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Conservatory of Performing Arts

Nelson Chipman

Graduate Program Director
Associate Professor

Nelson ChipmanContact information


  • M.F.A., Dramatic Writing, New York University
  • B.S., Commerce, University of Virginia

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Screenwriting
  • History of International Cinema
  • Production I
  • The Narrative Structure of Cinema
  • Survey of Media Writing
  • Intermediate Screenwriting
  • Story Analysis
  • Production III
  • Advanced Screenwriting
  • Production IV
  • Writing for Video Games


Nelson Chipman is a screenwriter, filmmaker and playwright who teaches creative writing and film production. He has served as the chair of the cinema arts department and interim dean for the Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Chipman holds a B.S. in commerce from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A. in dramatic writing from New York University.

He began his career writing and producing television commercials and writing advertising copy. From there, he began writing feature scripts and has developed work for and optioned work to directors and production companies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

He has won numerous writing awards and has been a finalist twice for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. His most recent short films, Squared and Intersection, have screened at festivals across the country. He has also served as producer on the Director's Guild award-winning series, The Chair, and on two feature films, Not Cool and Hollidaysburg. He is currently adapting his most recent feature script, Into the Seam, into a young adult novel.

He has previously taught at schools throughout the New York City metropolitan area.

Professional Affiliations

  • University Film and Video Association
  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Southeastern Theatre Conference
  • West Virginia Writers Association
  • International Game Developers Association

Selected Artistic Work

  • Into the Seam, currently in development, 2013

Research Interests

  • Future of visual storytelling
  • Feature film screenwriting
  • Narrative adaptation
  • Writing the short film & webisode
  • Television writing
  • New media writing — online devices
  • Merging of the printed and visual story
  • Digital video production
  • Gaming and writing for video games

Selected Presentations

  • "Production Companies, Entertainment and Transmedia Studios in Academic Programs: Models, Experiences, Outcomes,” Broadcast Education Association, 2014
  • "The Future Screenwriter: A Brave New World," University Film & Video Association Annual Conference, 2012
  • "The Future of Visual Storytelling," Finkelhor Lecture Series, Point Park University, 2011
  • "Collaboration: Love it or Leave it," American Association of Writers and Writing Programs, 2011

Selected Award

  • Winner, Best Filmmaker in Pennsylvania, West Chester Film Festival, 2010
  • Greetings from Pittsburgh: Neighborhood Narratives, Selected by City Paper, Best Things About Film in Pittsburgh, 2008

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