Newton Calkins, M.F.A.

M.F.A., Boston University

Born in Buffalo, NY on Friday the 13th (or maybe it was a Sunday...), Newt Calkins spent most of his youth in Upstate and Western New York. After a failed attempt at studying Physics at St. Bonaventure University, he followed his *real* passion for film and TV at SUNY Fredonia, graduating in 2003 with a B.S. in Comm. He then worked in a cubicle farm in Pittsburgh for a few years before attending grad school at Boston University, where he earned an MFA in Film. A short career as a freelance story analyst and development assistant for Sony Pictures in Los Angeles followed. Homesick and beaten by the cost of living in L.A. he returned to Pittsburgh and taught film classes at the now-defunct Pittsburgh Filmmakers non-profit organization. During COVID Newt was locked down with his retired parents in Angola, NY. A chance opportunity to teach screenwriting opened up at his undergraduate alma mater SUNY Fredonia and that's where you'll find him now. An award-winning writer of short scripts and teleplays, Newt uses his experience as both an artist and an analyst to inform his teaching.

Teaching Interests

Newt's primary teaching interest lies in screenwriting for film and TV, though he has some experience as a film festival judge with an eye towards film/video aesthetics. He is also interested in film and TV history and critical analysis. General creative writing, particularly poetry and short fiction, are areas of interest as well.

Research Interests

Although Newt's expertise is more creative than academic, he is interested in the research of narratology, which is the study of storytelling. He is also interested in the subject of the suspension of disbelief in film and TV, particularly the use of "mockumentary" technique, sometimes commonly referred to as "found footage". The broader topic of horror narratives, especially horror films, is also an area of research interest.