THR snubs Columbia College in top 25 film schools list

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER sure got it wrong when it published its July 27 inaugural list of 25 top film schools in the world and egregiously omitting Columbia College –- one of the oldest film schools with largest film enrollment in the country.

THR said the list was “comprised with help from industry insiders,” none of whom apparently were from the Midwest, had ever heard of Columbia College much less attended it, although for 50 years (this year!) thousands of Columbia grads have, are and will continue to be part of Hollywood moviemaking, or wherever in the world films are made.

In fact, here’s a short list of Columbia alums currently working in the industry, some with Academy Award after their names:

Len Amato, president, HBO Films; Paul Broucek, president, Music at Warner Bros.; Michael Goi, president, American Society of Cinematographers; Hal Haenel, Sr. VP/GM studio operations, 20th Century Fox; Bill Phillips, VP/original programming TBS/TNT;

Janusz Kaminski, 2 time Academy Award-winning cinematographer;
Mauro Fiore, Academy Award-winning cinematographer; Steve Pink, director/writer/producer (Hot Tub Time Machine, High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank); Bob Teitel & George Tillman, Jr.; producers/directors, State Street Pictures (Soul Food, Men of Honor, Notorious, Faster); Dan Asma, partner/producer, editor Buddha Jones Movie Trailers; Marlon West, Visual Effects Supervisor/Animator, Walt Disney Co. (Princess and the Frog); 

Also: Peter Teschner, editor (Horrible Bosses, Borat, Dodge Ball); Mark Protosevich, screenwriter (Thor), Declan Quinn, cinematographer  (Leaving Las Vegas); Peter Berkos, sound effects editor, Academy Award-winner, Hindenburg; Fred Pienkos, visual effects supervisor (Spiderman 3); Tod Lending, documentarian, Academy Award nominee (Legacy)

Collin Daniel, casting director; Diane Weyermann, EVP/documentary production, Participant Media and a gazillion more, in every conceivable department.  

This being school vacation, college executives are unavailable to make a comment at this time.  But when they return, I hope they come out swinging.

Take a look at THR’s film school compilation and post your comments below.

DEPT. OF GOOD NEWS.  Steppenwolf’s indie film The Last Rites of Joe May was picked up by Tribeca Film which plans to distribute it on video-on-demand and in theatres in October. Joe May was selected among 5,624 films at the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York last March. 

Joe Maggio wrote and directed “the classic urban drama,” and the ensemble cast includes Dennis Farina, Jamie Allman, Ian Barford, Meridith Droeger, Chelcie Ross and Gary Cole. It was shot entirely in Chicago in 2009 and finished in New York. 

WHO’S NEW.  Optimus added Matt McLaughlin as marketing director, and sales reps Sean Sullivan for the Midwest and Perry Tongate for the South/Southwest.  Sarah Shroeder was recently named West Coast sales director.

Foundation Content has hired two editors.  In Chicago, Max Gold moved over from Draftfcb’s in-house editorial department, where he worked on spots for A-list directors like Tony Kay, Sean Thonson and Iain Mackenzie and agency clients Quest, Taco Bell, Kmart and Boeing, et al … Foundation L.A. brought aboard Grant MacDowell, most recently with Optimus Santa Monica and as a music video editor for Brass Knuckles in Venice.

ON THE AGENCY BEAT, Euro RSCG promoted CD Michael Shirley to group CD, digital, overseeing all aspects of the agency’s digital work.  Prior to Euro, he’d been digital CD for other agencies within Euro’s parent company, Havas.

ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA ATTORNEY David M. Adler has become a partner in the law firm of Leavens, Strand & Glover, LLC, which represents creative artists and visual media companies.  

Adler has had extensive experience corporate and intellectual property law, information technology, copyright and trademark registration, licensing, contract negotiation and enforcement, group-couponing, and social networking sites. He also concentrates in advising artistic talent and creative professionals in the arts, entertainment, media and sports industries.

IF YOU’VE HAD AN EYE on the calendar, you know that Optimus owns the first Friday of August (the 5th) for what will be its 16th annual Block Party.  A special surprise guest is usually featured and there’s no shortage of food, drink, music and massive mingling.  The fun starts at 2 p.m.  

LEO BURNETT has been updating its corporate look with a four-floor demolition/remodeling project at its 35 W. Wacker headquarters. With 25,000-square-foot floor plates, the combined project totals approximately 100,000 square feet. Leopardo is the general contractor with Nelson Architects. The final phase of the project is scheduled to wrap shortly.

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