Interview With Allegiance Filmmakers, Mike Connors and Sean Mullin
Written by CUE Editor   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 01:17

Writer/director Michael Connors (FILM ‘06) and producer Sean Mullin (FILM ‘06) recently collaborated on their debut feature film, Allegiance an independently produced military thriller starring Seth Gabel, Pablo Schreiber, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss and Aidan Quinn. Connors and Mullin are both graduates of the MFA Film program and longtime collaborators. Both have military backgrounds, which connected them to the material and to a network of veterans and ex-military who helped the project get off the ground. Allegiance was acquired by XLrator Media and will be released On Demand in December and theaters in January. You can view the trailer here.

CUE: Congrats on gaining distribution for Allegiance, which is also just beginning its festival run. Can you tell us the plan for the film’s release?

Sean Mullin: Our film was picked up for distribution after we premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in June. Our distributors have found that the best way to release an independent film these days is to compress the three major platforms – Theatrical, VOD and DVD – into one tight window. This not only maximizes awareness for our film, but it also allows us to keep our P&A costs at a reasonable level. Our premium VOD release is scheduled for December 7th, our limited theatrical is planned for December 28th through January 4th and our DVD will follow on January 15th. We’ve also just partnered with an International Sales Agent and – assuming our projections for both domestic and international sales hold – we’re on pace to return all of our investors’ equity, along with a solid profit.

You two have been working together on this project for a long time. When did you start collaborating? Was it your common military backgrounds that first brought you together, or your approaches to filmmaking and storytelling? How has the collaborating process worked over multiple projects?

SM: Our similar Army backgrounds definitely helped bring us together, but we also have a very close mutual friend – Brian Reidy – who introduced us right around the time we were beginning the MFA program at Columbia. We weren’t in the same class, but we worked on all of our major projects together. I produced Mike’s thesis film (Recalled) and Mike was the cinematographer for the three films I wrote and directed, including my thesis (Sadiq). Our creative sensibilities aren’t completely the same, but there’s enough overlap that we’re really able to help push each of our projects in the right direction.

2012 Screenplay Showcase Winners Announced
Written by CUE Webmaster   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 00:02
Screenplay Showcase Winners Announced
The participants in CUE’s first annual Screenplay Showcase have been named! See below for info on the writers and their scripts. And stay tuned for further details on the showcase itself. Without further adieu, here are this year’s scripts! 

ALL IN (TV Drama Pilot) by Abdi Nazemian (CC ‘98)

BACK IN BLACK (or: How to Save America Without Really Trying) (Feature Comedy) by Jon Stahl (Teachers College ‘00)

BELOW SUNSET (TV Drama Pilot) by Jonathon Roessler (FILM ‘07)

IN HOUSE (TV Drama Pilot) by Daria Polatin (THEATER ‘07)

Read below for full synopsis and writer bios...
Columbia University Entertainment (CUE) Fall Mixer - 11/13/2012
Written by CUE Webmaster   
Monday, 29 October 2012 01:57
We have the rooftop deck @ The Standard Downtown to eat, drink and be merry (and maybe a little dancing). 

Columbia SoCal and CUE

We'll be mixing it up with alumni from all of Columbia's schools and it promises to be a memorable night (but you don't have to be in the entertainment business to attend).

We have reserved space on the rooftop deck at this high end and trendy hotel bar; there will be are $4 beers, low-priced bottles of champagne, a small bar food menu, and plenty of nooks and crannies to carry on good conversation. 

So come one, come all to mingle in style with your fellow Columbians and meet new friends along the way. RSVP soon to this exclusive event before all the spots are taken!

We look forward to a great night and to seeing you all there! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 6:30 - 9:30 pm
The Standard Hotel
550 S. Flower Street (@6th)
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Valet parking available at the hotel entrance on Flower
CUE Food Bank Volunteer Opportunity - 11/3/2012
Written by CUE Webmaster   
Monday, 29 October 2012 01:50
Start your holiday season with a Saturday morning spent giving back, alongside fellow CUE members. CUE will be hosting a group of volunteers at the LA Food Bank from 9-12 on Saturday, November 3rd. Consider it a fun alternative to traditional mixers and networking events, and join us for a few hours spent sorting donations, meeting fellow alums, and serving your community. 

Saturday, November 3rd

Registration is from 8:30 am – 8:50 am 
Volunteer project starts at 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 E. 41st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90058
Please bring in your release form on the day of your service project. Minimum age requirement is 14 (sorry, no exceptions). All volunteers must wear closed toe shoes.

Password: entertainment

Once you register you will receive an email confirmation with all the logistics and forms.
Starting Out In TV Roundtable
Written by CUE Editors   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 01:37
With CUE members making their mark on a broader spectrum of the entertainment industry than ever, more and more are finding success and inspiration in scripted television.  We sat down with a few recent alums who are in the early stages of exciting television careers to talk about how they chose television and how they went about breaking in.

Scott Burkhardt (Film ‘08) served as Staff Writer on the first season of Smash (NBC) where he wrote the episode “Hell on Earth.”  

Grace Edwards (Film ‘10) worked as writer’s assistant for Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans as well as the pilot for Come Inside with Amy Schumer.

Jon Haller (Film ‘09) works as Script Coordinator on the ABC show Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen.   His episode “Ding Dong Ditch” aired as part of the show’s first season.

Berkley Johnson (Film ‘05) is a writer for New Girl (FOX).  He wrote three episodes in the first season:  “Thanksgiving”, “Landlord” (with Josh Malmuth), and “Fancyman II” (with Kim Rosenstock).  

Edward McGinty (Film ‘06) is a researcher on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and plays one of the ward bosses on the show.  He also co-founded CUE.  

Can you outline the route you took from graduation to your current position?

SB: I was taking a class called TV as a Dramatic Medium in my second year at Columbia and one day Evangeline Morphos, our professor, came in and said Theresa Rebeck was shooting a pilot for CBS and needed an on-set assistant. I was supposed to go to Phoenix, AZ to visit my Dad for Spring Break but after interviewing with her and getting the job, I canceled that trip and worked with her on that for two weeks. After that, I worked with her part time for the next five or so years. She was supportive of me and liked my work so when Smash came around she offered me a writing job on the show.
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