By Joel Kwartler AB '18
Adam B. Stein AB ‘99 is a writer-director-producer who broke into directing as a contestant on FOX’s On The Lot, a reality-style filmmaking competition produced by Steven Spielberg. There, he met his collaborator Zach Lipovsky. Together, they co-wrote and co-directed Freaks, which hits theaters on September 13th. They also co-directed Disney’s live-action Kim Possible and received an Emmy nomination for directing Disney’s Mech-X 4. Adam has an MFA in directing from USC, has had his screenwriting recognized by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Humanitas Prize for New Voices, and has directed commercials for multiple Fortune 500 brands.
Q. Harvardwood profiled you in 2007, when you had just finished film school and starred in On The Lot. Looking back, would you do film school again? Did it lead to On The Lot?
A. I probably wouldn't do it again. On The Lot wasn't related. The two best things I got [from film school] were the practice making films and the peer group. I started doing these 48-hour competitions, making films in 48 hours. I learned so much, because you have to solve problems on the fly—there isn't perfectionism. I did that to forge a community. You don't really need film school, but my parents were on my back, so a grad program seemed more official. If I did it over again, I would just make lots of films and form a peer group of people who were making films.Read more
Adam B. Stein '99 (Writer & Director)
By Kim Bendheim '81
Adam B. Stein '99 has garnered a great deal of notice recently through the short films he made for "On The Lot", the Fox reality show for filmmakers executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett of "The Apprentice" and "Survivor." The process of being accepted to the show was arduous: submitting films, sitting through various rounds of interviews, and directing a new film in five days. To make the final rounds of the competition, according to the "On The Lot" website, Stein had to beat out some 12,000 other applicants. What buoyed the developing filmmaker even more was that in the finals, the judges consistently awarded him highest marks. Judges included accomplished industry professionals such as director Garry Marshall (PRETTY WOMAN), actress-screenwriter Carrie Fisher (POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, STAR WARS), director-producer Brett Ratner ("Prison Break," AFTER THE SUNSET) and director Gary Ross (PLEASANTVILLE).Read more