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Hollywood Writers Speak to Local Film Students

Compass College News

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (December 2, 2016) — Writers often are the unsung heroes behind Hollywood's greatest films. However, in professor Tom Lowe's Adaptation course at Compass College of Cinematic Arts, renowned writers are getting plenty of face time. Each week Lowe organizes a video call where students talk with a different Hollywood writer. Their most recent special guest? Todd Komarnicki, the writer of Sully.

"It encourages our students and offers them a new perspective," said Lowe, a professor and best-selling author. "Writing can be a very lonely art. These conversations provide students the opportunity to talk with top screenwriters who have made it, ask questions, and be inspired." Throughout the class, students have had the opportunity to learn from writers, such as Billy Ray ( Hunger Games , Captain Phillips ), Ron Nyswaner ( Philadelphia , The Painted Veil ), Anne Rosellini ( Winter's Bone ), Derek Kolstad ( John Wick ) and many more. The conversations have had a profound impact on Lowe's class of aspiring screenwriters.

"It's amazing how eager they are to talk with us," said Compass College senior, Nate Driesenga. "Some of them have even helped us hash out our own projects and ideas. They've been so kind and humble it's helped me realize, ‘I can be that person someday.'"

Through the connections of Compass College's A-List Advisory Board, Lowe continues to provide students with these unique experiences week after week throughout the semester.

When asked why these busy writers make time to speak to the students, Lowe explains, "Many of them tell me that someone helped them get where they are today, and they're happy to do the same for the next generation of storytellers. It's a chance for them to give back."

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