COM professor’s screenplay premiering at Houston festival

A screenwriter for more than a decade, College of the Mainland professor Nathan Goldman will see his work on the big screen for the first time at the Houston International Film Festival Sunday, April 10.

“It’s one of the oldest film festivals in North America. It’s sort of a semi-kept secret,” said Goldman. “It’s nice to hear the words you write being performed.”

He and his daughter, Miriam Goldman, collaborated on the script for “The Blimp Trap,” based on a true story from Houstonian Harwood Taylor’s childhood. Taylor and a friend spied a giant blimp soaring overhead and set a trap to catch it.

“It’s mainly about friendship,” said Goldman.

Houston filmmaker Shawn Welling, who is a friend of Taylor and asked Goldman to write the screenplay, directed the film.

Goldman met Welling at a film festival that awarded Welling’s work. Since then the two have collaborated on three finished short films, including a zombie short “Toxin: 700 Days Left on Earth” and a sci-fi (starring Lee Majors) “The Mechanic.”

Goldman, who has taught U.S. and Texas Government at COM for the past three years, said his family first encouraged him to create screenplays.

“I love movies. I go to the movies with my wife and kids, and I’m that annoying person that 20 minutes in leans over and says, ‘This is how it’s going to end,’ and I’m usually right,” explained Goldman. “They’d say, ‘Why don’t you write your own’?”

He did, turning out more than a dozen screenplays in about 13 years and winning more than 100 screenwriting awards at film festivals.

Goldman's script “BATTERUP,” a romantic comedy about a woman's softball pitcher who dates a minor league baseball prospect and then strikes him out in a game, was a winner in the comedy category in the 2013 Trindie Film Festival.

Besides writing screenplays, Goldman, who has a J.D. from Duke University and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, relaxes by writing poetry. Many of his published Jewish poems were collected in the volume “The Rose of Dachau.” His most recent poetry collection is “Above History, Beyond Time: Verse Essays on the Jewish Experience.”

“I’ve had about 100 poems published over the years. That and screenwriting and politics are what I do for fun,” said Goldman.

Goldman also finds time to serve as co-advisor of the COM History Club, which recently toured the Texas City History Museum and Alamo and missions in San Antonio and plans to volunteer at San Jacinto Day. He also is co-advisor of COM’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society.

Though focusing on vastly different topics, Goldman feels his writing skills enhance his teaching.

“In both teaching and writing I'm thinking about ideas and how to get them across,” said Goldman.

 

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