From Football to Film: Chris Lopata ‘92 parlays gridiron experience into screenwriting success
After graduating from Stony Brook, the lifelong movie fan studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute in new York City, where he met his wife, Trista. He landed many acting roles, including a part as an FBI agent in the movie Ransom, starring Mel Gibson and directed by Ron Howard. The money he earned from that project allowed him to produce and direct his first short film, Open Season.
“I had an idea I really liked, and I just set out to make the film,” Chris says. “I was able to sell it to Showtime and other outlets.”
The Syosset native came to Stony Brook in 1988 and played defensive back and then starting cornerback for the Patriots under Head Coach Sam Kornhauser. Defensive coordinator for the team at the time was Coach Dave Caldiero and position coach was Coach Jim Steigerwald.
“I loved playing there, and I loved my coaches,” he says. “After I graduated I went into this other life, but I still keep in touch with the guys from Stony Brook. Chris Cassidy, who was a senior when I was a freshman, and I became really close after college and worked together. He was director of photography on one of my short films.”