- B.A., English, State University of New York at Albany, 1970
- M.A., cinema, University of Southern California, 1985
"I've been fortunate to have a number of exceptional mentors during my lifetime, my father being the first. Three film professors influenced me greatly: Arthur Lennig, Arthur Knight and Arthur Mayer. The professional mentors I need to acknowledge are Robert Littman, motion picture agent/executive extraordinaire, Norman Levy, vice chairman of 20th Century Fox Entertainment, and film directors Nicolas Roeg and Ken Russell. The influences of these mentors have inspired me to be a mentor to others.
"In 1995, my partner, Patrick Duncan, wrote 'Mr. Holland's Opus,' which I produced, to honor teachers everywhere. I suppose to some extent the fictional Mr. Holland became my model for what a good teacher could be."
Awards, recognition and honors
Humanitas Award nomination, Best Children's Teleplay, "Maniac Magee"; Christopher Award, Best Motion Picture, "Mr. Holland's Opus"; twice-nominated producer for Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival, for "84 Charlie Mopic" and "The Pornographer"; producer runner-up, Best Narrative Feature SXSW Film Festival; director, "Wildly Available," Discovery Award Hollywood Film Festival; Major Film Critics 10 Best Films of the Year lists ("Heart Like A Wheel," "84 Charlie Mopic"); films have been invited to major film festivals around the world, including New York, Tokyo, Chicago, Sundance, Deauville (France), Toronto and Honolulu; (past resource) Sundance Institute
Writers Guild of America; past CFO Independent Feature Project/West, helped found the Independent Spirit Awards; past National Advisory board member, Sundance Film Festival
Producer, writer, developer and director for dozens of films; executive positions at Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox studios; president MFN Productions Inc., Full Body Productions Inc.; general partner, The Charlie Mopic Company; senior vice president production and acquisitions, Alliance Entertainment Group; executive consultant production and acquisitions, New Century/Vista Films and Atlantic Entertainment Group; vice president motion pictures, executive assistant to the vice-chairman, Twentieth Century Fox; reader, story editor, executive story editor, executive in charge of acquisitions, vice president of creative affairs, Columbia Pictures; visiting faculty, Brooklyn College; lecturer, University of South Carolina; instructor, El Camino Community College; visiting professor, Loyola Marymount University; think tank member, early advisory board member, Sundance Institute; board member, Independent Feature Project/West
Publications and presentations
- "The Auteur Theory - Rest in Peace," Screenwriter Magazine, 1995.
- "Ken Russell and Other Madness" - USC Masters Thesis, 1985.
- "King Vidor's The Big Parade," Pan Magazine, 1971. Miscellaneous articles, Star Magazine, 1972.