“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
DAVID STEIN IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HIM A FEW QUESTIONS AND HERE’S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY:
Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I live in Manhattan now but I grew up in Crown Heights and Flatbush Brooklyn in the 70s and 80s, and for me, that’s The Heartland. That’s the place where I learned my work ethic and began to think of myself as an architect, at Brooklyn Tech and at Pratt Institute. Though I worked in that business for only a short time, that way of spacial thinking and planning is a huge part of me always, and the people that I learned with and grew up with in Brooklyn, our strengths and weaknesses are what I find myself thinking and writing about.
Who or what is inspiring you right now and why?
I am obsessed with politics and I am obsessed with the places in our lives that the politics meet the personal. I’m a die-hard Lefty, but right now I find myself fascinated with Conservatism, which I see as a defense mechanism against everything… empathy, self examination, public and personal failure, and being taken advantage of by some mysterious other, and so one of the pieces I am working on now, tries to understand the conservative parts of myself. On this subject, I love this essay by Paul Theroux called “Being a Man.”
Besides being a man, the other thing that is driving me crazy right now is the new drug of choice, the cell phone. We’re all afraid and hiding out with the virtual people inside our facebook and text messages and so I am developing a piece about that. I want for us to break away from our digital leashes, especially at school.
And then, I have been reading books about psychologists who use storytelling as a means to reach their patients in a safe co-created story-world. The essential healing nature of storytelling is something I want to write about.
What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
I can’t choose one favorite thing, so these are a few of my favorite things: First collaborating with working Directing and Writing Teachers on our films and scripts. It simply changes the way you see the architecture of films. Second, is the class environment here, where you are allowed to fail over and over again in a tough but caring environment. Then third, is the second year production period in which you learn to be supported by and support your fellow students. As an older student I never expected to love and trust my younger colleagues as much as I do. During that production period you learn, who you would go to war with, both by working for and with this crazy, diverse family of students.