companies and actors (among them, Richard Dreyfuss and Meg Ryan). Her television credits include Hunter, Major Dad, Leg Work, Cagney & Lacey and episodes for various one-hour and half-hour series on NBC, ABC and UPN.

Baron has also taught in M.F.A. programs at UCLA and the American Film Institute, and in graduate programs in Chile and India as a Fulbright Senior Specialist scholar.

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Devorah Ann Cutler-Rubenstein

Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein is CEO of The Script Broker® a division of Noble House Entertainment, a  coaching and service for writers of books, screenplays, teleplays and plays. Formerly she was  Director of Literary Affairs at Columbia Pictures TV and Exec Producer of The Substitute Franchise starring Tom Berenger/Treat Williams.  As a writer/director she’s worked for Trimark, ABC, Columbia, Showtime, Interscope and FX among others.

She is an adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and will be on board as the writing instructor for directors this summer as they write and produce a short film at USC for the Directing Intensive.


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Kate Barker-Froyland

Kate Barker

Kate is a Brooklyn-based writer/director. She received the James Bridges Development Award for her short film, Match, which screened at New Directors/New Films and was a semi-finalist for the Student Academy Awards in 2011. Her previous short films have screened at numerous festivals over the past several years.

After directing the ‘making-of’ Merchant-Ivory’s The White Countess in Shanghai, she was the assistant to director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada). She has directed and edited music videos and is now collaborating with photographer Marco Grob on a behind-the-scenes documentary.

The daughter of a film distributor, Kate grew up in the world of independent cinema and is influenced by many of the European and American directors who have surrounded her from an early age. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and received her MFA degree in directing from Columbia University last year.  She was selected for the

IFP/The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 2011 Emerging Visions Program and is currently developing her first feature film, Song One.

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Eric Elfman

has written screenplays for Interscope Pictures  (You Should See the Conklins’ Living Room), Walden Media (As You Like It (Revisited)), and Universal Studios (Curious George: The Sequel). Eric and his writing partner sold an original pitch, Class Act, to Revolution Studios; their screenplay was later set up at Dreamworks with Halle Berry attached to star.

Eric is the award-winning author of twelve young adult and middle grade books, several of which have been optioned for development by TV and film production companies, including Merv Griffin Enterprises, Triage Entertainment, and Al Burton Productions (producers of Win Ben Stein’s Money).

Eric has also conducted interviews with Hollywood’s top screenwriters for Creative Screenwriting Magazine.

For the past eight years, Eric has coached over 100 authors in workshops and privately, many of whom have subsequently had their books published (including four in 2012). Since 2005, he has been on the faculty of the Big Sur Children’s Writers Workshop, sponsored by the Henry Miller Library and directed by Andrea Brown.
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