2015-16 Visiting Filmmaker
Cinema Studies welcomed award-winning Producer Neil Kopp as the inaugural visiting filmmaker in the Harlan J. Strauss Visiting Filmmaker Endowment. Kopp engaged in a two-week university residency during spring term 2016 and was involved in a variety of campus activities, including teaching workshops and mentoring students in the CINE 408 “Art of Producing” course, as well as hosting a number of public and private events:
- CINE 408 “The Art of Producing”: This course examined the ways in which a producer serves as an important force behind a film. Producer Neil Kopp guest taught four classes and shared his approach to film producing. Through practical projects and an analysis of Kopp’s body of work, students learned how to transform a project from script to screen, support a director’s vision, and utilize different funding models. In the end, this course empowered students to produce their own projects and create more ethical and collaborative production communities.
- Working Filmmakers Series: Faculty, students, and the community were invited to join Neil Kopp for a discussion on making a living as a film producer. Balancing good taste, logistical know-how, and productive working relationships, Neil Kopp has been responsible for generating some of the best independent films of recent years. He has had a fruitful collaboration with director Kelly Reichardt, producing her films “Old Joy,” “Wendy and Lucy,” “Meeks Cutoff,” “Night Moves,” and “Certain Women.” He also produced Gus Van Sant’s “Paranoid Park” and Jeremy Saulnier’s “Green Room.” His films have garnered many awards and critical acclaim, and Kopp received an Independent Spirit Producers Award for his work with Van Sant and Reichardt. The event concluded with an opportunity for attendees to engage in a “Q&A” with Neil Kopp and enjoy a reception with the producer.
- Private, Advance Screenings and “Question and Answer” Sessions with the Directors: The Strauss endowment brought two private, advance screenings to campus during spring term 2016 for University of Oregon students, faculty, and staff. The first screening featured Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, which premiered in the Director’s Fortnight at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The enthusiastic crowd remained long after the screening for an exclusive “question and answer” session with Saulnier and the film’s producer, Neil Kopp. The University of Oregon was excited to welcome Director Kelly Reichardt and Producer Neil Kopp to campus for the second private, advance screening held on campus during spring term. The film, Certain Women, is the result of a successful collaboration between Kelly Reichardt and Neil Kopp and recently premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The event included an introduction of the film by Kelly Reichardt as well as an opportunity for the audience to ask questions after the screening.