Howard A. Rodman

Screenwriter, Professor USC School of Cinematic Arts

Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist, educator. He is the Vice President of the Writers Guild of America West; professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; and an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs.

His films include Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, and August, with Josh Hartnett, Rip Torn, and David Bowie--both of which had their US premiers at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. They were released in 2008 from IFC and First Look, respectively. Rodman's screenplay for Savage Grace was nominated for a Spirit Award in the Best Screenplay category. His adaptations of Jim Thompson, David Goodis et. al. for Showtime's Fallen Angels anthology series were directed by Tom Cruise and Steven Soderbergh (who repaid the favor by giving the name of “Mr. Rodman” to the sleaziest characters in The Underneath and Traffic). In the course of his career he's also worked with Chantal Akerman, Clive Barker, Peter Bogdanovich, Rodrigo Garcia, Michael Jackson, Michael Lehmann, David Lynch, John McTiernan, Errol Morris, Tony Scott, and Maurice Sendak.

Rodman wrote Joe Gould's Secret, which opened the 2000 Sundance festival and was subsequently released by October/USA Films. Rodman's original screenplay F. was selected by Premiere Magazine as one of Hollywood's Ten Best Unproduced Screenplays. His 1990 novel, Destiny Express, an historical romance set in the pre-war German film community, was blurbed by Thomas Pynchon, who called it "daringly imagined, darkly romantic--a moral thriller." The New York Times Book Review said "Mr. Rodman's description of [Fritz] Lang's alarming yearning for his wife and the deep black pool of loss that lies beneath is sparely, deeply poignant.''

Starting as editor-in-chief of The Cornell Daily Sun, Rodman has published scores of articles in venues including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and the Village Voice (for which he was a monthly columnist).

He founded and chairs the Writers Guild Independent Film Writers Committee. He has chaired FilmIndependent's Spirit Awards feature film jury as well as the USC Scripter Awards. He is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities; a member of the executive committee of the writers' branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; a trustee of the Writers Guild Foundation; vice-chair of the Committee on the Professional Status of Writers; and serves on several nonprofit boards, among them the Franco-American Cultural Fund, and Cornell in Hollywood. He is an alumnus of the Seed Fund Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation, and a former editor of The Bill of Rights Journal.

He was married to the writer and media scholar Anne Friedberg, author of The Virtual Window, until her death in 2009. He lives in Los Angeles with their son Tristan, their dog Simeon. Their house, the 1957 John Lautner "Zahn Residence," has been widely published. Rodman and Friedberg's work with Lautner in restoring it was chronicled in the February 2002 issue of Dwell magazine.

His spirited 2011 celebration of the centennial of the fictional French arch-fiend Fantômas took him to Yale University where he delivered a paper; The New School, where he appeared on a panel; The Hammer Museum, where he showed one of Feuillade's classic films; NOIRCON, where he sang the villain's praises; and City Lights Books, where he participated in a four-day celebration.

Working with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, USC, and the Writers Guild, Rodman has recently conducted public conversations with such figures as Tom Wolfe, Ricky Jay, Jeannette Seaver, Vince Gilligan, and Lady Antonia Fraser.

Rodman is a recent appointee to the National Film Preservation Board. In October of 2013, the government of France, in recognition of Rodman's work, designated him as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, or Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.