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On Thursday, November 17, 2022, Writer, Director, and Producer Joe Nussbaum. visited Oliver Thornton's FTVM 411 and Dan Shere's FTVM 427 to share his experiences in the industry. In 411, Nussbaum talked to students about breaking into the industry and contributed to a few table reads. Nussbaum later spoke to FTVM 427 about his path in forging a successful career as a writer/director in Hollywood and gave personalized feedback to help students hone their screenplays in preparation for launching their own careers.
FTVM Alum Payton Halbeisen ('14) recently Zoomed from L.A. with Terri Sarris' FTVM 403 Sketch Comedy class, giving tips on editing comedy and offering feedback on students' sketch rough cuts. Payton currently works as an editor on A Black Lady Sketch Show.
FTVM alums Brendan Dewley (at bottom left) and Matthew Huston ('22) also visited FTVM 403 from New York City to talk about the sketch comedy scene in New York. Brendan shared information about his current internship position at Late Night with Seth Meyers.
On Friday, October 28, 2022, UM Alum Mark Cendrowski, director of 244 episodes of The Big Bang Theory and countless other multi-cam television shows, visited Terri Sarris' FTVM 403 Sketch Comedy class.
Mark gave script notes on seven in-progress scripts written by students and answered questions about comedy directing. He then workshopped three additional sketches on sets in Studio B, a "master class" in multi-camera directing and working with actors.
While Mark was in town, he also visited Oliver Thornton's Writing for Television classes on Thursday, October 27. In 411, he heard pitches for the students' original series and gave "network notes," and then in the 311 class he helped run the class' first week of table reads for their specs.
FTVM screenwriting faculty Dan Shere gathers with Daniel Pipski and FTVM 427 students Rex Rubinstein and Ben Servetah in the North Quad conference room after an intense, 3-hour script workshopping session on Friday, October 21, 2022.
On September 30, 2022, FTVM alum Writer/Director Phonz Williams Zoomed from LA
with Terri Sarris' FTVM 403 Sketch Comedy class.
A member of the WGA. Phonz Williams was one of eight writers selected for the prestigious ABC/Disney TV writing program, becoming a television staff writer on the NAACP Image award nominated series, Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC. Williams created digital content for superstar athletes and social media influencers before leading to a stint as a Project Manager for Nas’s Queensbridge Venture Fund, where he was responsible for identifying feature films for financing consideration.
In 2021, Williams joined the writing staff of BET’s hit drama Games People Play, season two. Additionally, he partnered with MACRO on original scripted podcast "America Vs Kwame Kilpatrick," In 2022, Barstool Sports offered a production deal for an original AV Podcast starring Carlos HaHa Davis entitled THE F3LLAS. Williams also recently wrote and directed the hit digital skit “D-BOY” starring HaHa Davis for Comedy Central.
On Friday, September 30, 2022, Film Producer, Director, and Writer Peter Jaysen met with the FTVM Mitchell Scholars, sharing personal stories and fielding questions about how to navigate the industry. Jaysen also provided advice on maintaining a work/life balance and offered guidance to the scholars on maximizing their appeal to recruiters.
On Thursday, September 29, 2022, Jaysen visited three FTVM classes, hearing pilot pitches
from Oliver Thornton's 411 class, talking with the 311 class about careers in the industry,
and giving notes to Robert Rayher's 421 pilot production class after a table read of the latest draft of their script.