On December 3rd, 2015, John David Coles came to NYU to speak to nine members of the Gamma chapter of Delta Kappa Alpha, a national co-ed professional cinema fraternity, over dinner at the Torch Club. Coles, a notable figure in the film and television industry, was recently the executive producer and director of the Netflix series, House of Cards and has worked on many other significant shows such as The West Wing, Sex and the City, and Law & Order.
Over the course of two hours, Coles and DKA members engaged in lively conversations dealing with the unique possibilities television offered over film, the almost complete transition of film to digital, and his leadership skills as both an executive producer and director. He described in detail his early years of working on film sets, as an editor, and his eventual progression to directing his first feature, Signs of Life (1989). His life story touched upon the theme of perseverance, which he strongly urged us to maintain as we continue our professional careers. He explained that being dedicated and following our passions will guide our futures further than any skill or technique we may learn.
At the end of the event, the students took away with them a greater understanding of the film and television industry and encouragement to persevere and always follow their dreams. It was the first “Dinner With” event DKA has hosted and they plan on holding more “Dinner With” events in semesters to come.