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"Because I come from a musical background—I'm a bass player—I enjoy working with musicians. As artists, my students are very interested, and very talented, in the other arts. In my Modern Drama and Film course, I'm often surprised by how much they understand intuitively about film. And I'm really impressed, in my screenplay workshop, by the ability of some of them, in 15 weeks, to write a full-length screenplay."
"When we study a film, we focus on dramatic structure and cinematic gestures. I expose students to films they wouldn't ordinarily watch on their own, like Fellini's La Dolce Vita and Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy. While we study many great American films, we also discuss how European, Latin American, and Asian films move at a different pace than American films."
"Given the competitive nature of the music industry, students need to speak and write articulately. Writing about literature and drama helps them with their lyric writing and their ability to promote themselves as music professionals. Thinking critically about other art forms teaches them to connect with others and to discover and express new ideas."
"In my creative writing workshop, these bright and artistic students can already write the four- or five-page story. So the point is to lead them to do things they can't already do—for example, to craft a fully developed 25-page short story—even while they're thinking about how they need to practice and do their ear training homework. In my fiction and screenplay workshops, students are committed to the coursework because it's their own work—their own stories."