"I came to Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program with a very ungrounded understanding of the role directors play in the production of films. So, for me, Eric Mendelsohn’s Directing I class was a very formative experience.
At the end of our first class, I was pretty much willing to set aside many of the ideas (and misconceptions) about my “vision” and “voice” as a filmmaker that I’d been holding onto up to that point. After that first class I was convinced that there was a lot that I didn’t know about the work of the director; but I left with the confidence that he and his colleagues in the Film Program could help teach me.
Going into my second year, Tom Kalin’s Directing III class was exactly what I needed. I’d basically shut up for a year and listened, in order to soak up everything I could from Lewis Cole, Jamal Joseph, Betty Gordon, Milena Jelinek, Ira Deutchman and Maureen Ryan. In Directing III, Tom invited us to synchronize our own tastes and interests with the new foundation we all had in telling stories on the screen. Tom is the kind of compassionate genius who has this amazing ability to home in on exactly what you want to say in a scene, and to then offer suggestions without diluting your own unique way of telling the story."