UC grad sees film festival circuit success

Erica Bock credits UC's Digital Media Collaborative with helping open doors

By Todd Herzog

Erica Bock wrote a feature-length screenplay for her capstone project as a senior in the Digital Media Collaborative at the University of Cincinnati.

Since graduating from UC's College of Arts and Sciences in 2019, she has been making the festival rounds with her drama that focuses on a college student in the 1950s wrestling with drugs and her sexual identity.

Her screenplay has been selected for competition in 30 film festivals. She has walked home with the top prize in six of them so far. Encouraged by these successes, she is trying to bring her award-winning period drama to the big screen.

Bock credits her digital media degree from UC with opening professional doors.

“People love to hear that I graduated from such a great school. I think most importantly, I was able to make connections with other filmmakers, both teaching staff and other classmates,” Bock said.

It’s all about the connections, she said.

“This allowed me to do so much after graduation.”

Digital Media Collaborative graduate and screenwriter Erica Bock

UC graduate and screenwriter Erica Bock Photo/Provided

Bock has indeed done much in the short time since she graduated. In addition to her feature film, she is producing short films and has begun writing for the stage as well as the screen. As an instructor in the Academy of Cinematic Arts, an educational nonprofit committed to helping middle and high school students discover their stories through digital storytelling, she teaches filmmaking courses and works as assistant director of the Golden Lion Awards High School Film Festival.

Bock also freelances for corporate clients throughout Cincinnati, including MedMart and Crossroads Church. And somehow, with this busy schedule, she has managed to find time to pursue her master's of fine arts in screenwriting at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

Bock entered UC's digital media program with a love of screenwriting and filmmaking. She appreciated the flexibility and personalization that the program offered.

“I just felt that this program had a freedom that others did not. No single DMC student truly has the same degree because it is able to be personalized so much,” Bock said.

People love to hear that I graduated from such a great school. I think most importantly, I was able to make connections.

Erica Bock, UC grad and screenwriter

Bock said she found the structure of the program, which gives students the time and resources to work on longer projects, to be one of its greatest strengths. It enabled her to be freely creative, she said.

“It allowed me to create work with better quality,” Bock said.

Her advice to students starting out in the program is to “work outside of school constantly” and “be confident in your vision for your work.”

That, she says, will advance your career beyond what you could imagine.

Featured image at top: Abstract image of film. Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.