Meet the Makers Volume VI: Gabe Wilson

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10-Feb-16
by Courtney Cilman
Gabe Wilson, a second-year Screenwriting/Directing student from Newton, Massachusetts, is no stranger to the life of a professional filmmaker. Prior to attending Columbia, Wilson worked as a commercial video producer and a freelance production coordinator. In college he studied creative writing at Tufts and always had a love of painting—which made filmmaking a natural extension of his two loves.  “I have always felt like film is the union of my two favorite artistic endeavors,” he said. “Columbia's devotion to story has always been something I admired. I think it’s a very welcoming community.”

And since coming to Columbia, Gabe has made a number of strong stories that have caught the attention of numerous festivals. His first Columbia short, Clean, follows a young boy as he struggles with OCD and germaphobia in the incredibly disordered and filthy New York City; it priemered at the Urbanworld film festival last year. His work has also shown at such other festivals as the Hamptons Film Festival and the Big Apple Film Festival. Currently, Gabe is in post-production on his most recent short film, 20 Minutes, and is writing another short about two bankers in the wake of the 2007 financial crash.

But filmmaking isn’t the only skill that Wilson has managed to conquer. I asked what other talents he has, and his answer was a surprising one: “I’m really good at putting together Ikea furniture. If it were an Olympic event I would maybe win silver.” How anyone manages to keep their cool with so many tiny infuriating pieces lying around is beyond me. But Gabe was also willing to let me in on his secret to staying calm and excelling, a gem he picked up from Mae West: “When in doubt, take a bath.”

Useful wisdom for anyone dealing with ikea furniture, germaphobia, or the demands of film school.

If you’d like to see more of Gabe’s work check out his website here.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.