Jonathan Sherman is a graduate of Wesleyan University (BA, film studies) and Columbia University (MFA, film production and screenwriting). His first film, Breathing Room, starred Dan Futterman, Susan Floyd and Edie Falco and was released in more than 25 countries worldwide. He then directed I'm With Lucy, a romantic comedy starring Monica Potter, Gael García Bernal, Julie Christie, Anthony LaPaglia, John Hannah and Harold Ramis. It was the opening night film at the 2002 Deauville Film Festival in France and has been released in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Sherman has also written and directed films for the Oxygen Network and has worked with Working Title Films (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Depth of Field (American Pie) and Universal Pictures.

He is thrilled to be a member of the Kenyon faculty.

Areas of Expertise

Film writing/directing, classic American cinema, international short films, memoir writing.

Education

1994 — Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University

1988 — Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University

Courses Recently Taught

In this course we will consider the collaborative nature of filmmaking and how its various crafts combine to tell stories with perhaps the greatest mass appeal of any artistic medium. We will explore dramatic narrative structure, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing and film genres as they have been used and advanced in the history of cinema. In addition to regular class meetings, attendance at weekly film showings is required. This course includes an introduction to film production where students are expected to write, direct and film short projects in collaboration with their classmates. This course is ideal for first-year students and is required for the major. No prerequisite. Generally offered once a year.

This class is about finding your voice as a filmmaker. In this sense, the class is not just a writing class, it also is a film history class and a directing class. In many successful shorts, it is difficult to separate great writing from great directing. The goal of this course is to write a great short. In order to accomplish this, students will spend half of their time watching short films to learn what makes them successful. This counts toward the film production and screenwriting requirements for the major. Prerequisite: DRAM 111 or FILM 111. Generally offered every other year.

This course will explore what is particular about writing for the screen. Through weekly writing assignments, students examine the form and structure of the three-act feature film. Each student will work toward an outline of a feature screenplay and write the first 30 pages. This is a workshop class so students must always be prepared and ready to participate. This counts toward the production and screenwriting requirements for the major. Prerequisite: DRAM 111 or FILM 111. Generally offered every year.

This course will explore what is particular about writing for the screen. Through weekly writing assignments, students examine the form and structure of the three-act feature film. Each student will work toward an outline of a feature screenplay and write the first 30 pages. This is a workshop class so students must always be prepared and ready to participate. This counts toward the production and screenwriting requirements for the major. Prerequisite: DRAM 111 or FILM 111. Generally offered every year.

In this course, students will learn the process of how a development executive and/or producer works with a writer to develop material. The class has two components: students will 1) endeavor to finish the screenplays they worked on in FILM 231 and 2) work on three scripts currently in development at Hollywood studios and explore how to improve them. This counts toward the film production and screenwriting requirements for the major. Prerequisite: FILM 111 and 231. Generally offered every other year.

Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder are not only considered to be the greatest American comedy writer-directors because of how funny their movies are. They understood that the best way for mainstream films to deal with serious subjects was not to make dark, heavy films, but to broach these subjects while making the audience laugh. In this course, students will analyze how these delicately balanced films were constructed to allow the filmmakers to explore the darker side of life and how filmmakers pushed socially acceptable boundaries while still making commercially viable films for a mainstream audience. This counts toward the film genre course requirement for the major. Prerequisite: FILM 111. Generally offered every third year.

Guns. Horses. Saloons. Whiskey. Are cowboy movies really worth studying? Can movies starring John Wayne and Clint Eastwood be sublime works of art? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes. Westerns are among the most visual of all film genres and some of the finest directors of classic American cinema specialized in them. We will examine films by John Ford, Anthony Mann, Howard Hawks, Sam Peckinpah and Clint Eastwood and will learn how to discern the differences in these filmmakers' works. In this sense, this seminar will be an exploration of film visual style. This counts toward the film genre course requirement for the major. Prerequisite: FILM 111. Generally offered every third year.

In this course, students will learn the process of how a development executive and/or producer works with a writer to develop material. The class has two components: students will 1) endeavor to finish the screenplays they worked on in FILM 231 and 2) work on three scripts currently in development at Hollywood studios and explore how to improve them. This counts toward the film production and screenwriting requirements for the major. Prerequisite: FILM 111 and 231. Generally offered every other year.

This seminar is for senior majors in film. Through this course, senior majors will prepare for the completion of their Senior Capstone. Students will present their project proposals, develop these projects through collaboration with peers, critique each other's work and utilize feedback to improve their individual projects. Students will be expected to provide project schedules and weekly status updates and to meet regular guideposts for project completion. This course will culminate in public presentations of the senior projects and oral examinations by faculty in the department. One semester of this course is required for the major but it may be taken twice for credit.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.

Individual study in film is reserved for students exploring a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Typically, the course will carry 0.5 units of credit. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a proposal. The department chair must approve the proposal. The one- to two-page proposal should include a preliminary bibliography and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks for the course, outline a schedule of reading and/or writing assignments or creative undertakings, and describe the methods of assessment (e.g., a journal to be submitted for evaluation weekly, a feature length screenplay due at semester's end, with drafts due at given intervals, etc). The student also should briefly describe prior course work, which qualifies him or her for this independent project. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with the instructor one hour per week and to submit an amount of work equivalent to that required in 300-level film courses. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed individual study the semester before they hope to enroll so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline.