Meet a NYFA Artist: Ari Zev Weider

Meet a NYFA Artist: Ari Zev Weider

NYFA speaks with 2008 Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellow Ari Zev Weider.

Hi Ari, Please tell us what are you working on or what’s coming up for you.

I am polishing my feature film script ZEROES AND ONES, with which I was invited in January to the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab. My producers are currently raising money for the budget and we hope to shoot as early as the fall of this year. In addition, I am at work on a feature documentary, WELCOME TO THE MACHINE, which is entering the post-production phase.

How did you start writing?

On my own. I never took any creative writing classes, except for one semester of screenwriting in undergraduate. But, as a film studies student there was a lot of expository writing required. I just figured that the best way to make films was to write your own and now it’s become a very necessary outlet. It’s something I feel I need to do, to get something out from the inside.

Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration right now?

My wife just gave birth to triplets. Seeing them grow day by day gives me all the inspiration I need right now.

Do you collect anything?

Conversations and other people’s experiences – for possible later use.

How do you start on a project?

There’s no one way. Sometimes I see landscapes, like a character in a particular setting, and then I try to flesh out the world around them. And then other times it’s an action that is the start of a story. I never know where it’ll come from ahead of time. It’s always a discovery

What are your goals for the future?

Right now, it’s simple – writing scripts and directing movies.

What is an indulgence for you?

Eating ice cream and watching Battlestar Galactica on DVD.

What is your workspace like?

Right now I work out of an office in my home. It’s a small room in the back, with a view of the backyard/garden. It’s quiet and I can close the door if the household noise creeps in. Very convenient.

What advice do you have for young artists?

It’s a long road and there’s no map. And one of the hardest things, especially when you are younger, is that no one is asking you to do it. No one is asking you to keep going. Many of your other artist friends will give up. But, if you feel it, don’t stop. Don’t stop.

What role has the Fellowship played in your life?

The Fellowship is validation of many years of hard work and a tremendous help during financially difficult times. If definitely helped take a lot of pressure off and allow me to continue to focus on the work.

For more information on Ari Zev Weider, visit his website

Amy Aronoff
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