Kotcheff gives ‘reel’ advice

By on October 27, 2010

The Quinnipiac Film Society hosted “An Evening with Ted Kotcheff” on Oct. 20, where the film director and TV executive producer shared his experiences and provided advice to aspiring film students.

Kotcheff is best known as the executive producer of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and director of films such as “First Blood” and “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Kotcheff worked his way through the industry since his early days directing live TV for a Canadian broadcasting company. Kotcheff explained that his parents exposed him to multiple film genres as a child, and film has been a part of his life since he can remember.

Kotcheff stressed two pieces of advice: strong communication with actors and fighting for the integrity of your film. He explained the importance of learning to work with different people, and that each actor has a unique work style. Kotcheff and the event facilitator, professor Liam O’Brien, emphasized that creative story lines and clear visions comprise the elements of interesting film.

“You have to have some view of the moral experience of the world in the back of your head during your work,” Kotcheff said.

Tom Galo, a film,video and interactive media major and member of QFS, was a summer intern on “SVU” and helped organize the event.

“I couldn’t be happier with this event,” Galo said. “It went better than I could have dreamed…. Ted provided great insight and I couldn’t be more pleased. He was funny and provided great information.”

Sara Aniano attended this event seeking advice as a woman aspiring for success in the film industry. Aniano, a junior FVI major and “SVU” fan, asked Kotcheff for his thoughts on the show’s success.

“He said it was because of Mariska Hargitay’s character, which balances feminine qualities of a masculine job,” said Aniano. “I love that he seems to advocate the integration of women in male dominated jobs not only in “SVU,” but in the real world of film.”

FVI major Hannnah Woomer was also inspired by Kotcheff’s support of women in the film industry.

“I don’t think enough men are as understanding as he is, and he made me feel better about trying to find a job after graduation as a female,” Woomer said.

Photo credit: Amanda Shulman

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