On Wednesday January 7th I had the great pleasure of attending a special lecture given by writer-producer Jeff Melvoin to the students of Pavel Jech, Dean of the world renowned FAMU Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. What fun to spend a morning discuss the differences in how our two countries prepare writers to work in these areas!
Jeff gave a great presentation on A Day in the Life of an American Showrunner, based on lectures he gives for the Showrunner program he helped found at the Writers Guild of America, West. Then we all walked over to the 3rd Street Farmers Market for lunch and casual conversation.
I was particularly interested because my father was Czechoslovakian but since he left when I was so young, I’ve never learned much about the country or its history (in fact most of what I learned I learned from reading the memoir former Secretary of State Madeline Albright wrote – Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948). So it was interesting to meet with students who could have been me had my father’s parents never emigrated to the U.S.
The whole day was arranged by Ken Lazebnik, Director of the new MFA in TV and Screenwriting for Stephens College, with whom I am proud to be working to get this new program up and on its feet.