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    Rob Edwards ’85

    Rob Edwards ’85

    Rob Edwards has been writing for film and television for the last 30 years. He is an Emmy-nominated writer whose credits include Full House, In Living Color, Roc and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. His work in animated feature writing includes Disney’s Oscar-nominated The Princess and the Frog and Treasure Planet, where he worked alongside the celebrated writer/director duo Ron Clements and John Musker. His most recent project The Santa Story is slated for a December 2015 release.

    In 2012, Rob and a small team launched his website (robedwards.net) where he provides the tools and tricks that he has learned over the years to aspiring and professional screenwriters. Rob is committed to eradicating bad screenwriting—one individual at a time. His passion for teaching has led him to hold Master Classes or lectures at top institutions or expos such as the: Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, Syracuse University, UC Riverside, CTN Expo, UCLA, Boston University Los Angeles, Howard University (Washington DC), The Organization of Black Screenwriters, The Screenwriters World Conference, Digital Hollywood, The Scriptwriters Network and The Writers Store to name a few. 

    Q: How did your experiences at Syracuse University shape your career?

    A: At SU I got to study under fantastic writers like Tobias Wolff and Douglas Unger and filmmakers like Owen Shapiro. I also got to compare myself against some truly talented student filmmakers. As a professional, I’ve worked with many of the acting students I studied with at school. In fact, the story for The Princess and the Frog was by two SU alumni and I cast an alumni friend as one of the alligators.

    Q: What was your first job after college?

    A: My father was a doctor and he told me that, if I wasn't making a living nine months after Syracuse, I was going to have to go to med school and go into business with him. Not a bad life, but not the life I wanted. I had to hit the ground running so I got a job delivering supplies on the CBS Radford lot in Studio City. It was the lowest rung on the entertainment industry totem pole, but I got to meet all of the producers who worked on the lot and that quickly became an asset.

    Q: What has been a major highlight of your career thus far?

    A: I'd have to say The Princess and the Frog, with “The Fresh Prince” a close second. I had a ball working on Frog; I got to work with many of my heroes in the animation world and, as an added bonus, I've thoroughly enjoyed everything that's happened since that movie came out. I just love seeing the excited faces of kids—and adults—when they find out I worked on it. And, best of all, I still laugh and cry every time I see it.

    Q: How have you stayed involved and connected to SU?

    A: Oh, yeah. I was the President of the SU Alumni Club in Southern California. We won a national award for a program called "The Soft Landing" where new graduates could meet alumni from their fields of study, hear about the city they've moved to and get banking and housing information, a chance to socialize with other alumni and get a warm introduction to the alumni club. I understand it was the basis for what is now SUccess in the City.

    I've also been speaking to students who visit LA from both VPA and Newhouse every year for the past 25 years. And I go back to SU regularly to give workshops for the Syracuse Film Festival and do one on one sessions with film students.

    Q: What are you working on now?

    I have two movies coming out next year, I'm writing two books on animation for Focal Press and I have a few screenplays that look like they might sell sometime in the next few weeks. The thing about most projects in Hollywood is that I can't get more specific than that until the projects are officially announced and well into production. But I'll be sure to circle back and let you know what I can, when I can. Once in a blue moon I come out of my writing cave and give a Master Class.