7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17
Batman producer Michael Uslan to Manchester
students: Put some Pow! in your career plans
Michael Uslan, who transformed his childhood passion for comic books into seven Batman films, is bringing career advice to Manchester College students on Wednesday night, Feb. 17.
The executive producer of the Oscar-winning The Dark Knight film will talk about the importance of innovation and passion in choosing a career path.
Uslan began hording comic books at the age of 8, particularly liking Batman. “I always identified with Batman strongly,” Uslan says in an interview. “He had no superpowers, which I felt was really the coolest thing of all. I always thought in my head that if I studied and worked out real hard and if my dad bought me a cool car, I could do what (Batman) does.”
Uslan’s visit is underwritten by a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant to the College’s Pathways career exploration program. The free Feb. 17 lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium. The public is welcome. An autograph signing follows.
“So often we look at our passions as hobbies to pass our free time. If you are like Michael Uslan, however, your passions become your job and your life,” says Jennifer Fisher, coordinator of Pathways career exploration for Manchester College. “We hope his talk inspires students to look deep within themselves for answers to the bigger questions: What drives me? How can I turn my passion into a career? Can I do what I love and make a living?”
While attending Indiana University, Uslan taught the world's first accredited college course on comic books. A media storm ensued, improbably leading to a job at DC Comics for Uslan. He became determined to put a darker, more serious version of Batman on the big screen. He paid his way through law school by selling almost 20,000 of his comic books and eventually went to work for United Artists as an entertainment lawyer.
In 1979, Uslan bought the film rights to Batman from DC Comics, and shopped the idea of a serious Batman film around Hollywood, turned down by studio after studio. He persevered, and 10 years later, Batman, directed by Tim Burton, became the highest-grossing film of 1989.
Uslan won an Emmy in 1995 for producing the PBS children’s series Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and has authored several books on comic books. For a great video of Michael Uslan's message, click here.
The Pathways program is a no-holds-barred exploration of passion as it relates to career – an opportunity for students to learn about themselves and the people around them while gaining valuable work experience in non-profit organizations. To learn how organizations can help Manchester College students explore their vocational calling, visit the Manchester College Pathways website.