IFH 495: Cautionary Tale: $300,000+ in Debt for Film School with Zack Morrison


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The crippling student debt crisis in America threatens college the financial freedom of many students. According to Forbes 2020 student loan debt statistics, there are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe nearly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. and student loan debt is now the second-highest consumer debt category - behind only mortgage debt.
I was introduced to filmmaker, Zack Morrison’s plight when I read an amazing article in the Wall Street Journal about his $ 300,000 student loan debt from Columbia University film school.
Zack is a short film director and writer. Some of his work include Everything's Fine: A Panic Attack in D Major and Captain Cyborg.
Everything's Fine: A Panic Attack in D Major is a musical comedy about a woman at the onset of her quarter-life crisis and her existential journey through the various stages of anxiety in song and dance.
Captain Cyborg tells the story of a young boy with a hyperactive imagination who creates a superhero alter-ego in order to confront bullying at school. Unfortunately for Jake, the lines between reality and fantasy start to blur, and he is forced to make a decision that will change his life forever.
This was Zack's big second-semester project at Columbia University's MFA Film program. It began as a script swap process where everyone signs on to direct someone else's story as an exercise in collaboration and adaptation.
Zack’s passion for filmmaking goes back to eight years old after being inspired by a Steven Spielberg lego movie game
He followed through by doing his BSc at Rutgers and his graduate in film at Columbia University. We get into the deep of his choices to attend an Ivy League school for film, the accumulation of debt, and how that has impacted his life.
You can watch Zack’s short films on his website or his youtube channel --- you can find the links in the show notes below. Let’s get this conversation started.
Enjoy my conversation with Zack Morrison.

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