Norman Steinberg, Emmy award-winner and professor at Long Island University, recently visited the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus to recruit students for his graduate program and to speak about his experience in the film industry.
Steinberg created the TV Writers Studio at Long Island University in Brooklyn in 2010. Classes take place in Steiner Studios, a 305,000 square-foot studio where films such as “Men in Black III” were filmed. Students in the program have the opportunity to learn from Steinberg while earning a M.F.A. in writing and producing for television.
“It’s called the TV Writers Studio because I think the best work in the industry today, and the most accessible, is being done on television,” Steinberg said. “The stuff you see on television is so sophisticated, and if you can write for television, you can write for movies.”
Steinberg began his career in film after meeting comedic filmmaker, Mel Brooks, every morning in a coffee shop. As a fan of Brooks’s work, Steinberg persistently told Brooks that he wanted to be a writer. Brooks gave Steinberg the task of sending a script to the producer of “Get Smart.” Although the script was never used, positive feedback from the producer led Steinberg to quit his job as a lawyer. Eventually, Brooks became Steinberg’s mentor and Steinberg worked alongside Brooks to write the Emmy award-winning film, “Blazing Saddles.”
“Find someone who can open a door for you, and then you have to be passionate,” Steinberg said. “Figure out what you want to do when you grow up, and then go for it. The possibilities are there.”
For more information on the TV Writers Studio, visit: www.liu.edu/brooklyn/mfatv.