David E. Tolchinsky

David Tolchinsky is a screenwriter (Sony Tristar's Girl) with screenplay commissions from MGM, USA Networks, Disney, Ivan Reitman's Montecito Pictures, Edward R. Pressman Film Corp, Addis-Wechsler/Industry Entertainment, and many other projects in development. Some of his work centers on teen subcultures such as heavy-metal fans, Florida surfer teens, teen groupies, and female football players, particularly in relation to social decay. He is also interested in horror, both psychological and physical. He has a secondary interest in sound design and has designed the sound for interactive computer environments and video installations which have been exhibited internationally. He is also particularly intrigued by the musical, cultural and spatial meanings of dialogue. Recently, Tolchinsky wrote a commissioned screenplay, co-produced Debra Tolchinsky's feature documentary, Fast Talk ( fasttalkthemovie.com), and completed a new low budget screenplay which is currently being packaged/shopped.


MFAFilm/Video Production, USC School of Cinema-Television
BAVideo/Performance Art, Yale (Scholar of the House)
CertificatesDigital Audio Processing and Computer Music Composition, MIT's Media Lab

Recent Publications

2013 Essay, “Where’s the Rest of Me?” thoughts on Spalding Gray and monologue-writing. In Paraphilia Magazine, March 2013 issue. www.paraphiliamagazine.com/periodical/wheres-the-rest-of-me/

Lipscomb, Scott and Tolchinsky, David (September, 2005). The Role of Music Communication in Cinema in Miehl, MacDonald, Hargreaves, editors, Musical Communication. OUP.

Tolchinsky, Debra and Tolchinsky, Dave (June, 2004). Cicadas Could Mean Redemption. Newsday.

Tolchinsky, David (April, 2004). Violence in Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ is Well, Too Violent. Newsday.

Recent Awards and Honors


Recipient, $15,000 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Literature   www.arts.illinois.gov/news/iaca-announces-fy14-artist-fellowship-award-recipients


No. 14 on NewCity’s List of Chicago’s top 50 players in film. newcityfilm.com/2013/10/03/film-50-chicagos-screen-gems-2013/

Recipient, The Contemporary Arts Council’s Yearly Grant to Curators, to curate The Presence of Absence at Chicago’s Hairpin Arts Center, May 8-June 2, 2013.   contemporaryartscouncil.org/the-presence-of-absence/


Best Documentary Feature, Fast Talk, co-producer, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Best Documentary, Fast Talk, co-producer, Iowa Film Fest, Iowa.

2009Co-Curator, The Horror Show, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, New York City ( www.dorsky.org), chosen as a "Voice Choice for Art" by The Village Voice
2008Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence
2007Clarence Simon Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring
2006Nominee, New Media Fellowship, as part of the Rockefeller/Ford Foundation's Program for Media Artists
2003Nominations, Motion Picture Sound Editors' Golden Reel Awards in the Special Venue Category
2002Fellowship Award to the Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL., to participate in a three-week artist's residency directed by writer-actor Spalding Gray (Monster in a Box, Impossible Vacation, Swimming to Cambodia). One of 10 "mid-career writers" selected.


561Foundations of Writing for the Screen+Stage
360Writing the Horror Screenplay
360Writing the Teen-Centered Screenplay
360Writing the Comic Book Adaptation
360Writing the Unraveling/Psychotic Screenplay
360Writing at the Frontier
384Foundations of Sound Design
350-2Adaptation/Business of Creative Writing for the Media


David E. Tolchinsky

Professor; Department Chair; Director, MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage; Co-Director, Program in Sound Design




1920 Campus Drive, Room 302
Evanston, IL 60208



Graduate Programs:

Screen Cultures; Writing for the Screen and Stage