Writer. Filmmaker. Speaker. Storyteller. Millennial.

Writing

Writing

David is a contributor to Fast Company where he writes about social entrepreneurship, disruptive innovation, film, television, and creativity. Some of his notable interviews include: Nick Kristof, Rachel Maddow, Wael Ghonim, Vince Gilligan, David Chase, Amy Berg, Danny Meyer, Anna Maria Chavez, Peter Jackson, Damien Echols, Tom Hooper, and Terence Winter. Previously for Fast Company, David created, wrote, and managed a series called The Change Generation, a series of 20 profiles of millennial changemakers including Blake Mycoskie, Scott Harrison, and Lauren Bush Lauren among others.

He’s also a columnist for the Huffington Post. Below are some of his most recent articles.

If you are interested in getting in touch with a story pitch .

As his latest film demonstrates that he's as adept at painting dramatic characters as hilarious wretches, Steve Coogan steps back to contemplate the crafting of a great character. Steve Coogan may not be a household name in America, but in England, he's one of the biggest names in comedy. For over a decade, he has brought to life the fictional, intensely flawed radio host Alan Partridge. Coogan developed the Partridge character first for a radio show, then for a television series and u [...]

In his new feature with Alec Baldwin, and here, James Toback exposes the broken system behind studio filmmaking. Alec Baldwin and James Toback set out at last year's Cannes Film Festival with a seemingly simple mission: to try to get a film funded. The film would be a psychosexual political thriller called Last Tango in Tikrit set against the backdrop of the post-war Iraq. It would star Alec Baldwin as a defense contractor and Neve Campbell as his love interest. It would be a kind of 21st-c [...]

Filmmaker J.C. Chandor took something of a risk with his second feature—a dialogue-free story about a man stranded at sea. The result has earned acclaim for the writer/director and for actor Robert Redford. Standing in the back of the annual Sundance filmmakers' reception on a cold January day in 2011, J.C. Chandor was just one fish in a vast sea of filmmakers. His film Margin Call was about to debut at the festival, and he was waiting to see the festival's founder Robert Redford. As R [...]

Writer, director, and producer Shane Salerno, fresh off his new documentary about Salinger, offers some of his tips for doing it all with the time you have. Writer, director, and producer Shane Salerno bounces between mediums and genres with some regularity, from documentaries to feature films to books, from writing films to producing television to directing documentaries. Most recently Salerno simultaneously completed Salinger, a theatrical documentary film about J.D. Salinger which opened rece [...]

Writer, director, and producer Shane Salerno, fresh off his new documentary about "Salinger," offers some of his tips for doing it all with the time you have. Writer, director, and producer Shane Salerno bounces between mediums and genres with some regularity, from documentaries to feature films to books, from writing films to producing television to directing documentaries. Most recently Salerno simultaneously completed Salinger, a theatrical documentary film about J.D. Salinger which [...]

Lucky Magazine's new editor is young, digitally savvy—and taking her cues from the tech world. "I love Times Square." Those might not be the words you would expect to hear out of the mouth of a fashion magazine editor, but this kind of statement is typical of Eva Chen, the new editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine. Since her arrival in June, now with two issues under her belt, she has been putting her own stamp on a magazine founded nearly a decade ago. Chen's office in the Conde [...]

Shane Salerno set out to make a documentary about J.D. Salinger, which is seeing the light of day nine years later, with an accompanying book. Here, the director discusses the difficulty of uncovering a (famous) secret life. When Shane Salerno set out to make a film about Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger, his plan was to spend $300,000 and six months shooting. "I thought it would be easy," he said, "We would just go out, shoot, and be done." But today, $2 million dolla [...]

Joe Swanberg, whose new feature, Drinking Buddies, debuts today, is one of the most productive directors around, having made 11 features by age 31. He shares some of his methods for making movies, a lot of them, his way. To understand Joe Swanberg, it might be useful to know that at age 31, he has made 11 feature films, seven of which were finished in 2010. While some filmmakers who have been working in Hollywood for decades are known for their consistent output, Swanberg might easily be one of [...]

Lee Daniels cast a large ensemble of household names for his civil rights drama The Butler, and worked to challenge audience assumptions of who these characters could be. There's a moment near the end of The Butler (officially known as Lee Daniels' The Butler) in which two of the film's central characters, Cecil Gaines and his wife Gloria, are looking at a picture of their granddaughter. Gloria asks incredulously how her son could "name that child Shaquanda. . . . What kind o [...]

