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Friday, July 31, 2009

UPenn and Films

Those who succeed in Hollywood, are those that are in it for the long haul.

Case in point: Jonathan London (C'01, WQHS Radio, The Hollywood Club)

After film school, Jonathan stuck to his guns, got to know the right people and created really well produced films you'll want to see. Pay attention to this guy Hollywood alumni...he's doing some really good films...

CLICK HERE to learn how did Jonathan got his start, what led to his success and watch two professionally produced short films of his you will love. (hint: if you love stories having to do with being single and/or love Ninja comedies, then you'll love these!)

How did Jonathan get his start?

Per Jonathan,
"After graduating from Penn in 2001 I entered the Film MFA program at Columbia. I had been accepted to Columbia and USC but ultimately chose Columbia for their approach to self-financing your film, the faculty they had on staff and their support for owning your own film. I was a fan of the directors coming out of the school and I don't think other schools could compete with recent grads like James Mangold, Kimberley Pierce and Greg Mottola (to name a few). A lot of other schools had more storied reputations but I was excited for what was currently going on at the school.

I left in 2003, moved to L.A. and shot a film for school called Gay By Dawn (featured in Pennfest 2006 - program HERE, photos HERE). It was a comedy horror short and it played really well at festivals for about two years. I knew it played well with festival audiences because it was weird, but just kept sending it to any festival that would take it and was shocked that it lived so long.

At the same time, I was working as a PA runner for a few different film companies. One of the companies was Fox Television Studios and I made friends with the assistants and gave them copies of my movie. About two years after THAT, the assistants had moved up the ranks and were now executives and needed to bring in projects of their own to develop. Luckily, any DVD that reads "Gay By Dawn" in big letters really stands out on a shelf so I got some calls and pitched my series ideas.

The one that really struck a chord was "Singledom", which I think is pretty relatable for people a few years out of college who are lost in the post-grad limbo.

I wrote and directed a presentation for "Singledom" and while that went through sales pitches and further development the studio asked me to take a look at a project they had called "When Ninjas Attack". My geeky enthusiasm and ridiculous knowledge of old ninja and kung fu movies made it a pretty good fit and a few weeks later the scripts were written and I was directing the six episodes that are being released this summer."

Stay tuned this fall when DT announces another big endeavor Jonathan has been working on!

HOT TIP!: Get some of Jonathan's great tips HERE and learn about a great free screenwriting tool he's using that I didn't even know about until he mentioned it!

UPenn and Hollywood

More posts from my "Penn's REEL deals" series

More of my Funny Friday posts


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