Howard A. Rodman

Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, author and professor. He is the former President of the Writers Guild of America, West, professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts,[1] alumnus of Telluride Association Summer Program[2][circular reference] and an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs.[3]

Howard A. Rodman
  • Screenwriter
  • author
  • professor
Known forSavage Grace
Joe Gould's Secret (film)
Destiny Express
The Great Eastern
Spouse(s)Anne Friedberg

He is the son of screenwriter Howard Rodman (1920–1985).


In his 20s and early 30s Rodman was a typist, a legal proofreader, a mail-room clerk, a union organizer (for the Committee of Interns and Residents) and the guitarist for various lower-Manhattan post-punk bands (Made in USA, Arsenal, Soul Sharks).[4][5] Starting as editor-in-chief of The Cornell Daily Sun,[6] Rodman has published scores of articles in venues including The New York Times,[7] The Los Angeles Times,[8] Los Angeles Magazine,[9] and the Village Voice (for which he was a monthly columnist).[10]

His adaptations of Jim Thompson, David Goodis et al. for Showtime's Fallen Angels anthology series[11] were directed by Steven Soderbergh and Tom Cruise. The screenplays were published in Fallen Angels: Six Noir Tales Told for Television. Rodman then 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.[12] Other films include Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, and August, with Josh Hartnett, Rip Torn, and David Bowie—both of which had their US premieres 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.

Destiny ExpressEdit

'Destiny Express' was published in January 1990 by Atheneum Books.[13]

'Destiny Express' is an historical romance. Set in Berlin in March 1933, it explores the stark choices faced by the German filmmaking community — chief among them legendary director Fritz Lang (M.; Metropolis), and his acclaimed wife and collaborator, Thea von Harbou. Lang was famously offered the position of head of the Reich's film industry by Josef Goebbels, and fled on the next train to Paris; von Harbou stayed, and made films for the Nazis. Destiny Express is thus the story of the end of a marriage, set in one of history's most crucial junctures. Other historical figures — Bertolt Brecht, Billy Wilder among them — play significant roles in the novel's intertwined narratives.

The Great EasternEdit

The novel The Great Eastern by Howard A. Rodman was published[14] on June 4, 2019, by Melville House Publishing.

In March 2019, the film rights to The Great Eastern were acquired by the UK film company Great Point Media, and Rodman was commissioned to write the screen adaptation.[15]


  • Brian Evenson (July 15, 2019). "Past and Pastiche in Howard A. Rodman's "The Great Eastern"". Los Angeles Review of Books.
  • Paul Burke (June 15, 2019). ""The Great Eastern" by Howard A. Rodman". NB Magazine.
  • Jay Gabler (July 17, 2019). "Howard Rodman's "The Great Eastern" Pits Ahab Against Nemo". The Tangential.

Other activitiesEdit

He founded and chairs the Writers Guild Independent Writers Caucus.[16] He has chaired FilmIndependent's Spirit Awards feature film jury[17] as well as the USC Scripter Awards.[18] He is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities;[19] a member of the executive committee of the writers' branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences;[20] a former trustee of the Writers Guild Foundation;[21] vice-chair of the Committee on the Professional Status of Writers;[22] and serves on several nonprofit boards, among them the Franco-American Cultural Fund,[23] and Cornell in Hollywood.[24] He is an alumnus of the Seed Fund Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation,[25] and a former editor of The Bill of Rights Journal.[26]

Rodman is also on Los Angeles committee of PEN America.[27] PEN International stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide.[28]

He is a member of the National Film Preservation Board, which advises Librarian of Congress on the annual selection of films to the National Film Registry. It also advises on national film preservation planning policy.[29]

Rodman is a member of The Quill and Dagger Society, founded at Cornell University in 1893.

Working with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles,[30] USC,[31] and the Writers Guild,[32] Rodman has conducted public conversations with such writers as Tom Wolfe,[33] Ricky Jay, Jeannette Seaver, Vince Gilligan, Geoff Dyer, and Lady Antonia Fraser.[34][31]

In November 2019, he was a member of the jury[35] at the Cannes 1939 Film Festival in Orléans France.[36]

Howard Rodman also contributes to the Los Angeles Review of Books.[37] His latest articles include 'After Hours Capitalism: On Tom Lutz’s “Born Slippy”'[38] a review of Tom Lutz’s “Born Slippy”,[39] published by Repeater Books and 'On the 192nd Anniversary of the Birth of Jules Verne'.

Howard contributed to Black Clock literary magazine, published semi-annually by CalArts in association with its MFA Writing Program. Howard's work was published in issues 4,[40] 5,[40] 10,[40] 13,[41] 19,[42] 20,[43] 21.[42]

Howard contributed the afterword to 'No Room at the Morgue'[44] by Jean-Patrick Manchette, published in 2020 by New York Review Books.[45]

Honors and awardsEdit

On October 31, 2013, Rodman was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.[46]

In February 2018 he was inducted into Final Draft (software)'s Screenwriters Hall of Fame,[47] alongside Robert Towne, Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Nancy Meyers, Paul Schrader, Lawrence Kasdan et al.

In February 2020 Rodman was presented with the USC Associates Award for Artistic Expression, “the highest honor the University bestows on its members for significant artistic impact," by USC Provost Charles Zukoski.[48]

Personal lifeEdit

He was married to the writer and media scholar Anne Friedberg,[49] author of The Virtual Window.[50] until her death in 2009; they have one son, Tristan Rodman. Their house, the 1957 John Lautner "Zahn Residence," has been widely published. Their work with Lautner in restoring it was chronicled in the February 2002 issue of Dwell magazine.[51] In June 2017 he wed the artist and professor Mary Beth Heffernan.


  1. ^ "USC School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile".
  2. ^ Telluride Association Summer Program
  3. ^ "Sundance Institute".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Howard A. Rodman". Huffington Post.
  6. ^ "The Cornell Daily Sun". Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Rodman, Howard A. (May 27, 1971). "The New York Times".
  8. ^ Rodman, Howard A. (October 17, 2007). "The Los Angeles Times".
  9. ^ "Los Angeles Magazine". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Variety".
  11. ^ "Fallen Angels".
  12. ^ "BAFTA Events Archive".
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Howard A. Rodman's Book 'The Great Eastern' to Be Adapted Into Movie". Variety.
  16. ^ "WGAW The Independent Writers Caucus (IWC)". Archived from the original on 2012-10-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Movieweb".
  18. ^ "25th Annual USC Libraries Scripter Award".
  19. ^ "LAIH Fellows, Howard A. Rodman".
  20. ^ "Academy Invites 134 to Membership".
  21. ^ "Writers Guild Foundation Staff & Board".
  22. ^ Handel, Jonathan (August 28, 2011). "The Hollywood Reporter, WGAW 2011 Elections".
  23. ^ "16th Annual City of Lights City of Angels Film Festival".
  24. ^ "Cornell Alumni Magazine".
  25. ^ "Liberty Hill Foundation".
  26. ^ "The Bill of Rights Journal N.E.C.L.C. 25th Anniversary December 1976".
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ a b c
  41. ^
  42. ^ a b
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ Feinberg, Scoott (January 23, 2018). "Final Draft Awards to Honor 'The Post's' Liz Hannah and Former WGA West Chief Howard Rodman". Hollywood Reporter.
  48. ^ "USC Associates Awards". USC Provost. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  49. ^ Woo, Elaine (October 14, 2009). "Anne Friedberg dies at 57; professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts". Los Angeles Times.
  50. ^ "The MIT Press: The Virtual Window". Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  51. ^ Dwell. February 2002.

External linksEdit