Filmmaker Philippa Robinson discusses the art of getting people to open up on camera. For Philippa Robinson, the idea of filming a series of total strangers talking about their relationships and sex lives while sitting in their own beds seemed like a perfectly wonderful idea as she embarked upon the project last year. The resulting film, Americans in Bed, which is airing all week on HBO, was inspired by a similar film Robinson did in 2010 for the BBC. The film includes interviews with more than [...]

The director of the critically successful The Spectacular Now talks about the essence of teen-focused films and the simple point of it all—feeling something. On the surface, James Ponsoldt, the writer and director of last year's acclaimed film Smashed, about a couple's struggle with alcoholism, might not seem like the ideal person to direct a touching teenage coming-of-age film. But he seems to have struck a chord with his new film, The Spectacular Now, which opens this week and has be [...]

Can you imagine John Lithgow as the Joker or The Graduate without Dustin Hoffman? Both almost happened! Casting By tells the story of the casting directors that shaped film. The role of the casting director is often overlooked in Hollywood. But now the profession is getting the spotlight in a new documentary, Casting By, which premieres tonight on HBO. It tells the story of the birth of the casting profession, in the late 1950s led by two of the first casting directors Lynn Stalmaster and Marion [...]

As Blue Jasmine hits theaters, Letty Aronson, Woody Allen's longtime production partner (and sister) talks about the efficient but exacting art of making a lot of films, on time and on budget. Letty Aronson may be Woody Allen's sister. But she's also been his producer for more than a decade. Beginning her work with 1994's Bullets Over Broadway as a co-executive producer and taking over as lead producer starting with 2001's Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Since then she' [...]

Acclaimed doc filmmaker Alex Gibney talks about his new film We Steal Secrets, the difference between a topic and a story, and making a difficult film without the cooperation of its difficult main character. Alex Gibney is no stranger to controversy. In fact he is drawn to it. As a documentary filmmaker, his films have taken on Eliot Spitzer (Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer), Enron (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), Jack Abramoff (Casino Jack and the United States of Money), th [...]

How Millennials are shaping politics, education, global development, entertainment, and more. Members of the Millennial Generation are predisposed to start organizations and businesses, with 15% doing so right out of college, an increase of 300% from 20 years ago. Here are the stories of seven people under 30 who are making this kind of impact from Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World. Politics & Organizing In the 2008 and 2012 elections, this generation played a d [...]

Jason Winer, Josh Gad, and Jon Lovett discuss the finer points of making the White House about family, first. TV director Jason Winer and actor Josh Gad were looking to work together. A friend suggested they meet with Jon Lovett, who had just finished serving as a White House speechwriter for Barack Obama and had come to L.A. hoping to write comedy. When Lovett sat down with Winer and Gad, the first thing he said was that he didn't want to write anything about the White House. Funny story t [...]

Director Roger Michell tackles FDR's secret romance (and a public visit from royalty) in the Bill Murray-starring feature. Most people who saw The King's Speech back in 2010 were charmed by the story, the unlikely collision of characters, and the way Colin Firth's King George VI was humanized through his battle to overcome his speech impediment and rise to the occasion of history. But British film director Roger Michell had a very different reaction as he watched that film unspool [...]

Upworthy, a web platform designed to spread content that matters, has a unique approach: Curate compelling content that already exists, and package it in a way that makes people instantly want to share. How can we take the structural tools that make funny cat videos go viral, and use them to make important stories go viral too? That was the question that began to bubble in Eli Pariser's mind shortly after he left MoveOn.org, the liberal advocacy group, where he was executive director from 2 [...]

The director talks about translating a sacred stage experience to the screen and the key decision that made his Les Mis (and his actors) really sing. Tom Hooper was an accomplished British film and television director back in 2010, and although largely unknown to the moviegoing masses, he was just about to release the latest film he had directed: The King's Speech. One night, Hooper was invited by his friend William Nicholson (the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Gladiator) to go see a music [...]

Not Fade Away, David Chase's feature film debut, sees the Sopranos creator return to his roots. Not Fade Away, which opens this Friday, tells the story of a group of teenagers in 1960s New Jersey, who see the Rolling Stones performing on television, and are inspired to start a band. The film follows their journey through the tumultuous 1960s as the boys in the band learn about love, life, sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. The film, full of nods to 1960s cultural touchstones from South Paci [...]

