Conference History

2006 Conference

Keynote Speaker

Marc Scott Zicree
Marc is well-known as the author of the best-seller, The Twilight Zone Companion. He and his wife, Elaine, have been acclaimed as exclusive industry mentors in Hollywood, with over 100 dramatic television credits to their name including episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, Forever Knight, Beauty and the Beast, and Sliders.

Conference Sessions

Rod Serling's Planet of the Apes
Gordon C. Webb, assistant professor, Ithaca College

Webb examines the evolution of the screenplay for the 1967 version starring Charleton Heston. Based on several Serling drafts discovered in the Rod Serling Archives at Ithaca and interviews with people involved in the film, Webb's research traced the project's long journey from Pierre Boulle's novel to the screen, and settles, once and for all, the issue of who first conjured up the classic "Statue of Liberty" ending.

Rod Serling's The Loner
Tony Albarella, author

Albarella will discuss the origins and genesis of The Loner, Rod Serling's short-lived follow-up series to The Twilight Zone. This existential Western starred Lloyd Bridges as William Colton, and dealt with Colton's moral and psychological acclimation to a post-Civil War West. Albarella is the coauthor of The Twilight Zone Scripts of Earl Hammer and the editor of As Timelss as Infinity: The Complete Twilight Zone Scripts of Rod Serling.

Serling Memories
John Keshishoglou, professor emeritus, Ithaca College

John "Kesh" Keshishoglou, the founding dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, was Serling's friend and colleague during the years they both taught in the television-radio department at Ithaca. Kesh invited Serling to do guest lectures in his film classes, and later Serling agreed to teach a one-credit course in creative writing twice a year. Using rare videotapes of Serling's creative writing courses, Kesh will give participants a unique glimpse of the Rod Serling few people knew.

Writers Panel from Hollywood
A live video conference session will originate at the headquarters of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGA) in Los Angeles. Planned guests include IC alumnus and former Serling student William Froelich, president of Ithaca Films in Los Angeles and writer John Furia (Twilight Zone, The Waltons), and other industry professionals who knew and worked with Rod Serling.

Twilight Zone Marathon
Not the highly edited versions shown on all-night marathons, but the original, uncut episodes from the Rod Serling Archives at Ithaca College. Based on an "online voters poll" designed especially for this conference, the most popular episodes will be screened and introduced by a unique panel of scholars, fans, and "TWZ devotees."

Rod Serling Video Festival
The Rod Serling Video Festival premiered in Binghamton in 1995 to promote the use of video arts technology and creativity in the classroom by students in kindergarten through grade 12. A much-anticipated annual statewide event, receiving entries from Buffalo to Long Island, the festival, through an association with International Baccalaureate North America, will now accept student-produced videos from IB schools in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Lawrence Kassan, director of special projects at the Rod Serling School of the Arts, will discuss the festival and screen student work.

The Twilight Zone Script Project
Tony Albarella, editor of As Timelss as Infinity: The Complete Twilight Zone Scripts of Rod Serling, will discuss this project that makes Serling's original scripts available to the public for the first time. These publications were prepared using microfilm copies of the original scripts held in the Rod Serling Archives at Ithaca College.

Special Guests

The Rod Serling Memorial Foundation
The RSMF, based in Rod Serling's hometown of Binghamton, New York, strives to promote and preserve the writer's contributions to the arts and humanities. This nonprofit organization works to educate the public about Serling's unique understanding of human relationships, his groundbreaking career as a writer, and his generosity as a speaker in and around Binghamton. Members of the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation Board of Directors will be on hand to discuss the foundation.

Carol K. Serling
Since Rod Serling's death in 1975, Carol Serling has been the guiding force behind the posthumous preservation of her husband's work. One beneficiary of her dedication is the Rod Serling Archives at Ithaca College, the most complete collection Serling's work in private hands.

Carol Serling was named an honorary trustee of Ithaca College in June 2001. She joined the Ithaca College Board of Trustees in 1983, and, during her time on the board, served as chair of several committees, participated in many alumni activities, and strongly supported the ongoing development of the College's educational mission of a commitment to excellence. She was awarded the Alumni Association Meritorious Service Award in 1995, which recognizes distinguished achievements and contributions to Ithaca College by nonalumni.

The Alumni Association highlighted both Carol's donation of the archives and her help in establishing the Rod Serling Communications Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to students in the School of Communications who demonstrate outstanding creative scriptwriting ability.

Roy H. Park School of Communications  ·  311 Park Hall  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-1021  ·  Full Directory Listing