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Guest Artists: 2015-16


Owen Gleiberman, a former student of Professor Cohen's and a UM graduate, recently visited Cohen's FTVM 340 (Writing Film Criticism) class. Gleiberman conducted a discussion based on his query, "Why did you sign up for Writing Film Criticism?," coupled with students' responses to a chapter in his new book on the evolution of his interest to pursue a career as a film critic. Students read the chapter -- extracted from Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies -- in preparation for Gleiberman's visit.

Producer/Writer Latoya Morgan visited FTVM 427 on Friday, April 1 and held an open workshop and discussion on Thursday, March 31 in the MLB. Morgan has written for the Showtime series Shameless, the NBC series Parenthood, the USA/Fox21 Matt Nix series Complications, and for the last three seasons on AMC's TURN: Washington's Spies where she is a producer and was honored with a 2016 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for her episode "False Flag." 


Actor Delroy Lindo presented a special talk "The Script Through the Actor's Lens" on March 17 in the Chemistry Building. In this talk, Lindo discussed how actors approach the written word and offered his advice to aspiring writers. This event was sponsored by the FTVM Screenwriting Program in conjunction with the Department of Theatre & Drama. 


At left, FTVM major and Screenwriting sub-major Danielle Jacobson speaks with Writer/Producer and UM Alum Beth Schwartz (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Brothers & Sisters) about the role of female writers in the TV industry. Schwartz shared her expertise and experience with students from FTVM 410, 411, and 427.

Jim Kouf
and David Greenwalt, screenwriters of Grimm, visited Jim Burnstein and Robert Rayher’s FTVM 423 class on February 19. During their visit, they read two student scripts – The Dejects and Present Day -- and then shared their notes with the class.

Disney animator Matthias Lechner, Art Director of Environment for Zootopia, gave a behind-the-scenes animation presentation and Q & A on February 18 at the Natural Science Auditorium. This visit was co-sponsored by the Michigan Animation Club.

TV Director Mark Cendrowski conducted a directing workshop on February 12 with students from the School of Music, Theater & Dance. During his visit, he also taped an interview with EBuzz’s Jess Knight of WOLV TV, discussed his work on The Big Bang Theory, and answered WOLV students’ questions about the industry.


Animator David Knott conducted a storyboarding workshop on November 18, wherein he took participants through the process of idea generation and preliminary character and setting design. 


UM Alum and Emmy-Winning Sports Reporter Andrea Joyce discussed the field of sports broadcasting with FTVM students and WOLV TV students on November 6. 


On Friday, November 6, Randi Singer, screenwriter of Mrs. Doubtfire, talked to screenwriters about the inducsty in a special presentation in MLB 2. 

Inaugurating the new Producers Series was the Benefactor of the series and Producer/President of the Motion Picture Group for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) Jonathan Glickman. Glickman discussed film producing and listened to FTVM 427 screenwriters’ pitches on November 5.

Pixar Artist Jonathan Pytko gave a behind-the-scenes animation presentation and Q & A about his work (in lighting) on The Good Dinosaur on October 21 in Angell Hall, Auditorium C. This visit was co-presented with the Film and Video Association. 

UM Alum and Producer Peter McPartlin talked with a group of students after the screening of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl on October 15, in Angell Hall, Auditorium A.

Janet Leahy
, television writer and producer of Mad Men, visited North Quad Studio A on October 15 to discuss television writing in a workshop format with Television Writing I (Specs Scripts) and Television Writing II (Television Pilots).

On October 3, Director/Writer Alex Richanbach and Supervising Producer Ben Sheehan hosted an informative panel on their craft in NQ Space 2435; they also conducted a workshop in Terri Sarris’s FTVM 403 Sketch Comedy class wherein they listened to students pitch ideas and guided them in creating sketches. Finally, Richanbach screened and discussed his independent feature film, We Are Young.