Meet your lecturers: Paul Zinder

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Paul Zinder: Senior Lecturer in Film Production

Tell us about you, and what you teach at University of Gloucestershire:

I’ve been at the UoG for 4 1/2 years after teaching at The American University of Rome for 11+ years. I like the UK better than Italy. I particularly like the fact that one can utilise a crosswalk without running for one’s life. Though I must say that your pizza is inedible. Thank goodness you make up for that sad fact with Sunday lunches. I teach Production and Screenwriting modules as well as the studies module Cult Film and Television.

What else have you been up to recently?

In early spring 2017, I presented a paper on the American television Western Justified at the National Popular Culture Association conference in San Diego, CA. I also participated in a roundtable entitled: “How Italian is the Spaghetti Western”? I’m currently in post-production on two short documentaries that I plan to complete this year.

Who are your favourite director(s)?

My favourite directors are probably David Cronenberg and Woody Allen.

What’s your favourite film(s) of all time?

My Top Ten films (these change regularly):

  1. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
  2. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)
  3. UNFORGIVEN (1992)
  4. THE EXORCIST (1973) 
  5. DEAD RINGERS (1988)
  6. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000)
  7. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (1968)
  8. BICYCLE THIEVES (1948)
  9. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
  10. CITY LIGHTS (1931)

Which films should all UoG Film Production students see before they can call themselves film buffs?

All of the above, as well as (in no particular order):

ANNIE HALL (1977), CHINATOWN (1974), HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986), HAPPINESS (1998), SWEPT AWAY (1974), MANHATTAN (1979), THE GODFATHER (1972), THE GODFATHER PART 11 (1974), THE CONVERSATION (1974), THE FLY (1986), BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967), CITIZEN KANE (1941), THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980), THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (1929), ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012), THE CONFORMIST (1970), HIGH NOON (1952), BLADE RUNNER (1982), RASHOMON (1950), THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1997), MILLER’S CROSSING (1990), THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001), DO THE RIGHT THING (1989), THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971), THE SEARCHERS (1956), REDS (1981), VERTIGO (1959), PSYCHO (1960), WILD STRAWBERRIES (1957), APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), TAXI DRIVER (1976), RAGING BULL (1980), THE KING OF COMEDY (1982), THE 400 BLOWS (1959), MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON (1943), SCORPIO RISING (1965) etc. etc.

Editor’s Note: Paul is from the USA, so we’ll let him get away with this spelling, just this once…

What advice would you give to yourself as a brand new filmmaker?

Study great films before attempting to make one.

Any favourite on-set experiences?

During the production of John Waters’ CRY BABY, at the craft service table, I told Iggy Pop that I’ve always wanted an Iggy Pop tour shirt. He said, “I’m going home to Los Angeles this weekend and I’ll bring you one.” It just so happens that the week we had this conversation was my last on the shoot. Two weeks later, I entered the wrap party and saw Iggy across the room. I went over to say “hi.” He turned around, said “Hi Paul,” and pulled a tour shirt from his back pocket to give to me. He remembered a low-end crew member like me, which further proved his coolness.

Which cake(s) can you be relied upon to contribute to the department?

Making cake’s not really my thing. How about pretzels?

What’s the best bit of Film Production at UoG?

The staff is an amazing group of passionate, fun people, as are our students. 

Find out more about Film Production at the University of Gloucestershire.


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