Andrew D. Corkin, of Uncorked Productions, is a Gotham Award winning New York-based Producer. Andrew’s credits include: AFTERSCHOOL (Cannes 2008), MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (Sundance 2011, Cannes 2011, 4 Independent Spirit Award nominations), AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY (Sundance 2012, Gotham Award winner), KING KELLY (SxSW 2012), WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Sundance 2013, Cannes 2013), WILD CANARIES (SxSW 2014) and BIG SIGNIFICANT THINGS (SxSW 2014). Andrew executive produced Andrew Renzi’s feature debut, FRANNY, starring Richard Gere and Dakota Fanning, and produced EMELIE, an elevated thriller starring Sarah Bolger; both films premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. He currently has Brent Chesanek’s second feature documentary, ACADEMY, and Joel Potrykus’ third feature, AM I DEMON, in post-production. He just completed production on Netflix’s MERCY written and directed by Chris Sparling. Andrew also serves as an adjunct professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
What inspired you to be a mentor?
I was fortunate to be taken under the wing of a group of NYU filmmakers, Borderline Films, during my sophomore year at Tisch. Having the opportunity to work for these three recent grads as they produced and developed their various projects provided me with the best possible foundation to directly see how the independent production world works. As a film student without a clear direction in mind, being able to work for/with Borderline and watch as their hard work and professional tenacity led to their first feature, I realized that I wanted to follow their path. I watched and learned as they made mistakes and bounced back from them. From working for Borderline and under their mentoring, I gained the best, real-world, on-set education and entered the independent film knowing I had a better grasp on the creative, business, and financial sides of the industry. Since graduating from NYU, I have produced two features with Borderline and multiple other shorter projects, and, although we now work apart, their advice, mentoring, and inclusion, have made me the producer I am today. I know that without Borderline’s mentoring, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Knowing the impact that they played in my professional life, I was inspired to become a mentor to similarly offer students the same opportunities, advice, and direction that I was given that have led me to my successes today.
Tell us your experience as a mentor.
Being a mentor has allowed me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of amazing students with different ambitions. While I might not always be able to provide the exact answers to certain mentees, I continually enjoy the chance to hear about their goals and help them achieve them – sometimes, my help entails direct guidance, other times, I simply steer them in the right direction or to someone who might better know their field. As a mentor, I am extremely proud to see the successes of my mentees.
Why should somebody be a mentor?
Being a mentor is a commitment I choose to make time for, the effect that a mentor has is unparalleled. Regardless of the capacity to which I have been able to directly speak to the path of my mentees, just being there as a sounding board is something that really made a difference when I was a student. While the classes I took at Tisch were amazing at building a solid foundation, it was what I learned from my mentors that has really prepared me for my career. Being a mentor is an amazing way to stay on the pulse of what current students are interested in; as cliché as it sounds, I always seem to learn from my mentees.
Advice about being a mentor/best practices?
To be an effective mentor, one of the best traits someone can have is being truthful with your mentee – it doesn’t help anyone to sugarcoat the challenges that exist in this field and presenting and explaining what you have gone through only better prepares them to face this industry.
To find out more about how you can become a mentor, click here.