Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist and educator. He is the President of the Writers Guild of America, West; professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; and an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs. He is the son of screenwriter Howard Rodman (1920–1985).
His films include Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, and August, with Josh Hartnett, Rip Torn, and David Bowie—both of which had their US premiers at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. They were released in 2008 from IFC and First Look, respectively. Rodman's screenplay for Savage Grace was nominated for a Spirit Award in the Best Screenplay category. His adaptations of Jim Thompson, David Goodis et al. for Showtime's Fallen Angels anthology series were directed by Steven Soderbergh and Tom Cruise.
Rodman also wrote Joe Gould's Secret, which opened the 2000 Sundance festival and was subsequently released by October/USA Films. Rodman's original screenplay F. was selected by Premiere Magazine as one of Hollywood's Ten Best Unproduced Screenplays. His 1990 novel, Destiny Express, an historical romance set in the pre-war German film community, was blurbed by Thomas Pynchon, who called it "daringly imagined, darkly romantica moral thriller."
Starting as editor-in-chief of The Cornell Daily Sun, Rodman has published scores of articles in venues including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and the Village Voice (for which he was a monthly columnist).
He founded and chairs the Writers Guild Independent Writers Caucus. He has chaired FilmIndependent's Spirit Awards feature film jury as well as the USC Scripter Awards. He is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities; a member of the executive committee of the writers' branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; a former trustee of the Writers Guild Foundation; vice-chair of the Committee on the Professional Status of Writers; and serves on several nonprofit boards, among them the Franco-American Cultural Fund, and Cornell in Hollywood. He is an alumnus of the Seed Fund Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation, and a former editor of The Bill of Rights Journal.
His 2011 celebration of the centennial of the fictional French arch-fiend Fantomas took him to Yale University where he delivered a paper; The New School, where he appeared on a panel; The Hammer Museum, where he showed one of Feuillade's classic films; NOIRCON; and City Lights Books, where he participated in a four-day conference.
Working with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, USC, and the Writers Guild, Rodman has recently conducted public conversations with such writers as Tom Wolfe, Ricky Jay, Jeannette Seaver, Vince Gilligan, Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Matthew Weiner, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jean-Claude Carriere, Geoff Dyer, and Lady Antonia Fraser.
He is a member of the National Film Preservation Board, which advises Librarian of Congress on the annual selection of films to the National Film Registry, and on national film preservation planning policy.
On October 31, 2013, Rodman was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.
In his 20s and early 30s Rodman was a typist, a legal proofreader, a mail-room clerk, a union organizer (for the Committee of Interns and Residents) and the guitarist for various lower-Manhattan post-punk bands (Made in USA; Arsenal; Soul Sharks). He was married to the writer and media scholar Anne Friedberg, author of The Virtual Window. until her death in 2009. He lives in Los Angeles with their son Tristan, their dog Simeon. Their house, the 1957 John Lautner "Zahn Residence," has been widely published. Rodman and Friedberg's work with Lautner in restoring it was chronicled in the February 2002 issue of Dwell magazine.