As I said before, my 25 years as a professional screenwriter helped prepare me for a second career teaching screenwriting and filmmaking. I have taught 6 courses every year of my 8 years at RIT (with the exception of 2020-21 when I taught 5 courses). I have also been the primary adviser to an average of 5 to 6 thesis/capstone students every year except my first "visiting" year in 2013-2014.
Overseeing the final film work of graduating BFA and MFA students has been the most rewarding and time consuming. Though I don't take credit for the achievements of my students, I believe they have benefited from my long experience writing and rewriting screenplays. I'm well equipped to identify story problems and help my students solve them. My MFA/BFA student films have every year been included in the school's annual "Honor Reel" with several chosen as the top film of the year by the faculty and school director.
Part of my teaching load is co-leading an annual trip to Los Angeles to take 14 students to film and animation studios. This trip was initiated nine years ago and has helped lead to an expanding community of RIT alumni working and living in Los Angeles. I am also now a member of RIT's "Entertainment Advisory Board" which was founded to strengthen ties between the university and the motion picture and gaming industries. If granted tenure, I would love to oversee the opening of an RIT satellite campus in Los Angeles to strengthen those ties. (I'm currently working with RIT Global and our College of Art and Design to make the a reality in Fall 2020.) The career success of RIT grads is naturally very important to me.
I am also becoming more involved with "Frameless Labs," the RIT-centered association created to promote the emerging technologies of Virtual and Augmented Reality. I served on a committee helping to plan the symposium in November 2019 and November 2020.
I look forward to presenting more work at other scholarly venues like "The Association of Writers & Writing Programs" and "The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities" (a2ru) for which I just completed evaluating conference submissions. I am currently planning to compile my "Reel Impact" Script Magazine articles into a book and seek a publisher in the coming months.
I am trained as a writer of feature-length screenplays and I have written many in my professional life. Unfortunately, it's difficult to disseminate screenplays as they are not finished work. They need to be filmed to be widely seen, but shooting a 2-hour movie is expensive and prohibitively time consuming for a teaching professor. Part of my new passion for photography is as training for a transition from writer to writer/director. I intend, in the hopefully near future, to write and film my own short scripts, then oversee their dissemination at film festivals. That was what I was not able to do with "The Guy on the Show" as it was my script, but not my film.
I see better days in the future with the hiring of more faculty leading to a reduction in the teaching workload, and more opportunities to do my own creative work and scholarly research.
MAGIC Spell Studios on my winter walk to class. (January 18, 2019)