AFI Alum Dinner: We Ate Steak

We = Sixty-seven AFI alumni, including some of my absolute favorite friends and collaborators as well as older alums who I’ve wanted to meet.

Ate = Without exception of non-chewing activities like drinking, talking really loud, bashing and praising Watchmen, brainstorming films featuring St. Paddy’s Day (Curtis Pierce wins with Leprechaun), and seeing people we hadn’t seen in years — yes, I’m talking about you Kevin Abrams. I’m so glad you aren’t dead!

Steak = Imagine a huge hunk of medium-rare meat the size of your paperback of Twilight. Thank you, Mr. Morton. I can’t even believe I was considering ordering the salmon. Thank you, Sarah for scowling at the notion.

The Two Bobs (Dean Robert Mandel and Bob Gazzale) and Allen J. Bernstein hosted the event benefiting the AFI Conservatory Scholoraship Fund, and Cathy Wischner-Sola (Alumni Coordinator & my former writing prof) organized it. Thanks to Cathy, this year’s dinner focused on bringing more young’uns into the nexus, which is one reason I was thrilled to host a table.

While I was attending AFI, it was hard to see beyond a cycle project. The program was demanding, challenging, wearisome and emotionally+intellectually brutal. Exactly what I needed to become a better filmmaker. Now, I profoundly value the lifelong friends and collaborators the AFI experience gave me, and I found my education to be paramount in my growth as a director.

For these reasons, I have some major school spirit (I’ll spare you the school cheer) and a deep affinity for the potential that the AFI alumni network has. I hope events like last night’s and the school pride I witnessed there help us fortify an alumni association that champions one another’s talents by acting as a supportive meshwork of professionals who can all say they survived AFI.

Another reason, I jumped at the chance to host is that I got to invite some damn good-looking people to eat dinner with me. Shout out to the illustrious table #1:

Sarah Broshar (editor ’05)
Curtis Pierce (editor ’05)
Dominique Martinez (cinematographer ’05)
Eduardo Levy (producer ’05)
Barbara Stepansky (director ’05)
Danny Buday (director ’05)
James Martin (screenwriter ’05)
John Campbell (AFI’s Chief Development Officer)

Thanks to everyone in attendance for a great night!

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