Tag Archives: Columbia University

Coffee with Creatives: Boy Turns Into Dog

Edward_PomerantzEdward Pomerantz taught me screenwriting.

I took his workshop two or three times while working through the Creative Writing Program at Columbia University when I was there. Eddie helped me adapt my first published short story into what would become my first film, Over Easy. That film wouldn’t have been a success, and I may not have “caught the bug” after making it, if I didn’t spend an entire semester workshopping the adaptation with Eddie and my classmates. His passion for writing and, more than that, about authentic storytelling, is infectious. I was very glad that he agreed to come on the podcast.

This episode was a pleasure to record. Eddie has had a long and varied career as a screenwriter, novelist, playwright, and teacher. He also recently directed his first film, La Comida, which has so far played at four film festivals.

Topics we cover in the conversation include:

  • The necessity of having a clear reason for telling each story you sit down to write
  • The importance of only taking writing assignments you can make your own
  • The parallel importance of not looking down at an assignment that can be made your own with a little thought and consideration
  • Why Eddie believes Robert McKee ruined screenwriting
  • The differences between writing something and directing something
  • Listening to the needs of the story, rather than trying to force something to happen
  • “Keeping the ball in the air” as long and as effectively as possible
  • Bringing an element of danger into your work
  • And much, much more

Beatriz De La Cruz stars in La Comida, a funny and poignant short Written and Directed by Eddie.

Beatriz De La Cruz (La Comida)

It’s basically a crash course in how to leave it all on the table, in service of whatever it is that your story needs. I hope you like the interview.

Please feel free to drop a note in the comments if you have anything to add, or have any follow-up questions you’d like to ask.

You can find more about Eddie at his site: http://edwardpomerantz.com/.

Coffee with Creatives is also available on iTunes.

Beta Day, Columbia Day: Let’s Make A Special Film

Today on The Videoblogs, we’re asking members of a few special groups, near and dear to my heart, to contribute to the campaign if they can by pre-purchasing a copy of the film.

That can be done here, via our campaign on Seed and Spark.

Many of you in these groups may have originally gotten to know me as the goateed, whiskied young man pictured here:

We had fun.

We had fun. Still do, sometimes 🙂

This man is The Last Permutation of DiBs, the name I used to be known by in years past, and still sometimes use to sign emails.

He is me and he is very proud to be both a member of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at Columbia University — and an alum of the university, period.

My life changed the day I got that acceptance letter. It changed again one day when I walked past a table in Lerner Hall where some Betas from the National Office were recruiting a new class of pledges to restart the Alpha Alpha chapter at Columbia.

Those of you who DO know me as DiBs from those days at CU (though the nickname carries over from a line of us from Cranston) probably know me as two things: a writer/filmmaker and a Beta. Okay, perhaps also as the guy with the goatee and the whiskey.

ANYWAY, in deciding how else to spread the word about our film today, I thought it would be appropriate to also reach out to my fellow alums in general to ask if you’d consider contributing to the campaign today along with a few of my brothers.

Again, every dollar helps.

So — Betas, Friends of Betas, Columbia Friends in general…

…if you could contribute to the campaign today and help me make my first feature film, I’d love to count you among the first people to see the film when it’s done.

We believe the film (and our “Phase 2” project aimed at contributing to a greater dialogue on mental health, and advocating for the positive use of tech for personal expression) are worthy endeavors.

What we want to do in making The Videoblogs is to simply scratch up just enough money to get the film made — and then we want to get it out to you. That’s it. We appreciate any help today in assuring that process. No matter who you are.

But, today, we’re hoping a bunch of you are Betas and other Columbia friends and family 🙂