Renowned Movie Producer Hausman Talks With Film Students

Professor Damon Maulucci, left, and Michael Hausman

News Story: November 20, 2013

Legendary film producer Michael Hausman visited Sacred Heart University’s Stamford campus Monday evening to discuss filmmaking with two dozen graduate students enrolled in the film and television master’s program.

Hausman has been a film producer for more than 40 years, with credits including Brokeback Mountain, Gangs of New York, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Firm, and Amadeus. He visited SHU as a guest of Visiting Assistant Professors Damon Maulucci and Justin Liberman. Both professors are graduates of the Columbia University School of the Arts, where Hausman teaches.

“We’re so grateful that the students were able to have the experience of interacting with Mike,” says Liberman, who last year directed the Hausman-produced film Broken Badge. “He comes from such a great tradition of film that spending time with him is like spending time with a history book. To have the opportunity to ask questions and to be able to absorb his energy and his knowledge is such a great asset to an education in film production.”

The students were part of the course Producing I: Script to Screen, in which participants learn to create a film by writing a script that is then produced and directed by classmates.

Hausman lectured the students on many aspects of movie production, including the importance of business knowledge, working with guilds and unions, navigating licensing and clearances, tension on set and the necessity of finding good stories to tell. “Making a film is easy,” Hausman told them. “It's tiring, but it’s easy and fun. But finding a story people care about; that’s the hard part. You have to find good ideas, and you have to look everywhere for them. Read, talk to your family, talk to people on the bus. The stories are out there.”

Lewis Bower, a graduate student from Durham, Conn., says that Hausman’s visit was a priceless opportunity. “Sitting there listening to this guy throw down stories about directors like Martin Scorsese, and listening to him talk about these guys by their first names is incredible,” Bower says. “It just shows that the professors here have excellent resources and connections. It’s great for us to hear from somebody like Mike, who has so much history in the business.”

As for Hausman’s experience Monday evening, he says he enjoyed his visit to the University and that he always relishes a chance to lend his knowledge to the next generation of filmmakers. “I was happy to come to Sacred Heart to speak to the film students, especially in the University’s 50th year,” Hausman says. “I’m here to help them make better movies. If I can do that, then I’ve done a good job in my career and in my life.”

SHU’s film and television master’s program launched this past fall. The curriculum guides students in creating stories and applying their voices to the new media market. Through dynamic workshops and independent projects, students are mentored through all aspects of production using visual storytelling as the basis for making aesthetic and technical choices.  

For information about applying to the FTMA program, click here.