The eel which came second to last, had the lightest touch of wasabi between the fish and the rice. In one fluid motion, Jiro painted it with the sauce and put the sushi down in front of me. Eel is one of my favorite sushi dishes and I had never tasted anything like this eel before. [...]

People in my generation need to step up to the plate to run for office. While many of us have become social innovators and entrepreneurs, hardly any of us are running for public office. [...]

Unlike traditional higher education institutions which have to focus on rankings and faculty publication rates or start-up incubators which have to focus on exits and financing, Exosphere's only mandate is to focus on the whole student. [...]

In the U.S. alone there are 80 million Millennials, who are expected to account for 50 percent of the workforce by 2020. Here are three things you can to do rethink the role of Millennials in your company, making them happier and more productive, while achieving wins for your company. [...]

One book called us the "dumbest generation." Another cast Millennials as a breeding ground for an "epidemic" of narcissism. These views ignore many realities about this generation. [...]

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Girls is not its content, but its creator. Love her or hate her, Dunham at 26 typifies the ability and power of this generation. You might say this is a generation with more Lena Dunhams than Hannah Horvaths. [...]

Today being authentic actually means you have to be naturally authentic. So make the Millennial consumer the manager, but not just with titular influence -- put them at the center of the strategy and the campaign. If it's for Millennials it should be by Millennials. [...]

We've responded to all these events by becoming a generation of pragmatic idealists who believe that we have both the opportunity and the obligation to leave the world in better shape than we found it. So why is there so little Millennial representation in Congress? [...]

Arguably, no single company has ever been so closely bound up with a generation in the way that Facebook is with the millennials. [...]

I first met David Jones at the One Young World summit in Zurich where I saw these principles in action. I recently spoke with him about Who Cares Wins and his overall argument that holds that in the 21st century, businesses need to "do good" and "do well" in order to survive and thrive. [...]

Sitting in a private room at Claridges Hotel in London, you wouldn't know that Bernd Beetz has had a hand in shaping just about every major perfume, fragrance and beauty product around the world in the past ten years. [...]

We're the first generation to spend all of our grown years in a world where connecting to people from all over the world, instantly and constantly, seems normal and natural. [...]

I took a gap year and it actually changed my life. Although, I initially resisted the idea, wanting to stay "on track," I soon realized that this wouldn't "set me back" at all. [...]

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Ignorance is a major issue facing our democracy and it is a bipartisan epidemic. But the real culprit in political ignorance is our education system. [...]

Film matters. As a culture, we need good films, it's central to our way of life, our exchange of ideas, and our basic social interactions. [...]

I had the chance to witness firsthand as TOMS gave away their one millionth pair of shoes on a September trip in Argentina. [...]

It's not often that you get to witness our society changing before your eyes. Last week I had the extraordinary opportunity to do just that. [...]

The New York Times article, "What Is It About 20-Somethings" has missed the amazing success stories of so many in this generation, and the unprecedented levels of accomplishment and achievement of so many of its members. [...]

While Wilmington, Ohio may not be on a lot of New Yorkers lists of top tourist destinations, I had one of the most interesting and inspiring holiday weekends of my life. [...]

Here's a little known fact, there is something you can do right now to decrease the national debt: you can make a tax deductible donation that goes directly to pay down the debt. [...]

Finland and France have declared internet access a legal right for all citizens. Here's why I hope the United States and all other countries will follow their and grant internet access as a human right. [...]

By most indicators young people are the most adversely affected age group by the economic crisis, the most at risk when it comes to health care coverage, and the deepest in debt. [...]

Barack Obama might be one of the most normal presidents we have had in years. His connectedness to the real world is one of the things that made him appealing as a candidate. [...]

Embodying the millennial spirit of pragmatic idealism, Pleitez is running a campaign predicated on listening and engaging people at the grassroots level. [...]

In these troubled economic times, with a record government deficit, those engaging in service are more needed than ever. Service can fill the holes that government simply cannot. [...]

If you decide not to vote because you believe your vote doesn't count, you will be one of tens and hundreds of thousands of people in your state who thought the same thing. [...]

We have heard so many wonderful things about Tim Russert over the past few days. But not much has been said of the influence he has had on young people. In fact, young people were among some of his biggest fans. [...]

Americans are coming to understand that issues like the environment and healthcare are long-term inter-generational issues that have much more to do with how we will be living a generation from now. [...]

Young voters visibly exhibited their seriousness and their potential influence over the last week. They spoke through the ballot box and were greeted with results. [...]

© David D. Burstein
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